At its most basic definition, a superset is when you do as many reps to failure with as many exercises as you like, BACK TO BACK with no breaks in between, the exercises HAVE to work different muscle groups every time you switch (ie. going from doing a bicep dominant workout to a tricep dominant workout, or going from an upperbody workout immediately to a lower body workout)
Why You Should Do Them?
For starters, they’re a great choice when you’re short on time because you will be surely breathing heavily and possibly even sweating with a huge pump in those targeted areas within less than 5 minutes. Another benefit: “ Supersets are a good protocol for hypertrophy as they help create the biological and hormonal environment necessary for muscle building,”. In other words, by using your rest periods to do more work, the exercises in effect serve as active recovery for each other, providing that extra level of both pump and fatigue that trigger the physiological processes that encourage muscle growth.
How Can You Build Good Supersets?
The above example—upper body alternating with lower body—is a great way to get a total body workout done quickly. Put, say, three or four supersets together using multijoint exercises (like squats, bench presses, rows, overhead presses, etc.), do each for as many reps to failure and as many times through until satisfied, and you’ve got a solid resistance workout in about a half-hour or less.“Supersets are also done with antagonistic muscles, i.e., opposing muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps or chest and back, for example, alternating a push with a pull. These supersets tax the upper body exclusively, but allow one set of muscles (on the front or back of the body) some active rest while the opposite muscles work, and vice versa. And you can still do a total body workout this way, too. “You could do a chest/back superset, a quad/hamstring superset, a biceps/triceps superset, and then some shoulder work with some calf work,”.
When Shouldn’t You Superset?
Because supersetting effectively reduces or even eliminates rest periods, it’s not the right choice if your goals are to PURELY increase muscular strength or power. “Complete recovery between sets is essential to training for those,”. Particularly for sports such as strongman, sumo wrestling, olympic weightlifting or powerlifting.
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