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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 24 November 2020

What are supersets and why are they so damn good?

One of the reasons for their popularity amongst weightlifters is because it helps you overcome the dreaded plateau in your training.

A man attempts a superset.
A man attempts a superset.
Image: YouTube

PREPARE TO BE well and truly smashed after performing a superset so this advice comes with a health warning.

Luckily, supersets come with many benefits too and if you think you’d like a time-saving, high-intensity workout, this is for you. Basically, supersetting is a more advanced way to lift weights and places more stress on the muscles, simply because instead of performing one set of exercises and resting, you perform two sets before resting.

But there’s more to it than that. Usually, though not always, supersetting involves working one particular muscle group after which you immediately work another opposing muscle group. For example, performing eight bicep curls followed by eight tricep kickbacks.

One of the biggest reasons supersets have become so popular amongst weightlifters is because it helps you overcome the dreaded plateau in your training.

Perform the same routine day in and day out is well and good but your body gets used to the stress and no longer sees a reason to adapt and grow any stronger. This is when you stop noticing changes in your strength, quickness and size.

But supersetting is one remedy for this. Here are five more benefits of supersets:

1) Supersets are a great technique for plateau busting and for sparking your motivation to keep training.

2) Supersets are also a great technique for increasing muscle size, as they boost the release of anabolic hormones like testosterone, which is responsible for muscle growth.

3) By supersetting you cut down the amount of time you spend in the gym, as you will be working two muscle groups within the same set. Less time is less time wasted.

4) Another great benefit is that you don’t need really heavy weights; you can push your muscles to their limits with lighter weights, which means that you can still have a great workout with minimal equipment.

5) Supersets are easy exercises to set up. Simply pick two exercises, either for the same muscle or by using some of the other ideas listed below, do them one after the other. Rest about 30-60 seconds between supersets and repeat.

Examples of supersets are; bicep curls followed by tricep kickbacks; dumbbell shoulder press followed by barbell upright row; chin ups followed by wide-grip pull downs; leg extensions followed by squats. Have you a favourite superset?

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About the author:

Brian Canty

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