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What Are Supersets And Why Should You Do Them?

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11/4/17

Traditional resistance training consists of performing a set of repetitions followed by a minute or two of rest before performing another set, often referred to as a straight set. A superset is a form of resistance training where you perform an exercise and then immediately perform a different exercise with little to no rest in between.

There are a few reasons why you may want to integrate supersets into your next workout.

Saves time: Instead of resting for a minute or two between sets of exercises you can use that rest period to perform another exercise. Doing so will make you workouts more time-efficient. Who doesn’t want that?

Keeps your workouts interesting: If you are used to working one muscle group before moving on to the next, adding supersets to your workout will increase your intensity as well as add some variety to your usual routine.

Works your muscles without heavy weights: Instead of lifting weights near your maximum limit, which can lead to injury if not done properly, you can perform a superset of the same muscle group and still overload the muscle enough to produce muscle growth. A recent study concluded that supersets yielded greater exertion with less weight than traditional resistance training. This same study also concluded that supersets can enhance training efficiency and reduce training time when compared to traditional resistance training.

They are three main types of supersets.

1. Same muscle groups - This type will work the same muscle group. For example, a set of bench press followed by a set dumbbell flyes.

2. Opposing muscle groups – This type involves working two opposing muscle groups such as chest and back, biceps and triceps, or hamstrings and quadriceps.

3. Staggered – The type works two completely unrelated muscle groups. For example, chest with calves, shoulders with abdominals, or biceps with hamstrings.

A couple things to keep in mind:

- When performing supersets you will be more fatigued during your second set, especially if you are working the same muscle group. Be sure to use less resistance during the second set than you normally would and be mindful of your form in order to prevent any injuries.

- Supersets keep your heart rate elevated which helps you burn more calories.

- Performing supersets may not be ideal when you’re gym is busy and equipment is limited.

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