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SUPERSETS

A superset is when two exercises are performed consecutively without a break. Originally, supersets were defined as combining two exercises of antagonist (opposing) muscle groups. An example would be a biceps curl immediately followed by a triceps extension.

An extremely popular method of super setting, because of its emphasis on proper postural alignment and the elimination of muscle imbalances, is the push/pull superset system. This could be a horizontal or vertical pressing movement followed by a horizontal or vertical pull movement. An example would be a bench press paired with the bent-over row or a military press paired with a

chin-up. The obvious benefit is that symmetrical development of opposition muscle groups is enhanced. This system is more intense than the traditional set system is, which is when one set of an exercise is performed, followed by rest, followed by another set of that same exercise. Arnold Schwarzenegger popularized supersets with the idea being “More work could get done in less time.”

Here are some practical examples of traditional supersets:

In today’s world of bodybuilding, the term superset is sometimes used differently from its original intent. Frequently, it is used to describe a single-joint (isolation) movement paired with a multi-joint (compound movement) for the same muscle group.

A popular chest superset would be a pec deck and a bench press. Some of our more artistically inclined bodybuilding brethren perform two movements for the same muscle group with different emphasis. An example of this would be the incline press supersetted with a weighted dip. The incline press would be for the clavicular portion of the pectoralis muscle group (upper chest) and the dips for the sternal aspect of the same muscle group (lower chest).

Examples of within muscle group supersets:

  1. Quadriceps from Different Angles

  2. Leg Extensions and Hack Squats

  3. Upper Back from Different Angles

  4. Chin-ups and Seated Rows

  5. Shoulders from Different Angles

  6. Lateral Raises and Overhead Presses

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