Today’s post is gym workout related and is focusing on supersets. Many of you might ask, what are supersets? It’s a term used for a way to combine two exercises at the gym without having no rest or minimal rest between sets. Why am I writing about it, is because I’ve used them in my workouts for a longer period now and I wanted to share some information about them, what I found out.
It’s actually really good I started looking up more information about supersets just recently. I started implementing them to my gym routine, because this way I felt that I was tiring myself more and burning more calories. Also, I got my workout done quicker and was able to include few more sets of exercises. But, I also found out some useful information, that I didn’t know before and what made me think through on how I will continue on using the supersets in my weekly gym workouts. So, here are some facts about supersets I found really useful.
Ways to use supersets
There are several ways on how to create your workout plan using supersets. A really common way is to pair same muscle group exercises. For example doing two exercises for biceps, for shoulders etc. Another way is to combine muscle groups that are far away from each other and don’t interfere. For example combining chest and back or biceps and triceps. If you combine same muscle group exercises, it’s more common that you feel more tired after the set and it may be hard for you to do another set with the same effort. But, if you combine different muscle groups, you may be able to finish all your sets with the same effort you would be doing, if you wouldn’t be supersetting them.
A typical way is to do two exercises in a row, then rest 1-2 minutes and then do another set. Usually there are 3 sets, as you would normally do also without using supersets. It’s really necessary to have this 1-2 minute rest between in order to let the muscles recover and get them ready for another set. There is also another possible way to use supersets in a way, where you are doing 1 exercise, then rest for 1 minute, continuing with the first exercise again and then again resting for 1 minute etc.
Tricep pushdown / rest 1 minute / Bicep curls / Rest 1 minute / Tricep pushdown / Rest 1 minute / Bicep curls / Rest 1 minute – until your sets are done
I personally haven’t tried this way, but it’s a possibility. I have normally used the way to do two exercises in a row and then have a rest between them.
Bicep curl – Tricep pushdown / Rest for 1-2 minutes / Bicep curl – Tricep pushdown / Rest for 1-2 minutes – until the sets are done
Unknown facts and misunderstandings
Supersets may be used for the wrong reasons. You may think that you’ll receive better results, get the results faster and gain more strength with a shorter period of time. But, this is actually not true. Supersets are helpful, if they’re done correctly, but there is no scientific fact that they will help you get better results faster or make you stronger rather than using traditional sets.
It’s even found that they may compromise your performance at the gym, if they’re not used correctly. For example, it’s not a good idea to use supersets for compound movements like squats, deadlifts or bench press. These exercises are the ones that you need to do separately, because they need much more effort from you. They’re full body exercises and supersetting them will compromise the effort you’re putting into them. It’s recommended that if you’re doing your compound movements, you do them separately in the beginning of your workout and then add supersets later with other exercises, if you want.
Some benefits of supersets are that you may burn more calories and you get your workout done quicker. When combining opposite muscle groups, you’re not compromising your effort you’re putting into the workout.
What I found out
For me, finding information about superset was really useful. I found out that I also have done some mistakes before and even still recently. When I started implementing supersetting, I also used them for compound movements as well. Now, I haven’t done it. If I’m doing squats or deadlifts, I always do them separately. The same could go with hip thrusts. You will feel more tired and you won’t be putting as much effort into these exercises if you would combine them with some other exercise.
Also, for me it was really interesting to find out that using supersets may not help with your progress as much as using traditional sets. This is because using traditional sets helps with maximising progressive overload, what supersets may not do. So, in order to gain more strength and see more progress, sticking with traditional sets is the way to go.
I’ve done supersets basically with my every routine. I like that I feel more tired and feel the burn quicker. But also, I’d have to think through what kind of exercises I really should superset and which ones I shouldn’t. So, for me reading more about it paid off and I can implement the new information in my weekly routines.
Have you tried supersets? What kind of muscle groups have you combined? If you haven’t, would you try this kind of workout setup? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.