What is a Superset in Strength Training?

There Are Two Main Types of Supersets

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A superset is a form of strength training in which the participant moves quickly from one exercise to a separate exercise without taking a break for rest in between the two exercises. Typically, a strength trainer will take a brief break to catch their breath or grab a drink of water between sets of an exercise.

In weight training, a set is a particular number of the same exercise performed consistently without stopping.

For example, if you do ten arm curls in a row, that is considered to be a ‘set’ of 10. Sets are comprised of reps, which are individual performances of a single exercise. Each one of the ten arm curls performed in the above example is considered to be a ‘rep.’

There are two main ways in which supersets can be performed. These two ways are quite different, and thus, the results derived from them vary greatly. The two main types of supersets are opposing muscle group supersets and same muscle group supersets.

Opposing Muscle Group Supersets

One very common form of a superset workout includes working two opposing muscle groups back to back and then repeating the circuit. For example, a common superset includes performing one upper body exercise and then immediately moving to a lower body exercise. In this example, the participant would perform one set on the bench press and then one set on the leg press.

Another easy method to plan supersets is to alternate with opposing muscle groups. You can combine the bench, which works the chest, with the seated row which engages the back.

Supersets of this type are a great way to reduce the overall time your workout takes, as you perform two different exercises in the time that you may normally do one.

For instance, you can work both your arms and legs, rather than just arms.

These supersets are very similar to a circuit training routine. Although supersets tend to focus on two exercises at a time, and circuit training routines often have up to ten stations, both workouts require little rest between exercises.

Same Muscle Group Supersets

The second way to perform a superset workout is to choose two different exercises that work out the same muscle group and then perform them back to back without a rest. Performing quadriceps extensions immediately after squats is an example of this type of superset. This type of superset works one individual area especially hard. It is a great way to focus on a particular area of the body, or if you are training.

Supersets place an emphasis on stamina as well as ability, as the lack of a break between sets can be extremely challenging.

Alternate Spellings: Super-set

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