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What is a superset?

June 4, 2020

Weights and supersets

I love supersets. It’s one of my favorite things to incorporate into workouts — both for myself and for my clients. It’s quick, it focuses on strength building, and doesn't waste any time with rest periods. A superset is kind of a buzzword in the fitness world. But, what actually is it?

During a superset, you perform two different exercises back to back. There’s no resting between exercises. As soon as you’re done with one, you launch right into the next one. Strictly speaking, the two exercises you are performing in a superset should engage opposing muscle groups. For example, a chest exercise paired with a back exercise — such as, bench presses and bent-over rows.

Another variation of a superset is called a compound set. In a compound set, you perform two exercises involving the same muscle group. For example, two chest exercises — like a bench press and pec fly.

Both variations of supersets are effective — it just depends on what you’re aiming to get out of your workout! Here’s three reasons to try out supersets next time you’re working out:

  1. It saves time! Supersets cut out the rest time, so you’ll get just as much workout done in less time.
  2. It builds stamina! A compound set does a double whammy on one specific muscle group. It fatigues the muscles quickly, so you really have to push to get those reps in!
  3. You can build up to more strength training! With a superset, you can still work towards heavier weight since you’re targeting opposing muscle groups. It’s not a circuit so you don’t need really light weight — just two exercises back to back. Challenge yourself and go for the heavier weight.

Supersets are great — but there are some things you’ll want to avoid. Don’t bust out your heaviest weights for supersets. Supersets are designed to work and fatigue targeted muscle groups pretty quickly. And you don’t want your muscles tired when you lift heavy. If your muscles have already been worked hard, going heavy can be dangerous! Instead, wait until you’re running on a full tank, so you can hit that new PR!

Supersets and compound sets can be a great addition to your workout program — but strategically incorporating them is key to getting the most bang for your buck! One of our online personal trainers at Vitality Fitness Delivered would love to build a workout regime for you, so you can utilize these effectively in your next live online training session.

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