A superset is a resistance training technique that utilizes two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between.  Supersets have been used for years by elite athletes and body builders and are now reaching mainstream exercisers.

There are many reasons why supersets are becoming a popular resistance training system, namely due to their time efficiency, increased intensity, and increased volumes of training.   Supersets are more time efficient than traditional programs because of the decreased rest in between sets.  This allows the exerciser to obtain more work (sets, reps, etc.) in a shorter amount of time.

Supersets also allow for a higher volume of training within an allotted time.  You are able to complete more sets of exercises within a smaller amount of time due to the limited rest in between exercises.  If you are looking for a way to change up and intensify your routine, supersets are a great way to go!

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Supersets can come in different forms.  Supersets can work agonist groups (i.e. a chest exercise followed by a different chest exercise), antagonist groups (i.e. a chest exercise followed by a back exercise), synergist groups (i.e. a chest followed by a triceps exercise) or two different muscle groups (i.e. a chest exercise followed by a leg exercise).

When selecting the type of superset to incorporate your routine, it is best to consider what your goal for the workout will be.  If you are looking for a quick workout, antagonist super sets, synergist supersets, or using different muscle groups in your supersets will be effective.

Supersetting this way allows you to complete a lot of work with minimal rest time, thus giving you an effective workout in a short amount of time.  If your goal is to increase the volume of your training, agonist, synergist or antagonist supersetting will be a good choice.

These workouts allow you to incorporate a high volume of training in minimal time.   You can also incorporate different types of supersets on different days of your routine. Try each type out and use your favorites!

superset workouts2

Regardless of what kind of supersets you are using, you should follow some basic rules.  The first rule of supersetting is your form.   Perfect form with each exercise should be maintained during your supersets.  This is especially important with the second exercise, after fatigue has set it.  Be sure you are selecting an appropriate weight for your goal repetition range for each of the exercises to maintain appropriate form.

The second rule of supersetting is to give yourself adequate rest in between each set to perform your next set with good form.  Depending on the weight and repetition range, anything from 30 seconds to 3 minutes will give you adequate rest in between sets of supersets.  Finally, be sure you are giving yourself adequate rest in between training sessions.

Before working the same body part(s), give yourself at least 48-72 hours of rest.  You can also use soreness as a gauge.   If your chest is still sore from your last workout, give your chest another day to rest up before hitting the weights.  Supersets using different body parts can be incorporated into your daily exercise routine, but it is a more intense workout.  Be sure to change up your routine every few weeks to ensure you continue to see results!

The superset workouts provided in this article give you an idea of how to begin incorporating supersets into your exercise regimen.  Supersets are a bit more intense than your average workout, so if you are new to exercise, give your current routine 4-6 weeks to acclimate you to exercise before giving these a try.

Agonist Supersets

Muscle Group

Exercises

Sets x Reps

Rest*

Chest  Dumbbell Chest   press

2-4 x 10-12

45-60 seconds

Incline chest fly
Back Seated cable row

2-4 X 10-12

45-60 seconds

Seated lat pulldown
Shoulders Neutral grip overhead press

2-4 x 10-12

45-60 seconds

Reverse fly
Legs Leg Press

2-4 X 10-12

45-60 seconds

Reverse Lunges
Triceps (Assisted) Dips

2-4 X 10-12

45-60 seconds

Skull crushers
Biceps Hammer curls

2-4 X 10-12

45-60 seconds

Barbell curls
Abs Ball crunch

2-4 x 15-20

30-45 seconds

Reverse crunch on ball

*rest occurs only after superset is complete

Antagonist Supersets

Muscle Groups

Exercises

Sets x Reps

Rest*

Chest/Back Incline dumbbell fly

2-4 x 10-12

45-60 seconds

High Row
Quads/Hamstrings Squats on Smith Machine

2-4 X 10-12

45-60 seconds

Romanian Deadlifts
Shoulders/Lats Dumbbell lateral raise

2-4 x 10-12

45-60 seconds

(Assisted) Pull ups
Quads/Hamstrings Walking Lunges

2-4 X 10-12

45-60 seconds

Ball hamstring curls
Biceps/Triceps Dumbbell curls

2-4 X 10-12

45-60 seconds

Overhead rope triceps extension
Abs/Lower Back Plank with knee raise

2-3 x 30-60 second   hold

30-45 seconds

Hip bridges

2-3 x 15-20

*rest occurs only after superset is complete

Synergist Supersets

Muscle Groups

Exercises

Sets x Reps

Rest*

Chest/triceps Chest fly

2-4 x 10-12

60-90 seconds

Rope triceps extension

2-4 x 12-15

Quads/Hamstrings Lunges

2-4 X 10-12

60-90 seconds

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

2-4 x 8-10 each leg

Back/Biceps Seated cable row

2-4 x 10-12

60-90 seconds

Dumbbell hammer curl

2-4 x 12-15

Quads/Hamstrings Dumbbell squats

2-4 X 10-12

60-90 seconds

Step ups (to the side)

2-4 x 8-10

Shoulders/Triceps Dumbbell overhead press

2-4 X 10-12

60-90 seconds

Skull crushers

2-4 x 12-15

Quads/Hamstrings Kettlebell swings

2-4 x 12-15

60-90 seconds

Hamstring curls

2-4 x 12-15

Lats/Biceps Seated lat pull down

2-4 x 10-12

60-90 seconds

E-Z curl

2-4 x 12-15

Abs Side Plank

2-3 x 30-45 second   hold

30 seconds

Double crunch

2-3 x 15-20

*rest occurs only after superset is complete

Supersets using Different Muscle Groups

Muscle Groups

Exercises

Sets x Reps

Rest*

Chest/Legs Dumbbell chest press

2-4 x 10-12

45-60 seconds

Dumbbell squat
Back/Legs Seated cable row

2-4 x 10-12

45-60 seconds

Reverse lunge
Shoulder/Legs Neutral grip standing overhead press

2-4 x 10-12

45-60 seconds

Step up
Lats/Legs Cable lat pull down

2-4 x 10-12

45-60 seconds

Hamstring curl
Triceps/Abs Cable pressdown

2-4 x 12-15

30-45 seconds

Cable rotation
Biceps/Abs Cable curl

2-4 x 12-15

30-45 seconds

Jacknife on ball

*rest occurs only after superset is complete

I hope you enjoy these superset workouts!  Use these workouts to kick your routine up to the next level, but remember to give your body rest in between training days.   Feel free to leave comments and questions below!

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