A superset is when 2 exercises are performed back to back with no rest period in between. A superset can be used to work 2 different muscle groups (usually antagonistic muscle groups), or the same muscle group. For example, antagonistic muscle group supersets could be:
Chest and back
Bench press followed by wide grip pullups
Bicep and tricep
Barbell curls followed by tricep extensions
Quadriceps and hamstrings
Leg extensions followed by leg curls
Whereas, same muscle supersets could be:
Same muscle group supersets
Bench press followed by dumbbell flyes
Barbell curls followed by dumbbell curls
Squats followed by lunges
Why perform supersets?
Supersets are a great muscle building technique. It can take a lot of endurance to complete supersets, and they increase lactic acid production in the muscles which boosts the body’s natural production of Growth Hormone (GH). GH is a powerful hormone for building muscle, as well as for losing fat. Supersets also have a greater level of muscle fibre activation to ensure that your muscles are being worked effectively, increasing the intensity of your workout. Finally, there is an added bonus that supersets can cut down the amount of time you spend in the gym by making your workouts shorter.
So if supersets involve 2 exercises back to back, can you guess you what tri-sets are? Yep, three exercises back to back. Here is an example of a tri-set routine:
Bench Press, incline dumbbell press and dips
Finally, there are what is called “giant sets”, which involve four exercises back to back. These are really intense! Here is an example of a giant set routine.
Bench Press, incline dumbbell press, dumbbell flyes and dips
So there you have it. To find out more about supersets, tri-sets and giant sets, speak to a qualified training professional and find out how you can integrate them into your workout plan.