| What Are Supersets?
A superset is the alternating back and forth between two (or more) exercises until the prescribed number of sets is complete, usually with no rest between exercises. There are various types of supersets, however.
Find more definitions in our glossary.
Olympic trainer and coach of many gold metal winners, Charles Poliquin stated that many bench press records have been set right after a set of heavy bent rows for back. Working an opposite muscle right before the other increases the response of both in a very noticeable way. Charles Glass, Lee Priest, Arnold, and Melvin Anthony are more pros that endorse the practice highly.
You can feel it working! One reason it helps is because it increases the amount of blood going through the working body parts. This increased circulation results in a fresher blood supply (from flushing out waste products like lactic acid), helping the muscles to work more efficiently with more oxygen.
Superset bi's and tri's, and see if it doesn't give you a skin-splitting pump from hell! It also reduces the risk of injury because it works both sides of a joint evenly. Try doing this for a month and see how you like it. I am usually 2-4 reps stronger on a heavy set if I work the opposing muscle first. Supersetting your benches with pull-ups is great!
The following are some of my favorite opposing muscle group supersets.
Opposing Muscle Groups
And Recommended Supersets
- Benches with weighted pull-ups
- Bent rows with weighted dips
- Military press with weighted chins
- Incline dumbbell presses with T-bar rows
- Leg extensions with leg curls
- Barbell curls with skull crushers
- Close-grip benches with preacher curls
Find These Exercises (And More) In The Exercise Database!
The list of possibilities is endless, so be creative! Also, don't be too chicken to do the weighted chins, pull-ups, and dips because these exercises are extremely productive if done with enough heart and soul. So do them!
Building A Bigger Back
Everyone wants a bigger back, right? Well, you gotta try this then. I was watching the strongest man competition on ESPN and saw these monsters deadlifting cars and seeing who could hold them up for as long as possible.
Well, my max deadlifting sets haven't turned out to be Chevys yet, but let me tell you this: If you put the weights up high (above knee level) in a power rack and pull it up from there, you can use a hell of a lot more weight than if you had to pull it off the floor.
Keep loading more 45's on there till you can barely get it off the bars into the top where you can hold it. Warning: This will be heavy enough to scare the sh!t out of you, but attack the set as if you were fighting to the death.
Get that enormous load up there and hold it till you collapse. This feels like nothing else ever has on my traps, shoulders, lats, spinal erectors, and forearms. You can feel it killing your entire upper back region.
Be sure you warm up enough and be ready to be terribly sore. For a long time, I haven't been able to get my back sore because I have abused it with every training method possible. This lets me know my body is traumatized and will adapt to this torture by getting bigger and stronger to overcome the challenge.
For me, soreness is a sure sign of growth to come, so I'm pissed if I don't get sore! I have noticed the extra resistance I can use in my opposing group supersets helps get me sore and bigger. I like to end the superset workouts with high reps for an awesome pump before I go home.
Please be sure to check out my previous article on back builders, too. Thanks!