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Super Sets For Super Size

Even though you may have used supersets in your training before, you may not know it in all its forms, or the many different ways to incorporate it into your workouts.

By: Bryan Locke

What would you say if I told you there was a method of building more muscle mass in less time? For those of you who are interested, I'll attempt to explain a very underestimated training technique that will shock your muscles into extreme growth.

big musclesIf you've been training for any length of time, you'll come to realize that your strength and size gains begin to slow down and become harder to achieve. Even though you may have used supersets in your training before, you may not know it in all its forms, or the many different ways to incorporate it into your workouts.

A superset differs from a normal set in two ways. First of all, a superset is performed with little to no rest between sets, whereas you may rest up to 90 seconds between two normal sets. Secondly, a superset incorporates two different exercises, whereas a normal set has only one exercise. By definition, a superset is a technique where you perform two exercises in a row with next to no rest in between.

Supersets are excellent for developing muscularity, but are not, however, overly effective for building strength. They are not effective for building strength due to a reduction in the amount of weight you can handle. This reduction in weight is caused by fatigue due to lack of recuperation between sets.


Advantages Of Supersets

  1. Supersets save time by reducing the rest interval between two exercises.
  2. Shortening the rest period between sets will increase intensity by performing more work in less time. This is especially true if you are used to long periods of rest between sets.
  3. Supersets also allow you to increase the intensity of your workout by overloading a muscle. This may be performed without the usual heavy weights since the muscle is destroyed by 2 exercises without rest.

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-> Most Common Supersets:

    As I mentioned above, there are different types of supersets. There are Five primary categories that supersets fall under. The most common type of superset is the same muscle group superset. This is performed using 2 different exercises for the same muscle group. For example, supersetting dumbbell curls with barbell preacher curls. Within this category of superset, there is 3 sub-categories.

      1. Pre-exhaustion is probably the most effective type of superset. A pre-exhaust superset is performing an isolation exercise first, followed by a compound movement. The idea behind pre-exhaustion is to take a muscle beyond its normal point of exhaustion, therefore stimulating more muscle fibers. The only real drawback with pre-exhaustion is you will only be able to use a fraction of your normal weight for the compound exercise.

      2. Compound supersets can produce amazing muscle growth in a very short period of time since you are performing two compound exercises, one after another. This can be brutal on the nervous system and requires extra recovery time after a workout. The major disadvantage with compound supersets is that your form can get sloppy, increasing your chances of getting injured.

      3. Isolation supersets are performed by supersetting two isolation exercises, such as rope press-downs and kickbacks. This becomes useful during pre contest or when you want to get ripped and defined. This is definitely not a method for gaining mass.

RELATED ARTICLE
Superset For Growth!
What is a superset? A superset is performed when two exercises are performed in a row without stopping.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

      4. I find that opposing muscle group supersets are extremely effective because while one muscle is working, the other is resting. Since this type of superset allows your muscle to rest for a short period, it will allow you to build strength, as well as size. For example, biceps and triceps is a very common set of muscles used in opposing muscle group supersets.

      5. The final type of superset is the staggered sets supersets. A staggered set is where you combine a major muscle with a smaller, completely unrelated muscle. This technique allows you to bring up a weak body part by working it to a greater extent each week. For example, throw in a set of calf raises between your sets of seated rows.


Conclusion

If you use this information, and apply it to your workouts, I can guarantee that you will see an increase in muscular growth. They will increase the intensity of your workouts, allowing you to blast through any plateaus you may be struggling with. One thing you have to be careful of though, is overtraining.

Supersets damage muscle tissue to such an extent, that you need to allow for sufficient recovery time. I suggest using supersets every two to three weeks.

LOCKE
If you're not getting better, then you're getting worse!

Supersets For Super Size!
iplocke@nf.sympatico.ca

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