Antagonistic Superset Workout: Up For The Challenge?

Supersetting is an extremely effective workout style where you perform two exercises back to back with no rest. Discover what the antagonistic superset workout is and how effective it can be.

Imagine being in a time crunch to complete your workout. Today is chest/back day and your normal workout takes 60 minutes to complete. You really want to get the best out of your workout and can only go for 40 minutes max. Several options present themselves:

  1. Remove exercises
  2. Reduce Sets/Reps
  3. Skip the Workout

Supersetting is an extremely effective workout style where you perform two exercises back to back with no rest. You can blast the chest and then hit the back. You can push your triceps to the limit and follow that up with bicep work. So many possibilities exist in the superset world.

Superset Types

Supersetting has many faces:

  • Pre-exhaustion (Isolation then Compound)
  • Post-exhaustion (Compound then Isolation)
  • Same Muscle Compound (Compound then Compound)
  • Isolation (Isolation then Isolation)
  • Antagonistic (Opposing muscle groups)
  • Circuit (3 exercises chained together)

Why Superset?

Supersetting is great for a number of reasons:

  1. Saves Time
  2. Offers a greater challenge than traditional workouts
  3. Creates variety and encourages new muscle growth
  4. Eliminates the natural tendency to rest too long between sets
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What's Not To Love?

My most rewarding experience with supersetting has come with Antagonistic supersets. I enjoy the ability to chain compound exercises together. You recruit more muscle fibers, over different muscle groups, in a shorter period of time. What's not to love?

Antagonistic Superset

The prescription below is one I used earlier this year. This workout is one of my favorites. I peeled off 8 pounds in a month using it.

Monday: Abs/Core


  • Hanging Leg Raises: 4 x 25
  • Ab Wheel: 4 x 30


  • Cable Crunch (Left, Center, Right): 4x15
  • Jackknife: 4x25


  • Dumbbell Side Bends: 4x20
  • Butt-Ups: 90 seconds

Tuesday: Chest/Back


  • Lying Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 10
  • T-Bar Row: 3 sets of 12


  • Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 9


  • Weighted Dips: 3 sets of 10
  • Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10


  • 5 mile run

Thursday: Legs

  • Leg Press: 3 sets of 15
  • Leg Curl: 3 sets of 15


  • Barbell Step Up: 3 sets of 15
  • Hack Squat: 3 sets of 10
  • Plyometric Box Jump: 4 sets of 45 seconds
Box Jump Box Jump Box Jump Box Jump
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Box Jumps

Friday: Biceps/Triceps/Shoulders

  • Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 15
  • EZ-Bar Curl: 3 sets of 12


  • Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 15
  • Plate Raises: 3 sets of 20


  • Cable Curls: 3 sets of 12
  • Cable Push-downs: 3 sets of 12


This workout will challenge you unlike any straight set workout. Using the proper weights on a combination like lying dumbbell press and T-Bar row or barbell step-up and hack squat will tax you mentally and physically. You'll leave the gym every day exhausted, drained and most of all better. This clash of opposing muscles is sure to push you past your limits!