Don’t you wish you had a little bit more time available to spend at the gym? It really is possible to spend hours at the gym, working on different muscle groups every day. Today we are going to talk about Superset Workouts for your gains!
If you’re not careful, you can blow through an hour at the gym and only finish off a few lifts (especially if you head to the gym during busy hours, or right after New Years).
That’s why you need to pack in supersets. Supersets give you the benefits of multiple lifts but in a single set.
The best superset workout are major lifts combined together, allowing you to burn through more lifts in a shorter amount of time. It also helps increase the number of calories you burn as you’re forcing your body to work extra during these supersets.
Superset Workouts For Your Muscle Gains Explained!
So whatever area of the body you’re working on a particular day, make sure to include these supersets.
It’ll help you get in and out of the gym faster with more accomplished.
What are the Real Benefits of a Superset?
Alright, so we dove a bit into the time-saving aspect of supersets earlier. Naturally, as you’re performing two lifts at the same time you’re able to finish your workout faster. But there is more to a superset than just saving time.
With a superset workout routine, you perform two moves, one after another, without any kind of rest in between. The major benefit to this, outside of saving time, is it keeps your heart rate up. When your heart beats faster and you’re delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body you burn fat faster.
So not only do you knock off two lifts at once but you also increase the number of calories you burn in a shorter amount of time.
Add on the fact that you’re supercharging your metabolic rate, burning more calories throughout the rest of the day, and there really isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t begin adding supersets into your next workout (AZ Central Healthy Living, 2018).
How to Perform a Superset
There are some basics you need to follow when performing supersets.
For starters, you’ll likely need to reduce the amount of weight you lift during a set. Heavier weights on the first portion of the set make it difficult to put in as much effort on the second portion of the lift. One of the best ways to help prevent this from being too much of an issue is to combine two different muscle groups in a superset.
For example, if the first half of the set you hit your biceps, the second half should hit your triceps.
This way, you’re working a different muscle group you didn’t completely burn up in the previous portion of the superset.
You’ll want to wrest around two minutes in between supersets. Don’t dive back in sooner. Because you’re performing two lifts you’re burning through more energy. You need time for your body to recover and to build up the energy.
So if your wait is shorter you run the risk of short-changing yourself on the set. If you wait too long you give your body too much time to recover and, while you will have an increase in energy, your heart rate will return to normal, which hinders the kind of weight loss gains you can expect.
As you continue with supersets, mix it up a bit. So, let’s say on the first week of a superset you perform the bicep move first and the triceps move second.
Then, on the second week, switch it around. Perform the tricep move first and the bicep move second. The first move will always receive the benefit of more energy consumption and will perform at a heightened level.
Switching this up keeps everything on even ground and prevents overdeveloping one area of the body and under developing the other (European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 2000).
Shoulders and Back Supersets
Some of these lifts you can mix and match. So if you see a lift on the shoulders and back supersets but want to combine legs and back instead, feel free to do that. Supersets is all about what works best for you, so there are fewer rules with what you should combine and what you shouldn’t.
Basically, our only suggestion is to not perform two lifts of the same muscle group. So don’t go from a standard curl to an incline curl in a superset.
You won’t have energy left for the second portion and you’ll shortchange yourself.
Overhead Barbell Press into Lat Pulldown
The first week of this superset, start with the overhead barbell press.
Because you want to save energy for the next portion of the set you’ll reduce the number of reps you perform. Focus on six reps of the overhead barbell press and then go right into six reps of a lat pulldown.
Now, if you’re at the gym and the free space for barbell work is on the opposite side of the building from the cable machines, you’ll need to make some adjustments. Instead, you can pump out military press using a nearby machine, or bring dumbbells with you and perform the military press that way (this might be the easiest at the gym).
You’ll want to repeat this supsert four times.
Chin up into Arnold Press
The classic chinup and pullup is an excellent piece to any superset involving the upper body.
Plus, with the available free space around the area, you can bring dumbbells or even barbells next to the pull-up bar. If, for example, you wanted to hit your shoulders and your chest in the same superset, you can move from the chin up to the pushup, all without the aid of any weights at all.
With this particular move, aim for eight reps of the chinup and then go right into eight reps of the Arnold press. If possible it is good to perform the Arnold press sitting as you are not able to cheat and lunge up with your legs.
However, do what you’re able to do with the kind of space you have.
Like all other supersets, make sure to rest for two minutes before repeating. You’ll want to do this superset four times.
Legs Superset Workout
Working your legs in supersets is a great way to make sure you’re hitting every portion of your lower body at the same time. Most of these moves go from up-down to down-up (or down-up to up-down). This way, you’ll be working yourself in a pull move first and then a push move second, which helps break up the superset.
Squat to Romanian Deadlift
We prefer the traditional shoulder squat with this. You will need to have two different barbells though, as moving the bar off the squat rack and down onto the ground takes time.
If that isn’t an option you can use the smith machine (or any other squat machine), although ideally, you are able to work two barbells. This is also a move where you can switch up the kind of squat you do.
If you want to focus more on your butt you can perform a sumo squat. That’s the beauty of the superset, you can still alter the exact moves from week to week in order to better target certain areas of your body.
With the squat, you’ll want to pump out six reps, then move right into the Romanian deadlift and perform six reps. Repeat this four times.
Standing Calf Raises to Seated Calf Raises
The calf muscles often do not receive the kind of attention the muscle group deserves.
This may go down as the easiest superset you ever perform, but it’s still important. It’s a great way to finish leg day and helps ensure you still target your calf muscles. With the standing calf raises all you need is a slightly elevated surface, such as a stair or a box.
Stand on the edge, allow the heel of your foot to push down, below the flat surface, then push yourself up onto the toes of your feet. Perform 20 reps, then move right into the seated calf raise, which you can do sitting on a bench. In reality, this is a superset you can probably do in the office or on break.
So if you’re looking for a head start on your workout or just don’t have the time to head to the gym after work, you can at least squeeze this in.
After 20 reps of the seated calf raise rest two minutes, then repeat for a total of three sets.
Lying Leg Curls to Seated Leg Curls
The beauty of the leg curl machine is you can hit your quads and your hamstrings on the same machine. This makes it perfect for a superset. So start with 10 reps of the lying leg portion, then move into 10 reps of the seated leg curl.
You’ll want to repeat this three times to finish off the set.
Biceps and Triceps Superset Days
Moving from biceps to triceps is one of the easier supersets to perform. You can also do it at your home gym without much of an issue, as you won’t need the double barbells as you might with the larger leg and upper body work.
Preacher Curl into Seated Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension
With this, you’ll want to use the EZ-bar so you can perform the preacher curl with both arms at the same time.
The preacher curl is great when you have the appropriate shoulder wrest as this isolates your biceps. If you don’t have the shoulder wrest you can put your bench into an inclined position, although you’ll likely need to do one arm and then the other. Do it six times, then move into the seated dumbbell tricep extension and perform this six times as well.
Repeat the entire superset four times.
Incline Bicep Curl into Bench Dip
The incline bicep curl is already one of the best curls that involve both the bicep and the tricep.
This is because you increase the stretch with an incline bicep movement, which in turn engages the tricep as well. Due to this, going to the bench dip is perfect because you are not using free weights.
So squeeze out 10 reps of the incline curl then move to 10 reps of the bench dips. Repeat this three times total.
Chest and Back Supersets
Moving between supersets here is a great way to completely blast through your entire upper body. You can also often move from a barbell to a dumbbell, which makes it a bit easier to perform these supersets without adjusting weights in between sets (which becomes taxing if you have to do it eight times within a 10-minute span.
Bench Press into Bent-Over Row
On the bench, pump out six reps. Then, flip over and perform six reps of a bent-over row. Perform the superset four times.
Cable Crossover to Machine Low Row
While we always prefer free weights, there are times where you do need to take advantage of the work of cables. You can do just that with this superset. Perform 10 reps of the cable crossover using a D-Handle attachment, then move to the machine low row and perform 10 reps of this. In total, perform three sets.
The great thing about this particular move is all you really need to do to move from one superset to the next is to detach your handle and reattach it at a different location point (International Journal of General Medicine, 2008).
Supersets help supercharge your working, allowing you to crank through more lifts while blasting more calories, all at the same time. No matter what day of the week it is and what area of the body you’re focusing on, there are supersets for each. So the next time you head out to the gym, make sure you add in these superset workouts to maximize your weight lifting time.