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What are Supersets? Common Types and Benefits of Supersets

What are Supersets? Common Types and Benefits of Supersets

You may have seen or heard of the supersets; bodybuilding freaks can’t stop talking about them. So, you might have some idea about supersets, what are they, and what they do?

If not, and you are hearing this word for the very first time, you’ll leave knowing everything about supersets after reading this article.

Supersets are a dimensional workout technique that ends your boredom and helps with muscle hypertrophy. So, if you are bored of following the same workout plan, a superset is your way to escape.

However, supersets are time-efficient and also contain strength training and muscle-building benefits. Continue reading this article and you’ll get to know the definition of superset, superset workout examples, and everything that you need to know about superset. 

What are Supersets?


Supersets meaning cannot be defined simpler than this: A superset is performing two different exercises back to back with no formal rest in between.

Supersets are adaptable and anyone can do them. Though your goal is building muscles and gaining mass, they are a must for you.

Usually, lifters use supersets training to build muscles. However, bodybuilders use supersets to enhance their total time under tension for hypertrophy gains.

 Moreover, recreational lifters utilize supersets to decrease their workout time. No matter in which category of lifters of fall, supersets are beneficial for you.

What are the Common Types of Supersets?

Respectively, there are varieties of supersets, but some are common and known by every bodybuilder.  You can pick one that suits your workout routine and integrate it into your next workout session.

Pre-Fatigue Superset

Pre-Fatigue Superset Example

Pre-fatigue is the first and the most common type of superset. It refers to the performing of two different exercises for the same group of muscles.

Here is the combination of the two exercises. The first enlisted exercise is an isolation exercise, and the second is a compound exercise.

●       Isolation Movement: Only targeted muscle does most of the work.

●       Compound Movement: Multiple muscles get activated along with the major or targeted muscle.

The reason behind choosing the pre-fatigue technique is quite simple. Whenever you perform a compound exercise, multiple muscles get involved and the targeted muscle doesn’t work alone at its full potential. In that way, the muscle doesn’t reach the peak of stimulation at the end of the set.

For instance, if you pre-fatigue your chest with an isolation exercise, let’s consider Dumbbell Fly. You’ll feel much more intensity in the compound set such as Barbell Bench Press. In return, you’ll feel much stress, focused on a specific group of muscles.

However, the pre-fatigue superset has a disadvantage in that you won’t be able to lift heavyweights in the compound exercise. So, it’s best to keep your ego at the door.

Examples of Pre-Fatigue Supersets

  • Chest: Dumbbell Fly with Flat Bench Press or Incline Bench Press

  • Back: Machine Lats Pull-Down or Hammer Rows with Bent over Barbell Rowing

  • Legs: Leg Extensions with Squats

  • Shoulders: Front Dumbbell Raise or Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise with Overhead Shoulder Press

  • Biceps: Concentration Curls with Barbell Curls or Dumbbell Curls

  • Triceps: Cable Pushdowns or Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks with Lying Triceps Extensions

Post-Fatigue Superset

Post-Fatigue Superset

On the contrary, post-fatigue supersets are the opposite of pre-fatigue supersets, thus it takes your pain to a whole new level.

Here, two exercises are done back-to-back but opposite to pre-fatigue superset. In a post-fatigue superset, a compound exercise follows an isolation exercise to make a superset.

This superset helps to fully stimulate the targeted muscle. However, no change in the number of weights is required for the other set.

Examples of Pre-Fatigue Supersets
  • Chest: Barbell Bench Press with Dumbbell Fly

  • Back: Barbell Rowing with Straight Arm Lats Pull-Down

  • Legs: Squats with Leg Extension, Romanian Deadlift with Leg Curls, Standing Calf Raises with Seated Calf Raises

  • Shoulders: Military Barbell Press with Dumbbell Laterals

  • Biceps: Chin-Ups with Cable Curls

  • Triceps: Close Grip Bench Press with Triceps Push-Down

Antagonist Superset

Antagonist superset is a bit different yet the most effective exercise you commence. In this superset, you choose two opposite groups of muscles and perform back-to-back exercises like chest and back, biceps, and triceps.

However, in this technique, you relax one muscle while contracting the antagonist. For instance, you feel contractions in your quads, hamstrings will stay relaxed in comfort mode.

One countable advantage of this exercise is, you can lift at your maximum potential or perform some extra reps for both the exercises performed.   

Examples of Antagonist Supersets

  • Biceps and Triceps
  • Quadriceps and Hamstrings
  • Chest and Back
  • Front Deltoid and Rear Deltoid
  • Abs and Lower Back

Isolation Superset

Nothing could be more effective than hitting the same muscle group with two different exercises. The isolation superset technique is used for combining the two exercises for the same group of muscles. The reason behind using this technique is to concentrate on different parts of one particular muscle.

For example, one exercise on the biceps hits the long head and the second exercise hits the short head. They’re come the technicalities. You have to select exercises that work on different parts of the muscle. If you choose two exercise movements, then you’ll get no benefit from this exercise.

Example of Isolation Superset

  • Chest –Dumbbell Fly with Cable Crossover.

  • Bicep –Concentration Curls with Preacher Curls.

  • Triceps –Overhead Dumbbell Extension with Cable Pushdowns.

  • Back –Straight Arm Pulldown with Seated Back Extension.

  • Shoulders –Dumbbell Front Raise with Dumbbell Side Raises.

  • Legs –Leg Extensions with Seated Leg Curls

Compound Superset

Compound superset indicates the two compound exercises for the same group of muscles. Compound supersets are mostly used by advanced trainers as heavyweights are used for the exercise to cause heavy stress.

Though compound superset doesn’t let you concentrate on the target muscle group, which makes it the least used exercise.

For instance, compound superset for the chest workout can be dips and bench presses. If your triceps are stronger than your pectoral, you’ll rarely activate your pectoral in both movements. Your chest will remain unpumped or unstimulated. 

Example of Compound Superset

  • Chest –Barbell bench press with Weighted dips.

  • Back –Barbell bent-over rows with T-bar rows.

  • Bicep –Reverse grip chin-ups with One-arm hammer row.

  • Triceps –Close grip bench press with Triceps French press.

  • Shoulders –Overhead shoulder press with Arnold press.

  • Legs –Lunges with Wide stance squats.


What are the Benefits of Supersets?

It is suggested that you change your workout routine after every two to six weeks, to avoid plateaus. Though, superset can be your escape from the boring routine.

So, if you are looking for a change in your workout routine, you can adopt supersets. Moreover, they contain some benefits as well, which are discussed below.

Time Efficient Exercise

If lack of time is usually the reason you miss your workout, supersets have covered it all for you. Due to the minimal rest between sets, supersets don’t take too long to be done.

Moreover, their time-efficient features do not affect their effectiveness and benefits. The different combinations of exercises put maximum stress on your muscle group and make them grow in a short period of time. 

Power Increase

What is the most crucial thing you consider and want to get out of your workout? It’s power, right? So, if you choose supersets that work for the same muscle group, but with different exercises, you’re increasing the intensity of your workout.

However, you can increase the output by making the amount of rest shorter between sets, which means you are working more in less time.

Supersets may increase muscle power by stressing the fascia in the muscle. This works perfectly with people that are used to long periods of rest between sets.  

Metabolic Support

Similar to HIIT, supersets work because you are moving more in less time (minimum rest). It can help promote metabolic adaptations, in turn helping with higher volume during training.

Increased Hypertrophy

The minimum rest periods and back-to-back contractions in supersets may help promote an additional stimulus for muscle growth.

Final Thoughts

The superset is the most effective way to get it all in a shorter time. A superset helps promote the intensity of exercise that helps in muscle growing and hypertrophy.

More like other intensive exercises supersets is your instant go workout plan. Moreover, supersets are beneficial in weight loss and muscle strength. With the increase in muscle mass, the intensity of your programming will also enhance that will help you to blow through any obstacle and plateaus.

Supersets tear your muscles apart and they grow stronger and bigger when recovered, but take your time for recovery. No need to get in supersets completely, over-practice of supersets can cause muscle injuries. Get back to work, stronger and bigger.


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