T Nation

Supersets

Guys…I’m going to incorporate a few Supersets in my program (two exercises done back-to-back of either antagonistic OR synergistic muscles).


Any “pearls of wisdom” or things to consider when performing them? You guys always give insights that one may not always think about. Thanks!

Don’t be afraid to try all kinds of different combos when pairing up bodyparts for supersets.
Max

UUmmmm…no more “pearls of wisdom” on performing supersets, when to do them, execution, etc.?..


(P.S. Thanks, Max!!!)

Yeah, I have some feedback. I’ve been using supersets quite a bit, and I feel that the most important this is to alternate intensity. For example: bis/tris. Do 8 “heavy” reps for tris and then 8 “light” reps for bis. Do 6 heavy triceps/light biceps sets. Then switch to “heavy” biceps, and “light” triceps.

If you try to keep the intensity the same on both exercises, you’ll either burn out or you won’t get the benefit of supersets.

PS: how do you space your paragraphs?

Here’s a good finisher to an arms workout:
Without setting down the EZ Bar, do as many standing reverse curls as you can, then “cheat” the bar to above your head, and continue with the same weight, doing overhead extensions to failure. Great pump.

I have few suggestions. If you plan on doing antagonistic supersets, then try heavy more intense work on your arms and lighter workloads on your larger bodyparts such as back and chest, and quads and hamstrings. Your arms recover much quicker than your larger muscle groups and if you go heavy on the larger groups your performance will be significantly reduced by the end of the training period. Also try pairing similar movements together when doing antagonistic supersets. Take arms for example. If you do heavy barbell curls for biceps, then pair that with heavy lying extensions or dips for triceps. If you do preacher or incline curls for biceps, than do a tricep movement that focuses on stretching or elongating the muscle as well, such as overhead extensions. If you do a unilateral movement for your bicep such as one-armed preacher curls, than after doing one arm go and do the same arm with a similar unilateral tricep movement such as one-armed overhead dumbell extensions. Follow these same rules for larger muscle groups and you’ll add structure to your workout, increase the load being used, and get incredible pumps to really enthuse and excite you psychologically.

Good advice. A similiar method is to use regular training poundages but on one lift (tri’s for example) go to failure or within a rep of failure then on the other lift (bi’s for example) stop several reps short of failure. Then reverse lifts. You can vary high/low intensity through either poundages used like you suggest or % of max reps used.

Mufasa, you might want to check out Dave Draper’s website as he is a huge proponent of super-setting, especially antagonistic musles. As a side note, I started supersetting lying BB extensions with rope pushdowns and my tri’s were sore again for the first time in a long time.

There are so many combinations. So you have to find the one that work for you. That said one of my favor for triceps is Larry Scott’s Lying French Press (Nose breaker) super setted with long pulley over the head tricep extensions. Check out his website. This really gave me well defined triceps with the mass in the middle. His other super sets didn’t do mush for me.
Hope this helps.
Best O’ Luck (A good Irish man ;-))

Thanks, guys!


Yea…I checked out “The Blond Bomber’s” site…pretty cool. I think that it’s interesting that Draper doesn’t look at Supersets as something you do just to get out of a plateau. It seems like he looks at them as part of a good, muscle building routine. Cool.


I’ve ALWAYS been a fan of Larry Scott. Some have disagreed with me on this point in the past, but for me, Scott is an example of where hard work can overcome genetics. (Some feel that he was, and is, just another “genetic freak”, but as I’ve read more about him, I would have to disagree). Sergio Oliva? Yes. Larry Scott? No.(I like Sergio too, by the way!)