Super Sets

The ‘NEW’ thing for 2014…

So this year I’ve noticed a new trend in the gym…SUPERSETS!!

Super Sets

Yes most fitness professionals (and maybe more regular gym-goers) will know this is not something new, but this year in local gyms it seems as though this style of training is being used more than ever before.

I am going to use this post to detail when to use Supersets, the benefits, correct way to perform and some other training methods you may be interested in.

Firstly let’s look at what a Superset actually is and how best to perform. Superset’s are a more advanced way of lifting weights which involves doing two exercises, one after the other, with no rest inbetween. To get the most out of a Superset I would recommend performing exercises  on either the same muscle group or opposing (chest/back, hamstrings/quads, tri/bi’s) muscle groups.

Some basic examples of Supersets may be:
Bench Press followed by Push Ups
Bench Press followed by Bent Over Rows
Barbell Curls followed by Hammer Curls
Barbell Curls followed by Dips
Squats followed by Leg Extension
Squats followed by Lunges

Benefits of Supersets:
Well it’s always a good idea to change your workout program every 4-6 weeks to avoid plateaus and to keep variation into your workouts which will avoid boredom. Superset’s is a great way to avoid both of these.

Supersets also help:

Save time – Going from one exercise straight into the next will dramatically cut your workout time. Perfect for anyone struggling for time.

Increased Intensity – Because you’re working the same muscle, but with different exercises, you’re adding to the intensity of your workout. Also because you are increasing intensity this will in turn help to burn more calories.

Make things more interesting – if you have been doing straight sets all your life, supersets will help mix your workouts up.

Overload your muscles – Yes Supersets give you the opportunity to overload your muscles without using heavy weights. Perfect for someone who wants to build muscle but doesn’t have a spotter or doesn’t want to lift heavy.

Types of Supersets and other training methods you may be interested in – you may be surprised to know there is not just one type of Superset, there are actually quite a few different methods. Below I am going to explain the most important and efficient ones in my opinion:

  1. Pre-Exhaust Supersets – This involves two exercises on the same muscle group. The first exercise is an isolation exercise, followed by the second which is a compound exercise. An example of this could be Leg extensions, which target the quads, followed by Squats. The quads are fatigued from Leg Extension, but the other muscles used in Squats (glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs) are fresh and ready to work
  2. Post-Exhaust Supersets – This one is my favourite and pretty much the opposite to pre-exhaust. Start with a compound movement and follow with isolation. An example would be Squats followed by Leg Extension.
  3. Compound Supersets – this is by far the hardest superset to perform. You put two compound movements together with no rest inbetween.  Remember compound movements are exercise which work several muscle groups together. An example of this would be Squats followed by Lunges or Bench Press into Bent Over Row
  4. Isolation Supersets – In this type of superset you combine two isolation exercises. An example would be Leg Extension followed by Leg Curl.
  5. Opposing Muscle Groups – When you do two exercises that target opposing muscle groups, one muscle gets to rest while the opposite muscle works. You can pair chest and back, biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings, etc.. An example would be Biceps curls followed by Dips.
  6. Tri-Sets – Slightly different training method. Like a superset but you perform three exercises back to back with no rest. An example would be Bench Press followed by Chest Fly’s followed by Push ups.
  7. Giant-Sets – Again a lot like supersets but this type of method involves four or more exercises being performed back to back with no rest.

Quick round up – Superset’s are excellent if you are looking to mix things up with your workouts and/or looking to add more intensity to your workouts. BUT supersets are not for beginners, start off with straight sets and supersets is something you can build towards.

If you want any more detail regarding Supersets or you are interested and ready to get started but unsure how to set a program up drop me  line at and I will be happy to help get you.

WARNING – EXPECT MEGA DOM’s (Delayed on-set Muscle Soreness) for a day or two after first starting superset’s.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank You!

—Chris ‘Supersets’ Morris

P.S… You won’t smell great after these workouts so feel free to shower 😉

author: Jordan Thursby

Owner and personal trainer at Clear Fitness.