SUPERSETS + CIRCUITS.
Doing two exercise back to back or in a small circuit.
This is a great way to get the heart rate up during weight training and get more exercises into a smaller space of time. Not only that but by putting exercises back to back you keep your heart rate running higher for longer and create more cardio benefit through your weight training, perfect for those who hate doing cardio.
It is also a way to challenge yourself to push through plateaus and to keep you from procrastinating during training.
There are different ways to do supersets and these include:
AGONIST – ANTAGONIST sets, so pairing together a pushing exercise and pulling exercise such as Bench press to Barbell row or leg extension to leg curl. If you’re doing this style training, then hopefully you’ll be hitting opposing muscle groups evenly, which is useful for creating a balanced body. (Just make sure to change up the order and don’t show preference to which one starts first!)
SAME MUSCLE sets, good for keeping a muscle working past exhaustion or for pushing that little bit harder when you can’t on the first exercise. These can be things like Bench Press to Push ups, Seated row to bicep curls, Leg Press to lunges…and the list goes on. This can really help with the muscles endurance and help really fatigue a muscle group you may have previously been taking it easy on (legs, legs, legs).
UPPER – LOWER sets, a great way to balance the upper and lower body and to keep fullbody sessions quick and productive. This can be things like deadlifts to pullups or Squats to push ups. Enjoy!
SO WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO SUPERSETS…
- Time Saver: If you’re crunched for time, supersets can help keep your workouts short with the same stimulus.
- Metabolic Benefit: Moving more in less time (with less rest) will often equate to increased energy expenditure (by higher heart rate, increase in workout intensity, etc).
- Increased Hypertrophy: A lot of coaches/athletes utilise supersets to provide an additional stimulus for for muscle growth that single sets may not do.
HOWEVER… there are some considerations that some people don’t consider while doing these:
PICK EXERCISES CLOSE TOGETHER – If doing super sets or small circuits, pick exercises next to each other or that use minimum or the same equipment. If you have to run around you’re not only taking up a lot of space and machines but could bump someone in the process.
PICK SUITABLE EXERCISES – Exercises that use the same piece of equipment such as a barbell, dumbbell or body weight exercises are much more suitable to this sort of training. Picking 4 weight machines around the gym is not.
CHOOSE YOUR TIME – Doing workouts like this is no problem if the gym is quiet, as long as you respect other members training. But during busier times it might not be. It’s not practical to take up a lot of equipment or a large area when people are looking for free space, machines or dumbbells. This also goes for “drop sets”, don’t hog all the dumbbells because your programme says so. Use your head and think of the people around you when setting up your workout station.
GET OFF YOUR PHONE – If you are partaking in this sort of exercise programme, get off our phone! It’s not acceptable to take up space and equipment/machines then proceed to piss about on Instagram for 5 minutes between sets. You’re either training or not – GET IT DONE!