Just in case someone doesn’t know what a superset is, I thought I might throw out a definition.
A superset is when one performs two exercises that stress two opposing muscles or muscle areas (agonist/antagonist) or it can be for the same muscle group. Even though it is comprised of two sets it is considered one set. Hence the name superset.
Example: I do a set of squats and I immediately follow it with stiff leg deadlifts; I perform a set of barbell curls and immediately follow it with triceps extensions.
I can perform lying leg curls and then follow it up with standing leg curls.
Benefits: It saves a lot of time because you are cutting out much of the rest period between sets in the case of opposing muscle group. In the case of the same muscle group you give that muscle group a fierce stimulus. In this way you overload the muscle and it produces the positive training adaptation of hypertrophy also known as muscle growth.
By the way, this method of training is not for everyone. It is generally utilized by bodybuilder, athletes and folks who have a good strength foundation.
Thanks for your question!
Hi Gus. I would add to what Joanne has said above. I work with a lot of athletes, and I agree with her comment that this type of training is not for everyone. I like it because it also helps my client to ensure a certain degree of symmetry in that when used to work opposing muscle groups, it’s a way to help balance-out their training. I ALWAYS use a symmetrical approach to training when I’m working with a client, however, unfortunately our clients may not always do this themselves unless instructed to do so. How many times do we see the guy (just an example) who does tons of bench press or bicep curls, but ignores their back or triceps. When working with my female athlete clients for example, this is extremely important in making sure that we address any posterior chain strength discrepancies such as a weaker hamstring to quad strength ratio.
I hope this helps.
Everything Joannne, LaRue & Shawn said are right on the money. The one thing I would add is supersets, whether agonistic or antagonistic, are a must for me when I am training healthy individuals who have the strength and conditioning to handle because of all physical and time efficiency, but there is also mental component to supersetting that when conquered boosts the clients confidence in their own abilities.
*I must that if I set-up a agonistic superset(ex. Incline DB press followed by pushups for chest), then to balance it out I would incoporate an opposing agonistic superset ( DB rows followed by pullups) somewhere later in the workout depending on what type of training we are focusing on that day