Blog 27 My Super-set Favorites

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Blog 27 superset favorites

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A super set consists of two exercises performed one set immediately after the other without rest. It’s a great way to add variety to your workout without changing things too much. You’ll get a great pump after doing this, especially after finishing the second exercise of the super set. Then you need to get a good rest, at least two minutes to allow strength to return to normal so you can do your next super set with a little more weight. It’s not how much weight you use with your exercises that matters as much as the pump you get doing the movements in good form.

Super setting can blast you out of a sticking point. But remember that you will not be as strong on the second exercise as you would be if you were doing single sets. So, use a lighter weight on the second exercise, it’s an isolation movement anyway and if you go too heavy and cheat, you’re missing the point.

If you’ve been doing single sets and working up in weight on each set, going heavier and heavier may cause some joint tenderness. When this happens it’s a sign to go lighter and super set. Ideally, the first exercise in your super set should be a compound movement, i.e., one that works a bunch of muscles at the same time, like bench press. The second movement should be done immediately after the first and should be an isolation exercise like triceps press down. This is one of my favorite super sets for triceps: close grip bench press followed by triceps press down.

Another triceps super set favorite is parallel dip machine followed by dumbbell kickbacks. Or you can do dips followed by press down or close grip bench press followed by kickbacks. For biceps I like super setting alternate dumbbell curl with standing bar curl with rubber cable; for forearms it’s super setting preacher cable curl holding triceps rope with barbell wrist curl. These are examples of super setting for the same muscle group and creates a great pump/burn in the muscles you are working.

Other examples of same muscle super sets are dumbbell flyes and cable crossover for outer pec specialization,  dumbbell pullover and stiff arm pulldown for serratus anterior and ribcage, dumbbell press and dumbbell side laterals for deltoids, front pulldown and cable crossover behind neck for lats, leg curl and hyperextension for hamstrings, leg extension and leg press for quadriceps, hanging knee ups and crunches for abdominals.

One rule I follow is never super set a one arm movement with a two-arm movement unless you want to work one side of your body harder than the other. For example, I wouldn’t super set 2 arm dumbbell press with one arm lateral raise because one arm gets a longer rest and consequently it’s not worked as intensely. This is a good way to even out your symmetry if one side is more developed than the other.

Another type of super set is the drop set. Here you are super setting the same exercise with itself. You might do 8 reps curling 45-pound dumbbells and then without rest drop to 35-pound dumbbells and do 6 more. This is a great way to bring out definition in an area in which you need to focus. You might even consider forced reps, where a spotter helps you do reps you aren’t capable of doing by yourself, a form of super setting an exercise with itself. But drop sets are better than forced reps because they are safer, and you don’t have to rely on anyone but yourself. By not failing you can succeed