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How to use supersets for maximum muscle gain

Supersets

Okay guys, so there’s a lot of people out there who work out at 110% every time, but who then find that their sessions and goals finally hit a plateau? Have you tried adding  supersets to your program?

Or understand properly how to add supersets to your gym sessions?

If you consistently lift heavy weight and progressively increase the amount of weight you lift, you will get stronger and build muscle. This simple formula is true for everyone, regardless of age or sex. However, over time you will invariably find that your body will hit a plateau.

In order to get a jump start on your gains within the gym, 9 times out of 10, all your body needs is a small change in your workout program. Might hear some trainers around the gym call it “shocking the system.”

One of the best ways to change things up is to utilise supersets. So what is a superset and why should you be adding them into your program?  A superset is when you combine two exercises back to back with no rest in between. Here are a few techniques I have used with some of my advanced clients…

1. Pre-Exhaust Superset.

This is one of my favourites… First you “pre-exhaust” a muscle with an isolation movement before immediately moving to a compound movement. A good example would be a dumbbell pullover superset with a pull up or pull down.

The pullover isolates the lats and pre-exhausts them before you move to the compound pull up or pull down which engages assisting muscles (biceps). This can be done for all large muscle groups.

Some more examples are: leg extensions superset with squats…dumbbell flies, superset with bench press…side laterals superset with overhead press.

I will tell you now, you will experience a 100% pump from a pre-exhaust superset.  This is so intense you will want to add this no doubt to your gym session.

 

Watch this video of a bicep building superset

2. Antagonist Superset.

This is when you take two exercises that work opposite muscles and you do them one after another without any rest.

An example would be a chest and back superset, a bicep and tricep superset or a quad and hamstring superset.

When a muscle contracts, its antagonist (a muscle that does the opposite action) relaxes in a unique way. This phenomena is called “reciprocal inhibition.” This “relax” then ACTIVATE signal sends a different muscle building message to the body and the feeling is amazing. In fact, I almost always superset my bicep exercises with my tricep exercises.

3. Heavy/Light Superset.

For this variety you pick a big heavy compound movement and do a low rep set. Then you follow up immediately with a light isolation movement.

An example would be a heavy deadlift set for 2-3 reps followed up by cable straight arm pulldowns. Another example would be a heavy bench press set of 1-4 reps followed up by some cable crossovers.

One thing to consider is that supersets should not be utilised too frequently. They tend to be really intense and cause more muscle damage than regular sets.

So find out which gym routine you have plateau on and look at adding 1 of these 3 superset ideas to your plan.

I use them 1-2 weeks at a time and then switch back.  Try these techniques out and let me know how you like them!

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