Supersets are doing exercises back-to-back with no rest. It could be targeting the same muscle or different muscles. It could be a combination of:

Resistance training and cardio, Resistance training and stretching (or yoga), or Cardio and yoga. Pilates instructor course continues it’s program during this pandemic.

You can create duo, or triple combinations such as:

Chest and Back (duo combo)
Chest, biceps and triceps (triple combo)
Chest, back and stretch

The main benefits of supersets are as follows:

Saves time working out. I find supersets cut down my workout time by 40%.

Hit all your muscle groups in fewer workouts during a given week. Instead of hitting 2 muscle groups, you easily cover 4 during a 20 to 30 minute workout.

Relieves boredom. I hate sitting around between sets. I prefer to keep going.

Provides both anaerobic and aerobic workouts at the same time.

Makes stretching palatable. A great combo is weight lifting and stretching.

Yes, I realize rest is good for being able to lift maximum amounts of weight and/or number of reps. I get that … but I’m not all that concerned about maximizing benefit with every set. In fact, I’d much rather cut my workout time by 40%, get 80% of the benefit and reduce boredom. That’s what supersets do for me.

Do supersets work?

Yes, they do for me. In fact, I find that the amount I lift and the number of reps doesn’t suffer much despite taking much fewer and shorter breaks between sets. Besides, even on days I only lift weights, I get an aerobic workout in as well. Two Main Types of Weight Lifting Supersets

1. Same Muscle Combos

If you’re really into exhausting your muscles, you can do what I call “same muscle combos”. This is when you do two different exercises targeting the same muscle.

Same muscle combos don’t necessarily save you much time. Instead, they can really hammer a muscle.

It’s a good idea to start with a compound exercise followed up with an isolation movement. However, this isn’t absolutely necessary. In fact, I often do entire weight lifting workouts using machines only … which are isolation exercises (machines also help save time).

Examples of Same Muscle Combos

Duo Supersets

Bench Press / Flat Flies Incline Press / Pec Deck

Triple Supersets

Bench Press / DB Press / Pec Deck

2. Different Muscle Combos

Different muscle combinations are what I do almost exclusively. I don’t really do same muscle combos supersets.

Examples of different muscle combinations are as follows:

Duo Supersets

Bench Press (chest) / Lat Pull down (back)
Barbell Curl (biceps) / Triceps Extension (triceps)

Triple Supersets

Bench Press / Bicep DB Curl / Triceps Extension
Lat Pull Down / DB Shoulder Press / Barbell Shrugs

How much rest should you take between supersets?

I usually take 30 seconds rest. I keep it short so that time between working out a muscle is not too long. Moreover, if I took 3 minutes, it would not shorten my workouts and wouldn’t provide much of an aerobic workout.

If I do stretching in between sets, I take no rest.

It also depends on whether you do “same muscle” combos or “different muscle combos”. Obviously, if you hit the same muscles back-to-back, you’ll need to take more than 30 seconds rest.

It also depends on whether you do duo or triple supersets. When I do triple supersets, I take a 10 to 15 second water break and keep going. I really motor with my triple set supersets.

Therefore, it all depends on the type of supersets you do. Play it by ear to see what works for you. If you find 30 seconds doesn’t provide enough recovery time, extend that to 45 seconds.

Also, be mindful of exhaustion. You can overdo your workouts with supersets, especially when incorporating compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts which are taxing and exhausting. How can you plan your workouts with supersets?

I love supersets because I can either hammer out a 2-muscle workout in 12 minutes leaving more time for cardio/yoga (and do this 4 to 5 times per week which is a 4 or 5 day split) or hit 4 muscle groups in 20 to 30 minutes. With a 4 muscle superset plan, I lift 2 to 3 times per week (depending on the splits). Examples of superset workouts

Duo Muscle Superset Workouts

3 Day Split

Day 1: Chest/Back | Biceps / Triceps

Day 2: Shoulders/Traps | Abs (superset the abs)

Day 3: Quads / Calves | Hamstrings / Abs

4 Day Split

Day 1: Chest / Back

Day 2: Biceps / Triceps

Day 3: Shoulders / Abs

Day 4: Legs

A note about abs. You can incorporate abs with weight lifting (i.e. do ab exercises between weight lifting exercises) or do a separate ab workout where you do 2 or 3 ab exercises back-to-back.

5 Day Split

Day 1: Chest / Biceps

Day 2: Back / Triceps

Day 3: Shoulders / Traps

Day 4: Quads / Abs

Day 5: Hamstrings / Calves / Abs

With the 2 muscle workouts, you can target 2 or 4 muscles in a workout. In fact, if you have a busy week, simply adjust a 4 or 5 day split to a 3 day split.

Triple Muscle Supersets

I tend to do more duo muscle supersets; although when crunched for time, triple sets are fantastic. They’re also good for delivering an aerobic workout because rest time is cut back to 10 to 15 seconds between supersets.

1 Day Split

Chest/Biceps/Triceps | Back/Shoulders/Traps | Quads/Hamstrings/Calves | Abs (triple set the abs as well with 3 ab exercises).

2 Day Split

Day 1: Chest / Biceps / Triceps | Back/Shoulders/Traps

Day 2: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves | Abs (triple set the abs as well with 3 ab exercises).

3 Day Split:

Day 1: Chest / Biceps / Triceps | Back/Shoulders/Traps

Day 2: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves

Day 3: Abs (hammer them)

4 Day Split

Day 1: Chest / Biceps / Triceps

Day 2: Back/Shoulders/Traps

Day 3: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves

Day 4: Abs (hammer them)

The more days you do, the faster your workouts will go. A 4 day split can be done in 12 minutes easily. After all it’s a total of 6 sets (or however many sets you choose to do per muscle group. You must also factor in set up time for each exercise). How many exercises / sets per superset?

Again, this will depend on your workout objectives.

I generally do 2 exercises of 3 sets per muscle. I’m not out to win Mr. Olympia. I like staying in decent shape with some tone and definition. If you’re out to build some serious muscle or chisel up, add a third exercise with another 3 sets.

The number of reps per set is dictated by your workout objective. Supersets function much the same as single set lifting and so the theories behind the number of reps apply the same.

I typically do 5 to 10 reps. Usually I’ll do 1 to 2 sets per exercise in the 5 to 6 rep range and end with an 8 to 10 rep set.

If you’re concerned about the optimal number of reps to do for each set and want to read what is probably some of the best literature on rep quantity, check out Rusty Moore’s Visual Impact Fitness. I have his guide and as a result of reading it, I lowered my rep volume to 5 or 6 (I traditionally did 8 to 12 reps per set). Where should you start with supersets?

The easiest to do, and if you want to save time, are the duo different muscle supersets in a 4 day split. The following would be such a workout:

4 Day Split for 1 Week

Day 1: Chest / Back

Superset 1: Bench Press / Lat Pulldown (3 sets – 5, 5 and 8 reps)

Superset 2: Incline DB Chest Press / Seated Rows (3 sets – 5, 8 and 10 reps)

Day 2: Biceps / Triceps

Superset 1: Barbell Curls / Lying down tricep extensions (3 sets – 5, 5 and 8 reps)

Superset 2: Preacher Curls / Tricep Cable Pushdowns (3 sets – 5, 8 and 10 reps)

Day 3: Shoulders / Abs

Superset 1: Behind the Neck Press / Bicycle Ab Extensions/Curls (3 sets – 5, 5 and 8 reps)

Superset 2: Shoulder Flies / Decline Ab Sit Ups (3 sets – 5, 8 and 10 reps)

Day 4: Legs

Superset 1: Smith Machine Squats / Leg Curls (3 sets – 5, 5 and 8 reps)

Superset 2: Leg Presses / Calf Extensions on the Leg Press (3 sets – 5, 8 and 10 reps (I do 12 to 15 reps for calves).

Learn more about the abs exercise sets.

Article Source:

How to Create a Superset Workout