You see, supersets can actually be used in a myriad of different ways, depending entirely on your individual training goal. With this in mind, they are going to be programmed differently within your training sessions dependent on that goal, and how you choose to structure your training split.
So Why Use Super sets
Well, the way I see it, there are three key reasons to use supersets in your training.
They Save You Time
As you move from a beginner to an intermediate lifter, and then from an intermediate to advanced lifter, you are going to need more and more weekly volume to elicit any muscle growth. In short, this means more sets and reps per session.
As supersets involve moving from one exercise immediately to another, you can squeeze more volume into a session without having to be at the gym for hours at a time.
They Improve Muscle Activation
There are a number of different ways you can implement super sets in your training (which are described in detail below). No matter how they are used, they generally improve muscle activation in a big way.
As they involve moving from one exercise immediately to another, the first exercise ‘pre-activates’ the muscle tissue, increasing neural drive and muscle fiber recruitment. This means that you are going to get more out of the second exercise, causing a substantial increase in muscle growth over time.
And finally, supersets also cause a huge spike in metabolic stress within the muscle tissue. Because a superset involves performing two exercises in quick succession, it essentially doubles the amount of volume you would normally receive in a very short time window.
As a result, you see a huge spike in metabolite accumulation (not to mention an insane pump) within the muscle tissue, which has been shown to be a key driver for enhanced muscle growth.
How Can I Use Supersets in Training
When it comes to supersets, there are three ways I like to implement them into my training. This is highly dependent on training goal (as we discussed earlier), while also being dependent on how you choose to structure your training program.
With antagonist muscle supersets, you actually choose two exercises that work muscle groups with opposing muscle actions (or in other words, are antagonistic to one another), and perform one immediately after the other before taking your rest period.
These are absolutely perfect for those of you who like to split your training into upper body and lower body training days. With this in mind, they are obviously extremely time efficient while also allowing a massive increase in session volume, therefore stimulating muscle growth while enhancing fat loss.
Additionally, they also have some serious positives regarding muscle activation.
You see, if we choose to perform a heavy dumbbell row before a barbell bench press, we pre-activate all the muscles of the upper back. As these muscles are essential to shoulder stability and function, we can actually improve our ability to produce force when we move into the bench press.
This means a stronger bench, more weight on the bar, and more muscle growth.