The great sets

Training file on super-sets

What is a super set, or a biset?

A great set is a “great series”, composed of two different exercises, performed consecutively and without rest.

It can involve two different muscle groups, or the same muscle group.
Supersets have many uses and should definitely be part of your arsenal of intensification techniques as they can increase time under tension, metabolic stress and advancing stubborn muscle groups.

Why work in superset?

More sets in less time

The super-set makes it possible to solicit two muscle groups differentoften antagonists, in the same series. It is an effective way to work more, without the session lasting longer. Also, it allows you to be more profitable in training, since the time spent under the bars will be greater than the time spent recovering between sets. Finally, it’s a way to overcome boredom, to vary the workouts, and not to lose motivation.

If you want to focus on volume and muscle definition, opt for sets of between 15 and 20 repetitions, followed by a rest period not exceeding one minute.

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If, on the other hand, your goal is to gain mass, opt for sets of 6 to 10 repetitions, followed by 2 minutes of rest between each super-set.

You will notice quite quickly that you can achieve a large number of sets on various exercises, in half the time! For even more surprising results!

Progressive overload without leaving your joints there

So that the muscles work harder and harder, we generally start by putting heavier and heavier on the bars. But the loads eventually reach their limit, and so do your joints. Lifting heavy loads is always risky: tendonitis, muscle tears, joint problems, etc. This is where intensification techniques, of which super sets are a part, come into play. “lure” the muscle. You suggest to them that they work harder, and they will grow accordingly. On the other hand, your joints will be spared and will allow you to continue to progress.

The best way to achieve muscle failure

Muscle failure is an undeniable muscle growth factor because it means that you have pushed your muscle without its limits. As a result of this stress, the muscle grows: this is the whole principle of hypertrophy. However, it is quite difficult, even dangerous, to achieve muscle failure on certain movements. The bench press, the squat, the military press or the French press are very basic exercises that can seriously damage the joints if you try to perform them to failure, especially if you train alone.

If you don’t have a training partner, the post-fatigue superset is the best way to achieve muscle failure on these very basic types of movements.

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How to make a great set?

Example of a program for the pectorals

For muscle volume

Dumbbell incline fly, 15 reps, in super set with
Bench press, 8 reps
2 minutes of rest (in pre-activation)

For muscle mass

Bench press at the bar 8 reps, in super set with
Dumbbell incline fly 15 reps
1 minute rest (post-activation)

To emphasize muscle definition

Bench press at the bar 8 reps, in super set with
Dumbbell slant flyes, drop set 8+8+8
1 minute rest (still post-activation)

Sample Program for Legs on Antagonists

Super sets can be used to recruit two different muscles in the same set. For the legs, for example, you can work the hamstrings and quadriceps together to save time, but also to add a touch of intensity to your session.

For muscle volume

Lying leg curl 15 reps, in super set with
Traditional squat 8 reps
1 minute rest

For muscle mass

Lying or seated leg curl 8 reps in rest-pause
Squat or oblique press 10 reps
2 minute rest

For the definition

Lying or seated leg curl in drop set 8+8+8
Leg extension in pyramid: 12-10-8-6
1 minute rest

Sample Program for Backbones

The lats are one of the largest muscle groups along with the legs. The super-sets make it possible to increase the number of exercises achievable per session and especially the intensity necessary for a more complete development.
Here’s a sample back program that includes an isolated core exercise, followed by two supersets.

Block 1

Traditional deadlift: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps
2 minute rest

Block 2

Overhand Vertical Pulldown 15 reps (pre-fatigue)
Row bar bent over 8 reps
3 passages – 1 min rest

Block 3

Unilateral Dumbbell Row (Lumberjack) 8 reps
Unilateral vertical supine pull-down 12 reps (post-fatigue)
3 passages – 1 min rest

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What is the difference between a super-set and a circuit training?

Advantages and disadvantages of super sets

Super-sets have the advantage of allowing multiple exercises to be performed in a short period of time. They increase the intensity and the metabolic work of the muscles and promote muscle volume. We can integrate basic movements, isolation, and even intensification techniques such as drop sets, rest-pause, double contraction or peaking.

The only disadvantage of the super-set lies in his need to occupy several workstations simultaneously. If you train at peak times, we advise you to be patient or to train with a training partner who will be able to reserve your equipment. Also, always take two towels with you, as they indicate a device is busy even if you are not on it.

Super-sets: the ultimate weapon for optimal progress!

Supersets can be integrated into any bodybuilding program, whether it’s to gain mass, volume or lose weight. They allow unlimited variety to bring more color and intensity to each of your sessions. Its only drawback is that it is often necessary to occupy two workstations simultaneously. A good tip: book your camera with a towel, and always keep smiling: it’s easier to shoot with someone when you look good!

Also to read

How to succeed in your bodybuilding session at peak hours?

Bodybuilding Experts: Exercises and Techniques

Increase your max bench press

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