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What is a Superset? Discover our Guide

A superset is a form of training structure used in weight lifting to improve strength. It uses the premise of moving quickly from one exercise to another without taking a break between the two exercises. You can take a short break between supersets to grab water or catch your breath.

By taking a quick break between your supersets it should help you to recover, so you can perform the supersets to your best. Think about breaking for a minute or two. 

But what is a superset? There are two main types of superset you can try. The first is opposing muscle groups and second is same muscle group sets. Read on to find out more about these options. 

Why use Supersets? Advantages

The main benefit of using supersets for your workouts is the increased intensity. By performing more reps in a shorter space of time, you’ll put your body under more strain, which will give your fitness levels a boost. 

By continuing to work on another movement rather than resting, you’re continuing to test your muscles and you should find the superset workout more challenging, and your training sessions more rewarding. 

[Related Article: Best Inner Thigh Workout for Women]

What is a superset? – Set and rep examples 

When performing a superset you need to know about sets and reps.

A set is made up of a number of repetitions, or reps. For example, three sets of 12 repetitions for bicep curls means you should perform 12 bicep curls to complete the set. Then pause to rest and recover for a minute or two, and complete that three times. 

Opposing muscle group supersets

A very common superset is the opposing muscle group superset. As the name suggests, one exercise should focus on one muscle group, and the next in the superset should focus on another. For example, start on the upper body, then immediately move on to a lower body exercise. 

This will help you to keep the intensity high on your workouts, which will lead to more reward from your training. In that aspect, opposing muscle group supersets are very similar to circuit training, but you’re just focussing on two key movements, rather than a whole set. 

Same muscle group supersets

This type of training really turns up the heat on a particular area of your body. By performing two exercises that home in on the same area in quick succession, you’ll really get those muscle fibers working until the real point of fatigue. 

An example of same muscle group supersets is walking lunges that focus in on those glutes, immediately followed by hip thrusts. By doing this, you’re shining a light on your glutes and not giving them a chance to recover, before you start working on them again. This works the muscles to a point of exhaustion, which should help to lead to real development.

This type of superset is really great if you’re looking to focus on a problem area, or you want to take your workouts to the next level – there’s no doubt this type of training is much harder than opposing muscle group supersets. As such, maybe think about performing a maximum of ten reps in each set and only performing three sets. This should help to avoid injury and ensure you keep moving forward. 

What is a superset? The final word

Now, you shouldn’t be asking yourself what is a superset? Instead, you should be asking when can I start including them in my workouts?!

This structure of training is so effective and will definitely up the intensity on your workouts. So, if you’re looking to make a change or see some big improvements in your training, think about including some supersets in your programming. You won’t regret it! 

Do your supersets from home! Check out this resistance bands home workout set and start incorporating your supersets into your workouts.


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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