Why You Should Include Supersets in Your Routine

superset-blog

BUT FIRST… WHAT ARE THEY?

AboutSports.com defines a superset as “a combination of one exercise performed right after the other with no rest in between them.”

You’ll hear the term thrown around a lot by gym rats and fitness junkies trying to pump as much blood to their muscles as possible. But the truth is, they are a valuable asset to any fitness plan!

Supersets are amazing for gaining muscularity and building base strength. You can use them to vary your muscle movements or to hyper-target a particular muscle or muscle group.

If you really want to define and tone your body, supersets will get you there in half the time. Especially when combined with interval cardio training for optimal body fat loss.

5 TYPES OF SUPERSETS

1. Pre-Exhaustion

The most popular (and some say the most effective) type of superset is a pre-exhaustion. This is when you perform an isolation exercise on a particular muscle and then switch to a compound exercise for that same muscle.

The purpose of these is to exhaust the muscle being worked as quickly as possible, so that when it comes time to do the compound exercise, you have to engage more surrounding muscle fibers to push through the reps. These build stability and help stretch surrounding fascia tissue for muscle growth.

2. Compound Supersets

Compound supersets are of the same breed as pre-exhaustion, however both exercises are compound movements on the same muscle or muscle group. The benefit of these is crazy muscle growth.

They can be dangerous though, the more you shock your nervous system, the sloppier your form will get and sloppy form can lead to injuries. Koko intentionally leaves these types of supersets out of their workout plans to reduce injury risk.

3. Isolated Supersets

These are also in the same family as pre-exhaustion and compound supersets. Im sure you can guess how these are performed…

Two isolating exercises are performed back to back. The most common example would be a tricep pushdown coupled with kickbacks. These types of exercises will define the heck out of your muscles. Huge drawbacks however are the small gain in mass and minimal strength increase.

Strength and weight control are more important than ‘show’ muscles. These supersets are typically used by body-builders pre-contest to help cut out their shape and not necessarily for an overall health boost.

4. Opposing Muscle Group Supersets

Koko incorporates 2 forms of supersets into its programs. The first of which are opposing muscle group supersets. These supersets are one part isolation or compound exercise and second part isolation or compound exercise of the direct opposite muscle or muscle group.

Here is an example… You do 8 controlled reps of bicep cable curls (isolation) and then do 8 reps of a tricep pushdown with minimal resting time. According to Bodybuilding.com:

“[These exercises are] extremely effective because while one muscle is working, the other is resting. Since this type of superset allows your muscle to rest for a short period, it will allow you to build strength, as well as size.”

It also keeps the blood pumping in the same area of your body throughout the duration of the set. Strength gains for days!

5. Staggered Sets Supersets

Try saying that 5 times fast… These are when you combine a movement with a major muscle with a smaller and completely unrelated muscle.

A good example of this is to go from seated rows that work all of your back muscles and biceps to weighted calf raises.

The biggest benefit of these is that it is essentially a get-rich-quick scheme to bringing your underdeveloped muscles up to par with the rest of your body.

Someone who has not gone to the gym in a while most likely has disproportionate muscle strengths. Mixing in staggered supersets allows your smaller, undeveloped muscles to catch up to the ones you truly wish to focus on. Koko uses these sets to keep your muscles guessing. Shocking your system like this is a gateway to total body development, overall strength gain, and peak physical health.

SO… WHY SHOULD YOU BE DOING THESE?

There are benefits to each type of superset. However, they all share 3 common advantages. These advantages are also some of the key elements to a Koko workout and what gives our Koko system the ability to fit into your daily life.

First things first, making a workout out of supersets and circuits will help you finish your workout in a fraction of the time of other gym goers. The reason for this is simply because you are performing your workouts back to back and not resting 1-2 minutes in between. The time cut doesn’t sound like a lot, but adding it all up can knock a half hour off your gym time easy.

Performing your exercises back to back does more than shorten your gym time. It keeps your heart rate elevated for the duration of the workout. This means you’ll burn fat faster than a your typical ‘exercise, rest, repeat’ routine.

That elevated heart rate – when sustained throughout your workout – also provides aspike in your metabolism to keep you burning more calories all day long.

The bottom line is, supersets are an important thing to consider when developing workout plans. Some will help build strength, some will help you burn fat, and some will just simply make you look good! However, all will help you achieve proper body development.

Start with light weights first in order to assess your ability to perform these supersets. You can always find great coach as well. A Coach can show you how to perform these safely and include these in your routine the right way to achieve the goals you’re striving for.

Stay Koko Fit!

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub, LLC

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