What Is a Superset & How Can You Fit It Into Your Workout?

Everything you need to know about a superset. (Photo via Milan Csizmadia/Unsplash)
Everything you need to know about a superset. (Photo via Milan Csizmadia/Unsplash)

There are various types of sets in a workout routine such as drop sets, supersets, giant sets, compound sets, and others. All of them have their own benefits and, to a certain extent, risks.

Coming to supersets, it’s one of the most commonly used sets in a workout routine, and is popularly used by bodybuilders. You too can incorporate this magnificent set into your routine, but it’s important to understand what it is, how it benefits you, and when you should use it.

What is a superset workout?

This is a working set where you do two back-to-back exercises, sometimes with minimal rest in between. Ideally, there should be no test between the two exercises.

This means that you’ll be simultaneously finishing two exercises but in a shorter time. The shorter time enables in increasing the aerobic intensity, and it helps with adding more stress to the muscles for better growth.


Is it okay to include superset in every workout?

If you’re focusing on hypertrophy, you should be aware of how many times you should include these sets in your routine.

It’s best to keep your them limited to twice or thrice a week, probably one superset per large muscle group - back, chest, and legs. This is because these are extremely demanding on the muscles and of course, raise your metabolism significantly.

Adding too many of such sets to your routine will not enable proper recovery between the sets, and could lead to deterioration in performance or even injury.

What is the best superset workout?

There are several types of sets you can incorporate into your workout. Here are a few:


Opposing muscles

In this exercise, you can ideally use the same weight for the two exercises and can be effectively used for the arms.

For example, you can work on your biceps and triceps with the same weight. That way, both major muscle groups in your arms get worked on.


Complementary muscles

In this exercise, you will be working on the same muscle group but on different parts of the group.

For example, you work on your upper back with one exercise followed by an exercise that works on your outer lats. This way you will be able to activate smaller and bigger muscles in the group.

Alternatively, you can work on the same muscle group as your chest but use two different motions - high cable fly and low cable fly.

Same muscles

This is often used by bodybuilders who want to pump the same muscles and push them to failure. In this superset, you work on the same muscles, for example shoulders. You can do front dumbbell raises and overhead presses as one set.


Should I do superset as a beginner?

As a beginner, it’s better to focus on a straight set (one exercise only).

The reason being, the muscles aren’t used to taxing movements and stress yet. Overloading muscle fibers could lead to injuries, which is going to be a setback.

Therefore, use straight sets to prepare the muscles, strengthen them, and then start adding modified sets to the workout routine.

Moreover, straight sets can help you with form and recovery much better than supersets can.


Bottom Line

Supersets are important for muscle development and growth, but they’re not as important as form. If you’re doing such a set, and your form is incorrect for both exercises, it won’t benefit you.

So, first learn the form using straight sets, and then move to supersets. It’s better, much more efficient, and will keep you safe from injuries.

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Edited by Bhargav