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What Supersets Are - and Why You Should Care

Updated: Apr 10, 2022

Supersets are two different exercises performed back-to-back without rest.

Supersets can be an endurance challenge, a strategic way to rest one muscle while you train another and/ore a way to keep blood flowing throughout the body.

But! It depends which type of superset you're using.

There are 3 types of supersets.

1. Push / Pull Supersets

Most commonly, you'll see push-pull supersets. Think of how you often will train chest and then back. These are opposing muscles; the chest being the push and the back working the pull. While one muscle group works, the opposing muscle rests.

Push-pull supersets are great for building strength because you ensure the same muscle gets rest in between sets, and at the same time this is a great tool for keeping the heart rate up and your cardiovascular health because your true rest periods are limited. If you needed, you take your rest after both the push and pull exercises are done.

For example,

1 set of bench chest presses, immediately into

1 set of standing bent over rows

optional rest*

Your rest will depend on how heavy you're lifting, which depends on your goals. In general, the heavier the weight, the longer the rest. You should only be resting more than 45 seconds if you're training for heavy powerlifting.

2. Upper / Lower Supersets

The second most common are upper / lower supersets, where you alternate exercises between training the upper body and the lower body.

As with push / pull supersets, this allows one muscle group to rest while the other works. This also maximizes the blood flow throughout the body moving up and down continuously to focus on the targeted muscle group.

For example,

1 set of squats, immediately into

1 set of lateral raises

3. Compound Supersets

These are a challenge! Training for endurance here, you perform one set of an exercise followed but another exercise for the SAME muscle group! You are going for ultimate muscle fatigue almost to muscle failure here.

As you hit the same muscle with another exercise, without a break in between, you challenge your muscular endurance to power through! This is an advanced technique and it not suggested unless working with a trained professional.

But how do you choose?

A certified personal trainer will start by learning about your exercise experience, current routine as well as any injuries or conditions that may impact your programming. As much as it's often heard "no pain, no gain", results-driven training is more about training SMARTER, not harder.

Our virtual personal training sessions are customized to each individual client, and we adapt as we go each and every session depending on what's going on in your mind and body that day. As humans, we are in a constant state of change and your training program needs to adapt to that.

If you're joining online group classes or following online workouts, please make sure to check out the training of your instructor first! You always want to make sure they are educated and certified so you can be sure they are applying training techniques like the above safely.

Modifications are always provided to members in live online classes with The Fit Body Project. We use all of these types of supersets, and tons of other great training techniques in our variety of weekly live online classes. Our passion is helping others find a joy in movement and with that, we are committed to ensure everyone has a safe and effective workout for their own level!

Strength classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays. The days are consistent, but the workout changes every week! With an entirely new schedule of classes each month. Keeping your muscles, and mind, fully engaged.

Reach out here to see how we can help you either in virtual personal training or live online group classes. And be sure to opt in for our newsletter to get a code for your first class on us!

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