Supersets For Weight Loss
Supersets are a great way to keep your heart rate up during resistance training and will help you burn more calories.
So what exactly is a superset? It’s when you do a set of a different exercise immediately after (with no rest between sets) a set of another exercise. Supersets are usually comprised of two exercises, but it is possible to use three or more exercises in your superset.
Another great benefit from supersets is that you can get through your workout in a shorter amount of time since you do exercises back to back.
There are four basic types of supersets:
- Protagonist/Antagonist – This is where opposite muscles are worked. The muscles that generate the force in a movement are called the protagonists. The muscles that work in opposition are called the antagonists. A push/pull superset is a good example. So you would do a set of bench press, immediately followed by a set of bent-over rows. Other examples of opposite muscles are biceps/triceps and quadriceps/hamstrings.
- Pre-exhausting – This is when you perform a set of an isolation (single joint) exercise for a given muscle and then immediately do a set of a compound (multiple joint) movement for that muscle. An example would be to do a set of leg extensions followed by a set of squats. The goal here is to really fatigue the muscle by breaking it down faster.
- Post-exhausting – These are the reverse of pre-exhausting supersets. You perform the compound exercise first, and then the isolation movement after (with no rest of course). An example of this would be to do close-grip chinups (with a supinated grip) followed by biceps curls. This has the same goal as pre-exhuastion, just a different method.
- Active Rest – This is when you would do a set of an exercise for a minor and unrelated body part in between your regular sets. This usually includes abdominals, calves or forearms. An example would be doing a set of crunches in between sets of a major muscle group. The goal here is to make every minute count in your workout. You end up having shorter workouts by doing this.
Supersets can be done with free weight exercises or machines, or a mixture of both!
The main point to understand regarding supersets is that your heart rate stays elevated for longer periods of time due to the lack of rest between those two or more exercises. This in turn, burns more calories which will help you lose weight.
Supersets are a great tool you can add to your arsenal and you should definitely give it a try.
You also do not have to do supersets every time, as little as once a month for the major body parts is enough to keep your body guessing.