What are “supersets” when weight training? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What are “supersets” when weight training?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about your brand. Let us do the heavy lifting.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident fitness software decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. Our partners do not influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: The Editorial Team at Exercise.com is dedicated to providing fair, unbiased information about the fitness industry. We update our site regularly and all content is reviewed by credentialed fitness experts.

Get the Basics...
  • Using supersets as a training technique is not for people who have recently started working out with weights
  • Supersets are an advanced training technique and it is not the best choice for people who are trying to increase their muscle strength
  • Instead, supersets are used by people who are interested in shaping their bodies in a certain way

When you started weight training, you were probably told to plan your workout as a series of straight sets.

With this model, you would do a set of up to 12 repetitions for a particular movement before resting for a short time and then doing the next one.

A superset is a bit different: with this way of working out, you would do two exercises in a row without resting in between.

When a person uses this technique, they will find that they are not able to lift as much weight when they start the second part of the exercise. The body does need some recovery time to be able to attack the next challenge at maximum efficiency, and the superset technique doesn’t allow them to do so.

For access to workout plans that incorporate supersets, sign up for an Exercise.com PRO plan today.

What Are “Supersets” When Weight Training Good For?

If you are short on time, then consider using supersets. You can maximize your workout in a shorter period by using this technique.

Another advantage of using supersets as a training technique is that you get a higher level of intensity when you do so.

When you increase the intensity of the workout over a shorter time, you are making your muscles work harder and you are building more muscle.

If you want to work out but need to work around an injury, consider incorporating supersets into your program.

With this exercise option, you don’t need to lift increasingly high levels of weight to get the results you are looking for. Instead, you work the muscles harder to gain strength.

What Are “Supersets” When Weight Training for the Same Muscle Group?

A common way to use supersets is for the same muscle group. One example of a superset for the same muscle group is to do dumbbell flyes and follow this exercise with a bench press.

When you choose this type of exercise, you are focusing on one particular muscle group with the goal of working to the point of exhaustion.

Just keep in mind that when you get to the second exercise in the superset, you will need to adjust the weight you are working with.

You can expect to only be able to lift a fraction of the weight you would otherwise work with at this point.

Get More Out of Your Exercises. Go PRO!

Sign Up

What Are “Supersets” When Weight Training With Staggered Sets?

Another option when you are doing supersets is to do staggered sets. With this exercise option, you focus on one major muscle and a smaller, non-related one.

People who use this technique most commonly add abdominal exercises or calf exercises to their workout in between working large muscle groups, like the chest.

This strategy helps them to get an overall workout quickly without becoming bored by having to perform exercises that focus solely on these smaller muscles.

Will a “Superset” Meet My Weight Training Goals?

Before you start adding supersets to your exercise routine, consider whether this technique will help you reach your goals. As stated above, it’s not the best choice for newbies or people who are looking to increase muscle strength only.

When you have been working out with weights for while, and you want to focus building on the progress you have made so far by sculpting your body, consider supersets to help you reach your goal.

Another time when this technique can help you reach your fitness goals is if you have been injured and you don’t want to give up working out entirely.

A routine that includes supersets can help you focus on the area around the injured portion of your body without having to engage it. Check out the video above for some information on how to get the most out of supersets.

When you are recovered, you can start adding exercises to strengthen and tone where the injury was.

Start slowly and don’t push too hard if you haven’t worked a particular area for some time. You will need to spend some time on it before you consider a superset routine for muscles that are recovering from an injury.

Go PRO today to find a workout plan that’s loaded with supersets!

Learn more about Exercise.com Fitness Business Management Software.

Schedule your demo today.