Supersets: Explanation and 3 Sample Workouts / Schedules

Supersets Workouts Schedules. Supersets are a great way to improve your fitness! This form of strength training ensures that your muscles get an extra challenge. In addition, you burn more calories. How and why? You can read that in this article!

“Although a fit body starts in the kitchen, a good training schedule can improve your results enormously!”

To start with, this text explains what supersets are. Next, I'll let you know about the benefits of supersets. Then I will give you a few tips for your diet to optimize the results. Before you get the schematics, I have some general tips for your supersets. Finally, you get 3 sample workouts/schedules.

What are supersets?

The gym veterans among us have probably heard of supersets. The couch potatoes among us probably don't. In short, supersets are a way of training in which you exhaust your muscles by taking less rest.

Normally you train in reps and sets. The reps are how many times you perform the movement, say 15 times. The sets indicate how often you repeat that number of reps. Normally you take a break between each set so that your muscles can recover.

With supersets, you do a number of sets directly after each other without resting. You can do this by doing a different exercise for each set, or the same one over and over. You will read more about this later.

The benefits of supersets

If supersets hadn't had a lot of benefits, you probably wouldn't have read this article. Supersets are extremely helpful if you know how and why to perform them. Here you can read all the benefits of supersets.

Variety is good for your results

Your muscles often get used to certain training schedules. So, for optimal results, you should switch schedules every few months to keep surprising your muscles. Supersets are a great way to remind your muscles of how hard you work in the gym.

In addition, it can also be mentally challenging to constantly do the same exercises. Running the same round of the gym over and over can ruin your motivation. Applying supersets as a new training schedule can be fun and challenging, boosting your motivation again! You will definitely see this reflected in your results!

The 'pump' is great!

If you have ever trained hard, you know the ' pump'. For a short time after training, your muscles will appear larger and fuller than normal! It is of course ideal if you have that after your training because you want to look great!

During training, your veins are compressed by muscle tension. Meanwhile, oxygen-rich blood is pumped to your muscles, because this is the food for your muscles. So more blood is brought in than is taken away.

There is an excess of blood in the muscles. The blood then seeps from the veins into the space between the muscle cells and the veins. This space fills with fluid, which then puts pressure on the muscle cells. As a result, your muscles fill with blood and the cells swell. This is the 'pump'.

Because your muscles get less rest during supersets, your veins have less time to drain the blood. This makes the muscle pump clearer. Please note, the pump only lasts for about 3 hours! It also says nothing about your actual strength.

You have more time

You and I both know that we teach ourselves that we "don't have time" to go to the gym. And to be honest, how often you say it to yourself, the more difficult it becomes to do go to the gym.

Supersets are the solution for this. Because you are working out for a maximum of 45 minutes instead of 60 to 90 minutes, you can easily go up and down to the gym! Just set your alarm an hour earlier and start the day with supersets! You will feel fitter and more energetic throughout the day.

Higher combustion

Because the supersets are very intense, you burn more calories than with a normal workout. This is ideal if you want to lose weight in a healthy way, or if you are trying to develop lean muscle mass. For example, you can do supersets during the cut phase of your workout schedule.

“By doing supersets during the cutting phase of your training schedule , you will lose little muscle mass , but a lot of fat!”

Good for your testosterone production

Doing supersets also gives a big boost to the male hormone testosterone. This is important because testosterone plays a crucial role in building muscle mass.

Short and intense workouts of up to 45 to 60 minutes are better for muscle recovery than long workouts. After roughly 45 minutes of intense strength training, testosterone production begins to decline and muscle-depleting cortisol levels increase. If you want to build muscle mass effectively, this is something you want to avoid. That's why supersets can be very useful! You take full advantage of the short testosterone boost, but you don't last so long that your cortisol level rises.

Diet during supersets

For supersets, your diet should not be very different from that for a normal workout. You want to achieve the same thing: enough energy for muscle growth, but not so much that you do not use the nutrition. Unused energy is converted into fat and we want to prevent that.

The most important nutrients for your training schedule are carbohydrates for energy and proteins for muscle recovery. We divide the nutrition plan into three blocks: before exercise, during exercise, and after exercise.

For sports

It is wise to take slow carbohydrates before exercising

to take. These are digested less quickly, so you have enough energy, but do not suffer from peaks and troughs in your energy. This way you can be sure that you will last long enough in the gym! Some examples of slow carbohydrates are:

  • Cereal products
  • legumes
  • Dairy products

While doing sports

With supersets, it is not very important to eat during exercise. If you eat enough before exercising, you have enough energy for a 90 to 120-minute exercise session. Still, for an extra energy boost, you can take a small number of fast carbohydrates if you get hungry during exercise. Examples of fast carbohydrates are:

  • Honey
  • Banana

After exercising

To get and maintain your energy level, it is important to consume a lot of carbohydrates after exercise.

In addition, it is also important to replenish your proteins, because these help with

repairing the muscles. The following foods are very good to ingest after doing supersets:

  • Egg
  • Chicken or red meat
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • Dairy products
Supersets Workouts Schedules

General tips for supersets

Keep your breathing up

Try to avoid getting very breathless, for example by choosing repetitions that are too high or exercises that are too heavy. This can cause ' central fatigue':

fatigue of the central nervous system.

Better rest after the superset

For the muscle group is unhealthy to not rest at all. If you want to perform your supersets well, it is, therefore, crucial to rest in between the supersets. Therefore, do not rest between sets, but do at the end of each superset.

3 examples of supersets

Supersets can be done in many different ways. It is also very good to vary because variety is good for your results. To give you a boost, I have 3 sample exercises/schedules for supersets for you.

Example 1: antagonists

In this example of supersets, you link exercises that work opposite muscles such as chest and back, quadriceps and hamstrings, and biceps and triceps. Pairing exercises for opposite muscles allow one muscle group to rest while the other is working. You can apply this in a schedule that allows you to train your entire body in one session without having to spend hours in the gym.

In this training schedule, you do two supersets for each muscle group. As a result, everything has sufficient turn to actually build muscle strength.

Sample schedule antagonists:

The sample schedule for the antagonist supersets is divided into 3 x 4 exercises with a few minutes of rest in between. With each superset, you train a part of your body.

Superset 1: chest/back (4 times 10 reps)

  • Incline bench press
  • wide-grip pull-ups
  • dumbbell chest press
  • barbell rows

Rest for a few minutes.

Superset 2: triceps/biceps: (3 times 12 reps)

  • Overhead triceps cable extension
  • Cable bicep curl
  • Overhead dumbbell extension
  • dumbbell hammer curl

Rest for a few minutes.

Superset 2: quadriceps/hamstrings: (4 x 14 reps)

  • barbell squat
  • leg curl
  • Romanian deadlift
  • leg extension

Example 2: strength/cardio

With supersets, you can also choose to combine strength and cardio. This has a number of advantages. Firstly, cardio is very good for weight loss, especially in combination with the testosterone that is released during strength exercises. In addition, you will probably be able to do heavier strength exercises because cardio improves your circulation.

Sample strength/cardio chart

We also have a full-body workout for you with these supersets. You do two strength exercises and one cardio exercise for each set. In total there are three supersets with three exercises each. You do the cardio exercises for one minute at a time. Try to do as many reps as possible in that minute. 

Superset 1: legs (2 times)

  • 14 barbell squats
  • 14 times leg curls
  • 1-minute run

Rest for a few minutes.

Superset 2: upper body (2 times)

  • 10 times barbell bench press
  • 12 times cable row
  • 1-minute jumping jacks

Rest for a few minutes.

Superset 3: core (2 times)

  • 15 leg raises
  • 12 times Superman
  • Jump rope for 1 minute

Example 3: Agonists

You can combine opposing muscles with supersets, but you can also combine working muscles. We call these muscles agonists. The easiest way is to perform two exercises for the same muscle group one after the other. In this way, the amount of work is maximized in a shorter time, so that the intensity increases and the muscle fibers are stimulated more strongly.

Make sure you don't do these exercises too hard. The fact that you intensively load the same muscle group for longer than normal can cause fatigue and injuries. When done right, agonist supersets can be extremely effective.

With most training schedules where only one or two muscle groups are isolated and trained daily, this form of supersets is usually only done at the end of the workout. This is done to slightly increase the intensity at the end of the workout and to achieve extra results. Because it's very heavy, you can't do a full superset workout with one or two muscle groups.

We can do a full-body workout with supersets again. This is tough, but there's enough variety to last the whole session. We must keep in mind that certain muscles that we would normally train separately, such as triceps and biceps, are trained with the compound exercises. These will therefore not be trained separately in this training schedule.

If you do want to stimulate them extra, you can do an extra triceps exercise for the chest, or an extra biceps exercise for back exercises.

Example schedule agonists

Chest: (4 times 14)

  • barbell bench press
  • Cable Flyes
  • (Additional triceps exercise: cable triceps pushdown)

A few minutes of rest

Back: (4 times 12)

  • lat pulldown
  • dumbbell row
  • (Additional biceps exercise: cable biceps curl)

A few minutes of rest

Shoulders: (4 times 12)

  • barbell shoulder press
  • Cable lateral raise

Legs: (4 times 14)

  • Horizontal leg press
  • dumbbell lunges
  • (Additional quads exercise: leg extensions)
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