In my previous article on high density training, I touched on using supersets in order to increase training density.
Today let's take a closer look at some of the different ways in which you can incorporate supersets into your training.
To recap on the previous article, a superset is when two exercises are performed in a row without stopping.
There are two main ways of performing supersets.
Firstly, we can use two consecutive exercises that involve the same muscle groups. This is what bodybuilders would call an intensity technique. Intensity techniques are used to train beyond failure. In other words, when you reach failure in the first exercise and you can no longer perform any more repetitions, you are still able to continue working the same muscle by immediately moving onto a second exercise. This is great for creating more muscle damage and more metabolic stress (two of the main precursors to muscle building).
The alternative way of performing supersets is to use antagonistic supersets. This means using two exercises that use opposing muscle groups. A classic example, and one which was heavily endorsed and used by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is the pairing up of back and chest exercises. This is less useful for inducing more muscle damage, since it does not provide an increase in training volume for any given muscle group. However, it is great for increasing metabolic stress, as the increase in training density is through the roof! This method of training potentially allows you to progress through a training session without taking any significant rest periods. This is because you are using non-competing exercise pairings. In other words, the back muscles are resting while you are working the chest muscles and vice versa.
As you might imagine, this second method of performing supersets is great for your fat loss goals in addition to being a wonderful tool in your muscle building armoury.