It’s inevitable. You train diligently week after week, increasing weight or reps when you can, and you start to see some gains in strength and size.
Then right when you think you’ve finally hit your stride and on the way to a lifetime of endless gains, it happens... You’ve run face first into a wall. You numbers stop going up, your muscles aren’t growing, and you’ve altogether stagnated with your training.
This, my friends, is the dreaded plateau.
It happens to everyone, no matter how great of a lifter you are. When faced with a plateau, you can either settle for the gains you’ve made up until this point in your life and live with them, or crank up your volume and intensity to spark new muscle growth.
One of the easiest ways to do that is with superset training. It allows you to subject your muscles to greater loading than what’s achieved with traditional resistance training, shocking your body to get back to lifting more, paving the way for more and more gains.
Ahead, we’ve got the ultimate superset training program you need to pack on all the size you want while not wasting hours and hours in the gym each week. Just be warned, superset training is not for the faint of heart. It’ll demand as much, if not more, from your cardiovascular conditioning as your muscular endurance, creating the ultimate 1-2 punch to help build muscle and burn fat fast.
What is a Superset?
No doubt you’ve heard the term “superset” during your time in the gym. The term is used frequently in training programs and trainees alike, but more often than not, the term “superset” is used to describe any two exercises performed back-to-back with little to no rest between them.
True supersets utilize opposing muscle groups. For example, an upper body superset would include the first exercise targeting your chest while the second exercise focused on your back. On the other hand, a compound set, is a group of two exercises involving the same muscle group.
An example of a compound set would be a bench press followed by a dumbbell fly. The distinction between supersets and compound sets is a small one, but a very important one.
This program will focus solely on supersets as they were originally intended to be performed.
4 Benefits of Superset Training#1 - Saves Time
Using training sets reduces the rest interval between two exercises allowing you to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. This is incredibly important if you happen to be short on time but still want to get in a quality workout.Cardiovascular Conditioning
Due to the increased workload and decreased rest interval, your heart rate will increase and you’ll add an element of conditioning to your workout, helping you to burn some excess body fat while still building muscle.Increased Energy Expenditure
Any time you reduce rest periods and add in more work, you’re demanding more activity from your body, which in turn burns more calories during your workout. This has been backed up by research showing that superset training burns more calories than traditional resistance training protocols. Muscle “Confusion”
While the idea of muscle “confusion” is essentially marketing hype, incorporating supersets into your training is one way to alter your current training and open the door for newfound gains. Instead of performing a set and then resting the same amount of time, then performing another set and resting, you’ll now be performing two different exercises before resting, This provides a different stimulus for your your muscles and CNS (“confusing” them) which can help to break a plateau or sticking point in your current training.
Note: The one caveat to superset training is that while they are superb for building muscle, they’re not the best option for increasing strength. To maximize strength development, you’ll need longer rest periods between each set, which is best exemplified in traditional resistance training program structure.
5 Day Superset Training Program
You’ll be training five days each week following an upper/lower split, plus an arm day. Yes, your arms will get plenty of work from the heavy compound lifts during the week, but it never hurts to add a little extra direct arm work to really help those pythons grow.
You can train any 5 days per week, but ideally, you’re weekly layout will be:
- Day 1: Upper A
- Day 2: Lower A
- Day 3: Regen/Active Recovery (walking, hiking, yoga, etc.)
- Day 4: Upper B
- Day 5: Lower B
- Day 6: Arms
- Day 7: REST
Now, let’s get to the workout.
|Upper Body A|
|Bench Press - Wait 60-90 seconds before next superset||4||6-10|
|Incline 2-Arm Dumbbell Row||4||8-12|
|Incline Dumbbell Press - Wait 60-90 seconds before next superset||4||8-12|
|Seated Cable Row||4||10-15|
|High-to-Low Cable Crossover - Wait 60-90 seconds before next superset||4||10-15|
|Lower Body A|
|Romanian Deadlift - Wait 90 seconds before next superset||4||8-10|
|Dumbbell Reverse Lunge - Wait 90 seconds before next superset||4||10-12|
|Smith Machine Calf Raises||4||10-15|
|Plank - Wait 60 seconds before next superset||4||Max Time|
|Upper Body B|
|Rack Pull Deadlifts||4||5-8|
|Standing Dumbbell Press - Wait 60-90 seconds before next superset||4||6-10|
|Pull Ups (add weight if necessary)||4||8-12|
|Alternating Arnold Press - Wait 60-90 seconds before next superset||4||8-12|
|Cable Lateral Raise||4||10-12|
|Face Pulls - Wait 60-90 seconds before next superset||4||10-15|
|Lower Body B|
|Kettlebell Swing - Wait 90 seconds before next superset||4||8-10|
|Seated Calf Raises||4||20-25|
|Hanging Leg Raises - Wait 60 seconds before next superset||4||10-15|
|Close Grip EZ Bar Press||4||8-10|
|EZ Bar Curl - Wait 90 seconds before next superset||4||8-10|
|Incline EZ Bar Skull Crusher||4||10-12|
|Incline Dumbbell Curl - Wait 90 seconds before next superset||4||10-12|
|Rope Hammer Curl - Wait 60 seconds before next superset||4||10-15|