SUPERSETS & TEMPO
Supersets to save your training day! Every person has tackled the occasional issues going to the gym. Not enough time, not enough energy? Don’t worry we got you covered, try our Performance Energy to kickstart your workouts. Life outside training will always bump against your active lifestyle.
Creating a balance between the two can be challenging, but what if there was some magical way to get a better workout while taking up less time? Building your routines around supersets will not only cut down your training time dramatically, but the quality of your workouts will skyrocket.
WHAT IS A SUPERSET?
A superset is a practice of performing two sets in the time it should take to perform one. For instance, let’s say you are working on your biceps and triceps today. You rep out 10 curls, then go right into doing another ten reps of triceps. A superset would replace the rest between sets with a different exercise. This effectively doubles the work being done without resulting in a longer workout.
The key to this method is minimizing the rest time between sets, while targeting different muscle groups in between each set. You also want to carefully plan each exercise to build into a superset. It’s essential and depends heavily on what you are trying to accomplish with your workouts.
PRE & POST EXHAUSTION SUPERSETS
Pre exhaustion supersets consist of two exercises that work on the same muscle group. Your first exercise is an isolation movement on a specific muscle. The second is a compound movement on the entire muscle group.
For example, if today is chest day, you would begin with dumbbell flies because they isolate your pectoral muscles, then move on to bench press which encompasses your entire chest.
Post-Exhaustion is the opposite. For example, you start with compound movement (e.g. bench press) then move to the isolation movement (e.g. dumbbell fly).
The most challenging of supersets is compound supersets. This style combines two compound movements (e.g. lunges and squats). Most importantly avoid being overconfident with the compound superset.
Since compound movements use an incredible amount of energy, stick with lighter weights than you are used to when performing each exercise individually.
This type of superset will comprise two isolation movements (e.g. the dumbbell fly and cable crossovers). Again, make sure you gauge your weights appropriately.
Since the two exercises will be hitting the same muscle group and you will not be resting. In short, the isolation supersets are perfect for maximizing your workouts in a time crunch.
TIMING & TEMPO
Every person should be aware of their tempo, regardless of strength or skill level. Weight training has an infinite number of styles and techniques. People who weight lift whether they are just starting or have perfected their routine will inevitably face the same challenge which is a plateau.
You train often, lift heavier, push harder, yet your results have slowed. While adding weight can be an effective way to push yourself further, but many people forget how important the timing of their routine is.
So your goal will determine which school of thought you fall within when deciding on a weight lifting tempo. Those seeking strength maximization will opt for a fast-paced, high-weight routine which would be a more explosive workout. Those concerned with physique and muscle growth will settle on a controlled and focused method, maximizing muscle tension.
TRACK YOUR TEMPO
Consider these four actions to standardize and keep track of your tempo:
- Firstly, the time it takes to lift the weight from the starting position
- The time spent holding the weight at the exercise peak
- The time spent lowering the weight to the starting position
- Lastly, the time spent resting in the starting position
These actions should be measured in seconds and can be expressed in four simple numbers. For example, my dumbbell curls follow a 3-1-2-0 tempo. To clarify, 3 seconds to lift the weight, 1 second holding the weight at the peak position, 2 seconds lowering the weight, and 0 seconds resting.
MAXIMIZE YOUR RESULTS
Settling on a tempo to maximize your results can be challenging because each person will find a different comfort level and has different goals. Establish a benchmark testing each lifting exercise with a comfortable weight. Find a tempo that feels natural, and tailor the process to match your goals.
Those looking to boost strength will increase their weight and decrease their timing. So a quick tempo must be married to obsessive form. It’s incredibly easy to become sloppy when moving quickly. People pushing for muscle growth will choose a lesser weight while settling on a slower tempo. Remember, muscle tension increases muscle growth. But a controlled and steady routine will maximize your physique and provide visible results.
In conclusion, if you are looking to cram a workout into your busy schedule or simply hate being at the gym for an eternity, try out some supersets. Refer to ACE for a superset program developed by experts.
Above all think about your goals and choose your tempo appropriately but remember, to begin with, weights you know you can control.