March 1, 2019
In this newsletter . . .
Unless you are training for the Olympic lifts or power lifting, supersetting your exercises may be the best bet for getting the most out of time spent in the gym. The rule applies to people of all ages. Dedicated bodybuilders can get that great pump they look for. General fitness trainees can squeeze more actual movement into their workout time.
Supersetting means taking two or more exercises and moving from one set of each exercise to the next without resting. Let’s say you are doing three sets of curls and three sets of triceps extensions. In a superset, you move from curls to extensions, back and forth, until you’ve completed three sets of each exercise. Normally, you then take a measured rest (somewhere between one and three minutes is common) before moving on to the next exercises.
Sometimes you hear people talking about Tri-Sets and Giant Sets. Don’t be confused
by the bodybuilding jargon. These are supersets too. A Tri-Set simply means doing three exercises back-to-back. A Giant Set is one with more than three exercises.
There are many ways to select exercises in a superset. Some people pick two or more exercises that work the same muscle group. For example, to work their chests they might do barbell bench presses, back-to-back with dumbbell flyes. Others may move from an upper body movement to lower body. Let’s say alternating one-arm rowing (for lats) with calf raises. The combinations possible are limited only by your imagination.
I’ve used supersets a lot. And I prefer using a push/pull format; that is working antagonistic muscle groups, back-to-back. I find it is the most efficient format for getting the most out of a workout in the shortest time. What do I mean by that? Take for example a chest and back combination that supersets a dumbbell bench press with one arm rowing. The muscles used during the push phase of the
superset (DB Bench Press: the pectorals, triceps, and frontal deltoids) are at rest during the pull phase (One-Arm Rowing: primarily lats and biceps).
One of the all-time great bodybuilders, Dave Draper (Mr. America, 1965; Mr. Universe, 1966; and Mr. World, 1970), discovered supersets early in his career and I think still favors them today, as a senior. Not a bad endorsement.
If you haven’t tried a supersets workout, give it a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Find a basic supersets workout here.
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In the last newsletter (Feb. 15, 2019), I wrote about creating a very affordable home gym using resistance bands. And what a response it got!
Some subscribers said they bought bands but there were no illustrated instructions on how to
use them. That’s a shame. First, almost any exercise using free weights can be duplicated with bands. But even so, I would not buy from a company that didn’t include an instruction booklet with the bands.
As I said before, I have no affiliation with the BodyLastics company, but found their products to be high quality and they come with instructions.
P.S. Yes, you can do supersets with resistance bands.
Senior Exercise Central
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