A Basic Supersets Workout


The Basic Supersets Workout is not recommended for beginners. Beginners should start with an introductory program, which runs 90 days. In the final 30 days, you are introduced to a beginners' supersets workout format. After completing that, most people are ready for more advanced training, such as the following supersets program. But doing too much too soon is a mistake.


Supersetting means taking two or more exercises and moving from one set of each to the next without rest. Let's say you are doing 3 sets of curls and 3 sets of triceps extensions. In a superset, you move from curls to extensions, back and forth, until you've completed 3 sets of each exercise.

Sometimes you hear people talking about Tri-Sets and Giant Sets. They are supersets, too. A Tri-Set simply means three exercises back-to-back, instead of 2. A Giant Set is one with more than 3 exercises.

There are several ways to select the exercises in a superset. Some people pick two or more 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 possible combinations 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: pectorals, triceps, and frontal deltoids) are at rest during the pull phase (One-Arm Rowing: primarily lats and biceps).

The following is a basic supersets workout based on a 3 days-per-week weight training cycle. (To round out a balanced overall exercise program, you should include 3 days of cardio during the same 7-day period. Ideally, the cardio should be on the days you are not weight training. However, if you do your cardio on the same days, you might do cardio in the morning and weights in the afternoon, or vice versa. If you do cardio and weights in the same workout, do the weight training first, and don't do over 20 minutes of cardio.)


To start, do a few minutes of a light warm-up. Walk around, gently swinging your arms; do a few easy toe-touches and knee bends, etc. No exaggerated stretching.

Now you're ready to go. Remember: move from set to set. There's no need to rush, but don't stop for a recovery break, either. Just move with a comfortable but deliberate pace from one exercise to the next. Then after each series of supersets, rest two minutes (and sip some water) before moving on to the next series.

Let's begin with . . .

Abdominals/Low Back

  • Sit-Ups...........................................3x12 Reps
  • Back Extensions...............................3x12  "

Rest 2 minutes

Chest/Back

  • Bench Press....................................3x8-12 Reps
  • 1-Arms Dumbbell Rowing..................3x8-12  "

Rest 2 minutes

Shoulders/Upper-Back

  • Overhead Press...............................3x8-12 Reps
  • Lat Machine Pull-Down.....................3x8-12   "

Rest 2 minutes

Arms (Biceps/Triceps)

  • Dumbbell Curls...............................3x8-12 Reps
  • Dumbbell French Press....................3x8-12   "

Rest 2 minutes

Legs (Quadriceps/Hamstrings)

  • Squats...........................................3x8-12 Reps
  • Straight Legs Deadlift.......................3x8-12  "

Follow with a few minutes of light stretching and you are finished.


Note: The Basic Supersets Workout can be applied to either a 2- or 3-days-per-week workout format. Always take at least one day of rest between workouts.



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