Superset Workout

What is a Superset?

We all want to to burn fat, get really lean, have a six-pack, and achieve this the quickest and most effective way possible. Of course you need a clean diet Lieutenant_tackles_NFL_dream_120312-F-PF238-161and efficient cardio, but what do you do for lifting? Well, the quickest and most effective way to get those results is by doing supersets!

Weight training exhilarates the growth of lean muscle tissue, which increases your metabolism. Supersets increase the amount of work you do in a specific time period, because you are moving quickly from one exercise to the other with little rest between sets, and that leads to a more intense workout where you will burn more calories. Supersets will increase your metabolic rate, and help you burn fat faster without in the same amount of time as your current workouts.

Supersets can come many levels of volume and intensity, but here I will show you an example of a good initial superset workout.

Superset Rules

  • With the below workout you need to rest in-between the supersets for about 2 minutes. If you do not have enough rest in-between the supersets you may not be able to lift the same amount of weight you lifted in the previous set. you don’t want to get halfway through the workout and run out of strength.
  • Before the workout it is VERY important to warm up properly. If you are going to work your legs, then do a few sets of body weight squats or jumping squats to get the blood flowing. Warm up what ever muscle group you will be working that day. If you do not get a proper warm up then you risk pulling a muscle or not burning as much fat.
  • Supersetting means you will not be able to do as much weight as you normally do. If you are going to do 10 reps, don’t select a weight that you can do 20 reps of. You want to almost reach failure, and don’t be afraid to decrease the weight in order to reach the number of reps you are trying to do.optimum nutrition protein powder
  • When supersetting opposing muscle groups, don’t always start with the same bodypart first. If you want to superset your legs and back, alternate between starting with legs and back every other workout. This will help with overall muscle balance.
  • If you want to get lean, you definitely don’t want to burn muscle tissue or decrease your metabolic rate. So after your workout, you need to get at least 20-35 grams of protein and 30-55 grams of carbs. This will help with recovery and make sure you do not burn any muscle.

Superset Workout

In this workout you are going to superset two exercises that work completely different body parts (such as chest and back, hamstrings and shoulders, etc.). You can also superset two exercises that work the same body part (such as two chest exercises), but it is up to you because both can be beneficial.

You will do two exercises back-to-back with very little rest between the exercises, but you will rest between each set. The first exercise of this superset is going to be a compound move, and the second is going to be an isolation move. This will sort of ease you into the workout to get you used to supersets.

When you first begin using superset workouts, you will notice that the level of intensity will increase each workout, which will increase muscle growth and improve fat-burning. Before you begin, choose a weight that will take you to failure after 10 reps.

Do 3-4 sets of these exercises (do not do the next superset without completing the one before)

Superset 1

Deadlift – 10 reps (hold dumbbells in front, or use a bar)

Chest Press – 10 reps (you can use a bench press, or lay on the ground and lift dumbbells)

Superset 2

Lunges – 10 reps on each leg (you can add weight to a bar and put it on your back, or just hold dumbbells on your side)

Lying Tricep Extension – 10 reps (lay on your back, hold a dumbbell/bar above your head, then bend your elbow and extend it)

Superset 3

Shoulder Press – 10 reps (press dumbbells or a bar above your head)

Seated Row – 10 reps (sit and pull the weight back, you can also do a bent row with dumbbells if you are doing it at home)

Foam roll before and stretch after the workout! For an example click here.

For more information, check out the Cardio Training and Strength Training pages.

If you have any questions or concerns about supersets and how they work, please leave a comment below!

Live Well and Live On,


This article has 10 Comments

  1. This is such an interesting article. I had never heard of Superset workouts, until now. It makes so much sense and you explain it in a way that makes it accessible to everyone.
    I work out at home most of the time and will definately put this into practice and give it a go.

  2. Karissa,
    The information you provide on your website is very good even for those of us that are new to working out. You have a great way of writing because it makes me feel as if you are right there with me.
    I am not a weight lifter at all. The most I am doing is walking about 30 minutes a day. I am 50 years old and soon to be 51 so the weight lifting is a bit much for me.
    I do want to keep my arms from saging so could you provide me a arm workout that doesn’t require too much weight?
    Really, I just want to keep my arms a bit stronger and firmer.
    Thank you for this great information and I know it will help many people.

    1. Hello Sheila,

      No matter how old or overweight you are, you can still lift weights. It will actually help you get to your goals faster. Read my post on “Does Weight Training Help You Lose Weight?” for more info.

      For an arm workout you want to make sure you get all the major muscles. So you can do a lying tricep extension, bicep curl, shoulder press, and push ups. Those are the most basic movements, and you can just use dumbbells.

      If you want more workouts you can check out my Workouts page!

  3. Hello Karissa,

    I by no means am a weight-lifter, I am a long distance runner. However, in recent months I’ve been suffering from a lot of injuries while training for a marathon. As I researched the reasons as to why I’ve been racking up so many injuries I found out that I don’t have enough strength to support my running distance.

    I’ve been looking for routines to build some muscle mass and this is a routine I can definitely start to implement as a part of my weekly regimen. I love the idea of supersetting. This type of workout looks really intense and is definitely a different type of workout that would engage my muscles in a way that running would not.

    Thanks for sharing this information,

  4. I lift and generally do it for strength. I’ve heard of super sets, but never really got into it. From the article, it seems a lot like circuit training. I see guys in the gym doing it and monopolizing several work stations all the time (like they own it). What’s the difference between the two types of training?

    1. Hello Dave,

      Some people definitely try to own the equipment lol. Super setting IS a lot like circuit training. However with circuit training you can do a lot of different exercises and work many muscles at the same time. Like doing a chest exercise, then a leg, then an ab for 3-4 sets.

      With super setting you only choose 2 exercises and work one muscle (sometimes two) at the same time. You can do a hamstring exercise, then a quad exercise, and alternate to work your legs. That way you can tire your muscle more quickly and work them harder. You can also do like my article says and pick two different muscle groups so you have a little more rest in between.

      I hope that makes sense!

      Live Well and Love On,


  5. As an ex personal trainer I think doing super sets is actually one of the best ways to work out. There are many benefits such as the work out taking less time; you increase your metabolic rate more than what you would with a regular workout and continue to burn fat for the next 24 hours. In fact, I think that the shorter more intense workouts will give you the most bang for your buck so to speak than any other workout. It also has very positive affects on the hormonal system where your insulin receptors will become more sensitive which is also part of over all health management as well as weight management and a cascade of other positive effects, not to mention the effect on Human Growth Hormone-one of the keys to longevity.

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