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A very powerful tool you should add to your lifting arsenal

February 25, 2021

The name of that tool: Supersets.

This isn’t an absolute necessity nor do I have any scientific evidence to support my claims (though I am sure there is research out there on supersetting). This is simply something I have incorporated into my extensive lifting, athletic and bodybuilding career that has helped me achieve some great results. After a decade of trial and error I want to share with you all of my favorite training tools, the superset.

For those who are unfamiliar, a superset is simply performing two or more exercises back to back with little to no rest in between. Simple yet effective.

Three main benefits

1) Time. We’re all busy men occupied with many endeavors. Supersets can help you accomplish more work in less time.

2) Fat burn. Supersets will raise your heart rate and thus burn more calories compared to full rests in between. All else equal, an elevated heart rate burns more calories. You will sweat more, you will breathe harder, you will improve your cardiovascular health and as a result you will become less of a fat fuck.

3) The hypertrophy. The biggest benefit in my opinion. Like I said I don’t have any scientific findings to support this claim, but I’m hoping you can just trust me on this. It is going to obliterate your muscles, the burn will be absolutely insane, the pump is going to feel next level. It’ll make you feel like a spartan training for battle.

Practical tips for application

There are many ways you can incorporate supersets into your training routine. The following are some pointers to help you most effectively do so.

- Generally I avoid doing supersets on my first exercise. The reason being, this is when my ATP reserves are at maximum capacity so I want to take advantage of the my "freshness," my strength and the numbers I can push. Since I always start my workouts with a compound movement I want to move the most possible weight with the best possible form. Supersets can impede this by fatiguing my muscles faster than I would like.

- You can superset antagonist (bicep and triceps), complimentary (shoulders and chest) or similar muscles (chest and chest). All of them work for different reasons and will depend on your routine, your goals and sometimes the available equipment.

- You can superset multiple exercises- the superset sandwich. For example: bicep-tricep-bicep. One of my favorites is dumbbell shoulder raises-dips-cable shoulder raises. Three cycles of this will leave my chest and shoulders on fire.

- If you really want to crank up the intensity you can combine supersets and drop sets. Drop setting is when you do as many reps as you can, drop the weight and repeat this multiple times. Eventually you're doing a very light weight that feels like a million pounds because your muscles are absolutely gassed. There is no better way to achieve a sick pump. Drop setting works best on cable-based machines since its much easier to move a pin than it is to grab a new set of dumbbells or change the plates on a machine.

When supersets may not be appropriate

Supersets are a tool the same way a hammer is. It is useful and effective but must be used correctly. It isn't universal and it does have the potential to do more harm than good if used incorrectly.

- As mentioned above, the biggest benefit from supersets is the hypertrophy it helps achieve. If you are a powerlifting chasing strength and numbers, supersets will have play a small role in your training routine. You want near-full rests while spending the majority of your time on compound movements if your goal is to increase your bench, squat or deadlift.

- When the gym is busy af. Read the room. If you are in the gym at 5pm on a Monday it might be tough to execute supersets. Don't be that asshole hogging all of the equipment. There's a time and a place for everything.

- Like I said, there's a time and a place for supersets. As much as I love them, I am not performing them every single workout on every single exercise. Try it out as you're wrapping up your workout. Dedicate one day a week where you're chasing the pump and thus, supersetting the majority of the workout. There are a many ways you can incorporate supersets. Start small, listen to your body and apply this wonderful tool as you see fit.

Closing thoughts

Supersets are one of my favorite workout tools, I attribute much of my physique to the application of this phenomenal tool. Most of us are lifting to improve our physique, become more aesthetic and thus are prioritizing hypertrophy. Supersets are a great way to achieve that. Supersets will add another level of intensity to your workouts and can help take your gains to the next level if you feel you are reaching a plateau.

It isn't for everyone and it isn't for every scenario. Give them a try the next time you're in the gym and see how you like them. Get creative with them. It's your body, you get to choose how you wanna build it.

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Post Information
Title A very powerful tool you should add to your lifting arsenal
Author KingGerbz
Upvotes 152
Comments 74
Date February 25, 2021 8:33 AM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit /r/TheRedPill
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/TheRedPill/a-very-powerful-tool-you-should-add-to-your.745666
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/ls1wsp/a_very_powerful_tool_you_should_add_to_your/
Red Pill terms in post

[–]hjkl4life98 points99 points  (12 children) | Copy Link

I wish all fitness posts came with a picture of OP.

I'll have to try supersets in my routine.

[–]KingGerbz[S] 31 points32 points  (11 children) | Copy Link

I agree, you should only listen to those who have what you want. My physique is far from ideal but ask and you shall receive.


[–]Eighth__Man29 points30 points  (8 children) | Copy Link

Looks like you should superset abs with more abs.

Jk lookin good man

[–]KingGerbz[S] 11 points12 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

Abs are probably my weakest point as far as muscles go so I agree. However I’ve started my summer cut so hopefully that’ll help reveal them better. I appreciate it brother

[–]Eagle-5138 points9 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Athlean x - 7 mins abs. Hit everyday and you become a savage

[–]will_del1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Have you tried it yourself?

[–]Eagle-5131 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Yes. I do it every day. Just started adding 100 ghd sit ups before it

[–]simplybisbee10 points11 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Can we get a physique picture?

[–]ahackercalled4chan2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

good enough to me, bro. good job

[–]Swallow331 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Great advice, and receipts as well. Looking good bro, cheers.

[–]goingrandomgod51 points52 points  (8 children) | Copy Link

No. Volume and intensity are for hypertrophy

[–]Unerted17 points18 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is completely true. In any case, to add intensity/volume a good thing to do are rest-pause sets. IMO supersets are not that great.

[–]71219580412013 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yeah, from what I read on Stronger by Science it's something close to the number of "good" (starting well rested and going to near failure) sets you have for a given muscle group. Rep ranges, rest times etc. don't matter too much if you accomplish that.

Though supersets could likely help if you use the extra time you save to get more volume in.

[–]the_jingster2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Supersets add volume to the workout in a shorter amount of time so this comment doesn't exactly disagree with OP's claim...Besides, the number of sets to close to failure at sufficient intensity is the determining factor to hypertrophy. Supersets add effective sets to a workout in a time efficient manner, but only if they are using antagonistic groups

[–]barefoot_fiki0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

The time might be an issue, there is an paper on pause and resistance training. The 2 minutes or more were observed as benifical. For gains.

[–]Obi24 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

He isn’t claiming the opposite tho, just that supersets can help achieve hypertrophy

[–]throwawayok2727284920 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I’ve noticed that the more total weight volume lifted the more gains I tend to make in size and 1RM strengtb

[–]groundbeef100 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

but if you maintain frame, supersets are for hypertrophy too

[–]Lucky-Mustard6 points7 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

(my english its kinda retarded) Great post , and to add my experience - i used to go at the gym and do regular work outs. You know , usual sets and shit. The gains were fine , but i never was fulfilled when i was done. I still had energy and anger. At some point in my life i was angry as fuck for 2 or 3 months so i didnt care so much about gains or doing the exact 5x12 sets. I wanted to fuck with the iron and i started to do supersets until my mind ejaculated. And man... after 2 weeks (i think) my body was in great shape. Veiny arms and hands , nice chest and somehow the mindset changed , how to explain , it was a savage mindset. The hunger was incredible , and everyone noticed a change. I was eating a lot of apples everyday and bloody meat. And i always caried some hand grips (i think this is the right name) , even at work i was working forearms. Crazy time.. until quarantine hit again in this retard country , i quit that shit job and started to play Wow. So i also took the rest of the 2020 off , started to drink energy drinks+ coffee , stay late nights and eat chips+ sweet stuff. The gains are gone , but not for a long time , and this post remembered me of my ultimate form and mindset. So yea , next month i will start to fuck iron again. Thanx.

[–]KingGerbz[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The comeback is always greater than the setback. Go fuck that iron brother.

[–]Kryptic_Knight26 points27 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Hate to break it to you and many people on here, the medical journal released all the info years back ....supersets do nothing for burning fat anymore than regular sets.

Good way to burn calories fast, but you're not gonna get bigger, that's what hypertrophy is for.

[–]KingGerbz[S] 5 points6 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Could you elaborate on the difference between calories and fat burned? I’m not claiming supersets magically scare your fat cells away. As I stated in my post it causes an elevated heart rate and thus increases the amount of calories burned.

Burning more calories = burning more fat, no?

[–]barefoot_fiki0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

OFC you will burn fat, but also glycogen. Moreover, you will burn glycogen more then fat at the beginning After you depleted certain amount, low-glycogen availability induces an increase in systemic release of amino acids and simultaneously increases fat oxidation, and as a consequence exercise intensity drops. That's why some advice resistance first and cardio (even sluggish) afterwards, so you would specifically burn fat and not downgrade your resistance training.

[–]Kryptic_Knight0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

While any exercise burns calories, not all exercise burns fat. During exercise, your body uses calories from carbohydrates first. Once these are used up, triglycerides are released from the fat stores, and you start burning fat. The key is to consistently consume fewer calories than you need if you want to burn fat until you've reached your weight goal. Even if you exercise, but still eat more calories than necessary, the excess calories will end up stored as triglycerides.

[–]Highroller42420 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'll take ops experience with his actual body over some journals sus article. 98% of studies are fake and gay.

[–]generic_commenter994 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

It depends if you are working the same muscle or muscle group in the super set. Different one? No problem. But the same muscle group is just a waste. You're fatiguing the muscle more but not getting the benefits of properly resting it. To stress a muscle properly (in order to build it back stronger and bigger) you need to give it time to rest in-between sets. If not, then the muscle failure is due more to an endurance fatigue.

[–]CHEEKY_CUNT11 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Supersetting the same muscle allows you to train to and beyond failure, increasing time under tension and further breaking down the fibers, creating more muscle growth when those fibers repair.

[–]NewCommonSensei3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I’ve been super setting for past 6 months. The gains are great. To me the most important aspect about it is the time savings and the determination it fosters.

Time: with only about 45 minutes scheduled for the gym, I have to make the most of it. I love seeing the other guys in the gym doing two or three exercises by the time I’m finished with mine with 8 exercises. I’m twice as efficient.

Determined: I go to the gym knowing it’s high intensity time. There is no time to waste. I get into that mindset early in the morning in the gym. Then it overflows into my work day as well.

My mantra: super set everything.

I generally superset on this schedule: chest and abs, Shoulders and triceps, Back and Biceps Legs (upper), legs (lower)

You’re going to have to also drink lots of water.

Always save cardio for post super set workout.

Stats: mid 30s, 5ft7, 190lbs, 15% body fat

[–]InnerTwo60 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Could you please breakdown your workout routine? I relate to a lot of what you have mentioned.

[–]TwentyDubya22 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

IMO supersets are a thing for late stage intermediate to advanced lifters. 85% of the time results stall because you’re not eating enough to recover, have enough quality sleep, or are lifting “hard” enough.

A good general rule of thumb: you’re an intermediate when you can bench 225, squat 315, and deadlift 405. (2 plate, 3 plate, 4 plate). This doesn’t take in leverages.

[–]coreldh2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I understand what u saying and I would love to do them but i hate the people who do them in the gym cus they use a lot of shit at the same time

[–]Smerdakas3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Good post. Big fan of supersets for time efficiency, this works for bodyweight too (eg a pushing exercise followed by a pulling one).

I also love drop sets for dessert.

[–]DaBigOx10 points11 points  (8 children) | Copy Link

How far gone has the TRP fallen that we need to even discuss supersets? A basic concept in lifting?

Next up on TRP, proofread your text before submitting with bonus content on using soap when washing your hands.

[–]Gearski5 points6 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Supersets are somewhat overrated for hypertrophy anyways.

[–]ispaidermaen0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

So what's a good method for hypertrophy?

[–]WonderfulPipe4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Taking enough rest so you can lift heavier, imo people always underestimate resting times

[–]BoJvck34Empire2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is great advice. Sometimes that 2 minute break is the difference between 12 perfect reps and tapping out at 5 to drop to a lower weight.

[–]KingGerbz[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

There’s already multiple people who expressed appreciation for this post and I’m sure many more will benefit from it. That was my goal of the entire post.

It wasn’t to impress some sarcastic egotistical nobody who wants to belittle others trying to improve themselves.

[–]BoJvck34Empire3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This post can help someone. Just because you are on your high horse doesn’t mean that a high schooler isn’t scrolling this and can make use of the advice. Putting down others just for the sake of putting down others is the most closet beta shit you can do....

[–]BoJvck34Empire1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

People are gonna disagree with you since this isn’t in some fitness mag, or because bodybuilders like to disprove it. Supersets is what they do in the prison yard, and also what us traveling men do to get a pump inside of Planet Fitness / Hotel Gyms.. The shit works.

[–]zino1931 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Partially I agree - but just as a tool for squeezing that last bit out of the muscle. The antagonist thing did not work for me under any form.

Otherwise, I agree. Use it with free-weights to strengthen your assistance muscles after a heavy set that broke your main muscles. Or the opposite, focus on that slower pec or hamstring after a heavy compound to fully engage that muscle with a isolating excercise and get it exhausted before the next compound set.

[–]Xerrostron1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This wont get you strong persay. 5 minute rest intervals are vital for high intensity lifting in order for your atp to be restored. Hypertrophy is what we want , but doing 3x8 on 300 vs 3x8 on 100 bench is huge

[–]bjbdbz21 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The only thing you need to do is train with intensity. Whatever your approach, approach with intensity. Work harder then you did last time. Lift more, do more. There is no magic bullet.

[–][deleted]  (1 child) | Copy Link


[–]Outrageous-Hand-72522 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I would guess 10 years as he stated "a decade of trial an error"

[–]Khaski0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I second that. I do pull-ups and then the pushups straight away. Different kinds. Archer pull-ups then archer pushups for example. And gains are great

[–]ImprovingTalent0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Hypertrphy is wrong, but yea you spare time and burn more fat.

Big issue here is that you can lose a lot of power in super sets where you could usually just move more weight on the individual exercises

[–]kaizen9870 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Supersets are great if you are training at a moderate rpe(rate of perceived exertion) of 6-8 as a broad range. But if you're taking your sets close/to failure, stick to straight or alternating sets(similar to supersets, but you're taking at least a minute break between exercises). Performing supersets with each lift being done at high intensity can compromise technique and lead to burnout, also can result in systemic/neural fatigue.

[–]Usmc55230 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I love super setting it saves me a ton of time( probably cuts in half the time I’d normally be in the gym) and keeps me rolling so I’m not sitting on my phone looking at Reddit for 400 years every time I finish a set.

[–]1SeasonedRP0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Supersets are a good tool to up intensity. As you mention, they work great to blast a particular body part or on complementary body parts, such as triceps/biceps or back/chest. A particularly wicked superset is high rep leg presses with high rep squats or vice versa. You won't be able to do very many of these if you do them right.

[–]debes00 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

There's nothing magical about supersets

You would hope doing more work and total volume would yield greater hypertrophy result

I personally don't use them as I feel like they are "junk" sets that can detract from the quality of other working sets where I'm trying to progressive overload.

So many people waste their time in the gym fluffing around. Ain't no body want to lift some heavy ass weight.

[–]saiyantmr0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy Link

Higher heart rate doesnt burn more calories. You can walk on a treadmill at 160 bpm do you burn more calories than one who’s jogging at 140 bpm? NOPE

[–]KingGerbz[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

How does walking elevate your heart rate more than jogging? How does that work exactly?

[–]saiyantmr0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

It doesn’t. I’m comparing 2 different persons here. If you are really out of shape yeah, you will get the same heart rate walking as lance armstrong on Tour de France, but it doesnt mean you burn nearly the same amount of calories

[–]KingGerbz[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

So you’re taking a hypothetical example comparing apples to oranges to improperly address a minute detail in my post instead of addressing the essence of my argument. Cool.

[–]saiyantmr-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Don’t take it so personal bro. I just pointed out something wrong that’s why the internet exists, we can learn from each othee

[–]translukentt0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is why I like crossfit. After I finish, for example, 15 sit-ups, I go and do 30 pull-ups, then 45 double unders.

[–]3HardWay0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Disagree on all points.

  1. No rest limits recovery which leads to quicker fatigue and less overall volume. So your #3 is bogus. And you are conflating pump with hypertrophy.
  2. Regarding heart rate, lifting in general will do this. Supersets don't have some added fat loss or heart rate advantage.

I'm not against supersets, but this whole post is nonsense.

[–]goodafternoon110 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

As a former two sport D1 athlete, super sets have taken my lifts to the next level as far as aesthetics go. Leaner and heavier than I ever was during my time in college playing sports.

[–]And1Ellis0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

This is terrible lifting advice. Supersets are fine if you want to save time. I do them a lot for this reason. But they don't burn more calories or fat. The best way to burn calories and lose fat is to eat clean and do cardio. Lifting sessions burn very few calories. Also if you do supersets, do them with opposing muscle groups. Biceps and triceps are fine as they serve opposing functions of push and pull. But you don't want to do 2 push exercises back to back. Your shoulders, for example, play a role in dips. You don't want your tired shoulders limiting the number of dips you can do. Dips with pull-ups or rows is a much better superset. Antagonist muscles are the only way you should superset.

[–]KingGerbz[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Supersets lead to an elevated heart rate. I’d like you to explain to me how that doesn’t burn more calories.

Muscle is by far the most metabolic tissue in the human body. More muscle leads to a higher BMR. The moment you step off the treadmill your body stops burning calories. When you lift hard, your body is burning calories for the next 24-48 hours repairing your muscles, on top of the long term calorie burn due to a higher BMR.

There are very few principles in the world of weightlifting that are dogmatic other than “work hard.”

There is no one size fits all, what works for Billy may not work for Bob.

[–]skagman-5 points-4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

What's the point of this? No need for something so specific. If there is threads dedicated to the importance of lifting why do we need one dedicated to a specific lifting thing. Just point people in the direction of bodybuilding YouTube videos and subreddits and people can do their own research.

I've seen a Jeff nippard video on YouTube dedicated to supersets and scientific evidence to go with it and against it.

[–]MeasurementQuiet109-2 points-1 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

You guys begging and longing for the truth but, when it comes to truth, y’all flee.

There is only one powerful tool: steroids

And no, you wouldn’t die if you run the shit on blast for years and years.

[–]KingGerbz[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Weak mindset but your body, do as you please.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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