Monday, April 16, 2018

Supersets - Franco Columbu

Supersetting two exercises is a technique for training two muscles at the same time instead of one, here specifically two antagonistic (opposite) muscle groups. Antagonistic muscles or muscle groups are those which work against each other in a coordinated movement. For instance, the biceps is a flexor muscle and the triceps is an extensor, or muscle that extends. The biceps work to flex the elbow, while the triceps work to straighten, or extend it out again. A reasonable superset that exercises both muscles at once will produce striking results.

Properly matching the muscles is the first and most important rule of supersetting. You must select exercises that not only match, but also help balance antagonistic pairs of muscles. Sensible matches include chest/back (and, for added variety, chest/shoulders, and back/shoulders), biceps/triceps, anterior/posterior forearm muscles, anterior/posterior deltoids, quads/hamstrings, and front/back calf muscles.

Realistically, the abdomen cannot be supersetted with any other muscle group. Thus, for any training routine you devise on your own, continue your ab training . . . for example, 4 ab exercises in rotation, 4 sets of 25 reps for each exercise.

The second most important aspect of the supersets technique -- after you've decided on appropriate exercises -- is to do the two exercises with as little rest in between as possible. No rest is ideal, buy you may well find that your supersets routine requires you to decrease the weight slightly at the first several workouts; however, after a few break-in workouts you will be able to increase the weight.

Note that in the following recommended routines, the number of sets may not match exactly. For instance, I suggest 6 sets of leg extensions supersetted with only 5 sets of leg curls. I have done so by design, the objective being to balance structure and strength. Most people are stronger in the flexor muscles than in the extensors, ideally, the two should be considerably closer to equal. For a simple demonstration of this inequality, observe how much more power and flexibility you have in turning your hand down -- that is, in the direction of the palm -- than you do in turning it back toward the wrist. Your entire superset routine should follow the principle of adjusting the number of sets for certain exercises to correct imbalances in structure and strength of antagonistic muscles or muscle groups.

This program will thoroughly exercise every major muscle group twice weekly, and the abs and calves four times each.   

Monday/Thursday: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Calves, Abs.

Bench Press - 5 x 8, superset with
Chins to Back of Neck - 4 x 10 or as many reps as possible. 

Incline Bench Press - 4 x 10, superset with
Chins to Front of Neck - 4 x 10 or as many reps as possible. 

Dip - 4 x 15, superset with
T-Bar Row - 4 x 10

Flat Bench Flye - 3 x 10, superset with
Seated Cable Row - 3 x 10

Bentover Lateral Raise - 5 x 10, superset with 
Press Behind Neck - 4 x 10

Side Lateral Raise - 5 x 10, superset with 
Upright Row - 4 x 10

Calf Raise - 7 x 15, superset with 
Front Calf Raise - 4 x 15

Abs - Situp, Leg Raise, Side Leg Raise, 4 x 25 tri-set.

Tuesday/Friday: Arms, Forearms. Abs

Triceps Pushdown - 5 x 12, superset with 
Dumbbell Curl - 4 x 10

Lying Triceps Extension - 5 x 12, superset with 
Incline DB Curl or BB Curl - 4 x 10

Close Grip Bench Press - 4 x 10, superset with 
Preacher Bench Curl - 4 x 10

Triceps Pushup - 2 x 10, superset with 
One Arm Concentration Curl or Bentover Barbell Curl - 2 x 10

Palms Up Wrist Curl - 3 x 15, superset with 
Palms Down Wrist Curl - 3 x 15

Abs - Repeat Monday/Thursday Routine

Wednesday/Saturday: Thighs, Calves, Abs.

Leg Extension - 6 x 25, superset with 
Leg Curl - 5 x 25

Lunges - 3 x 25, superset with 
Squats - 5 x 10

Donkey Calf Raise - 7 x 20, superset with 
Front Calf Raise - 4 x 20 

Abs - As Before. 


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