Why you should add supersets for growth

What is the difference between an agonistic and antagonistic superset

Have you stagnated and looking for a way to increase the intensity of your workout? Need to shorten the time you spend in the gym but still maximise results? Then we suggest you have a look at adding supersets for your next workout. Give this article a read and get to grips with a few different types of superset and get them implemented into your workout routine.

Supersets are simply putting two or more exercises back to back with no rest. There are a lot of different ways to do this but today we will break down the main ones.

To start off with there is agonistic supersets. These are probably all quite familiar, where we’d perform one exercise using one muscle and then another exercise using the same muscle – with no rest between switching. For example, you might do a back squat followed by a leg extension. Both work on the quadriceps.

Antagonistic supersets are when you put two exercises back to back but using opposing muscles. For example, biceps curl and triceps dips. This is great for feeling that ‘pump’ in your muscles and get them firing.

Antagonistic superset working the biceps (see main headline image) and, shown here, triceps

Another you may have tried is a tri-set and giant set, these are simply three and four exercises, respectively, back to back with no rest. These are great to group a few exercises together and feel an insane pump!

To make these more advanced you can add in post and pre-exhaustion supersets, which aim to fatigue the muscle with an accessory exercise before or after the big, compound exercise.

Supersets are ideal to use if you want to keep your workouts short and intense. Finding the best way you can use them is just through trial and error.

At Short Motivation, we make our selection based on the frequency of training sessions. If we’re doing fewer workouts in the week then we might do antagonistic supersets, however, if we’ve got more time to train then agonistic supersets are awesome to improve mind muscle connection and really stimulate the muscle fibres!


About Author

Olly is the Short Motivation fitness and training advisor. He is a level-3 PT instructor, specialising in TRX and kettlebell instruction, and manages his own gym in the United Kingdom.