Posted by: Muscle Nerd
Yes, Arnold loved 'em! They were a big part of his mass building strategy.
Supersets can be a great way to get faster results with your training. And there are a number of different ways to do them.
Most people do it the traditional way by working two exercises back to back.
But for serious muscle gains, consider a non-traditional superset by doing antagonistic supersets and taking your typical rest between sets.
So instead of supersetting with no rest between sets, you go back and forth with rest, like you would with straight sets.
Let's say your typical workout for back and chest consists of 5 sets of the bench press followed by 5 sets of bent over rows.
Now, if you were using typical supersets, you'd perform one set for the chest and then do one set for the back with no rest, then rest for 2 - 3 minutes and repeat this five times.
Instead of utilizing the superset technique in this manner, you would do one set of the bench press, take your normal rest, then do a set of bent over rows, take your normal rest, and repeat until finished.
In other words, you would stagger your sets. You wouldn't really be doing a typical superset so much as switching back and forth between bench presses and bent over rows with a normal rest period.
What's the advantage of this mass training tactic?
For one, you won't get winded as you might in a more traditional superset, especially when performing big, compound exercises for body parts like the chest and back.
You'll also be able to use heavier weights and you'll concentrate better because you won't have the tendency to rush as you might in a typical superset.
You can also adjust your training to your goals.
You can change the amount of time you rest between sets to focus more on strength and power or pure muscle building and mass gains.
Keep in mind, when you work a muscle group, it's antagonist works to some degree as well.
For example, when you work the biceps with barbell or dumbbell curls, you're also working the triceps, especially when you resist the weight on the way down.
Think about it.
Lowering the weight on a barbell curl is effectively the same motion as a reverse grip tricep pressdown.
When you do a bent over row, it's like the negative of a bench press.
When you do the negative on the bench press, it's like the positive part of the rep on the bent over row.
That bit of work helps the antagonist muscle recover faster.
Consider how you recover faster from a run by walking as opposed to dropping to the ground and lying still.
By using these antagonist supersets, you'll also find yourself stronger on each exercise, because of the extended rest.
Using the example above, you'll get a lot more rest between sets of bent over rows when using this version of the superset than you do when you do straight sets.