What are Supersets and Giant Sets – How to Do a Superset Correctly

What are supersets and what in heaven’s name is a superset? This question might be trivial to experienced lifters but I realize that we need to answer this for the sake of the newbies. Supersets when done correctly is a great tool for maximizing muscle shock and intra-workout fat burning not to mention that supersets are great cardiovascular workout on its own. For that reason we will take the moment to discuss what supersets are and how to do them correctly.

A superset is when you do two or more exercises in a row WITHOUT RESTING in between. For three exercises or more in a row that is called a giant set, but it is still considered a type of a superset.
The purpose of a superset is to “shock” your system. A superset can also serve as to pre exhaust a muscle group by super setting an isolation move and a compound move for the same muscle group (example superset flyes and flat bench press). Another purpose of the superset is to induce fat burning since supersets (especially giant sets) are very taxing to your cardiovascular system.

Supersets are also great if you want to finish the workout as fast as possible so you would benefit from the 45 minute high testosterone window or if you are simply trying to catch another appointment after lifting.

Supersets are also great for people do whole-body workouts like athletes. And since supersets have great cardiovascular benefits this technique will really benefit these people well.

How to do supersets:

If you want to superset two or more exercises for the same bodypart the most logical choice would be to utilize the pre-exhaust or to giant set all the moves in the workout in a single set. A single body part giant set would look like this:

Giant set:


(No rest)

Leg press

(No rest)

Leg extensions

That’s one set! 2 or three more to go!

Besides giant set and pre-exhaust (or pre fatigue), the best way t do supersets is to do it with different muscle groups. Let’s superset chest and back for example – like in the “Back to back” program:

Incline dumbbell press  (superset with) two arm dumbbell bent over row (with the same pair of dumbbells) – 4 sets

Flat bench press (superset with) wide grip lat pull downs – 4 sets

Per dec flyes (superset with) reverse pec decs -4 sets note: put your arms at a 45 degree angle to target the lats more. The reverse pec dec will also hit the rear delts and angling your arms 45 degrees will put the emphasis on the back and less on the rear delts. If you don’t have a pec dec or the pec dec on your gym sucks, you can substitute to regular flyes and cable pull-overs instead.

reverse pec decs


Then do 4 sets of cross pull-overs – which is perfect for stretching the chest intercostals and the back muscles.

cross pullovers by casey viator

You can also do giant sets with different bodyparts like this one:

Power cleans – bench presss – standing military presses – bent over rows (do 4 sets of that resting 2-3 minute in between)

I didn’t give out rep ranges here because that would mostly depend on whether you are in your low rep (6-8), or high rep (8-15) phase of your training. Nevertheless you will never go wrong with 8-12 reps and then a slow cadence (lowering the weights slowly for at least 3 seconds).

Please share below your favorite super set program. Which bodyparts do you love to superset?  Eat your eggs, people!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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