Within our programming at Body Planners for personal training clients and the live groups we’re constantly looking to find systems that allow the best, high fat burning, body conditioning health boosting bang for buck possible.
Although this can only be done by managing a calorie deficit and being consistent with your activity, the input from your activity (in this case, your training that creates a stimulus for your body to react to) can largely differ.
We’ve mentioned before that the BP Live workouts are so effective because of the way sessions are based. Exercises are chosen carefully along with reps, sets and rests to create that all important invisible stress marker that changes how your body gets by on a day to day basis. Supersets allow us to potentially double our workload or output in the same session time.
Sounds great! So what are supersets? Supersets are pairs of exercises that compliment or conflict each other, in simple terms. There’s a few ways I’ve mentioned before whilst streaming live but literally anything can be a superset if you can justify your logic. For example, if I wanted to work my back, biceps and core I could use deadlift and hammer curls for one super set, pull ups and leg raise another and bent over row with zottman curls. With in this exercise selection alone it’s a can of worms. We have compound and isolation exercises, along with movements that require concentric, eccentric, and isometric contractions from your muscles or in short, exercises where you lift, lower and maintain a set position (zottman curl) however, all exercises work all of the desired muscles to a degree thus making the exercise selection very effective, and maximising the use of your time in a session. This is an example of supersets that work together, because pulling exercises predominantly utilise core, back and bicep muscles. The biceps help the back muscles to perform the desired movement. This is known as an agonist superset and is probably of the most common variety. If you were doing a push focused superset you would use chest or shoulders combined typically with triceps, again an agonist superset.
Working movements that oppose each other is also another very effective way of training. For this example I could select a suspended press up (trx, other brands are available and of course, fine) with a suspended row. This would be an antagonist superset. The muscles used in each movement are direct opposites. The press up works the anterior (front) core, the chest and triceps to perform the movement, the pull works the posterior core, the back and the biceps so in those two movements we’re using 5 major muscle groups. We’re exposing ourselves to exercises requiring lots of muscle usage, lots of muscle usage means lots of energy used, lots of energy used means lots of calories burned which in turn, contributes to those little deficit tokens we ALL need to lose weight. Supersets really can change the way your body looks and performs (not as much as nutrition but still) and should be seriously considered when piecing together any training program. In a climate where everyone is pushed for time, and motivation allows only a small window of opportunity to smash your session, it’s no surprise that this training system has worked its way into our sessions across the packages we offer at Body Planners.