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Workout I Did: Supersets Are Super (Hard)

Just a reminder that this is our new feature called Workout I Did. Read them all and feel the workout love here!


Each month I meet with Nicole the trainer at my gym and we take my measurements and all that jazz to see how my workouts are coming along. This last time I plateaued, so my fiance (the trainer) decided to shake things up a bit to get my body back to making muscle like a pro. Sometimes you just have to add some zings, you know? The logical choice was introducing my body to the world of supersets. I had never heard of the darn stuff, but apparently supersets are great for muscle building.

What are supersets, you ask? Supersets are two exercises performed back to back that target opposing muscle groups (i.e. biceps then triceps…pushing and pulling). The key to supersetting, though is not resting in between the two moves, which makes for one big, say it with us now…superset! Supersets increase lactic acid production (never thought I’d want to increase that!). Plus, they’re time efficient. You’ll develop muscle more quickly, which is always a plus in my book!

Supersets Workout

Two-mile run—with intervals: For this run, I try my hardest to do 15 minutes of intervals, meaning I will run as fast as I can for one minute then come down to a jog for the next minute; repeating this until the 15 minutes are up. It is hard. Your legs will burn like fiya but according to Nicole, it kicks your metabolism up a couple notches.

Stretch: I do a round of stretches that hit all the main areas of my body, making sure to do each twice. Mark is a firm believer in stretching twice.

Superset 1: Two sets of 15 each, no rest between moves

Pull-up row with bar

Superset 2: Four sets of 10 to 12, no rest between moves

Chest press on bench
Lat Pulldown Machine
Incline chest press with dumbbells

Superset 3: Four sets of 10 to 12, no rest between moves

Back row Machine
Triceps dips
Bicep curls standing on a Bosu

This one’s definitely a doozy! I am more sore than I care to share, but hopefully that time pays off in the form of awesomesauce arm muscles!

Have you ever tried supersets? —Tish

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  1. Keith B says:

    Supersets are great as long as you use opposing muscle groups in each set with in the set. Example, you’d work your chest and then your back. You work you biceps then your triceps. You don’t work about your chest twice in one superset or you just overwork it and it fatigues to quickly.

  2. Jill says:

    Workouts are OK as long as you do not exhaust your muscles. Being fit overall is more important, and whether you do it through aerobic type exercises or hard work outs depends on what you are ultimately trying to achieve. Good article.

  3. Kellan says:

    I learned about supersets a little while ago and think they are a perfect and very efficient way to workout. Especially ideal if you’re short on time.

  4. Doing supersets is the best way to see solid gains. I can also complete workouts quicker and still exhaust my muscles.

  5. Katie says:

    Rather you than me, i cant stand super sets, cheers for the post keep em coming 🙂

  6. Maria says:

    “Supersets are great as long as you use opposing muscle groups in each set with in the set.”

    I have to agree with Keith’s point. Many people just focus on one specific muscle group. For every push exercise you should also do a pull exercise to work the opposing muscle group. This creates balance and avoids injury.

  7. Nicole says:

    I love supersets & usually do a several different combinations of upper body/core/lower body to hit my whole body. Good luck with the awesomesauce arm muscles.

  8. Sounds like a good workout. I like the way you put it…add some zing. Supersets like many other approaches are a great way to shock your muscles with muscle confusion. Opposing muscles are a good idea, but sometimes I like to use complimentary muscles so that I can pre-exhaust a muscle. For example, when working chest, your shoulders and triceps take a significant portion of the load. If you superset with a shoulder press or triceps extension before a pressing movement your body will have to compensate by transferring more of the energy to the pectoral muscles.

    This is a great blog, keep up the good work. I have a health and fitness blog at fastfitfact.com and I really admire what you have done here.

  9. Jess says:

    I’ve never done anything like this exactly but I want to! I do something simnilar but not targeting opposing muscle groups. Instead it’s just doing some stupid exercises back to back in as quick a time as possible.

    I’m still hurting from a workout on Tuesday.

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