A superset is a pair of exercises performed one after another with little or no rest between sets. Immediately upon the completion of your set of reps, you move to the next exercise in the sequence. From that point, you either rest and repeat the sequence or go to another exercise. While you have probably done this type of training before on specific body parts, when applied for a complete cycle of the entire body over several weeks, the results can provide the solid gains that have been eluding you.
Also, instead of just using the push-pull or antagonistic method for the arms, you are going to build an entire routine out of a single concept and push your limits. Your workouts will alternate between longer, heavy-duty, big-set training days and quicker, intense-drive-set training days. By the end of the week you will have hit every muscle fiber at every angle, bringing about maximal muscle recruitment and laying down the foundation for longterm gains.
YES, STRENGTH DOES BUILD SIZE
The strength vs. size debate continues to push the envelope in determining the best course of action for developing a killer training program. Intuition would automatically suggest stronger equals bigger, but practice has shown otherwise. Mass is a term that has had a tough fate when it comes to finding its true home. Mass may be more closely related with size than it is with strength. Strength, however, reigns as king when it comes to dominance in the weight room and supersedes all other training adaptations in terms of immediate results. You will notice gains in strength far before those seen in size. And, if you continue to build strength, when looking to build size, you will be able to handle a greater load than you were able to before, thus increasing your overall total volume per training session. This means size, mass, or whatever you want to call freaky big muscles, will come steadily. To optimally build thick muscles, you need to incorporate a variety of styles that attack both strength and size so that neither gets left behind.
PUTTING THE “SUPER” IN SUPERSETS
Typically, supersets are performed with antagonistic exercises, but you could make the second exercise one that uses the same muscle group. And, technically speaking, a dropset or a pre-exhaust or post-exhaust pair of exercises could also be considered a superset. For the purpose of our training protocol, however, we are going to purposely train antagonistic muscle groups by alternating between exercises that specifically address key muscles. But since we want entire body thickness and size, this program ups the ante by hitting muscles at a variety of angles across several different pulling and pushing sequences. This way, no stone is left unturned, or better put, no muscle is left to question whether or not it will get hit; it definitely will.
Since most of you have probably applied the push-pull or antagonistic training approach to the smaller muscle groups such as the arms, you are probably well aware that continual supersets with minimal rest can quickly lead to exhaustion. When expanding the methodology to larger muscles, fatigue—in the form of lactic acid burning—quickly supervenes and needs to be considered. To this end, approach this program with caution if expecting to perform large volume in a short period of time.
Having said that, there are two different approaches to the same muscle group combinations each week. The intent is to improve blood flow, increase pumps, and attack the volume that is needed to invoke serious muscle growth. By alternating workouts each week, you invoke the release of key hormones that activate and accelerate muscle growth, as well as improve your ability to handle volume against a faster pace. And the fact that you get a killer pump while doing this certainly doesn’t hurt this equation for building optimal muscle size.
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