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Supersets save time in the gym: which may help you reach fitness goals faster. [Blog post]

Clark, David R.; Langan-Evans, Carl; Erskine, Rob


Carl Langan-Evans

Rob Erskine


Resistance training is an increasingly popular way to build strength, lose weight and get in shape. But despite its many benefits, it can also be time consuming – which is why many fitness enthusiasts have started incorporating "supersets" into gym routines. When done properly, supersets have the potential to help you build strength and muscle – all while spending less time in the gym. Sometimes called paired sets, supersets are a form of strength training in which you perform a set of repetitions of usually two exercises, back-to-back with minimal or no rest between them. The exercises should also target opposing muscle groups – namely the agonists (the force-generating muscles) and the antagonists (the muscle that relaxes when the agonist contracts). For example, leg curls (where the hamstrings are the agonists and the quadriceps the antagonists) would typically be followed by leg extensions (where the quadriceps are the agonists and the hamstrings the antagonists) to make up a superset. However, many people perform supersets incorrectly. Many believe supersets to be the same as compound sets, in which two exercises engaging the same muscle group are performed back-to-back. Or they get confused with contrast training, in which two similar exercises are paired to increase power, the first performed with a heavier load, while the second is performed explosively with a lighter load – such as heavy squats followed by vertical jumps. Many also think supersets comprise upper and lower body exercises performed in succession.


CLARK, D.R., LANGAN-EVANS, C. and ERSKINE, R. 2020. Supersets save time in the gym: which may help you reach fitness goals faster. [Blog post]. Posted on The Conservation UK [online], 27 November 2020. Available from:

Digital Artefact Type Website Content
Publication Date Nov 27, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2024
Publicly Available Date Feb 6, 2024
Publisher The Conversation International
Keywords Exercise; Weight loss; Fitness; Weight training; Weightlifting; Sports training
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