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Choosing Your Superset Workout

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There are only 2 major parameters when choosing/designing a superset workout. They are:

Choosing Designing Your Superset Workout

1. Your primary workout/fitness objective; and
2. Your time constraints (time per day and number of days per week).

Step 1: Determine Your Primary Fitness Objective

Fitness objectives are many. Main objectives are:
  • Build muscle mass
  • Cut down (i.e. define existing muscle)
  • Tone muscle
  • Develop toned muscle
  • Burn fat
  • Lose weight (not my favorite objective – I prefer going by appearance and performance)
  • Improve flexibility
  • Improve cardio ability
  • Improve performance for a specific sport/activity
  • Feel better (improve overall fitness/wellbeing)
As mentioned before, it’s best to choose one objective during a workout cycle or phase (6 to 12 week duration).

Your objectives can change over time. For example, you might want to add some muscle mass now, but in 12 weeks want to define that muscle mass.

Another example is getting rid of unwanted fat now and once achieved, add some toned muscle.

And yet another example is training for a marathon and once completed work to improve flexibility or strength.

Don’t think that the fitness objective you choose now is your permanent objective. It can and likely will change over time.

Step 2: Determine How Much Time You Can Dedicate to Working Out

You must determine how long your workout sessions will be and how many you can fit in during the course of a week (up to six … I always take at least one day off … usually two days). The reason you must determine both workout session duration and workout frequency is so that you can create a workout that fits in those time constraints.

How Long do Weightlifting Sets Take?

Generally, 1 rep takes 3 seconds. A 12 rep set takes 36 seconds. However, you must also factor in setting up the equipment, moving to and from equipment, water breaks, and wiping down equipment.

As a rule of thumb, count on 1 minute per set for a single exercise. A 2 exercise superset will take 2 minutes.

Step 3: Putting the Superset Workout Together

It may be the case that you can go to the gym or work out at home 5 times per week, but you have only 30 minutes per session. Alternatively, your schedule may permit 75 minute workouts 3 times per week.

The point is you must configure your superset workout regimen to accommodate your week. In other words, plan your workout regimen by the week instead of by the day or by the month.

Are Supersets the Only Way to Work Out?

No. I don’t only do supersets. I’ve done a lot of them and will in the future. They’re just another workout tool to have in your “get in shape” arsenal.

view sample superset workouts here.