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  • Q & A – Episode 1: Supersets

    By Travis Steffen on Friday, September 24, 2010in Other  

    This is the first of many blog entries that will answer some of the most common questions we’re asked here at WorkoutBOX.

    When starting their WorkoutBOX Training Program, many users don’t bother to read the instructions. They’re eager to get started.

    I don’t blame them. It’s great to see that they’re ready to start making positive changes to their bodies immediately. But sometimes in doing so, people miss some extremely valuable “how-to” sections.


    The first section people can skip over is the paragraph explaining how to perform a superset. For those of you who are still in the dark on this, this blog post is for you.

    (If you already know what supersets, compound sets, circuits and supercircuits are, feel free to skip this entry.)

    Supersets as used in our Training Programs are meant as ways of providing your muscles with additional stress, which will then help with forcing adaptations.

    They’re performed when we have you perform a certain exercise with a heavy weight. After you’ve performed that exercise for all required reps, you then switch to either a different exercise that targets the same or similar muscle groups without any rest in between those sets.

    When you get all of those reps done, then and ONLY then do you get your scheduled rest period. That’s one superset. Repeat that for all required supersets.

    For example, the photo below is from one of our most popular programs, The Foundation for Fat Loss.

    The number 4 means the 4th set grouping of the program, and “Superset 2″ means that this is the second superset listed for this particular day.

    So you’ll perform 10 reps of dumbbell flyes, then you’ll move quickly over to 10 push up with no break in between those two exercises. Again, that’s one superset.

    See where it says “3 sets”? That means you’re going to be doing this particular superset 3 times.

    *Note* – If the two exercises in a superset are the same exercise, but the second is supposed to simply be with a lighter weight, that’s technically called a drop set (which basically means you get all your reps in with one weight, drop it, then pick up a lighter one). In some cases, we call this a superset to avoid confusing you too much, as it’s performed in the same way and achieves a similar goal.

    Now you may also see something called a compound set within your program.

    A Compound Set is performed in the same way as a superset, but it contains exercises that target different muscle groups. This is a way for you to rest one muscle group while working another. Among the numerous benefits of this type of training, you save a lot of time by cutting out rest periods you’d otherwise take by doing each exercise individually.

    Here’s an example of how a compound set might look:

    While the dumbbell bench press targets the chest, leg curls target the hamstrings. There’s no involvement of the second muscle group in the first exercise, and vice versa.

    We also include circuits and supercircuits in our more advanced programs. Rather than going into the specific examples of each, I’ll just say that they’re performed in a very similar way.

    Hopefully this clears things up for some of you! If you’ve got a question you think we should address in a WorkoutBOX Q & A, email us at with “Q & A Idea” in the subject line. If it’s a commonly-asked question, we’ll likely cover it at some point.

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
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