If you’ve been training your chest consistently and feel you’re ready to move up a level, you may be thinking – what can you do differently to increase strength and ultimately put extra mass on your pecs. Well, one of the methods you can implement into a really good chest workout routine is superset training.
So what is a superset? The super setting usually involves performing two or in some cases three consecutive sets of different exercises that target the same muscle group. The idea behind the technique is to place extra stress on the muscle than what would normally occur during a
standard working set. This extra stress placed on your muscles during the subsequent set(s), in turn, recruits extra muscle fibers in order to complete the execution of the exercise. This is the basis of hypertrophy – or training for increases in muscle size.
For training the chest, the superset method is an excellent way of breaking through training plateaus. The problem with sticking to the standard way of training i.e. do one set, rest, do another set – is that after a while, the muscle isn’t being stimulated enough and may stop continuing to respond and adapt to the training. This is what we call a plateau – basically your chest stops growing. So try supersets to break out of the routine.
This type of training can be demanding though, so you should already have reached a good base level of strength through prior training. You will likely experience more muscle soreness in your chest a day or two after superset workouts, especially if you train to failure on the second set.
Below is an example of a superset. Include it as part of an effective chest workout routine for men:
Set 1 – Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes
This is an isolation exercise, that works the pecs in isolation without any help from other muscle groups.
Lie down on a bench, face-up with a dumbbell in each hand. Bring the dumbbells together so that they are directly over the middle of your chest. This is the beginning position. With your elbows bent at ninety degrees, allow your arms to move downwards until your elbows are in the same plane as your pecs. Stretch the chest and slowly move your hands in an arc-like motion back up together until they are once again in the starting position.
No rest – this is a Superset. Go straight to Set 2!
Set 2 – Incline Barbell Press
This is a compound exercise, that will target the upper pecs. Your middle and lower pecs have been pre-exhausted from Set 1 – so now the upper pecs will be forced to do most of the work during this set.
Quickly move to the incline bench, which should be set between 45-60 degrees. Grab the barbell at around shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Inhale and lower the barbell until it touches the chest, then extend the arms upward while exhaling.
Rest for 2-3 minutes before repeating the superset.
Aim for 3 sets in total. Increase the weight progressively while decreasing the number of reps.
Note: Training to failure during a superset workout is a common technique, but you shouldn’t necessarily do it for every workout, as it places a lot of stress on the central nervous system.
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