Image by SuperFantastic
Stubborn fat is a bitch. Through all the research I’ve been doing, there is only one really way of destroying stubborn fat: make your workouts more intense! Work harder. Sweat like you’ve never sweat before, and really kill yourself under those weights.One of my all time favorite training methods is superset training. This isn’t something new. It’s been beaten over your head over and over and over again. Superset training is a common bodybuilding method where two or more exercises are performed one after another. These exercises often have some sort of flow to them. Here are a few variations of superset training:
- Work the Same Muscle – You perform two different exercisess for the same muscle group. One example of this would be to perform a set of push-ups followed by a set of incline push-ups.
- Isolation/Compound - Perform an isolation movement, followed by a compound movement. For example, perform a set of Drag Curls followed by Power Cleans.
- Antagonistic Supersets – This big word simply means that you perform two different exercises for opposing body-parts. One example would be to perform a set of push-ups followed by pull-ups
- Upper Body/Lower Body – Perform a set of an upper body exercise, followed by a lower body exercise. For example, perform a set of push-ups, followed by body-weight squats.
- In-Set/ Hybrid Moves – Combine two movements that flow well together and work them in a set. For example, combine the push-ups and the squat jump, and you have the burpee.
Benefits of Superset Training:
- Allows you to perform the same amount of work in a shorter period of time.
- Adds excitement to your workout, and prevents boredom
- Provides an incredible muscle pump, causing greater muscle growth
- Allows you to train like an athlete forcing you to work hard
Why Superset Training Helps you Burn Fat and Build Muscle
The muscle pump you feel is actually Lactic Acid production. Lactic acid is a major player in the way our bodies generate energy during exercise. Before I tell you exactly how supersets aid in fat loss and mass gain, you need to know exactly what lactic acid is.
What is Lactic Acid?
- Formed from the breakdown of glucose when glucose from dietary carbohydrates reaches muscle after bypassing the liver and entering general circulation.
- Then, goes back into the blood and returns to the liver. Here it is used to make liver glycogen.
- Known as the “Glucose Paradox.”
What does Lactic Acid Do?
- Fuels glucose and glycogen production in the liver
- Helps us use dietary carbohydrates more efficiently
- Serves as a quick energy fuel preferred by the heart and muscles
- Important to mechanisms involved in how we adapt to stress
- Important key to athletic success in high intensity sport
- Stimulates testosterone production
- Signals release of human growth hormone from pituitary gland
- Can be transported between cells to supply additional energy for work
Why Do I feel the Burning?
- Lactic Acid is not what is creating the burning sensation. It is actually hydrogen ion, the acid in lactic acid which interferes with electrical signals in nerve and muscle tissue. Hydrogen ion is made when lactic acid splits into lactate ion, and hydrogen ion.
- When Lactic Acid enters our blood faster than our ability to remove or control it, hydrogen ions begin to lower the pH of muscle, creating an acidic environment. This process interferes with our performance.
Here’s a great way to lose fat without working out! – Image by neb_boyWhat is HGH?
- Human Growth Hormone, or HGH is a naturally producing hormone in our bodies. Along with testosterone, it is one of the reasons why we have 300lb bodybuilders walking amongst us.
- Plays an important role in regulation of body fat levels, immune system, muscle mass, recovery, and other bodily functions.
- HGH is present in the body at a rate of 500 micrograms in the blood between the ages of 20 and 30.
- As you age, HGH in our bodies starts to decline, leading to a steady loss of muscle mass, skin elasticity, fat gain, and many other physical changes.
- The daily production falls below 60 micrograms at age 80.
- Produced by the anterior pituitary gland, stimulated by the Hypothalamus.
This guy’s HGH levels aren’t going down anytime soon. – Image by DarthAbraham
Benefits of HGH
- Promotes and increases the synthesis of new protein tissues. This aids in muscle recovery and repair.
- Involved in the metabolism of body-fat and it’s conversion to energy.
- Improves sleep patterns.
- Produces more energy.
- Improves sexual performance.
- Build stronger bones, and reduces osteoporosis.
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves cholesterol profiles
- Slows aging
- Reduces the risk of Developing Type 2 diabetes
The Connection Between Supersets, Lactic Acid, and Growth Hormone
- Short, intense bursts of exercise work best to stimulate the natural production of growth hormone.
- Supersets training is a form of intense exercise which releases Lactic Acid as a method of providing energy for the muscles
- When Lactic Acid splits into a lactate ion and hydrogen ion, the hydrogen ions begin to lower the pH of muscle, creating an acidic environment, as discussed earlier.
- When the pH is lowered, it triggers a release of HGH as a way to aid in muscle recovery and repair.
- The more HGH you release, the bigger and leaner you’ll get.
How can I Design a Supersets Training Program?
- Best method for fat loss is to use upper/lower split
- For a three-day per week program, Choose six exercises, 3 upper body and 3 lower body
- For each day, choose one upper body exercise and one lower body exercise.
- Organize the exercises using the templates below
Superset Training Templates
- Perform 21-15-9 repetitions of each
- Perform 3 rounds for time
- Perform 4 rounds for time
- Perform 5 rounds for time
- Perform maximum rounds in 20 minutes
- Perform 50-40-30-20-10 reps of each
- Use inverse pyramid scheme, such as 10-1, 9-2, 8-3, etc.
BONUS TIP: Hybrid Superset Training
- A hybrid is a movement where two or more exercises that flow well together are combined to form a new exercise.
- Some examples include burpees (push-ups + squat jump), thruster (front squat + press), and sumo deadlift high pull (sumo deadlift + close-grip upright row).
- These movements can be seen as being a form of supersets, as they incorporate two different movements performed back to back without rest.
- Hybrid Superset training is simply performing two Hybrid movements back to back as supersets. Here is a sample workout: