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Advanced Techniques – Supersets, Trisets and Giant sets

Advanced techniques are specially designed set, rep or exercise schemes, that are used to increase the intensity of your workouts. They can introduce a whole new meaning of the word “intense” in your workout. But, be warned, training systems can be really though! You can expect some really bad DOMS a few days after this kind of workout.

Supersets
Supersets involve performing two exercises back-to-back without any rest in between. Supersets can be agonistic or antagonistic in nature. Agonistic supersets use pairs of similar exercises while antagonistic supersets use exercises that can be thought of as opposites.

Agonistic supersets increase the amount of work done by the target muscle. By performing two similar exercises with no rest, your muscles will have to work longer and harder than normal. This is a great way to increase local muscular endurance and lactic acid tolerance. On the down side, because you will already be fatigued when you begin the second exercise, you won’t be able to use as much weight or perform as many repetitions as usual. For those of you who train at home or who don’t have access to heavy enough weights, this type of superset means you can still overload your muscles albeit with repetition volume rather than load.

Antagonistic supersets enhance recovery and also save time. Because of a phenomenon called reciprocal inhibition, when one muscle contracts, the muscle located on the opposite side of the same joint must relax. This forced relaxation enhances recovery speed. By performing exercises that are essentially opposites, you force the opposing muscles to relax and therefore recover in less time. This negates the need for so much rest so not only do you save time because you are not resting between exercises; you also need less rest between pairings. Antagonistic supersets are suitable for most training goals including endurance, hypertrophy and strength.

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