Let’s put another weapon into our arsenal of workout styles designed to break through your workout plateau: supersets.
There are many different styles of supersetting exercises, but the most basic (and I think most effective) is the agonist – antagonist approach.
This means nothing but first working the muscle you plateaued on and then directly the muscle working against it:
Example Superset Muscle Combinations
I said in the video that I will give you some examples for good agonist – antagonist combinations and here they are:
|Front Shoulder||Back Shoulder|
Of course each antagonist can also be the agonist. So if your triceps is lagging behind, you will use it as the agonist, and the biceps becomes the antagonist.
Example Superset Exercise Combinations
Let’s now look at example exercise combinations:
|Plateaued Muscle||First Exercise||Second Exercise|
|Chest||Bench Press||Dumbbell Rows|
|Front Shoulder||Shoulder Press||Lying Rear Delt Raises|
Don’t Superset Squats!
If you wonder why I didn’t list squats, it’s because of what is known as “Lombard’s Paradox”: when getting up from a squatting position, both the quadriceps and the hamstrings contract, despite them being antagonists.
This mechanism is what basically allows us to walk, but not what we want when working out legs. Therefore don’t go agonist / antagonist superset with squats.
Picture courtesy of the U.S. Army.