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Highly Effective Chest Building Superset

Highly Effective Chest Building Dropset

I’ve been experimenting in the gym with some really cool elastic band variations for different exercises.  In this article, I will show two unique chest building exercises that can be linked into a very effective muscle building superset.

Mess You Up

The key to really creating adaptations and change in your muscles is intensity.  Many advanced lifters and athletes typically create dropsets for their supplemental work.

A dropset is when you utilize the same exercise and keep performing the movement, lowering the weight progressively as you burn out.  The intensity is still high with dropsets, but the issue arises when the weight has to be lowered, typically the range of motion is shortened and the quality of the movement suffers.

Dropset Example: 

Exercise:  Bench Press

Set 1 – Perform the set with a specific weight, drop the weight, no rest

Set 2 – Perform the set with the lower weight, drop the weight, no rest

Set 3 – Perform the set with the lower weight, drop the weight, no rest

Set 4 – Perform the set with the lower weight, drop the weight, no rest

Like dropsets, supersets are another effective training variation to kick up your training to the next level in the gym.  But unlike dropsets, you will exercises during a superset.  After performing the first exercise, you can either incorporate another exercise to target the same muscle groups OR change the focus to the antagonist, stabilizing muscle groups (reverse movement pattern).  The idea is that you can keep the intensity high because the focus on your muscles changes as you progress through the set. In reality, there are literally TONS of different superset variations and you are only limited by your imagination.  The key is to try and not affect the performance of the secondary movement by choosing one that is too similar to the first movement.

Superset Example 1 (antagonistic muscle groups): 

Exercise 1:  Push-ups

Exercise 2:  Inverted Rows

Set 1 – Exercise 1, no rest, Exercise 2, rest

Set 2 – Exercise 1, no rest, Exercise 2, rest

Set 3 – Exercise 1, no rest, Exercise 2, rest

Set 4 – Exercise 1, no rest, Exercise 2 – DONE

Superset Example 2 (same muscle groups): 

Exercise 1:  Band Resisted DB Bench Press

Exercise 2:  Band Flyes

Set 1 – Exercise 1, no rest, Exercise 2, rest

Set 2 – Exercise 1, no rest, Exercise 2, rest

Set 3 – Exercise 1, no rest, Exercise 2, rest

Set 4 – Exercise 1, no rest, Exercise 2 – DONE

Both dropsets and supersets are great for the advanced lifter who has the ability to control every exercise and perform quality repetitions, even in a fatigued state.  Because of the intensity, you must also be mentally focused and ready to go before the set begins.  Be aware, don’t forget to be honest with your rest periods.  You’ll want to rest longer as each set with take a lot out of you.

In the comments, post your favorite dropset exercise or superset combination!

By on March 14th, 2012

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Comments (10)

  1. Posted by - Anonymous on March 14, 2012

    It only take one rep to know this is going to be great and take your workout and your body to new places … awesome .. thanks

  2. Posted by - Anthonyasjr on March 14, 2012

    Very Nice, Different, Good actually to warm up the chest region.

  3. Posted by - Keithmolloy on March 14, 2012

    Smitty,
    thanks for posting. I’m RBT certified through Dave Schmitz, and I use bands a lot….attached, unattached, partner…love bands for power, joint mobility, conditioning, etc.
    But I haven’t used either of these movements w/ bands, & I look forward to trying it myself before I pass it along to my clients.
    keep up the good work. I have learned a lot of great content from you & Diesel
    ….as well as great life perspective
    Sincerely, Keith

  4. Posted by - David Perry on March 15, 2012

    Just a coincidence but I did a very similar workout with the bands this morning and just read your article…that’s some firm confirmation. Keep up the good work smitty!

  5. Posted by - Brad Turk on March 15, 2012

    Great stuff Smitty. Who was the knucklehead trying to distract you and dropping f bombs?

  6. Posted by - Mark Shiels on March 15, 2012

    I have recently started experimenting with Flat barbell press and farmers walk

    hit like 6×3 on the bench around 80-90%% 1rm
    then all kinds of farmers i.e overhead walks, suitcase, bear hugs

    on other news, this post is bad ass, keep them coming

  7. Posted by - Andrew Webber on March 15, 2012

    my favourite/most hated superset at the moment is 45 degree hypers against a band, paired with ab wheel rollouts

  8. Posted by - Stevencorso on March 15, 2012

    My favorite is double KB cleans and presses (each rep is both a clean to the rack and a press) and chin-ups (palms facing me). I do these in volume within time style–I set a Gymboss for 20 minutes and perform 4 reps of each, moving from one to the other and only resting VERY briefly between super sets–maybe 5 or 6 breaths. My best so far has been 24 super sets in 20 minutes with 24kg KBs, so it amount to about 10,000 lbs of volume in 20 minutes. It can get pretty gruelling

  9. Posted by - Shannan Maciejewski on March 16, 2012

    Nice Post.

    Love all the ideas.

    A nice superset for the shoulders I have used is
    1a Prone rear delt flys
    b Band DB Lateral Raises: you will need a light band for this.

    Lead with the pinky on b and you will get a nice med and rear delt fire!

  10. Posted by - Wan on March 20, 2012

    I love supersets ! some of my favorites..
    Upper body:
    Bench press – Barbell rows
    Incline bench press – Pull-ups
    Overhead press – Chin-ups

    Lower body & core:
    Goblet Squats – Upright rows
    Front Squats – Step-ups
    Reverse crunches – Ab wheel (kneeling)

    Now looking for something to pair Split-squats or Walking lunges with.. any ideas?

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