A Unique Superset Routine for Super-Size Arms

Super Sets for Arms

Always Try New Methods in Bodybuilding

fitFLEX Articles - Learn, Share and Discover

Have you ever wondered what happened to an old friend with whom you used to be so close? The two of you really clicked, but time went on, you lost touch with each other, and although you had the best intentions of staying close, daily distractions kept you apart. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into years. Before long that great kinship became just a vague recollection. Once you get to that point you may think: 'No sense trying to get it back now. What's the use?'

As bodybuilders, we develop friendships as well. Yet in our case, the friends aren't only the people we meet along the way -those with whom we may share thoughts and opinions on everything from training tips to supplement strategies - but also the training methods we used to get us to where we are today. Every technique, every workout routine, every new angle on an exercise, succeeds to some degree in bringing us closer to our goal of possessing the ultimate body. Just as the time eventually comes when, as awkward as you may feel, you have to pick up the phone and touch base with your old buddy, the time comes when you must resurrect an old training routine. One such technique is the use of supersets. Remember them?

Virtually every bodybuilder who's been at the game for a while has done supersets at some point. Almost everyone will admit they work extraordinarily well. Nonetheless, supersets are one of those old familiar friends that bodybuilders lose touch with. If they're so great, why did we leave them behind in the first place?

The answer could be as simple as adhering to a stable training protocol. Most body-builders like to hit each muscle group once a week. Usually that means a major bodypart and an assisting bodypart - e.g. back and bis or chest and tris. Some people like to make the smaller bodypart one that doesn't get worked when they're training the bigger muscle. For example, they'll do chest and biceps. Since no steadfast rules exist, either method will work just fine. The problem with the two-bodyparts-per-workout principle is that it eliminates the use of supersets in the way they're intended.

The rationale of supersetting isn't just to pile on a lot of sets or combine an isolation move with a compound move. Supersets are most effective for working opposing muscle groups nonstop. This approach serves two purposes. It keeps the area flushed with blood, allowing for a ferocious pump, and it keeps the energy expenditure constant, thus increasing thermogenesis resulting in increased fat loss. Not a bad deal.

One of the best applications of supersetting is with biceps and triceps work since you have two opposing muscle groups that are located in the same area. When you pump your biceps, the triceps receives blood, and vice versa. This technique really makes your arms balloon up! Since both the bis and tris are smaller muscle groups, they are an ideal choice for supersetting in that the procedure isn't too taxing. It still isn't easy, but it isn't like super-setting bench presses with chins! (Hmm, a plan to consider the next time you're feeling especially masochistic.)

All right, so the arms are a perfect choice to superset. That still leaves the problem of knocking them out of the loop of working either the bis or tris with a major muscle group. That's why you should reserve supersetting for times when you want to prioritize a bodypart. Do your arms need extra work?

Incorporating some exercises that aren't so common adds magnitude to a superset routine. The following program is a specific superset combo that's designed to shift your arm growth into high gear. Do it on a day when you don't plan to train any other bodypart. This is all arms. We start with ..

Superset 1

Elevated Alternating Curls

This exercise is a variation of the standard alternate curl you would do either seated or standing. With the elevated curl, once you bring your arm up to a contracted position, you then raise the elbow, thus increasing the contraction and tension. Use deliberate form with this one for maximum benefit. Select a weight that makes you work but isn't so heavy you have to cheat. Go short of total failure for now. After completing this set, move onto ..

Overhead Barbell Triceps Extensions

Here we have an ideal isolation move for etching in detail throughout the triceps. Keep your elbow fixed as you bring the bar back and overhead. Once again, don't sacrifice form by using too heavy a weight, especially in this first set. Stop just short of failure. With as little rest as possible between sets, repeat this superset three times and move on to ..

Superset 2

Seated Barbell Curls

Wait a minute. Seated barbell curls? Yep, this is a great rarely used movement for adding massive amounts of meat to the biceps. While seated, grip a barbell in the curling position and place it on your lap. Now curl it up without cheating, keeping your elbows back. In essence this is a half-curl, but because it requires such precision, it works the biceps in a very complete manner. Try to reach close to failure (with good form) after 8 to 10 reps and move directly to ..

Triceps Pushdowns

Although your arms should be flushed by now, the movement required for the triceps pushdown should not be too difficult since it requires a fresh body angle. Don't let that be an excuse to just throw the weight around, however. Stay strict. Go until you no longer can do another full-range rep past 10 reps with good form. Complete this superset three times.

Superset 3

Preacher-Bench Curls

Use a straight bar for these curls as it will put more emphasis directly on the biceps. Once again, good form is the theme. All too often you may notice guys hoisting their body backward when trying to lift too much weight in this exercise. All that does is take the muscle building potential away from the biceps! Steady and slow is the way. Do 10 reps. Go immediately to a set of ..

Standing Barbell Curls

Concentrate on keeping your elbows back to deter any cheating. S-q-u-e-e-z-e each rep at the contracted position and lower slowly. At this point your bis should be gorged and bulging like baseballs! Now it's time to nail down the tris with ..

Dumbell Kickbacks

You may have heard this exercise isn't a great mass-builder, but when used with a heavy weight in a superset it's a killer pump-producer! You may use a little swing with this one. Just try to contract at the top of the movement and extract as much benefit as you can from each rep. Shoot for the works here - 15 reps if you can get 'em.

As with the previous exercise, rest for only 30 seconds and repeat this movement again. If you never knew the sensation of being really pumped before, you'll know now!

Supersets are a great technique that you shouldn't ignore. Even if you don't use them all the time, make a habit of revisiting them once in a while. With the techniques outlined here, you're bound to experience some potently productive workouts.

When embarking on a superset arm routine, try making the rest of your daily workouts supersetters as well. One day can be bis and tris. Another can be chest and back, or delts and traps. You can even superset separate bodyparts such as abs and calves. Supersets are not only effective, but they're also extremely versatile.

Maybe it's time you got to know them again. Sometimes old friends are the best friends.

Related Articles