Steven Conner Skeen
Contact Steven Conner Skeen
I was talking to one of my great friends recently about their workouts and what they’re doing when they hit the gym. He kept coming back to this phrase:
“I just don’t know what to do when I’m there. I wish I could just work out with you and follow your routine.”
This is a huge problem for a lot of people not only when they go to the gym, but it’s a huge problem that’s keeping a lot of those same people out of the gym entirely. They’re overwhelmed, they’re intimidated, and they have no idea where to begin with the mountains of youtube videos and blog posts plastered all over the internet.
Who do you listen to? Who can you trust? What works and what doesn’t? Where do I start?
These are just a few of the numerous questions most people have when they’ve made the decision to start hitting the gym and living a healthier life, and you just might be one of those people.
This post won’t be a magical solution to every question you might have if you’re just getting started in the gym, but by the end of it, you’ll have a really great and really simple starting point to go from.
If you’ve read my other post about Sets, Reps, and Supersets, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of supersetting. Supersetting means doing one exercise, then immediately doing a different exercise afterwards.
For example: If you performed sets of calf raises directly after your sets of squats, you’d be supersetting your squats with calf raises.
I want to focus this post on how you can structure and specifically leverage your supersets. Reason being – there’s an optimal and a not so optimal way to structure your supersets. A prime example of a not so optimal superset would be hitting bench press and supersetting with tricep extensions. Why? Because your triceps are a major muscle group that help you during your bench. If you’re working them in between your bench sets, you’ll be smoked before you can even get that epic chest session off the ground.
To avoid this but still take advantage of supersetting, I love to superset opposites. Let me show you exactly what I’m talking about by diving into my very own weekly gym schedule.
Here’s how I structure the major muscle groups in my workouts throughout the week.
Monday I hit legs. Tuesday I hit shoulders. Then to give my shoulders a chance to recoup before I hit chest, I work Back on Wednesday. Then chest Thursday, and legs again on Friday. I work legs twice a week due to the fact that they’re a massive muscle group, and simply because strong, jacked legs are badass.
Now let’s talk supersets. What do I superset while working each muscle group throughout the week? I’ll be honest, it varies, but down below I’ll share exactly what I vary between. However I do hit core every single workout, Monday through Friday. Keep in mind, my goal with supersetting is to hit those muscle groups that I view as secondary and that I don’t want to use an entire gym session to hit. For me, these secondary muscle groups are Biceps, Triceps, Calves, Core, and Traps (trapezius).
I’ll superset my leg exercises with:
What to superset your shoulder day with? These are the exercises I’ll superset when I hit shoulders:
Working back on wednesday, I refrain from working biceps or anything that requires me to work biceps, or use grip strength. I don’t work biceps on back day since the biceps are huge secondary muscles when you’re performing most back exercises. Keeping them as fatigue free as possible while working back helps me to train my focus during each exercise solely on my back. This is the same reasoning as to why I don’t do any exercises like shrugs, that utilize large amounts of grip strength.Anyways, here’s what I superset with Back day:
Chest day baby! Almost every man’s favorite gym day of the week… lol. Here’s what I superset on chest day:
Leg day again for this guy. It’s funny, I love doing legs on Monday and Friday because the squat rack is always the most empty on Monday and Friday. Who wants to put in work on Monday and Friday right!? It’s something I totally take advantage of. In addition to working legs again, this is what I’ll superset with them.
You can structure your supersets in whatever fashion best fits your goals, but this is how I structure them. Don’t worry though, this isn’t where I’ll send you on your marry way expecting you to know exactly what kind of exercises I do when I hit those supersets.
Here’s a list of exercises that I’ll vary between for the supersets and their muscle groups:
- Single arm overhead tricep extension
- Single arm cable tricep extension
- Dumbbell single arm skull crushers
- Alternating dumbbell curl
- Bent over concentrated dumbbell curl
- Hammer curl
- Shrugs – I always use dumbbells, but you can also use the smith machine to perform shrugs.
- Seated calf raise
- Standing calf raise
- Russian Twists
- Flutter Kicks
- Straight Leg Raises
- Ab wheel
I don’t have any specific routine as to which superset exercises I choose to do for each individual muscle group in this superset list. I love to keep things simple. Depending on what day it is and what main muscle group I’m working, I simply choose which superset exercises I’d like to do for that workout. Just make sure you’re rotating through different superset exercises from workout to workout to ensure you’re hitting all your muscle groups.
If you have any questions shoot me an email by clicking my contributor profile photo at the top of this post.
Lastly, the fact that you’re here, the fact that you’ve taken it upon yourself to get prepared or to get some new ideas, is noteworthy and commendable. Keep learning, keep growing, and crush your goals both in and out of the gym.