Super setting weight training-antagonistic approach

Weight training has always been my passion, I have always enjoyed working out in the gym but I have also spent my share of time working out at home also, I have found that sometimes I get my best workouts in at home. The gym is a great place for training with your gym buddies and they come in handy when you need a spotter and besides there is always more equipment for variety.

Quite often when you want to get some serious training In, it can be a little difficult when you want to move from one exercise to the next and a particular piece of training equipment can be tied up especially if the gym may be a little crowded. Most often if I work out at home is when I am super setting my weight training using the antagonistic approach.

What are super sets

Super sets are when you pair up two exercises that you train back to back, for example if you are super setting chest you might pair up inclined bench presses with dumbbell flyers. First you do a set of inclined bench presses and as soon as you set the weight down right away you pick up a pair of dumbbells and start reping out with dumbbell flyers.

The other approach for super sets is to pair up two different muscle groups, for example could be chest and back, super setting chest and back together is an antagonistic approach. An example of super setting chest and back together could be a set of bench presses followed right away by doing a set of T bar rows for your back.

I love doing the antagonistic approach for super sets because you are working two opposing muscle groups at once, the pump is incredible, they are a real intense way to workout and the workouts are quick, you work out, you get your pump and you move on with the day.

Super set #1

My first super set for chest and back are the bench press and barbell rows. First I start with the bench presses, depending on what I feel like doing on a given day I either do flat benches inclined or declined benches, I always like to add a wide variety to my workout keeping the muscles guessing as to what I’m going to throw at them next.

I start with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip, when I lower the bar I come to just touching my chest with the bar and then push the bar up with maximum force and not locking my elbows out just short of full arms length, I do this to keep continuous tension on my chest and then lower the bar back to my chest with slow an continuous motion never bouncing the bar of my chest.

As soon as I set the bar down back in its rack, without any hesitation I move right to the barbell rows which are a good move for packing the beef on your lat muscles. After I pull the bar from its rack I let the bar reach downward as far as I can to get a full stretch throughout my back, without depending on my lower back to do the hoisting I pull the bar to my midsection with maximum force and slowly lower the bar until I get that full stretch.

When I pull the bar up I always make sure that I keep an arch to my lower back and pull my shoulders back when I’m pulling the bar up. I do 4 sets of 10-12 reps for each the bench press and barbell rows.

Super set #2

My next super set is the dumbbell benches with T bar rows. First I start with flat bench dumbbell benches or inclined dumbbell benches, depending on what I feel like doing that day. Dumbbell benches I will raise and lower the weights with slow and continues tension always being in full control of the weights at all times, this can really give you a good burn throughout the chest.

As soon as I finish with my set of dumbbell benches I drop the weights to the floor and move right on to the T bar rows. This is another good exercise for packing the muscle on your lats. With the T bar rows I follow the same principle as the barbell rows,

I lower the bar down as far as I can stretch the back muscles and drive the bar to my midsection with maximum force and then lower slowly with full control over the weight. The dumbbell benches and T bar rows I do for 4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Super set #3

My next super set for chest and back are bench pull overs for chest and dumbbell rows for back. First I start out with bench pull overs, these I either use a dumbbell or a straight bar depending on what I feel like throwing at chest that day. The dumbbell and the barbell will give you two different grip variations which will target your chest in a slightly different way.

I lay my upper back across a bench keeping my hips lower to the floor, I cup my hands inside grip of a dumbbell holding it directly above my chest and slowly lower the weight stretching back, letting the weight drop behind my head, without bouncing the weight I keep full control of the weight pulling it back over head keeping a slight bend in my elbows, hips low and squeezing the chest muscles while pulling the weight up.

When doing this exercise with a barbell I use a slightly narrower than shoulder width grip with palms facing upwards. As soon as I finish with the pull overs I set the weight down and right away I move onto the dumbbell rows.

The dumbbell rows are a good way to put the concentration into one side at a time and with this one you can get a real good stretch throughout your lat muscles. At the bottom of the position I let my shoulder sway forward getting a good stretch and then pulling the weight back with maximum force until the dumbbell is at my side.

While keeping continuous control of the weight I slowly lower the weight, when reaching the bottom of the move once again I let my shoulder sway forward getting that stretch throughout the lat muscles.

For the bench pull overs and dumbbell rows I do 4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Super set #4

My final super set for chest and back are cable crossovers and cable rows. First I start with cable crossovers which are a good finishing move for chest, good for finishing off your pump. Cable crossovers are also a good move for creating that chiseled look to the center of your chest.

With this exercise make sure you concentrate on a slow continuous tension letting your chest muscles do the work and really feel the burn throughout your chest and when you pull the cables forward really concentrate on squeezing your chest muscles to really set those pec muscles on fire.

As soon as I finish with a set of cable crossovers I move right over to the cable rows which are a good exercise to finish your back routine of. The earlier part of my back routine I like to pound out the heavier mass building moves like barbell rows and T bar rows, by the time I get done with those moves my back is really feeling pumped, that’s when I like to incorporate cable exercises into my routine.

With the cable rows you can lean forward and really get a good stretch to your lat muscles. Keep the motion slow and continuous when lowering the weight, when pulling the cable back use maximum force keeping your lower back pulled in and pulling your shoulders back when pulling the cable to your midsection.

The cable crossovers and cable rows I do 4 sets of 15 reps for each.


Give super sets a try for chest and back if you haven’t already, they make for a real good workout when pairing the two together. Always remember to lift smart and use a training partner when possible.

Give these exercises a try or if there are others don’t be afraid to mix things up in your workouts. Doing the same repetitive thing over and over again will lead to limited results and use strict form with slow and continuous motion.

I wish you the best and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below.

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