Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

What are the benefits of post-exhaustion and pre-exhaustion supersets? They both can add muscle and definition to your body in a short amount of time.

A superset involves completing one exercise right after the other. You skip your break with this type of training. Basic supersets involve two (or more) lifts from opposing muscle groups. Examples include biceps with triceps or bench press with barbell rows.

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However, the superset targets the same muscle groups when discussing pre and post-exhaust supersets. Thus, you train muscle groups in either a single or multi-joint exercise. Then you quickly train with the opposite lift.

Doing so forces the target muscle to work beyond its normal range. You stress the target muscle before (pre) or after (post) the second exercise.

pre-exhaustion post-exhaustion supersets

How do pre-exhaustion supersets work differently from post-exhaustion supersets?

Remember to do the isolation (single joint) exercise first to make it easy. Also, this is because you are pre-exhausting the target muscle(s) before doing a larger compound (multi-joint) exercise.

Examples would include dumbbell flyes followed immediately by bench presses. Subsequently, you could use leg extensions (thighs) followed quickly by squats (thighs and your entire lower body).

In this example, pre-exhaustion your quads, then immediately train them again with squats. Also, this is a great way to work your target and support muscles!

Advantages of pre-exhaustion supersets

  • Training increases workout intensity by forcing the target muscle to fail. Therefore, push your muscle (or muscles) through even more training volume using a multi-joint exercise.
  • Supersets help you develop a mind-muscle connection. The single-joint exercise at the beginning forces you to focus on the targeted muscle group. Also, expand your focus on the muscles performing the multi-joint exercise.
  • Use pre-exhaustion supersets to recover after an injury or over-training from heavy exercise. Also, this method can stop stress on your ligaments and joints. Pre-exhaustion supersets are less likely to cause pain to your joints.

How post-exhaustion training works differently from pre-exhaustion supersets

During a post-exhaustion superset, you will first perform the “larger” multi-joint exercise and immediately follow it with a single-joint movement.

Using the previous examples, you would complete your squats first, followed quickly by leg extensions. In contrast, try bench presses followed immediately by dumbbell flyes. This approach will have you “feeling the burn.”

Advantages of post-exhaustion supersets

  • Supersets promote growth and density. The first multi-joint exercise recruits more muscle fibers and provides better metabolic benefits than the follow-up single-joint exercise.
  • Training allows you to single out a muscle or muscle group that needs extra work. For example, focus on muscles (like calves) that are hard to train or slow to grow.
  • Post-exhaust supersets burn more calories and boost your metabolism.

Supersets should be part of your training routine.

Post-exhaustion and pre-exhaustion supersets save time (less rest and more exercise). Therefore, increase your training intensity. Use supersets to overload your muscles with exhaustion.

Also, this makes your workout more challenging and adds a little fun. Exhaustion training promotes fresh growth and is useful when training past plateaus.

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By Terry Clark

Terry Clark is a math professor, certified fitness trainer, bodybuilding coach, nutrition specialist, writer, and fitness enthusiast. Terry loves working out, playing with numbers, solving problems, writing, and teaching.