Super Sets: Boosting Work-out Intensity
Super sets are a form High Intensity Training (HIT) that places a greater load on your muscles, forcing them to adapt and grow in size and strength. Traditionally, super sets were used to train opposing muscle groups simultaneously, like the biceps and triceps.
You would perform a set of curls and then immediately move to a set of tricep extensions, for example. This would give you the infamous “pump” that Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about in the movie “Pumping Iron.” Your arms would fill with blood due to both the biceps and triceps getting worked out.
But super sets don't have to be with opposing muscle groups. You can greatly increase your exercise intensity by performing two sets of different exercises for the same body part. For example, you can do chin-ups, followed immediately by bent-over rows. Each of these exercises works the latissimus dorsi muscle, or “lats,” but each in a slightly different way.
Another form of the super set is through the use of the Pre-Exhaustion principle. The idea behind this is that for large body parts, like the pectorals or lats, the smaller, supporting muscles like the forearms and biceps fatigue sooner than the more massive lats, thereby affecting your ability to stimulate your lats. Your biceps will simply fail before your lats will.
So, you do an exercise that isolates the lats first, then you follow up with a compound exercise like chins or lat pull-downs.