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Chest Superset Workout That Will Pump Up Your Pecs

Big, defined pecs are the hallmark of a great chest exercise routine. But when you’re time-poor, getting a great chest workout can be an additional challenge. That’s where this superset workout comes in. Supersets are a great way to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time, and they’re especially effective for building muscle.

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The key to making an effective superset is combining push and pull movements.This means that you’re working different muscle groups in each set, which is important for maintaining good form and preventing injuries.

However, chest muscles present a unique challenge: they’re one of the few muscle groups that don’t have a true antagonist. This means that you can’t effectively superset chest exercises with other exercises that target the same muscle group. With this in mind, we’ve put together a chest workout that uses supersets to target the pecs from all angles.

But first, we want to answer some common questions about supersets.

What Is A Superset?

A superset is when you perform two exercises back-to-back with no rest in between. This is a great way to save time and increase the intensity of your workout.

There are two types of supersets: antagonistic and agonist. Antagonistic supersets pair two exercises that work opposite muscle groups. For example, you could do a set of chest presses followed by a set of rows. This type of superset is great for beginners because it allows you to rest one muscle group while working the other (1) .

Agonist supersets are a bit more advanced and involve working the same muscle group. For example, you could do a set of incline dumbbell presses followed by a set of decline dumbbell presses. This type of superset is more challenging because you’re working the same muscle group back-to-back, but it’s an effective way to really fatigue those muscles and stimulate growth (1).

Read More: Bear Plank Chest Press: The Ultimate Workout To Tone Your Chest

Is It Good To Superset Chest?

Supersetting chest exercises is a great way to save time and increase the intensity of your workout. However, because the chest muscles don’t have a true antagonist, you need to be careful about which exercises you pair together.

For example, you wouldn’t want to do a set of bench presses followed by a set of flies because both exercises target the chest muscles. Instead, you could do a set of bench presses followed by a set of rows to work different muscle groups.

See also
How To Get Rid Of Chest Fat-The Most Effective Fat Burning Exercises

You can superset chest exercises with back exercises, shoulder exercises, or triceps exercises. Just be sure to pair exercises that target different muscle groups to get the most benefit from your supersets.

Do Supersets Build Muscle?

Supersets are an effective way to build muscle because they allow you to work different muscle groups back-to-back. This type of training is especially effective for building muscle because it allows you to fatigue the muscles more effectively (6)

In addition, supersets are a great way to save time. If you’re short on time, supersets are a great way to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time.

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What Exercises Are Good To Superset In A Chest Workout?

The key is to pair exercises that target different muscle groups. Below are some examples of chest exercises that you could superset:

Chest Push Exercises

These target the pecs, shoulders, and triceps.

1. Barbell Bench Press

The barbell bench press is a compound exercise that targets the pecs, shoulders, and triceps. 

To perform this exercise:

  1. Lie on a flat bench and grip the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Lower the barbell to your chest and then press it back up to the starting position.
  3. Maintain a slight arch in your back throughout the exercise and keep your feet flat on the floor.

Common variations of this exercise that involve a similar motion are:

  • Incline barbell/dumbbell press: the incline press targets the upper pecs more.
  • Decline barbell/dumbbell press: the decline press targets the lower pecs more.
  • Close-grip bench press: the close-grip bench press targets the triceps more.
  • Dumbbell press: the dumbbell press allows you to work each side of your chest independently.

2. Standing Barbell Overhead Press

Another compound exercise, the standing barbell overhead press targets the shoulders and triceps. This exercise can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells. 

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start with the barbell resting on your collarbone, your hands gripping the barbell shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Press the barbell overhead, extending your arms fully. 
  3. Lower the barbell back to the starting position.
See also
Full Chest Stretch Checklist: 3 Reasons, 7 Benefits, 11 Exercises

chest superset workout

3. Arnold Dumbbell Press

Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Arnold dumbbell press is a variation of the standard dumbbell press that targets the shoulders and triceps. 

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start with a dumbbell in each hand, your arms extended overhead. 
  2. Keeping your palms facing each other, lower the dumbbells toward your chest. 
  3. When the dumbbells are at your chest, press them back up to the starting position.

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4. Triceps Pushdown

The triceps pushdown is an isolation exercise that targets the triceps

To perform this exercise:

  1. Attach a rope or bar to a high pulley and grasp it with your hands shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, press the rope or bar down until your arms are fully extended. 
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.

5. Triceps Dip

The triceps dip is another isolation exercise that targets the triceps.This exercise can be performed with or without weight. 

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by sitting on a bench with your hands gripping the edge of the bench, your fingers pointing toward you. 
  2. Slide your butt off the bench and lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended. 
  3. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, press yourself back up to the starting position.

6. Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

The dumbbell side lateral raise is an isolation exercise that targets the shoulders. 

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by standing with a dumbbell in each hand, your arms down at your sides. 
  2. Keeping your elbow slightly bent, raise the dumbbells out to the sides until they’re at shoulder level. 
  3. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

7. Tricep Extensions

The tricep extension is an isolation exercise that targets the triceps. This exercise can be performed with a dumbbell, barbell, or cable. 

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by holding the weight overhead with your arms straight. 
  2. Keeping your upper arms stationary, lower the weight behind your head until your elbows are at 90 degrees. 
  3. Press the weight back up to the starting position.
See also
Pushups For Lower Chest You Can Easily Do At Home

chest superset workout

Chest Pull Exercises

The chest has muscles that run horizontally (across the chest) as well as vertically (down the center of the chest). These muscles are involved in pull exercises, such as the ones below.

1. Bent-Over Row

The bent-over row is a compound exercise that targets the back and biceps.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by holding a barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart, your palms facing your legs. 
  2. Bend at the hips and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. 
  3. Keeping your back straight, row the barbell up to your chest, pause, and then lower it back to the starting position.

2. Pull Ups

Pull ups are a compound exercise that target the back and biceps. This exercise can be performed with or without weight. 

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by gripping a pull up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, your palms facing away from you. 
  2. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended. 
  3. Keeping your back straight, pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. 
  4. Lower yourself back to the starting position.

Read More: Full Chest Stretch Checklist: 3 Reasons, 7 Benefits, 11 Exercises

3. Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns are a compound exercise that target the back and biceps

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by sitting at a lat pulldown machine with the weight stack at your desired weight. 
  2. Reach up and grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, your palms facing away from you. 
  3. Pull the bar down to your chest, pause, and then return to the starting position.

4. Barbell Curls

Barbell curls are an isolation exercise that target the biceps.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by standing with a barbell in your hands, your hands shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Keeping your upper arms stationary, curl the bar up to your chest, pause, and then lower it back to the starting position.

5. Seated Cable Rows

Seated cable rows are a compound exercise that target the back and biceps.

See also
Good Chest And Arm Workout For Those Who Are Looking For A Challenge

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by sitting at a cable row machine with the weight stack at your desired weight. 
  2. Reach forward and grab the handle with your hands shoulder-width apart, your palms facing away from you.  
  3. Row the handle back to your chest, pause, and then return to the starting position.

chest superset workout

6. Dumbbell Curls

Dumbbell curls are an isolation exercise that target the biceps. 

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start by standing with a dumbbell in each hand, your palms facing your legs. 
  2. Keeping your upper arms stationary, curl the dumbbells up to your chest, pause, and then lower them back to the starting position.

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Sample Chest And Back Workout Superset

Chest and back muscles are related. You’ll find that working one often enhances the results you get from working the other. This superset workout hits both groups of muscles for a great pump. Alternate between the two exercises in each superset, with 90 seconds rest in between sets. 

Superset 1:

  • Push – incline barbell bench press, incline dumbbell fly (4 sets, 6-8 reps)
  • Pull – wide grip pull ups (4 sets, 6-8 reps)

Superset 2:

  • Push – 45-degree incline dumbbell chest press (4 sets, 8-10)
  • Pull – single arm dumbbell row (4 sets, 8-10)

Superset 3:

  • Push – flat bench dumbbell press (4 sets, 10-12)
  • Pull – Bent over barbell row (4 sets, 10-12)

Doing a chest and back superset workout like this 2-3 times per week will help you build a balanced physique.

chest superset workout

Tips For An Effective Chest Superset Workout

To build thick, balanced, and shredded pecs you’ll need to do more than just the chest exercises mentioned above. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your workout:

1. Create A Mind-Muscle Connection

The mind-muscle connection is the communication pathway between your brain and muscles. This is what allows you to “feel” the muscle working as you perform each rep (4).

See also
Resistance Band Chest Workout For A Muscular And Bigger Chest

To create a mind-muscle connection, focus on the muscle you are trying to target during your set. For example, when performing chest exercises, visualize your pecs contracting as you lift the weight. 

2. Use A Full Range Of Motion

Using a full range of motion is important for two reasons. First, it allows you to fully stimulate the muscle. Second, it reduces your risk of injury (2).

When performing chest exercises, make sure to lower the weight all the way down to your chest and then press it back up until your arms are fully extended. 

3. Lift Close To Failure

Lifting close to failure is when you reach the point where you can’t do another rep with good form. This is important because it forces your muscles to adapt and grow (5). 

While supersetting, you want to lift 2-3 reps shy of failure. This way you can still maintain good form on your second exercise and get the most out of your workout. 

4. Fuel Your Workout

You need to fuel your workout with the right nutrients if you want to see results. Eating a healthy diet and drinking enough water are both essential for building muscle (3).

In addition, you may also want to consider using a pre-workout supplement. Pre-workouts contain ingredients like caffeine and beta-alanine that can help you work harder and see results faster. 

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is when your body recovers from your workouts and grows stronger. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you won’t be able to perform at your best and may even start to see muscle loss (3). 

Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to make sure your body has enough time to recover. 

The Bottom Line

Chest supersets are a great way to build muscle and improve your strength. Remember to focus on mind-muscle connection, use a full range of motion, lift close to failure, and fuel your workout with the right nutrients. Getting enough sleep is also important for recovery. If you stick to these tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong, shredded chest.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Agonist-antagonist paired set resistance training: a brief review (2010, nih.gov)
  2. Effects of range of motion on resistance training adaptations: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2021, nih.gov)
  3. Healthy Muscles Matter (2020, nih.gov)
  4. Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training (2016, nih.gov)
  5. Is Resistance Training to Muscular Failure Necessary? (2016, nih.gov)
  6. Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods (2019, nih.gov)
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