Joe Weider’s superset training principle involves working two antagonistic muscle groups back to back without any rest. Supersets increase the vasculature of muscles as blood is pumped into one muscle group and then pulled out in order to be pumped into the antagonistic muscle group.
The physiological benefits of blood being pumped in and out of the muscles are not completely known. Arnold Schwarzenegger referred to this phenomenon as “The Pump” and used superset training extensively in his training. The most popular common antagonist muscle groups trained are: chest and back, biceps, and triceps, quads and hamstrings.
The most effective supersets training are volume programs. In order to generate a physiological adaptation the volume of work needs to be quantified and recorded. Submaximal weights are often used so a prescribed number of sets and reps can be performed.
The amount of rest between sets also needs to be timed and recorded. For example, you might start with rest intervals of 30 seconds and then as you begin to add weight overtime you might be allowing yourself to unknowingly rest longer. Most mobile devices have timers that can be set or you can use your wrist watch.
Overtime you can slowly add weight to both exercises or decrease the amount of rest between sets to progressively overload the muscles.
Forced reps involve doing an exercise to failure and then continuing to push out an extra rep or two with the help of a training partner. Forced reps are an advanced technique and generate a lot of muscle soreness so there is no reason to exceed three forced reps. If you are able to do more than three forced reps chances are that you didn’t really push yourself to failure.
Forced reps are intended for workouts that use a limited number of work sets. Most often several sets are performed to warm up the muscles before doing a work set. It is only during this top set that failure is reached.
In contrast, this principle can’t be applied to volume programs that are based on a specified number of sets and reps such as the StrongLifts 5 x 5 program, than forced reps won’t work as you are not training to failure on any of these sets.
If you are like me and train alone this is one less tool I have to work with. If you go to a local gym you will always have someone around that can spot you for a set or two. Even one really hard set done with a spotter with a couple forced reps is enough to make serious gains.
I remember learning about the Weider training principles back in my youth while lifting weights in my parent’s basement. The world has changed much since this time and Joe Weider is no longer with us but his mark in the fitness world will never be forgotten.
Joe Weider made many important contributions to bodybuilding including the well-known and almost taken for granted Weider principles.
The number of Weider’s training principles has grown over the years. Throughout this blog I attempt to discuss all of these principles in detail and will be adding them to the following list.
Weider Training Principles