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3 supersets for bigger pecs, bigger latissimus and bigger quadriceps

3 Supersätze für größere Brustmuskeln, einen größeren Latissimus und größere Quadrizeps

A brief summary:

  1. To bring your chest forward, you should perform flying movements in the superset with bench presses. Fatigue the chest muscles with flying movements and then immediately challenge them with bench presses without a break.
  2. The pullover/rowing combo also uses the pre-fatigue technique. Fatigue your latissimus with pull-ups on the reverse incline bench ( and then immediately switch to barbell rowing.
  3. The squat/lunge superset combines two multi-joint exercises. The quadriceps will reach momentary muscle failure, which will lead to adaptive benefits - more muscular legs!

Latissimus, chest, quadriceps: make them more muscular!

A smart strength athlete knows when it's time to address lagging muscle groups and build them up. These proven supersets will do just that.

  1. Flying movements + bench press

Do you need a little more muscle fullness in your pecs? Perform flying movements in the superset with barbell bench press in this order. Even though you'll be embarrassed by how little weight you can bench press after performing flying movements, you'll ultimately be shocked by the results.

Logical rationale

This superset involves what's called pre-fatigue. Basically, we isolate and exhaust the pecs using an isolation exercise (flying movements). When you then move on to multi-joint exercise (bench press), you ensure that it is the pecs that fatigue first - and not the triceps or front shoulder muscles. Regardless of the repetition range, training a muscle to the point of failure/exhaustion is by far the best way to elicit an adaptive response - i.e. muscle growth. This superset works over a prolonged period of time under tension and an increase in the metabolic load on the pectoral muscles, both of which will lead to a hypertrophy response.


After a proper warm-up, grab a pair of dumbbells with which you can perform 8 to 10 repetitions of flying movements - and no more. Feel free to vary the stimulus occasionally and go up to a 6 RM weight or down to a 12 RM weight. The same recommendation applies to the transition to barbell bench presses. Typically use your 6 to 10 RM weight. The tricky thing here, however, is this: we're talking about your 6 to 10 RM weight on the bench press after you've performed a set of flying movements to the point of muscle failure. By "muscle failure" I mean that you perform as many repetitions through the full range of motion and with good form as possible. This is also known as momentary muscle failure or concentric muscle failure.

Most people tend to overestimate the weight they can use on the bench press. If your self-esteem and how many people see you bench pressing are closely related, then this superset may not be right for you. Remember that your pecs are already pre-fatigued. Tip: Perform these two exercises on the same bench so that you can move from flying movements to bench presses as quickly as possible. Ultimately, a superset is not so great if you rest between exercises.

2. dumbbell pull-ups on the reverse incline bench + barbell rows with an underhand grip

Are you the owner of a latissimus that is lagging behind in its development? If so, this superset will point you in the right direction.

Logical basic principle

This pullover/rowing combo also uses the pre-fatigue technique. First you fatigue the latissimus dorsi with pull-ups on the reverse incline bench and then move directly to barbell rowing with an underhand grip.

If you perform barbell rows with an underhand grip, there is a chance that your upper back (middle area of the trapezius and rhomboids) will reach the point of muscle failure first, especially if you tend to have upper back dominance. If it is not the upper back that fails first, it could be fatigue in the posterior shoulder muscles, the biceps or even the back extensors that is the limiting factor in this exercise. Rest assured that if you perform pull-ups on the reverse incline bench first, pushing your muscles hard and taking them to muscle failure (or very close to it), your latissimus will be severely challenged when rowing with an underhand grip. This will probably result in a latissimus pump that you haven't felt for a long time!

I say "very close to muscle failure" here because dumbbell deadlifts are an exercise where you should use some common sense. The weight of the dumbbell and its lever arm in the extended position put a lot of stress on your shoulder joint. Don't use this as an excuse for half-hearted efforts, but use your common sense.


Use a weight that is in the range of your 8 to 10 RM weight for the pull-ups. You can occasionally go up in reps and use a 12 RM weight, but I wouldn't recommend using more than your 8 RM weight on dumbbell pull-ups as heavier weights may put too much stress on your shoulder joints. If pull-ups acutely overload your shoulders in the extended position, then it is likely that you are suffering from impingement problems. Of course, you can shorten the range of motion and probably avoid irritation, but instead you should focus on getting your impingement syndrome under control rather than simply training around it.

Tip for form: Even though you shouldn't fully extend your elbows, you should also avoid bending your elbows too much when you move the dumbbell down, otherwise you'll turn this exercise into too much of a triceps exercise. Speaking of the triceps, if you haven't done any pull-ups for a while, you will probably feel some soreness in the triceps - and especially in the long head of the triceps - a day or two later.

This is completely normal and does not necessarily mean that you have performed the exercise incorrectly. Rather, it is due to the fact that the long head of the triceps not only crosses the elbow joint, but also the shoulder joint. This means that it is stretched quite a lot and suffers from some microtraumas afterwards, which can lead to delayed onset muscle soreness. Note on variations: You can also perform this superset with traditional pull-ups on a flat bench, but if you have access to a reverse incline bench, you should use this as it increases the range of motion.

3. barbell squats and walking lunges

This combo is extremely effective when it comes to maximizing quadriceps and gluteus. Even if you're not looking to build muscle and are training more for fat loss benefits, you'll find that a lighter version of this superset is amazingly beneficial due to the high metabolic demands of using a large amount of muscle mass at once. In other words, you will get really out of breath, but it will be worth the effort!

Logical rationale

This squat/lunge superset combines two amazingly effective

multi-joint exercises for the lower body. By combining these two exercises, it is very likely that your quadriceps will be maximally stimulated to the point of momentary muscle failure, which will lead to adaptive benefits. Even though these exercises are quadriceps dominant, they also work the gluteus quite well.


For barbell squats, you should aim for a weight in the range of your 8 to 12 RM weight, although you should not hesitate to use a weight outside of this range as squats are effective in pretty much any repetition range. Before we talk about repetition ranges for walking lunges, let's talk about lunges with dumbbells vs. lunges with a barbell. Anecdotal evidence tells me that walking lunges with a barbell on the upper back are slightly better than walking lunges with dumbbells held next to the body. I therefore recommend performing walking lunges with a barbell whenever possible. I realize that in some gyms it may be much more user-friendly to perform the dumbbell version of this exercise. If this is the case, then don't worry too much about it. Both versions are fine. And depending on your strength and conditioning, this could be a purely theoretical consideration. It's quite possible that you won't need any additional weight at all after performing squats with lunges.

In terms of repetition range for walking lunges, you should typically use a weight in the range of your 8 to 12 RM weight, meaning 8 to 12 repetitions with each leg. If you're looking for more of a conditioning/endurance effect, you can go up to 20 reps or so. Form Tip: To ensure you are working your gluteus, you should use full range of motion on both of these exercises. For squats, a full range of motion means performing squats to the point where your hip joint is level with your knee joint or a touch lower.

For walking lunges, a full range of motion means

  1. taking a sufficiently wide step so that your knee does not go far beyond your toes at the lowest position
  2. walking down to the point where your kneecap almost touches the ground on the back leg, which should bring your thigh parallel to the ground on the front leg.

Note: Walking lunges are an excellent movement-based way to stretch your likely stiff hip flexors. To achieve this benefit, make sure you take wide enough steps and go down low enough. You should also avoid bending your torso forward as you approach the bottom position of the movement. You will probably have a tendency to bend forward if your hips are tight.

By Clay Hyght

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