by Neil Anderson
Super Sets: Two sets of exercises performed back to back followed by little or no rest. There are two types of "super sets." These are:
Agonist Super Sets are where you complete exercises of similar muscle groups. An example of this would be going directly from pullups to a BB biceps curl. Because biceps are secondary movers in a pullup exercise these two exercises are alike and therefore Agonists. We use agonist super sets when trying to target a specific muscle group. In the example above the targeted muscle would be the biceps because it is used twice back to back. Once in conjunction with other primary movers which serves to pre-fatigue the biceps. Second, to isolate the biceps specifically. This has nice shaping properties.
Antagonist Super Sets are where you complete exercises of opposing muscle groups. An example of this would be going directly from a OH triceps extension to a BB biceps curl. Biceps curls and triceps extensions are completely different exercises using opposing muscle groups. Antagonistic super setting is a great way to save time with a workout. It is also thought to limit the effects of antagonistic co-contractors. The antagonistic co-contractor theory states that while performing an exercise with one muscle (i.e. biceps) the opposing muscle group (triceps) is resisting. By fatiguing the antagonist you are thought to be able to lift more weight with the targeted muscle group. Frankly, this theory doesn't make sense in terms of development so we reject it. Thought you ought to know about it though!