Super Stacks

Two of the more popular workout methods, if you will, are Super-Sets and Stacking, also known as drop sets.  With the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) I’ve been doing lately, I do a lot of the former.  The same can’t be said for the latter.  I used drop sets, a great way to break through strength and size plateaus, regularly when I was younger, especially when I was playing football in college and couldn’t gain weight to save my life. (There are days I wish I had that problem still.)  But with a hectic schedule that forced me to reduce the time I spend in the gym and, frankly, a change in goals from wanting to be the strongest and biggest I could (while still athletic, of course) to aspiring to be lean and fit, I’ve all but eliminated them from my regimen.

Welcome back, Drop Sets!  And meet your cousin, Super, “Set” that is.  I decided all I’d do this week for workouts was a combination of these two training ideas.  Each is very effective on its own.  But when you combine the two, I’m quickly learning, you get pure magic.  Well, maybe not “magic”, but it’s pretty good stuff.

With two of my three mandatory workouts (I sometimes add a fourth one if I’m up for it) out of the way, I thought I’d share my routines so far:

Monday (Chest and Legs Day)
Lying (on bench) Dumbbell Presses >to> Lying (on bench) Dumbbell Flys
Cable Pully Deadlifts (or dumbbell/barbell deadlifts) >to>  Barbell Squats

Wednesday (Biceps and Triceps)
Standing Dumbbell Curls >to>  Standing Barbell (or EZ Bar) Curls
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension >to>  High Pulley Tricep Pressdowns


  • The exercises are meant to be performed with as little rest as possible, both for the stack/drop sets (in between exercises with the same body part) and for the super sets (in between exercises of different body parts; specifically between the second part of a drop set for body part #1 and the first part of the drop set for body part #2).
  • The first part of the drop set should be done with heavier weights.  I like to stay in the 8-12 range.
  • The second part of the drop set should be done with lighter weights and a slightly different movement/exercise.  I like to stay in the 15-20 range
  • If a rest is needed, keep it short and try to restrict it to the time period in between body parts, or the super set portion.
  • 3 (beginner) to 5 (advanced) rounds should be more than enough.  A round is the completion of all four exercises.

About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

One Response to Super Stacks

  1. Laura says:

    Welcome back drop setter. Loved your comment on the combination of super sets with drop sets to a regular weight training routine

    I have kept the super sets and some drop sets as part of my regular routine for years. Regular defined as those weeks which time and energy would allow it.
    I love the results.

    I am a core strength fanatic of sorts. Core strength helps build all strength at least that is my humble opinion. My abs routine always falls under the super set category although using no weights, most the time. I prefer lean abdominal muscles to the bulk. (Imagine.).

    Thanks for sharing your recent work out routine, the more knowledge the more strength training power.


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