Anyone who’s been in the iron game for any length of time knows all about super sets. Conventionally used for hitting multiple body parts at the same time, increasing training density, getting a massive pump and then getting on with your life Super Sets are a staple of modern weight lifting.
Today we are going to introduce some unique and unconventional super sets to not only help you gain size, but help stave off injuries and keep your arms and shoulders healthy for years of lifting to come.
If you’re anything like me, Injury prevention training doesn’t sound like fun… And quite honestly it isn’t the most satisfying and fun training you can do. But if you want longevity in the gym, if you want to be like CT Fletcher banging the iron into your 50’s and beyond… Avoiding injuries along the way is paramount.
This should go without saying, (which I find are the things that need to be said the most) but injury prevention is best done before you get an injury… Ground breaking stuff, right? I know.
However, if you can bullet proof your body before the bullet comes… you’ll be that much better off.
These combos are something I developed myself after dealing with near-injury scenarios myself, and they help me to keep lifting and staying healthy. I use them religiously now and the problems have subsided.
Squat and Band Pull Apart
Do a set of 20 band pull-aparts during all your warm up and work sets. These work well because they get a huge amount of blood flow into the deltoid, stimulate the rear delts which are often neglected in peoples routines, and are low intensity enough to not further risk injuring the shoulders.
This may not apply to the young bucks out there, it certainly wasn’t an issue with me when I was 10 years younger, but often times when you are going all out on squats you might notice your shoulders start taking a beating. Wrenching your arms behind your back, hooking them under a bar and loading that up with hundreds and hundreds of pounds meant for the gigantic quads can take its toll on your relatively small deltoids and the joint which aren’t really meant to loaded with with hundreds of pounds, especially in such a poorly leveraged position.
I’ve even seen some lifters write that they have given up traditional barbell back squats for good because their shoulder health is not up to the task.
Yikes… Having to give up the ultimate exercise, the king of the man makers, the premier beast builder just because your shoulders can’t handle it? Call me insane but that is unacceptable.
To try and help with this shoulder issue, and the get a bit more stimulation in for the shoulders without further fatiguing them and increasing their risk of injury I tested out this super set and it has been doing the trick ever since. Extra shoulder growth is a free bonus. You’re Welcome.
Dead Lifts and DB Curls
Quite simple, do a set of light, 10-20 rep sets of your favorite DB curls during your dead lifts warm up sets. These are not to failure, and Don’t worry about them during your main sets, as the point of these is to get blood into your biceps to avoid injury and not to keep getting arm work in and detracting from the dead lifts.
The two most common injuries I see in lifting are pec/shoulders injuries due to bench pressing, and bicep tears due to dead lifting.
While both of these are largely technique and loading issues, the biceps are quite vulnerable in the dead lift because of the sheer amount of weight being held during the lift. The massive quads and legs are quite capable of hoisting the massive weights, but the biceps are small in comparison and in the most vulnerable position for them to be in… fully extended and ready pop.
To make matters worse almost everyone that dead lifts does it as the first lift in the day so they are at their freshest and can hoist the most weight.
But lets face it… You gotta lift this shit, right? So the answer isn’t to skip dead lifting.
Rather a solution I’ve come up with is to do some light weight, pumping, constant tension style curls while you are warming up to your working weight on the dead lifts. These will get tons of blood flow into the biceps and the elbow joints which will help to protect the bicep while you are pulling heavy shit off the ground.