In the realms of the physique game, a true lifter cannot reach the apex of development or performance without building the posterior.
How can you maximize your ability to sprint with weak, flat glutes?
How can you dominate the deadlift with hamstrings that are hamstrung?
How can you enhance your chances on a bodybuilding stage with a billboard back?
How can you have the audacity to wear shorts with those pipe cleaners you call calves?
You cannot maximize, dominate or enhance anything without giving your backside some well-deserved attention.
Your back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves are very important pieces to the physique and performance puzzle.
An undeveloped or ignored posterior chain is not the look that a serious lifter is going after.
When you do not train these muscles, you will develop the dreaded casual lifter physique of just an unbalanced upper body, a nice gut, no wheels, and no mental toughness.
When the posterior is ignored, you are leaving meat on the bone when it comes to building your physique. The goal is not to look like a human version of Johnny Bravo.
Many male trainees barely train legs which is absolutely blasphemous! The average casual lifter seems to believe that if they only train chest and biceps they will build an athletic physique.
Newsflash: Athletes train their posterior!
Many female trainees are completely misguided by social media when it comes to building the posterior that they want. An over-reliance on machines, using partial form on squats, and buying into gimmick 30-day “booty-builder” programs are not going to get you to the glute promised land.
Your entire posterior, especially your glutes makes or breaks your physique. Training the posterior is hard, but nothing in life worth anything is easy. Success requires struggle.
Supersets are an all time training methodology and one of my personal favorites.
A superset is when you perform an exercise directly followed by another exercise. This is done either immediately with virtually no rest or with a short rest (typically 10-30 seconds) between the movements.
Most isolation movements can be performed back to back with almost no rest. While your muscles will feel the pump, there is not a great demand on your heart rate when you superset incline dumbbell curls and dumbbell skullcrushers.
If you are physically spent or need a 1 minute rest after the incline dumbbell curls, then you have much bigger problems to deal with.
However if you are performing a superset using compound movements, the rest will be a little longer as you will be considerably more gassed.
A few examples would be performing dips followed by chin-ups or barbell squats followed by glute-ham raises.
The effectiveness of supersets cannot be questioned. They allow you to keep the intensity high and the rest times relatively low when compared to standard straight sets.
You are able to use multiple set and rep ranges when you perform supersets. This makes them very useful for getting super strong and muscular (3-5 reps) or focusing on getting a phenomenal pump (8-12 reps).
Like many other training methodologies, supersets have been watered down by the masses.
When supersets are performed correctly they make you question why you even lift. They require a great deal of moxie.
We are not referencing the so-called "supersets" you see in commercial gyms performed by Barrington Biceps. Taking selfies and talking to phit vixens for 5 minutes in between movements does not constitute a superset!
Agonist vs. Antagonists
Supersets are performed as antagonists (opposing muscle groups) or agonists (the same muscle group).
All trainees can truly benefit from supersets as they allow for balanced physique development when they are performed as antagonists.
There is nothing worse than a meathead who only trains his chest and never trains his back. This leads to having an incomplete physique and muscular imbalances.
Agonist supersets are fantastic for when you want to take the local muscle pump to Defcon 1!
RP-21 Glute Superset
The benefits of the barbell hip thrust and the Romanian deadlift (RDL) are well-known. They are the 2 most powerful barbell movements you can use to build your backside.
What is not well-known is using these 2 compound movements as a superset. This will allow you to take your posterior chain development to the next level.
Related: The Real Benefits of Stronger Glutes
Unfortunately many trainees today rely on flashy machines and gimmick programs to try to build their glutes and hamstrings.
You have to give up the bogus training methods to go up with your physique. No machine ever made will hit your glutes as hard this classic barbell superset. Training at a brisk pace with relatively heavy weights is the ultimate formula for building a strong, muscular physique.
Check out the two videos below to learn about how to properly perform the barbell hip thrust and the RDL.
The Barbell Hip Thrust
The Romanian Deadlift
RP-21 Glute Workout
This workout is cold-blooded like Jordan in the clutch.
We are going to perform this superset using the RP-21 Training System.
After a dynamic warm-up and mobility work, you will start the day with the conventional deadlift. You will use RP-21 (7x3) for the deadlift.
When you complete the deadlifts, you will set-up for the 6x5 glute superset.
The day will end with standing or seated calf raises. Your workout will look like:
|1. Dynamic Warm Up||-||5 Mins|
|2. Mobility Work||-||5 Mins|
|4a. Barbell Hip Thrust||6||5|
|4b. Romanian Deadlift||6||5|
|5. Seated Calf Raise||6||12|
The beauty of RP-21 and what makes it very challenging is that you will be using relatively heavy weights while moving at a brisk pace. This will force you to be accountable. If you do not adhere to the rules of RP-21, you will not receive the full benefits of the program.
The Keys to the RP-21 Glute Workout:
- Perform a dynamic warm-up and mobility work to prepare your body and CNS.
- Use great form for all of the exercises.
- Get your deadlift warmed up properly before selecting your opening weight.
- Select a relatively heavy weight for your barbell hip thrust and RDL.
- Rest 1 minute in between sets of your deadlift.
- Rest 30-45 seconds between the barbell hip thrust and the RDL.
- Rest 90-120 seconds between sets.
- Rest 30 seconds between sets of the calf raises.
You can perform the 6x5 superset as its own workout if you choose.
This workout can be programmed many different ways, but if you are following the RP-21 training system, you would use this as one of your lower body training days.
Having a pancake posterior is unacceptable if you are a lifter looking to develop their dream body and build athleticism. In today's world plastic surgeons are offering shortcuts to developing the glutes, but those results do not last nor build character.
Use this workout to add real strength, muscle mass, and thickness to your posterior chain.
Stay consistent and you might even cause some rubbernecking!