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Supersetting pros and cons

The Creator

The Creator

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I know that there has been similar threads to this one put up but I have a question I want answered. As most of you know, I have been doing an UB/LB split for my training. I always superset on these days, ex) bench press straight to bent over rows, short rest, and then repeat. I really like doing this because I feel like my chest can rest while I am doing rows (vice versa) and the only thing I have to catch up on is my breathing for 30 seconds or so after each superset. When I do single body part training, ex) Bench press, 1-1.30 sec rest, and another bech press set, I find myself waiting too long for my muscles to rest up inbetween sets and feel I could be using this time more wisely to throw in a superset.
So here is my question: Physiologically speaking, is there any disadvantage to doing the supersets in my routine like I have been? Would it be better if more blood were able go to the one muscle or the other soley for maximum hypertrophy? or is it fine that it is dispersed between the two during a superset/multi body part workout? The weight that I am able to move on a superset day is no different than a single body part day. Discuss....
 
Ironslave

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So here is my question: Physiologically speaking, is there any disadvantage to doing the supersets in my routine like I have been? Would it be better if more blood were able go to the one muscle or the other soley for maximum hypertrophy? or is it fine that it is dispersed between the two during a superset/multi body part workout? The weight that I am able to move on a superset day is no different than a single body part day. Discuss....

Nah, as I've discussed before when talking about vascular occlusion, blood to the muscle isn't really all that important. Some strength coaches actually theorize that supersetting opposing muscle groups the way you do might actually recruit more motor units, due to taking advantage of the reciprocal inhibition phenomenon. I've looked into this, and I think it's a stretch, overall it probably doesn't make much difference at all.

Keeping the "sitting" time to a minimum would also be beneficial in my opinion, several studies show that the anabolic response is amplified by short rest periods through increased hormonal production. However, if one were to say do chest press, rest 60 seconds and repeat, they would almost certainly be unable to keep the same load throughout multiple sets. I've argued time and time again that load is key for stimulating hypertrophy, and the more research I look into it the more convinced I am, herefore, in my opinion, doing it the way you have would almost give the best of both worlds.
 
philosopher

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I did some supersetting when I wanted to get my conditioning up which works pretty good. Along with the cardio I gave my strength training an aerobic component as well. Though like IS said, supersetting leads to more exhaustion which leads to a decrease in weight and thats not what you want. Overload is what you want so aim for that. Other than that you could always do a few sets if you really like it.
 
The Creator

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Really do appreciate the responses guys. I find that i dont struggle with exhaustion on my superset days. I think it actually gives me a better pump and puts me in a zone when I superset. When I do single bodypart days and I sit and rest inbetween sets, I find that I lose focus and have trouble keeping a good pump. Like IS said, I too think that short rest periods are best but at the same time, one can hardly keep decent load moving with 60 seconds rest or less. I am very surprised that the weight I lift has actually gone up since doing my superset workouts. I thought that they would lead to more exhaustion and hinder my strength but as long as my cardiovascular endurance is decent, I am able to get through my workouts with great strength right till the end and a even have a body drenched in sweat to boot. Keep the responses coming because I am very interested in developing the most productive and efficient way to build my physique.
 
El Freako

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I've used supersets for years and I do think they are great but in 2 different ways. When super-setting the same body part they are great as a finishing move with mid to high rep range. I also find its the best way to make yourself puke. It fucks me up.

They other way is the same as you have been doing them. I took my cue from an old Arnie routine and started super-setting chest and back, the idea being that it would be reciprocally advantageous. Pumping the opposing muscle group and helping keep the joint sturdy. I haven't really got any scientific evidence to back it but it felt like it worked. Also it was great as an extra cardio workout because I had barely any rest between. I used the same principle with arms and also enjoyed it.

I'm not sure if anything I just said was very helpful but I just wanted to add my experiences.
 
The Creator

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^^Yeah I definately feel my cardio kicking in when I do this and I kinda like it. I too used to do it for arms and they would get crazy pumped!
 
R

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I'd heard that supersetting antagonistic muscle groups can actually improve power output for the opposite muscle when you do susbsequent sets, but I think a lot of it and the exhaustion factor would depend on the type of exercise you are supersetting. Personally I normally only superset smaller muscle groups like bis and tris or shoulders and something, or if I was doing unilateral moves then hams and quads but doing multi-joint supersetted exercises I could see being detrimental to overall force output.
 
knight_rider

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if your strength on both exercises in the superset are improving in strength and reps week to week....keep doing it as it is time saving.........but if one is suffering best to seperate them and go for proper overload!
 

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