Supersetting pros and cons

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HMA123
3/15/09 12:02:50PM
I was just wondering what are some pros and cons of supersetting exercises.
I just started to do it, but dont know really much about it except it helps with your time limits. Any help
seanfu
3/15/09 1:42:40PM
Keep in mind this is one thing I have absolutely no scientific basis on. Anyway.... no. It helps with time limits but if you're running through a couple sets to stay on time you're half assing the workout anyway. When you're benching or doing shoulders or anything like that the point is to die at 10, 12 or whatever you have on your set anyway.

If you're supersetting, personally I would just designate my least benificial lift and just do a runthrough instead of supersetting flys because I need to hurry and get my work in.

Supersetting had all of the cons of the endurence sets and none of the benefits. (because you shouldn't be able to do 2 sets with no break, you should die at 10)

Like I said, absolutely NOOOOO scientific basis from me, just some commone sense and experiance with hurried workouts- (bodybuilding class.)

Anyway, I say screw that hard work crap, I say just use roids. Roids are delicious
fullerene
3/17/09 8:42:46AM
Not an expert and only use these occasionally, but my take is:

Pros

Supersetting is a concept that originates with bodybuilding routines (vs. strength training/power lifting). The concept is that you activate a higher percentage of muscle fibers by continuing to work even when tired (i.e. you can't lift 70 pounds anymore, but you still have the strength to lift 50). I don't know if this really happens, but bodybuilders still seem to use the technique and so I'll assume that's true.

Supersets certainly do force you to end the set doing reps while you are tired and your muscles are fatigued which is a good thing for most athletics which also require using strength while tired.

And supersets take less time to do than doing individual sets with rest periods between them.

Cons

The heavy set in the superset will inevitably be less than a heavy set done with a rest period before it. This is the main downside IMO for strength training since the basic principal of building strength is to increase the weights you can use for certain exercises.

Some times the minor/supporting muscle groups will fatigue before the target muscle groups get the full benefit. This can always happen, but it is more pronounced with supersets. Some examples would be your grip giving out before your traps doing shrug supersets or your triceps burning out before your chest doing incline press supersets.

Like any atypical lifting technique meant to "shock the muscles" there are diminishing returns (i.e. less shock) over time as you get used to doing the exercise. If you do a superset every single time it begins to function more like a single, long set rather than a set that requires more and different effort than traditional sets with rest.

Sometimes the equipment isn't available (particularly dumbells) or takes too long to adjust to make doing these practical if your gym has a certain configuration and/or number of people working out in it.
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