|Supersetting is fun, time-efficient, exhausting and based on the reasonable assumption that you can benefit from training agonist + antagonist together, but does it build size & strength?|
Yes, that's intense and yes, that's fast, but the question is: "Super-Setting is Time-Efficient, But is it Also "Gain-Efficient"?" And we will deal with it at the bottom of this article. Before we do so, let's take a look at what happens to workout volume and the quality of each of your reps when you super-set.
If we go by its ability to stimulate your muscle, data from a recent study designed to investigate the acute effects of performing paired-set (PS) versus traditional set (TS) training over three consecutive sets, on volume load and electromyographic fatigue parameters of the latissimus dorsi, biceps brachii, pectoralis major and triceps brachii muscles.
|Image 1: This is how you do it - you bench and from the bench you head right over to the seated row (Paz. 2015).|
|Differences between complex training and agonist-|
antagonist paired training (Robbins. 2010).
- The TS protocol consisted of three sets of bench press (BP) followed by three sets of wide-grip seated row (SR). Under the TS protocol two-minute rest intervals were implemented between all sets.
- PS consisted of three sets of BP and three sets of SR performed in an alternating manner. Under the PS protocol, sets of SR were performed immediately following sets of BP. A two-minute rest interval between the completion of the set of SR and the subsequent set of BP was implemented (e.g.,, between paired sets).
|Figure 1: Surprise! The total volume increased in the paired-set (PS) condition. On all sets where you have a $ or § the volume was either sign. increased compared to the traditional set or sign. less reduced (Paz. 2015).|
|The longer you rest, the less the enhanement in muscle activation. The same goes for the maximal reps on a given set (Maia. 2014)|
|Figure 2: The total time the muscle is firing increased when the subjects did paired-sets. For the back and biceps this increase was even statistically significant (Paz. 2015).|
|Table 1: The efficacy analysis Robbins et al. conducted in their 2010 review leaves no doubt that antagonist-agonist paired sets (APS) kick traditional training's ass when it comes to strength and power efforts per time (Robbins. 2010).|
- Kelleher, Andrew R., et al. "The metabolic costs of reciprocal supersets vs. traditional resistance exercise in young recreationally active adults." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24.4 (2010): 1043-1051.
- Maia, Marianna F., et al. "Effects of different rest intervals between antagonist paired sets on repetition performance and muscle activation." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 28.9 (2014): 2529-2535.
- Paz, Gabriel, et al. "Volume Load and Neuromuscular Fatigue During an Acute Bout of Agonist-antagonist Paired-set Versus Traditional-set Training." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2015).
- Robbins, Daniel W., et al. "Effects of agonist–antagonist complex resistance training on upper body strength and power development." Journal of sports sciences 27.14 (2009): 1617-1625.
- Robbins, Daniel W., et al. "Agonist-antagonist paired set resistance training: A brief review." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24.10 (2010): 2873-2882.