If you are crunched on time and need a quick workout, supersets with opposing muscle groups seem to result in the optimal workout with less performance decline than compound sets with similar muscle groups. It should also be pointed out that compound sets with two similar muscle groups (incline and bench press) resulted in lower training volume. This was more likely due to the greater muscle fatigue caused by training two muscle groups with no rest between sets.
THE 30-MINUTE WORKOUT TO BUILD MUSCLE (BACKED BY SCIENCE) SUMMARY
- A superset workout is a time efficient 30 minute workout that can stimulate muscle growth.
- Supersets (two back-to-back exercises using opposing muscle groups) can stimulate muscle growth in a shorter time because you can pack more tension on a muscle in a shorter time. However, they are not superior to traditional training when the volume is similar.
9/26 RESEARCH SUGGESTS A UPPER BODY/LOWER BODY SUPERSET WORKOUT 30-MINUTE WORKOUT IS TIME EFFICIENT WAY TO TRAIN
Many people would not believe a 23-minute workout would be enough to build muscle. Still, a new research study shows that supersets can efficiently train without significant impairments in training volume. Workout volume consists of sets x weights x reps, which is important for muscle growth.
There are many ways to perform supersets; a superset leg workout would be performing a leg extension followed immediately by an opposing muscle group, such as the leg curls.
Previous research has shown that lower-body exercises paired with upper-body exercises are a time-efficient way to train without a drop in workout volume.(1)
THE 30-MINUTE WORKOUT
Researchers divided 19 trained men into two groups. A traditional exercise group and a Superset group with opposing muscle groups (i.e., lower body exercises followed immediately by an upper body exercise).
The researchers had both groups perform three sets of Smith squats and bench presses at 55-70% of their 1-RM. They stopped the exercise when the groups dropped below a 15% velocity loss in the bench press and a 20% velocity loss in the squat.
Velocity loss is a measure of fatigue. When you become tired during a workout, the speed at which you can perform the movement decreases, or velocity loss is reduced.
Moderate velocity loss (i.e., 15% vs. 20% for SQ and BP, respectively) was used because it represents a moderate degree of fatigue incurred in the set (i.e., less than half of the maximum number of repetitions that can be completed in a set to failure).
Measuring velocity loss has been a reliable measure of fatigue during exercise. (3) The Superset group performed squats immediately, followed by bench presses.
The traditional exercise group performed three sets of squats with three-minute rests between sets and three sets of bench presses with 3 minutes of rest between sets.