Supersets Might Not Be Superior for Gaining Mass After All

Fit man doing dips on parallel bars in front of green wall
James Michelfelder

If you and your buddies have been debating the perks of supersets, a study in the Journal of Science in Sport and Exercise shows these power-couple exercises have the potential to improve strength, but they don’t work any better than traditional lifting when it comes to increasing muscle mass.

In the study, researchers found that after eight weeks of training, athletes who were on a regimen of bench press and biceps curl supersets didn’t develop bigger arms—a common belief among guys—compared to the standard lifting group.

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On the other hand, supersetters did improve their ability to keep lifting for more reps. The main perk, researchers say, is that by performing supersets, you can get twice the volume of work in, in half the time.

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So if you’re trying to squeeze in a lunchtime session or bang out a quick one after work, supersets should be your go-to exercise. Looking for a few supersets to try? Consider these in your circuit:

  • Pullups + pushups
  • Leg press + leg curl
  • Bench press + inverted row
  • Biceps curls + triceps dips

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