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Name this set type...

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 7:35 pm
by jeffrerr
Okay I thought I was doing super sets but I think I've mislead my self! When I work out I do a set of one exercise then instead of a rest I use a set of exercise on another part as the rest period for the first body part worked. A typical work out is:

Bench Press and Lat Pulldowns
45deg Leg Press and Hammer Curls
Assisted Dips and Assisted Close Grip Chins

Are these actually super sets or are they some other form of set? Either way it's how my body works best and the best way for me to maximise my time in the gym, I'm just curious!

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 7:40 pm
by Ryan A
Yeah that looks like a superset to me.

Often, you rest after the last exercise is performed rather than immediately going back to the 1st exercise, but you dont have to I guess.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 7:43 pm
by kevin harris
good news for you jeff this is a super set
alot of time you hear guys say they are super setting when they do something like bench press w/flys
what you are doing is a super set
whatever names are only names
what matters is reaching your training goals regardless if you call it a suoerset or a jungle twist????:)

when you super set the best way that i have found is opposing muscle groups:

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 8:20 pm
by jeffrerr
Thanks guys! It was just one of those frustrating things, a guy at the gym told me it was only a super set if it was opposing muscles and so on and so forth!

Thanks again!

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:02 am
by elemental
Reguarding Bench Press and Lat Pulldown, I was under the impression that bench press and rows were opposing. And Shulder Press and Pulldowns were opposing. I realize this is a bit symantic but the idea is that when you do the opposing motion you enhance the recovery of the opposing muscles. the way I think of it is you want to work both sides of the same movement.

Like this:

Bench Press, arms move perpendicular to the rest of the body. (Push)
Row, arms move perpendicular to the rest of the body. (Pull)

Shoulder Press, arms move parallel to the rest of the body. (Push)
Lat Pull Down, arms move parallel to the rest of the body. (Pull)

Dips, body moves vertically. (Push)
Chin-Ups, body moves vertically. (Pull)

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 8:32 am
by Ironman
some peopl call them power sets. Same thing though.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 11:01 am
by Ryan A

The general idea is to do opposing muscles groups. It doesnt really matter what direction they are going because the upper back will get worked heavily with either.

In addition, the groove on a row is not exactly opposite that of a bench press, so neither rows or pulldowns exactly are "opposing" to the bench press motion.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 12:00 pm
by KPj

I have a question that i've always wanted to ask... but forgot about it...

I don't understand supersetting opposing muscle groups. If, for example, i did bicep curls with tricep push downs (any tri push down), what benefit would there be in comparison to just perfoming bicep curls followed by tricep push downs - the "normal way" e.g 1 complete exercise followed by another...

The only benefit I can see is time...

To me, it makes more sense to superset the same muscle....



Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 1:28 pm
by Ironman
That is correct, KPJ. Time is the reason for doing that. It works best when you have a routine that is upper/lower split or full body. You can do 2 minutes rest, but have the benefit of 4 minutes, by alternating chest and back for example. So while it is just 2 minutes between sets, it is 4 minutes between sets involving 1 group. So you can use maximal load and go to failure and still only have 2 minutes rest between sets. You can do it in a 2 min/1 min format too. This lets you do a higher volume, lower load type program. It's a must if you want to do something like HST (hypertrophy specific training) where you do 3 full body workouts a week.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 1:40 pm
by Ironman
I forgot to add, supersets with the same muscle are for a totally different goal. They are for advanced beyond failure type programs, or for increased fatigue on the stronger/target muscle so that it gives out at the same time as the stabilizers. It can also be done after, like doing the squat first and then hitting the leg extension or hack squat.

You can even mix something like a deadlift and a squat together. One is more quad and one is more ham, so they appose that way. However they have the glutes in common. So this would really kick your a$$ in more ways then 1.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 9:09 pm
by Merc82nd
Either way, if you want to accomplish a good super set with good recovery/ ablility to start a new set, you want to keep the blood localized as much as possible. ie; what everyone else has said about doing opposite muscle groups, it allows to blood to stay in the same vicinity as the first muscle being exercised. However, this is not always the case depending on your specific needs/ goals. Example I like to do calf raises (body weight) while resting between sets of chest and/ or back exercises, mainly because I do not like to use the calf machines with added weights or resistance.

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 3:56 am
by jeffrerr
Time is my only factor! Not to mention I enjoy it!

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 11:44 am
by MattZ
It's my understanding that super-sets can be performed with opposing muscle groups or the same muscle group, with or without rest between sets. Trainging opposing muscle groups with rest between sets is generally reguarded as the classic method of supper-setting, while performing multiple exercises for the same muscle without resting between sets is a more recent version version of super-setting (similar to a drop set).

PS.) A giant-set is like a supper-set, but with three or more exercises (similar to circuit training).

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 5:37 am
by elemental
The trainer I hired when I got back into the gym put me on a superset routine that worked similar groups (same muscles).

Goning from memory it was like this:


Bench Press/Side Raises
Incline Bench Press/Front Raises
Arnold presses/Tricept Pulldowns
Overhead Tricept Extentions to failure

I usually skipped the last set of tri as they were gone midway through the arny press supersets. Anyway Back/Bi/Trap day was similar and legs were their own day.

After that cycle was over, I switched to opposing group supersets, upper/lower splits 3 times/week. I feel like I work each muscle group just as hard but don't have to worry about not finishing the whole routine anymore. I dunno, it just seems like there more in the tank at the end of the workout even though I still get close to failure. I might be able to handle the similar group supersets better as I advance, but in the beginning it was murder.

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 11:52 am
by MattZ
Back in high school I would sometimes do a leg workout consisting of 4-5 straight sets of Smith Machine Squats and 4 straight sets of Romanian Deadlifts followed by 4 giant-sets consisting of the following.

Cybex Leg Press 8-12 reps (which is really more like a hack squat)
Sissy Squat 12 reps
Prone Leg Curl 12 reps
Leg Extension 12 reps

after that I would train calves and abs.