Supersets are an awesome way to grow big muscles quickly. A superset is when two or more exercises that engage completely different muscle groups are performed back to back.
- Read: How Do Supersets Work?
There is usually no rest or break between supersets. Furthermore, supersets burn calories fast and engage more muscle groups within the same amount of time. The biggest advantage of a superset would be that it helps cut down the rest time between the exercises. During a normal workout, there is a lot of downtime that is completely eliminated in case of a superset.
But are there any disadvantages to supersets? Well, everything has downsides, including supersets- so here are 5 disadvantages of supersets:
- #1 – Tires you out faster.
- #2 – Supersets can be confusing.
- #3 – Requires multiple machines. (big no no if the gym is packed)
- #4 – Harder to do and more likely to reach muscle failure.
- #5 – Higher risk of injuring yourself.
Keep reading on where we cover all of this in-depth and help you understand when you should and shouldn’t be supersetting.
Disadvantages of Supersets
In general, supersets are super useful and it is hard to find any disadvantages for them, yet nothing which has pros also does not have cons.
Though not that grave, supersets have their own sets of disadvantages. Let us take a look at them.
#1 – Tires You Out Faster
The one major difference between supersets and normal sets is that normal sets have downtime between them. This downtime means you are doing one set then resting a bit and then doing the next set.
This way we are basically left with more time resting than exercising. When it comes to supersets, there are no breaks in between. We go from one exercise immediately to the next exercise.
The result of this? Supersets will tire you out faster. Another reason why supersets tires you out faster is that it focuses on multiple muscle groups.
During a normal workout, one muscle group is being worked at. And only one part of the body gets exhausted at a time. In case of a superset, multiple muscle groups are engaged at the same time.
When multiple muscle groups are engaged at the same time, glucose supplies from the bloodstream are drawn out faster causing the muscles to feel tired earlier as compared to normal sets.
#2 – Supersets Can Be Confusing
This is probably one of the biggest disadvantages of a superset.
Honestly, when you first heard of a superset, you probably were confused what that meant too!
You see, a superset requires working on multiple muscle groups at the same time such as switching between biceps and triceps. When performing a superset, steps for sets of different muscle groups are to be kept in mind.
This is where it starts to get confusing.
For most people, when they are working out/bodybuilding, they prefer to focus on one muscle group at a time. This is because it is easier to create a rhythm and stick to it when exercising.
For example, somebody doing pull-ups is fully mentally focused on pull-ups, they are not concerned about anything else. As we mentioned, the superset will require you to switch between muscle groups which means you’ll have to change your full focus.
This can confuse some people. Being focused is important when you are training and training in confusion is not really that helpful. This is where some people find a con of supersets.
Especially considering mind-muscle connection is one of the most important things to growing muscle.
#3 – Requires Multiple Machines at The Gym
Supersets require engaging different muscle groups at the same time. This means one has to move from one machine to another back to back.
If you have your own personal machine then it is perfectly fine -but if like most of us you go to a regular gym.
It can be quite embarrassing using multiple machines when the gym is packed. In some gyms, it’s not even allowed.
Secondly, it is also difficult to find multiple gym equipment free at the same time let alone finding the specific ones you want.
Most people at the gym have their fixed routine and share the machines accordingly. If somebody suddenly starts occupying the machine in between, it will obviously cause problems.
Thirdly, it can actually make people mad if you are using multiple machines at the gym. Gym goers think of their gym like a second home where they spend considerable time and they share the gym equipment equally.
If someone suddenly starts using multiple machines, it is only natural that people will be angry.
Now, if you’re at the gym alone at night- this obviously isn’t a big deal. Furthermore, if you’re at the gym with just 1 or 2 other people and nobody is using the machines- I’m sure nobody will mind. But, when it’s peak hours and the gym is packed, this is likely a bad idea.
#4 – Harder and More Likely to Fail
Supersets combine multiple different exercises back to back. This means that for the average bodybuilder, a superset would be much much harder than a normal set.
This is because having to switch between different exercises and engaging different muscle groups.
Naturally, bodybuilders are more likely to fail and not be able to complete the full superset. This can work against the bodybuilding psyche and induce negative thoughts.
This is why we say that supersets are not for the faint of the heart. A bodybuilder performing a superset needs to complete all the exercises, all the while tiring his different muscle groups and keeping his mental cool.
#5 – Higher Risk of Injury
One of supersets biggest drawbacks and advantages is that it basically eliminates rest time. This is good as it saves time and works out your muscles harder.
But, it’s also a drawback because this puts way more stress on your muscles and when your muscles aren’t able to rest as well- the chance of them becoming injured increases exponentially.
Just remember, you don’t have to completely minimize the rest time. If you are feeling really sore after a set and need to take a little time to catch up- do it. An injury puts you out of the gym for months, take a minute to make sure you’re safe.
Supersets are highly advantageous for most bodybuilders. They provide fast muscle growth allowing the growth of big muscle in relatively smaller amounts of time.
But obviously, nothing exists without its cons. It’s how that saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished”.
We discussed the different ways in which supersets might be disadvantageous to some people. Still, even with these disadvantages, supersets remain one of the best ways to gain muscle quick and fast.
Disadvantages such as higher risk of injury and requirement of multiple machines at the gym must be kept in mind before engaging in supersets at your particular gym. With proper care supersets can be greatly helpful.
So, get out there and superset when you can. But, if it’s busy or you feel like you might get injured- it’s a good idea to take a break, rest, and recover.