Exercise order affects the total training volume and the ratings of perceived exertion in response to a super-set resistance training session

Int J Gen Med. 2012:5:123-7. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S27377. Epub 2012 Feb 10.


The super-set is a widely used resistance training method consisting of exercises for agonist and antagonist muscles with limited or no rest interval between them - for example, bench press followed by bent-over rows. In this sense, the aim of the present study was to compare the effects of different super-set exercise sequences on the total training volume. A secondary aim was to evaluate the ratings of perceived exertion and fatigue index in response to different exercise order. On separate testing days, twelve resistance-trained men, aged 23.0 ± 4.3 years, height 174.8 ± 6.75 cm, body mass 77.8 ± 13.27 kg, body fat 12.0% ± 4.7%, were submitted to a super-set method by using two different exercise orders: quadriceps (leg extension) + hamstrings (leg curl) (QH) or hamstrings (leg curl) + quadriceps (leg extension) (HQ). Sessions consisted of three sets with a ten-repetition maximum load with 90 seconds rest between sets. Results revealed that the total training volume was higher for the HQ exercise order (P = 0.02) with lower perceived exertion than the inverse order (P = 0.04). These results suggest that HQ exercise order involving lower limbs may benefit practitioners interested in reaching a higher total training volume with lower ratings of perceived exertion compared with the leg extension plus leg curl order.

Keywords: ratings of perceived exertion; resistance training; super-set method; total training volume.