Neuromuscular responses for resistance training sessions adopting traditional, superset, paired set and circuit methods

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2019 Dec;59(12):1991-2002. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09586-0. Epub 2019 May 20.


Background: A challenging aspect of research in sports science is designing and conducting studies that simulate actual workout scenarios, especially with application to resistance training (RT). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of RT sessions performed in differing workout formats on myoelectric activity, strength performance, and metabolic markers (creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, blood lactate) over 24, 48 and 72 hours post-workout.

Methods: Twenty-two trained men (25.2±4.1 years, 182.1±12.3 cm and 91.2±5.9 kg) performed the following four training protocols with 10-repetition maximum loads in random order: 1) traditional set (TS): three sets were performed in succession for the barbell bench press (BP), lat pulldown (LPD), 45° incline bench press (BP45), seated close-grip row (SCR), triceps extension (TE) and biceps curl (BC) on a pulley; 2) paired set (PS): three paired sets were performed as follows: BP-LPD, BP45-SCR, and TC-B; 3) super-set (SS): similar to the PS protocol, but without rest between paired exercises; 4) circuit training (CT): one set of each exercise was performed sequentially three times.

Results: The results showed greater total volume under the SS (8063.2±2270.5 kg) protocol versus the TS (7356.8±2279.7 kg). Total work (repetitions) was also significantly greater for the SS and CT protocols versus the TS (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Therefore, the practitioners should consider utilizing the SS method during time-constrained periods with the goal to achieve greater training volume in time-efficient manner versus the TS, PS and CT methods.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Young Adult