Following is my Chest and Back split:

3 supersets of flat barbell bench press/flat dumbbell flyes (10-12 Reps)

3 supersets of incline barbell bench press/decline dumbbell flyes (7-9 Reps)

3 supersets of decline barbell bench press/incline dumbbell flyes (6-8 Reps)

Then I follow this up with 9 sets of a Back workout (No supersets involved).

Personally, I love this routine because I get a good chest pump and my triceps and shoulders engage a lot as well (Probably exhausted to failure after the last set of the chest workout). However, my question is, would supersets be efficient as compared to doing all these exercises in isolation when the underlying goal is to gain size?

  • 2
    They are definitivelly the best way to gain muscle and strength. Supersetting opposite muscles is proven to increase performance. For size the best are : opposite supersets>normal supersets>trisets>giantsets>dropsets>anything else
    – Ekaen
    Apr 8, 2018 at 19:36
  • 5
    @Ekaen "the best way to gain strength and muscle", pretty big claim that is in disagreement with every successful strength training protocol.
    – Eric
    Apr 8, 2018 at 20:52
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    Its a matter of fact that squats feel easier after leg curls, chin ups feel easier after dips, rows feel easier after pressing... and so on.
    – Ekaen
    Apr 8, 2018 at 20:55
  • 1
    And what do you is going to make you stronger ? Doing heavy set then sitting and resting or doing something else right after as a form of rest?
    – Ekaen
    Apr 8, 2018 at 20:58
  • 4
    "It's a matter of fact that squats feel easier after leg curls". [citation needed]
    – DeeV
    Apr 8, 2018 at 23:42

2 Answers 2


Considering your goals to increase size, supersets are not as efficient in comparison to doing these exercises in isolation. During the execution of a superset, each previous set makes significant in-roads into your ability to perform the next set in sequence as optimally as without. Given all other things being equal, the increase in the cross-sectional size of a muscle is proportional to the increase in its ability to resist more weight. If you were to split the proposed superset exercises across multiple days, your ability to lift more weight on all the exercises would increase significantly, allowing for greater levels of hypertrophy.


To optimize strength you should be lifting at least your 6 rep max to failure. To optimize hypertrophy you should be lifting at least your 12 rep max to failure. If you are hitting the same muscle group repeatedly without rest, you can't lift that much. 18 sets of the same muscle group on one day is also extremely excessive volume. It's better to lift heavier instead of doing extreme amounts of volume on light weights. Also brosplits are bad. To optimize strength and hypertrophy you need to hit each muscle group every 72 hours for a moderate volume, instead of beating it to death one day a week.

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