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The effects of superset configuration on kinetic, kinematic, and perceived exertion in the barbell bench press

Weakley, Jonathon JSa,b; Till, Kevina,b; Read, Dale Ba,b; Phibbs, Padraic Ja,b; Roe, Gregory ABa,b; Darrall-Jones, Joshuaa,b; Jones, Ben La,b

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 04, 2017 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002179
Original Research: PDF Only

Training that is efficient and effective is of great importance to an athlete. One method of improving efficiency is by incorporating supersets into resistance training routines. However, the structuring of supersets is still unexplored. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of agonist-antagonist (A-A), alternate peripheral (A-P), and similar biomechanical (SB) superset configurations on rate of perceived exertion (RPE), kinetic and kinematic changes during the bench press. 10 subjects performed resistance training protocols in a randomized-crossover design, with magnitude-based inferences assessing changes/differences within and between protocols. Changes in RPE were very likely and almost certainly greater in the A-P and SB protocols when compared with the A-A, while all superset protocols had very likely to almost certain reductions in mean velocity and power from baseline. Reductions in mean velocity and power were almost certainly greater in the SB protocol, with differences between the A-A and A-P protocols being unclear. Decreases in peak force were likely and almost certain in the A-A and SB protocols respectively, with changes in A-P being unclear. Differences between these protocols showed likely greater decreases in SB peak forces when compared to A-A, with all other superset comparisons being unclear. This study demonstrates the importance of exercise selection when incorporating supersets into a training routine. It is suggested that the practitioner uses A-A supersets when aiming to improve training efficiency and minimize reductions in kinetic and kinematic output of the agonist musculature while completing the barbell bench press.

aInstitute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

bYorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Club, Kirkstall Training Ground, Leeds Rugby Academy, Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Corresponding Author: Jonathon Weakley Room G03, Macaulay Hall Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure Centre for Sports Performance Headingley Campus, Leeds Beckett University W. Yorkshire, LS6 3GZ Phone: (0044) 1138121801 Email:

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.