Are Supersets Key for Growth?
By Christian Duque
What’s the one thing all of us are chasing in the gym? Take a few guesses why don’t ya? We all know that it’s the pump. When you’re 18-25, you can get a pump just by looking at the weights, but as you age, particularly after your 40’s & 50’s, the pump becomes more and more elusive. This is where people start to get a little creative, not to mention desperate. Supersets, drop-sets & compound movements become more popular because they require greater stress on the muscle & that stress, in turn, helps the lifter in getting closer to the pump. The pump is when the muscle fascia is stretched, when maximum oxygen in the blood has arrived, and when the muscle is actually in the most optimal setting to grow. You can’t expect growth if the muscle isn’t stimulated.
The pump isn’t just a feeling, it’s a state of muscle – get it? It’s beyond a state of mind, it’s actually a place where the muscle communicates to you that it’s been completely put into play. It sounds almost ludicrous when articulated, but it’s real. It’s definitely one of the few philosophical phenomenons of our sport. The best way to reach the pump is going on a personal journey in the gym. That having been said, there are natural products that expedite the process. For example, Tokkyo Nutrition’s Diesel Fuel Pump provides the optimal ingredients to facilitate and optimize oxygen pathways in the form of nitrous oxide to the muscle. Arginine and niacin have been used by bodybuilders for decades for this very purpose. It’s key that today’s athlete reap the benefits of science, but also put forth 100% intensity in the gymnasium.
Getting back to the original question, yes, supersets (and the like) are a valid way to get to the pump. Supplements will aid in the process; however, always be sure that you – the lifter – are doing at least 75-90% of the work. The danger with any demanding lift is that the lifter’s spotter starts to do more of the lift than need be. There’s a similar danger in using machines (as they take much of the actual work out of the equation). It’s important to be in full control of the weight AT ALL TIMES, aiming for full range of motion, & stopping at exhaustion.