Maximizing Efficiency or Gym Etiquette? The Debate Over Supersets at the Gym

Sophia Moonstone

Updated Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 12:29 AM CDT

Maximizing Efficiency or Gym Etiquette? The Debate Over Supersets at the Gym

Conflicting Opinions on Supersets

Supersets, a workout technique that involves performing two exercises back-to-back with minimal rest, have gained popularity in recent years. However, the use of supersets in public gyms has sparked a debate among fitness enthusiasts. Some argue that supersets are an efficient way to maximize workout time, while others believe it is a breach of gym etiquette. Let's delve into the different perspectives and find out what experts have to say.

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One Reddit user shared their encounter with someone doing supersets at the gym. They expressed discomfort with individuals using multiple machines or spaces simultaneously in a public gym. This raises the question of whether it is appropriate to occupy more than one area at a time, potentially inconveniencing other gym-goers.

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In response to the Reddit post, the person doing supersets apologized and explained that they didn't mean to run the author off the machine. They shared that they recently started a super/giant set program and believe the appropriateness of supersets depends on various factors, such as the busyness of the gym, the type of station or machine, and how respectful one is towards others.

Gym Etiquette and Superset Guidelines

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Another Reddit user chimed in, suggesting that if a machine is in high demand, it would be rude to reserve it with personal belongings. However, they mentioned that they would perform all their sets at once with normal rest time, allowing others to work in between sets. This user emphasizes the importance of being courteous and respectful while doing supersets, including wiping down machines even if they plan to return to them later.

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Another gym-goer shared their perspective, stating that it is better for someone to superset two machines but let others work in between sets, rather than hogging a single machine for an extended period. They find it frustrating when someone occupies a machine for a short period but remains seated on it for an unnecessarily long time.

The Science Behind Supersets

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As the debate continues, it's interesting to note a study that concluded performing three sets of an exercise without rest, with each set being 20% less than the previous, can yield statistically equivalent lean mass gains as doing three sets with adequate rest in between. Some gym enthusiasts incorporate this information into their workout routine, turning non-barbell or compound exercises into supersets, but they only use one machine or equipment piece at a time.

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While the opinions on supersets at the gym vary, one thing remains clear - gym etiquette should always be a priority. Some individuals expressed their dissatisfaction with people who continue using multiple machines or spaces when others want to use them. They suggest taking the machine or equipment when the person doing supersets moves to another area and not giving it back when they return.

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In a busy gym environment, where memberships are often affordable, competition for machines and equipment is inevitable. Some gym-goers argue that scheduling workouts strategically can help avoid waiting for machines, and they advise against doing chest exercises on Mondays due to high demand. They emphasize the need to adapt to the circumstances and maintain a respectful attitude towards fellow gym enthusiasts.

The use of supersets at the gym remains a topic of debate. While some argue for their efficiency in maximizing workout time, others stress the importance of gym etiquette and considerate behavior towards fellow gym-goers. Ultimately, finding a balance between individual goals and consideration for others is crucial in creating a positive gym experience for everyone.

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