Gain muscle and lose fat by training with giant sets—those brutal sets of four or more exercises that target one part of the body, but train different parts of the strength curve.
Giant Sets Vs. Supersets
In contrast to a superset, which usually alternates between exercises of opposing muscle groups (agonists and antagonists), giant sets thrash one muscle group with a lot of volume. They are great for packing on muscle and elicit a nice fat burning growth hormone response. Giant sets also overload the metabolic system and train cardiovascular fitness.
The key to getting maximal results with giant sets is to understand how to use the strength curve to your advantage. In addition, you need to be aware of the fiber-type content of the muscle that you are training in order to program giant sets properly.
Understanding The Strength Curve
The strength curve describes the amount of force a muscle can exert at a specific joint angle. Every exercise has a resistance curve that emphasizes different areas of the strength curve.
Simply, there are three resistance curves: low range, mid range, and end range. The idea to giant sets is to overload all three ranges by doing different exercise in a series.
For example, for the biceps, you could try doing standing barbell curls to overload the mid range of the elbow flexors’ strength curve. Follow this with a Scott curl, which emphasizes the start of the movement or low range. Then do a spider curl, which emphasizes the end range of the curl movement.
Here is an example of a lower body giant set:
Barbell Squats, 6010 Tempo
Heel-Elevated Squats, 4010
Dumbbell Lunges, 1010
Trap Bar Deadlifts, 40X0
Elevating the heels on the squat isolates the quads a bit better.
This is an excellent way to shock the lower body into getting stronger. It triggers a robust growth hormone response for body composition benefits.
Here is an example of a complete leg workout:
For a complete leg workout, pair the above lower body workout with the following hamstring giant set:
Lying Leg Curl, 4010
Seated Leg Curl, 4010
Back Extension, 4010
Understand Fiber Types
The dominant fiber types of different muscle groups affects the optimal way to train giant sets. Muscles that have a greater proportion of type 1 fibers are more endurance focused and benefit from higher rep, lower load training. On the other hand, muscles that are more explosive and have more type 2 fibers benefit from lower rep, higher load training. For example, the hamstrings are primarily made up of fast-twitch fibers. This means you want to train lower reps, high weight, and more sets.
Put Giant Sets To Work
For a great lower body giant set workout, try 5 sets of each of the above exercises with 6 to 8 reps and a heavy load. Keep rest intervals just short enough to move between lifts. This is a high volume challenging workout that will produce severe metabolic stress for improved body composition.