Training

Giant Sets

More demanding and more damaging.

by
Giant Sets
Per Bernal

HYPOTHESIS

Supersets are two different exercises performed back-to-back with no rest in between. A traditional superset involves two separate muscle groups. Another way of supersetting is doing two exercises for the same muscle group back-to-back. These are called giant sets. It’s hypothesized that if you “pre-exhaust” the target muscle with an isolation exercise and follow it immediately with a compound exercise (e.g., pec deck to bench press), you will better stimulate the muscle.

RESEARCH

Brazilian researchers tested the effect of exercise order (super- sets versus giant sets) in muscle activity and markers of muscle damage. The exercises were the leg press, leg extension, bench press, and pec deck. The giant-set group did bench presses followed by pec decks. The superset group performed leg presses followed by pec decks, and bench presses followed by leg extensions.

FINDINGS

Performing giant sets in which a compound movement was followed immediately by an isolation movement for the same muscle group led to significantly higher muscle activation, muscle damage, and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) compared with traditional supersets.

 CONCLUSION 

Giant sets, particularly when compound movements are performed first, are taxing on the muscle and may require longer time to recover between training sessions for that muscle group.

APPLICATION

Pick a target muscle and do giant sets for six to eight weeks. If you’re a seasoned lifter, perform giant sets each time you hit that body part. If you have less training years under your belt, incorporate giant sets once per week for any given body part. 

 FLEX 

Comments