Reps, check. Sets, check. But do you know what drop sets, supersets and giant sets are? If you’ve been inside a gym, you’ve likely heard these words tossed around like weights and dumbbells. But so you can talk the talk, walk the walk, and lift the reps, we’ve defined them below for you. Pluse we’ve got some recent research on why you need to workout with these three training methods. Get ready to take your workout to the next level, and achieve the muscle gains you’ve been wanting.
Drop It Like It’s Hot!
Don’t be fooled – drop sets are hard, so be prepared to work. According to the Ultimate Guide to Gym Lingo, when you workout with drop sets, you reduce the amount of weight you lift about midway through a set and finishing off the number of reps you can do at the point of exhaustion. And if it sounds like a relief to lower a very challenging weight, know that the challenging part is that you’re work your muscles with the remaining reps until you literally can’t lift another single rep. Since this can be tough, you will need a partner or spotter for these sets so you don’t have to take the time to swap the weights. The goal is to avoid any rest within the set. They’re also known as descending sets.
Consider this strategy from muscleandfitness.com for choosing how much weight you should be lifting:
- Set 1: – chose a weight you’d fail at 4-6 reps.
- Set 2: – reduce weight by 5lbs. 8-10 reps
- Set 3: – reduce weight by 5lbs. 10-12 reps
- Set 4: – reduce weight by 5lbs. 12-15 reps
- Set 5: – reduce weight by 5/10lbs. 15-20 reps
Rules: 1st set should be heaviest. No rest in between drops sets. “Walk down the rack” selecting weights.
So what’s the benefit? According to a study in the Journal of Human Kinetics, using drop sets for bench presses and chest flyes had notable benefits for pre- and post-exhaustion in male test subjects versus 10 rep max sets. Try the drop-set workout with this 5 Leg Press Variations for Glutes.
Super Size Your Sets!
Get your cape and leotard ready! Just kidding. No hero costume required for this – although you will feel like a rockstar after finishing this vigorous way of training. Supersets are meant to increase the intensity of your workout by eliminating the rest time between exercises, according to bodybuilding.com. By avoiding rest, you keep your muscles challenged, achieve pre-fatigue sooner, avoid cheating, and you spike your heart rate. What’s the benefit? Research in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that supersets not only cut down on time spent at the gym, but it also increase energy expenditure (calories burned) during and after the resistance training. According to fitnesshealth101.com, the superset category also breakdowns into more types, including pre-fatigue, post-fatigue, compound, isolated, opposing muscle group, staggering and triple supersets. Because supersets shock the muscles, you’ll feel it the next day, espeically if you’re not stretching properly. Choose a weight that is manageable and tough – there’s no rest, remember? And you will definitely need your rest days with this type of training. Try this 5 Supersets for a Full-Body Workout.
Stand on the Shoulders of Giants!
Giant sets sound intimidating, and that’s for good reason. When you do giant sets, you focus your moves on one muscle group at a time with three or more exercises with about eight to 12 reps. Rest time is about five to 15 seconds between moves and two to three minutes between giant sets, according to fitnesshealth101.com. Because you might not be working the muscle in the exact same way, choose a weight that is challenging and will get you through the reps. Since the different exercises work the muscles in different ways (and different muscle groups, depending on which three exercises you choose fo the set.) You may also hear giant sets described as trisets.
Giant sets have been shown to improve the weight lifted during one-rep maximum, peak and shuttle-run performances as well as improving lean muscle mass, reports a study in Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. And if you’re a numbers guy – logging your performance – this is the set style for you. The results were comparable to high-resistance circuit training. Try this giant-set workout Benefits of Tri-Sets and Giant Sets for Men.