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  • Writer's pictureJack

How I implement giant sets in my training

Giant sets are what you take, walking on the moon, or at least you’ll be walking like you’re on the moon after one…

The terminology here is confusing, and, previously, I might have referred to this style of set as a “cluster set”, where old PT books define a giant set as four exercises sequenced back to back.

Here, in the modern times, giant refers to the MASSIVE volume (and gains) doing lots of reps close to failure at a challenging weight could stimulate.

I talk you through giant sets over on @coachjackmann while performing a tough example of one

Here, we pick a number of total reps (for me, 50 hip adductions) at a weight we can do for eight to 10 reps leaving a couple in the tank. We then do that first set, breathe (for me, three-four big breaths) and then go again, aiming to match that first set, knowing that the deeper we get, the less likely this is to happen.

We know that you don’t have to train to complete failure to grow muscle. We also know that the hypertrophic magic seems to happen closer to failure. As such, sets done in this way enable you to spend a lot of/more time close/r to failure in the same session, than, say, straight sets might.

As an intensity technique, they are, naturally, challenging. They are more fatiguing than straight sets. And they likely shouldn’t be used early on in a training block – instead first building up volume through straight sets.

But, if you’re looking for a novel stimulus with the weights and machines you have, they are killer/class/muy bueno. In my other other gym, I maxed the weight on their machine out, and so giant sets – unfortunately – became the only way for me to train adductors, leading me to eventually drop them from my routine.

At PureGym the stack goes up to 100kg, so I’ve a bit of head room yet! Have you given these a go? Let me know if you would like help programming them into your routine.

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