A large weight, and I am not talking about a squat bar, has been lifted off my shoulders. Many of you have probably already heard that I was arrested and charged with "extortion" just over a year ago by an individual that will remain nameless at this juncture. My last court date was on December 12, 2011 and I plead out to a deal that will hopefully end with the possibility of no criminal record. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic and since I have not attained any sort of legal advice on what I should and shouldn't discuss, publicly, I'll refrain from touching on this topic until that has happened. However, I can impart a little bit of wisdom that I've learned from all this – life is too short to waste it worrying about losing a small amount of money, and sometimes it's just best to get on with your life and write off the loss. People who know me, know that I'm a big ol' teddy bear and I wouldn't hurt a hair on top of a beaver's head.
I was surfing YouTube and I came across some videos of Milos Sarcev training his clients and it inspired me to write this article. I want to outline how supersets, trisets and giant sets can be used in your current weight training program to give it a little more flavor. In my opinion, when you utilize a larger number of sets with small rest periods, you cross into more cardio training than muscle building. However, I think Milos' theory of getting as much blood and nutrients into the muscle is a good one. I have utilized these techniques in my training and it has really helped bring blood volume into the target muscle group during my workouts. The best part about it is that I don't have to pretend to be a human forklift and lift a ton of weight to increase the intensity. I like to keep my weights close to the same amount that I use during my straight sets. I particularly enjoy the fact that this kind of training keeps me busy and keeps me from getting bored. The only negative side to this technique is that if the gym is busy, it's very difficult to do a giant set without pissing off at least one person.
With regard to supersets, I like to use the first set to pre-exhaust the target muscle before engaging in my second set with a compound movement.
Here are a few examples of supersets that you can use:
Chest: Flat Dumbbell Fly > Dumbbell Bench Press (Incline or Flat)
Back: Lat Pulldown > T-Bar Row
Shoulders: Lateral Raise (Cable, Machine or Dumbbell) > Military Press
Biceps: Concentration Curl > Barbell Curl
Triceps: Rope Pushdown > Close-Grip Bench Press
Quads: Leg Extension > Leg Press
Hamstrings: Lying Leg Curl > Stiff Leg Deadlift
This is some very basic stuff that I'm sure many of you are already aware of. There are tons of variations and different ways that you can hit the muscle with supersets.
I feel that trisets are just a mini giant set for smaller bodyparts. For that reason, I will lump these two together into one unit. I could yammer on and on about giant sets and tri sets, but I'll just get to what you guys want to read, the exercises. Here ya go:
Trisets For Biceps & Triceps:
Biceps: Barbell Preacher Curl (EZ or Straight Bar) > Standing Barbell Curl (EZ or Straight Bar) > Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Triceps: Reverse Grip Pushdown (Bar) > Regular Pushdowns (Bar) > Overhead Tricep Extension (Rope)
Shoulders: Lateral Raise > Rear Deltoid Fly (Fly Machine or Dumbbell) > Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Giant Sets For Chest, Back & Legs
Chest: Incline Dumbbell Press > Incline Dumbbell Fly > Flat Dumbbell Press > Flat Dumbbell Fly > Machine Press
Back: Lat Pulldown (Any Variation) > Low Cable Row > Barbell Row > Deadlifts > High Machine Row
Legs: Leg Extension > Leg Curl > Squat > Leg Press > Walking Lunges
In a nut shell, that's supersets, trisets and giant sets. This may not be the way you want to train all the time, but it's definitely something you can use to shock your muscles and bring some new stimulus to your training. The number one benefit is certainly the break that you give your joints from all the heavy pounding. A word of caution with this kind of training, make sure you pay strict attention to form as you continue to get fatigued. The last thing you want to do while trying to give your joints a rest is to slip a disc in your back because you weren't paying attention. I bet you could ask some CrossFitters about the injuries they receive because of doing large numbers of sets with much less-than-perfect form. Before I end this article, I would like to take a moment to thank one of Rx Muscle's editors and contributors, Jeff Pearce. He has been editing and arranging my articles for a long time now and I do appreciate the work he has put in. Please check out his articles that come up under The Canuck.
Here's a link to his last article, an interview with Canadian boxing legend, George Chuvalo: http://www.rxmuscle.com/articles/latest-news/4614-the-canuck-george-chuvalo-%E2%80%93-never-knocked-down-or-knocked-out.html
Thanks again guys and gals, more to come next week!
All articles by Greg Kovacs have been edited and arranged by Jeff Pearce since April 2011. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions e-mail him at [email protected] .