Chances are that standard sets are the de facto, predominant way you lift weights. That is, let’s say, doing 3 sets of 12 reps with 60s rest in between each exercise, into oblivion. They’re conventional wisdom and the foundation for all forms of resistance training, but that same paradigm ultimately prevents 95% of people from venturing into more challenging waters (without a kick in the butt from a trainer).
And there in lies a HUGE problem — relying exclusively on traditional, standard sets leaves an enormous amount of muscle growth AND fat-burning potential untapped.
Sure you’ll stimulate muscle growth for a period, but the body adapts over time and growth stagnates. Moreover, traditional sets aren’t that intense, outside of major anchor lifts like squats, deadlifts, and dumbbell swings. Elite physiques are constructed through high-octane intensity and challenge — standard sets generally can’t escalate to that level. Push UPWARD and tweak the way you train. Here are 5 powerful set variations that can toss a wrinkle into your routine, galvanize new results and burst frustrating plateaus, and crank up fat burn to full-blown incineration mode. Plus, you’ll be more engaged. New, rapid stimuli can break up the monotony of a repetitive workout plan. Put. It. To. Work.
Super sets are required learning for anyone who wants a killer physique. They’re the most basic set variation and the launching pad for more advanced techniques. Complete 1 set of 1 exercise immediately followed by a 2nd set of a different exercise, without rest (and change dumbbells, if necessary).
1. Dumbbell Chest Press, 12 reps
2. Dumbbell Flies, 12 reps
AKA circuit training, circuit sets are a super set consisting of 3+ different exercises back to back, without rest. Circuit sets can hit one muscle group, or combine multiple exercises across muscle groups.
1. Dumbbell Chest Press, 50 lbs, 12 reps
2. Dumbbell Flies, 25 lbs, 12 reps
3. Push Ups, 20 reps