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Weight Lifting and Fitness
Workout Sets Techniques

Supersets

A superset is basically the performance of two exercises, carried out one right after the other, for exercises which work certain muscle areas. The possible variations of this method are endless, however. There are several advantages to supersets such as increased workout intensity, elevated cardiovascular efficiency, reduced workout times and less chance of boredom whilst training. Unfortunately there is the factor of overtraining and possible injury if muscles are not warmed up.

Trisets

Trisets are - you guessed it - three exercises done one after the other without stopping. Take a minute's rest and start again for three sets. Most muscle groups can be worked from at least three angles, so this is a very workable technique. Trisets can be used in two ways; working three angles of a muscle area or working the same angle three ways. For example you could work the overall back with a set of wide-grip chins, followed by seated cable rows and prone hyperextensions. Or specifically target the back thickness with T-bar rows followed by seated cable rows and medium-grip chins for three complete sets. Working the same angle is more intense and depleting. Keep the time spent changing exercises to a minimum and choose your exercises wisely.

Giant Sets

This involves performing four or more exercises for a muscle group without stopping. The exercises are completed consecutively, followed by a 2-minute break, and so on for three complete rounds. This technique is very intense and can quickly lead to overtraining so use it wisely.

Triple-drop sets

This is a well-known and popular technique, and takes your training to the limit. Let's make an example with the overhead press. Take a barbell loaded with three plates on each side and perform 4-5 reps. Without racking the weight, have a pair of spotters quickly remove a plate from each side (about 25%) and carry on until you can't do any more reps. Immediately have two more plates removed (another 25%) and keep going until you fail in this last set. This is a very concentrated method so don't attempt to do too much. Using resistance machines for triple-drop sets is practical because you only need to move the pin to adjust the weight.

Pre-exhaust sets

One of the most exciting and effective techniques for singling out an area, this technique offers complete isolation of a muscle. Let's imagine you are having trouble hitting the triceps. First work them with an exercise that isolates the triceps, like the triceps pulley pressdown, and then immediately perform the close grip bench press. The triceps will be fatigued from the pulley pressdowns - putting them through the close-grip bench presses will really hit them because the chest (pecs) will be stronger and force them to continue. This method really works.

Rest pause sets

If you are not an experienced and advanced bodybuilder, don't try this technique just yet. It is extremely intense and results are dramatic. Using your one-rep limit weight, perform one rep and then pause for 15 seconds, racking the weight. After the pause, do another rep and pause 15 seconds. If the weight is too much, reduce it a little. Continue for 6-8 reps. You can use this method for most exercises, but it is more efficient in compound exercises.

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