Men's Fitness

Weights Room

Advanced lifting protocols for maximum muscle

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GIANT SETS

WHAT: Multiple sets of di erent moves done back to back with little or no rest. In contrast to supersets, which often target antagonist­ic (opposing) muscles, giant sets are usually composed of four or five moves targeting one part of the body. WHY: Giant sets will kick-start stubborn muscles into growth, but also burn some fat because of the high work rate.

HOW:

• There are di erent protocols, but one of the most e ective is to follow a power move with a heavy strength move and then a pair of smaller moves. • For example, jump squat, heavy back squat, dumbbell squat, dumbbell lunge.

GVT

WHAT: German Volume Training is a system popularise­d by the renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin, It uses a couple of moves per workout for very high volumes of work: usually 10 sets of 10 reps. WHY: It’s a good way to combine strength and hypertroph­y, although it’s especially taxing on the lifter’s recovery system.

HOW:

• Pick a pair of lifts that complement each other: bench press and chin-up, or bent-over row and flyes, for instance. • Do 10 reps of the first move, rest for 60 secs, then do 10 reps of the second and rest another 60 secs. • Keep going until you’ve done 100 reps of both.

DROP SETS

WHAT: One of Arnie’s go-tos, in which you lift to near-failure, then take some weight o the bar or grab a lighter dumbbell and do some more reps. WHY: Drop sets push your muscles past the point where they would normally fail, nudging them into growth.

HOW:

• As above. • For an even tougher option, try a triple drop set (going to failure and reducing the weight twice). • Or, if you’ve only got a single set of dumbbells, for instance, do a technical drop set: regular curls followed by hammer curls is a classic.

PYRAMID SETS

WHAT: Starting light, then upping the weight in each successive set, dropping the reps to compensate. WHY: It’s a way to build your warm-up into your main workout, and also ensures that you get in a decent amount of volume.

HOW:

• Start with a weight that’s manageable for around 10 reps, and lift. • Next set, up the weight but go for 8 reps, then continue for 6, 4 and finally 2 reps. • To add even more muscle-building volume, continue by reversing the process.

CLUSTER SETS

WHAT: Sets done with short, built-in pauses. A typical cluster might be a set of 2-2-2-2 reps, so you do a total of 8 reps but pause for 10 secs after every other rep. WHY: It allows for extra volume at a heavier weight than would usually be possible.

HOW:

• Pick a weight that you could handle for 3 to 5 reps, lift for 2, then take a short break. • Don’t do this for more than one or two big moves per workout.

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