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As you complete every workout, your body is increasingly stronger. That’s great, because your hard work is producing results! So, keep working to get your gains.
You’ll notice that your workouts are getting progressively easier. Meanwhile, your body goes into overdrive to become even more efficient and burn as little calories as possible.
At that point, your body is asking for more of a challenge. More of a workout. When you change up your training routine occasionally, you’ll feel motivated and refreshed. And that will help you stick to your workout routine.
These 8 training sets can change up your routine, build muscle and help get you to your goals:
Straight sets are the most familiar form of weight lifting. If you hear someone say they’re lifting weights, most likely they’re referring to doing reps (repetitions) of straight sets. Maybe any of the lifting sets below. (Unless you’re talking to a fellow bodybuilder or workout junkie.)
Give yourself 1 to 3 minute rests (breaks) between each straight set. That helps keep your strength up, so you can give it your all.
Beginners should only do straight sets for the first few months. Here’s why. First, beginners can easily get injured if they attempt advanced weight training routines. Plus, beginners just don’t receive the muscular benefits of doing high-intensity sets, versus someone who’s been training longer.
The benefits: Louisiana State University researchers found that people who did straight sets gained 70% more muscle on their arms doing straight set curls and lateral raises than doing tri-set training.
2. Drop Sets
The drop set is a classic, long-proven technique (developed by Henry Atkins in 1947) used to work different muscle fibers. It’s wonderfully simple: Just reduce weights and keep going until failure (until you just continue with the workout).
There are many drop set variations, but the two most popular ones are called running the rack and plate stripping. Both are great for increasing muscle growth.
A superset is a strength training exercise requiring two sets of in a row without any rest. It’s flexible: You can do supersets that target the same muscle groups, or different muscle groups.
The reason why they’re so popular is because you accomplish more in less time. While your muscles recover from one exercise, you can move to another workout within the superset.
4. Compound Sets
These are very similar to a superset (back-to-back exercises without any rest). The difference is that compound sets work the same muscle group. It’s usually done by working on that muscle from different angles.
5. Pyramid Sets
These get variety into workouts. They can also be useful when you’re working to get past a plateau.
A pyramid is known to be wide at its base and tapering to a point at the top. Conceptually, that’s how a pyramid training set works. Start light and gradually either increase the weight or increase the number of reps.
You can also do what’s called a reverse pyramid set, where you instead decrease the weight and reps. The theory behind pyramid sets is that the stress caused by pyramid training helps you build muscle and strength faster.
This is performed exactly as you’d think. Break down your current one set into a couple mini-sets, taking a short rest between each.
There are two different methods for performing rest-pause sets: training for hypertrophy and training for strength. Hypertrophy is when you train to get bigger, so the first method is great for breaking through a plateau. The second is great for gaining strength.
7. Time-Under Tension
Time-under tension (TUT) is a training method whose name refers to how long a muscle is under strain during a set. One set of 10 reps will on average take a bodybuilder between 15 to 25 seconds to perform.
TUT is designed for developing muscle growth and strength. If you’re serious about constructing muscle proteins and igniting protein synthesis in your body, then an EAA supplement may be what you’re looking for. Read more about why you should add EAAs to your daily routine here.
8. Tri-set/Giant Sets
A tri-set is a training method that combines three exercises, all performed one after the other with no breaks. You can focus on training the same or on training different muscle groups.
Utilize the Tri-set/Giant Sets approach when training for hypertrophy or when looking to break a plateau.
So, there you have it! The 8 different types of muscle-building training sets. Interested in learning even more? Read TOP 10 EXERCISES TO BUILD MUSCLE AND STRENGTH.
Have you tried any of these training sets, or are you considering trying one of these training sets? Do you know of any that aren’t on this list, that have worked especially well for you? Let us know in the comments.