This past weekend I attended a seminar run by one of the biggest names in the bodybuilding industry Milos Sarcev. Some of you may have heard of him and if so you know his approach to training.
Milos now appears in major publications on a frequent basis. He is very respected and the demand for him is global. Milos is known as not only one of the most popular bodybuilders of our time but also as one of the smartest!
The 3-day seminar was intense with 2 giant set training sessions a day. It is now more than ever accepted that weight training is imperative if fat loss is the priority.
What is a Giant Set?
It involves incorporating four, or more, bodybuilding exercises into one set that, if done correctly, will stimulate one muscle group – or two opposing like back and chest. In Milos’ case it was more like 20 sets made to one – killer!!!!
Any form of weight training – from four straight sets per body part to supersets (two sets performed back to back), drop sets (one set broken into three parts, each subsequent set after the first comprised of a 30 percent weight reduction) and rest pause training (upon a set’s completion, rest for around two seconds before completing several more reps) to tempo training (tension work) – will assist fat loss, however giant sets incorporate a greater amount of work into a smaller time frame.
This type of training allows us to do more by elevating the metabolic rate (the rate at which we burn calories both during activity and at rest) to more effectively burn fat.
The key to giant sets is intensity: sets have to be performed in rotation with as little rest as possible between them. Complete each set of each exercise (a good rep range for both fat loss and muscle building being around eight to 12) to failure before moving onto the next exercise. The rest in between exercises should be kept to minimum, no more than 10 sec. and 1-2 minutes between sets (unless you performing 20 exercises, then you may need 5 minutes).
A giant sets workout is amazing for fat loss, provided enough intensity is applied to building muscle. Added to your regular weight training program, you will add the intensity boost needed to encourage new gains in muscle mass.
The combination of exercises coupled with a sustained period of exertion serves to target a muscle group from all angles hitting deep muscle fibers and stimulating growth.
The metabolic processes assisting such growth – as with any form of weight training, but to a greater degree with giant sets – will result in an elevated metabolism, which will, in turn, burn body fat at a faster rate. That applies even if we resting. New muscle and proper nutrition with incorporated rest means that metabolic activation will continue.
Just like with straight sets training, exercises and rep ranges can be changed around with the giant sets approach to continually shock the muscles into new growth. In Milos’ case he changes the routine every workout which helps to overcome a training plateau and encourages fresh gains in muscle size while reducing body fat. I personally wouldn’t use 20+ exercises in every workout as given their intense nature it might result in overtraining, but definitely worth doing it every now and then to shock the body.
However insane it may sound I truly enjoyed that type of training and am excited to put my clients through that experience 🙂
Personal note from Miranda: Giant sets have definitely put me through my paces and tested my fitness levels. It is a tough workout but the gains & feelings of accomplishment once completed are amazing!