Giant Sets for Chest and Back: Focus on Bench Press and Barbell Rows

The typical bodybuilding workout has us doing three to four sets of eight to 12 reps for each exercise. That’s a great program for building muscle. But I want to introduce you to a specific strength building method.

Giants sets. And in this article, I’m going to give you an example of using giant sets for chest and back.

Giant Sets vs Supersets

First of all, don’t confuse giant sets with supersets. Although the concept is similar, we’re going for an entirely different purpose with giant sets vs supersets.

Supersets involve going from one exercise to another with no rest in between. They are normally performed to give you that muscle burn or pump effect.

Giant sets are also going from one exercise to another with the caveat that you’re working the opposing muscle on the second exercise. In other words, you’re working the agonist and antagonist muscles together.

315 lb Bench Press

Benefits of Giant Sets

Using giant sets does two things:

  1. Makes you stronger on both of those lifts
  2. Conditions your body

Another note on giant sets is there’s often a third exercise thrown in. This is usually targeting a smaller muscle or an exercise not as taxing as the first two in the giant set. I’ll talk more about that in the chest and back workout below.

Chest and Back: Focus on Bench Press and Barbell Rows

Now lets get to the giant sets for chest and back workout. The basis of this workout is to get strong on two core lifts: bench press and barbell rows.

If you’re not used to this type of training then it can (actually it will) be tough at first. You can expect the amount of weight you normally lift to drop a little.

But do not fret, you will break through within the first couple of weeks. It takes time for your body to become conditioned for this. Let’s get to the full chest and back workout.

Back - Seated Rows

Giant Sets Chest and Back Workout

  • Giant Set 1
  • 5 sets x 5 reps (10 reps for leg raises)
    • Barbell Rows
    • Bench Press
    • Seated Leg Raises
  • Giant Set 2
  • 4 sets x 8 reps (10 reps for crunches)
    • Seated Rows
    • Incline Bench Press
    • Crunch Machine
  • Giant Set 3
  • 4 sets x 10 reps
    • Lat Pulldowns
    • Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    • Rope Crunches

We start out with one of the oldest and most effective strength training techniques for bench press and barbell rows: 5 x 5. This method gets your muscles used to lifting heavy weights.

Giant sets two and three are catered more toward the bodybuilding rep range. This is the muscle building part of the workout. It also ramps up your conditioning. Doing more reps with giant sets are tough.

What You Can Expect from Giant Sets

My current workout routine is based on giant sets. And I plan to stay on it for several more months.

Here are some benefits of this type of workout using giant sets:

  • Strength gains on compound lifts
  • Extreme conditioning
  • Bigger muscles
  • Better overall physique

Those are the things we all want, right? I challenge you to try this chest and back workout using giant sets. Do it for a few weeks and you should experience some nice gains in your bench press and barbell rows.

Train with Passion,


>>>If you’re serious about getting stronger on your main lifts like Bench Press, Deadlifts, and Squats, check out Mike Westerdal’s Critical Bench 2.0 Strength Training Program

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