How to Use Giant Sets for Ripped Mass Gains

Giant Sets for Ripped Mass Gains

At the end of the day, we all have the same goal. And that is to gain as much ripped mass as we possibly can.

In other words…

  • No one wants to be big and strong, yet fat.
  • And none of us want to be ripped only to be skinny with no muscle mass.

We want to get huge, jacked, and shredded! And I’m going to show you exactly how to achieve that by using giant sets in your workouts.

You’re also going to get a full workout routine using giant sets that you can start today!

What Are Giant Sets?

heavy incline dumbbell press

Giant sets are an awesome muscle building technique used to exhaust and condition your muscles through multiple sets of a variety of exercises with little rest between those sets.

Here are a couple of examples of giant sets (the first one is the image at the beginning of this post):

  • Squats > Calve Raises > Leg Raises
  • Barbell Rows > Incline Bench Press > Dumbbell Pullovers

Giant sets are similar to supersets, where you go from one exercise to another with hardly no rest between those sets, usually just the time it takes to go from one exercise to the other.

The difference between giant sets and supersets is that with giant sets you’re doing at least 3 exercises instead of just 2. And you can rest a little more between your giant sets, say about 30 seconds.

Why Giant Sets Work for Ripped Mass Gains

Giant sets are great for building muscle mass and gaining muscle definition for several reasons:

  • You’re conditioning your muscles to handle more volume and loads
  • Your strength is going to increase
  • You will reach muscle exhaustion
  • You’ll burn more fat with giant sets
  • You’ll pump more blood into your muscles

Doing giant sets will also help you increase your overall level of conditioning and improve your cardiovascular performance. You’ll find yourself able to train longer and harder in the gym.

That said, it does take some time to get used to doing giant sets. You’ll tire out faster during your workouts at first.

Keep pushing (you will push yourself harder than you ever have!). It will take a few weeks but you will eventually get used to this style of training.

How to Use Giant Sets

So how exactly do you use giant sets? It is going to be different from the typical bodybuilding workout.

Most bodybuilding workouts focus on only one major muscle per workout. With giant sets, you’ll be focused on at least 2.

In addition, you’ll often be working agonist and antagonist muscles together, in the same workout. Think in terms of ‘chest and back.’ Or ‘push-pull’.

It’s common for the 3rd exercise of the giant set to be something not so intense.

For example, you may do a chest and back exercise together followed by an isolation exercise (for either chest or back, but this that 3rd exercise will not be a heavy compound exercise). Or quads and hams followed by an ab or calve exercise.

This doesn’t make the workout any easier; rather, it conditions your muscles to handle more work.

What does againist and antagonist mean in regards to building muscle?

The easiest way to describe this is if you’re doing a chest exercise first, that’s your agonist muscle.
Your antagonist (opposing) muscle is your back, in this case. So you would train chest and back within the same round of giant sets.

In theory, when agonist and antagonist muscles are trained together, this triggers a greater anabolic response.

*To take things to the next level, it’s highly recommended that you take something to help boost your testosteorne during these types of workouts. You can read about my recommended test booster here.

Giant Sets Workout Routine

deadlifts low reps

Now that you’re more familiar with giant sets, it’s time to go through an entire workout routine using giant sets.

Remember, if you’re not used to this type of training it’s definitely going to feel different and even a little weird at first. In fact, you may find that you’re not as strong and that you’re getting winded more quickly in the beginning.

This is normal. You need to give yourself 2-3 weeks to get used to doing this giant sets workout routine. It will take that amount of time for your body and muscles to get conditioned to this type of training.

*This is why you’ll be doing 4 training days a week, as seen below. Once you get used to doing giant sets, you can add another workout day, which is also described below.

4-Day Training Split for Ripped Mass

Try your best to train 2 days in a row followed by 1-2 days off. The below training split using giant sets follows this pattern with a Monday through Friday schedule.

This split also has you alternating upper and lower body. The ‘huge plus’ to this is you’re focusing just as much on legs as you are on your upper body, which is something most do not do (and why they’re missing out on gains).

  • Monday: Workout 1 – Upper Body
  • Tuesday: Workout 2 – Lower Body
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: Workout 3 – Upper Body
  • Friday: Workout 4 – Lower Body
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: rest

Of course, you can cater your workout days to fit your own schedule. And as your body becomes more conditioned, you may want to add another workout day.

Some will do 3 workouts in a row followed by 1-2 days off. Or you may decide to follow the above training split but start the routine over on Sunday (taking 1 day of rest at that point instead of 2).

This will change up your workout days, which some thrive more with this type of routine whereas others do better at sticking to a strict schedule. Choose what works best for you; just be consistent and don’t skip workouts!

*If you’re interested in reading more about different training splits for building muscle, read my post: 6 Bodybuilding Training Splits for Mass Gains

Workout 1 – Upper

You’ll start out by training 2 major upper-body muscles together. The focus will be on your chest and back.

You’ll notice how chest and back are evened out. In your first round of giant sets, you’ll do chest > back > chest. In round 2 it will be back > chest > back.

Lastly, you’ll hit 2 rounds of giant sets for arms (each round has 4 exercises, alternating your biceps and triceps).

Giant Set 1

Rest 1 minute between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Bench Press4 x 8
Barbell Rows4 x 8
Dumbbell Flyes4 x 8

Giant Set 2

Rest 1 minute between giant sets


Exercise
Sets x Reps
Seated Rows4 x 10
Incline Dumbbell Press4 x 10
Lat Pulldowns4 x 10

Giant Set 3

Rest 45 seconds between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Preacher Curls2 x 10
Reverse Rope Extensions2 x 10
Dumbbell Curls2 x 10
Cable Pressdowns2 x 10

Workout 2 – Lower

Your leg workouts, which are workouts 2 (this one) and 4, will almost look like typical superset workouts.

The caveat to that is you will be doing a 3rd exercise. Training abs with legs helps keep your core tight when you’re training legs, and both complement one another quite well.

You’ll also be alternating exercises for quads with an exercise for hamstrings except after squats (you’ll do calves after squats as you want to save more power for the next set of squats).

In addition, this lower body workout will start with squats whereas your next lower body workout will start with deadlifts. So between the 2 lower body workouts, you’re really hitting every part of your legs. It’s considered the perfect formula for building huge legs.

Giant Set 1

Rest 1:30 between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats4 x 8
Seated Calve Raises4 x 12
Decline Situps4 x 12

Giant Set 2

Rest 1 minute between giant sets


Exercise
Sets x Reps
Leg Press4 x 12
Lying Leg Curls4 x 12
Leg Raises4 x 12

Giant Set 3

Rest 45 seconds between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Extensions4 x 12
Seated Leg Curls4 x 12
Standing Calve Raises4 x 12

Workout 3 – Upper

Similar to your first workout, you’ll be alternating ‘push-pull’ exercises again. Only this time you’ll be training back with shoulders.

This gives you the opportunity to train back twice a week. Remember, your back is your largest upper body muscle so it makes sense to put more effort into training your back, and training it more often.

You’ll also train arms again at the end of the workout in the final round of giant sets. This will also be similar to Workout, but with different exercises.

You can read more about the importance of training back twice a week in this post: Training Back Twice a Week to Build Ripped Muscle Mass

Giant Set 1

Rest 1 minute between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Barbell Rows (reverse grip)4 x 8
Seated Overhead Press4 x 8
Wide-grip Seated Rows4 x 8

Giant Set 2

Rest 1 minute between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Lateral Raises4 x 10
Dumbbell Rows4 x 10
Bent-over Raises4 x 10

Giant Set 3

Rest 45 seconds between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Pull-ups2 x 10
Dips2 x 10
Dumbbell Curls2 x 10
Cable Pressdowns2 x 10

Workout 4 – Lower

Your final workout for your lower body will look similar to Workout 2 (your prior lower body workout). As explained earlier, this workout will start with deadlifts instead of squats.

The key to Workouts 2 and 4 is the simple fact that you’re training legs twice a week. This is what it takes for lower body results.

You can read more about the benefits of training legs twice a week in this post: Training Legs Twice a Week: How to Build Bigger Legs.

Giant Set 1

Rest 1:30 between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Deadlifts4 x 8, 5, 3, 1
Seated Calve Raises4 x 12
Decline Situps4 x 12

Giant Set 2

Rest 1 minute between giant sets


Exercise
Sets x Reps
Leg Press (close-stance)4 x 12
Lying Leg Curls4 x 12
Leg Raises4 x 12

Giant Set 3

Rest 45 seconds between giant sets

ExerciseSets x Reps
Leg Extensions4 x 12
Seated Leg Curls4 x 12
Standing Calve Raises4 x 12

Build Muscle Mass and Burn Fat in the Same Workout

heavy dumbbell rows

It’s believed by many that you cannot build muscle mass and burn body fat at the same time. Many say you have to focus either on mass gains or getting ripped.

But giant set workouts debunk that theory. However, that’s given that you’re training hard.

Giant sets take far more effort than normal bodybuilding workouts. That said, you have to put in that effort. And the only way to do that is to be prepared for every workout and be ready to give 100% every workout.

You need…

  • to be mentally focused before and during your workouts
  • to have had proper nutrition leading up to your workout so that you have the necessary fuel to push through
  • to have adequate post-workout nutrition in order to kickstart the process of muscle recovery
  • to have had enough rest
  • to not have any negative thoughts or negativity in general before your workouts
  • to be ready to push yourself to the next level every workout (this goes back to being mentally focused)

Now, these rules apply to any type of workout. But I must reiterate that to get the full effect (and the reward of ripped mass gains!) of your giant sets workout routine, these things need to be dialed in almost perfectly.

I hope you enjoy this workout and learning more about how to do giant sets.

*If you’re ready to commit to a full 12-week program that uses this type of training, go check out my premium Lean Muscle Building Program.

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,

Jason