It should make sense that if you want something to become impressive enough to be referred to as “giant”, then you would incorporate a technique that has the word in it. However, there aren’t many lifters nowadays that add giant sets into their programs. If you’re wanting giant arms, then this technique is for you.
Don’t worry about beating yourself up about neglecting them. Instead, take the time to gain some knowledge about what they are and how to use them in your routine. Then give the workout below a six to eight week run to see the results for yourself.
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What Are Giant Sets?
There are many of you reading this that are familiar with this, but allow me to educate the younger and less experienced gym rats out there. Giant sets are a combination of at least four individual sets performed consecutively with as little rest as possible.
Like the 2 set version (supersets) and the 3 set version (trisets), giant sets are an optimal way to add a lot of volume into your program with a minimal time commitment. They also serve as a great way to burn calories since you’re going to be challenged, working hard, and will notice an increase in your heart rate. So aside from the hypertrophy, you might even notice they look a little better.
You don’t have to use them for arms, or even on the same body part for that matter. Giant sets can be used on other muscle groups or with a full-body workout plan. For the moment, let’s stick with why you’re here…your personal gun show.
How Are Giant Sets Performed?
You can choose any exercises you like, but there are two potential issues you may face. First, there is the transition time between exercises. If you have to move from station to station, then that is extra time committed and more time for you to recover, which is actually what you want to minimize.
Second, most gyms and health clubs frown upon training like this. It takes up machines that other people may want to use. However, you can solve both of those issues by choosing your exercises in a way that you can use the same equipment or stay in the same general space. Less time is wasted, and you won’t be using a lot of equipment. That is what you’ll notice about the program below.
The Giant Sets for Giant Arms Program
What you will notice is that you can stay in the same space for all three of these giant sets. You will also use the same piece of equipment for all the exercises within that giant set.
EZ-Curl Bar – There may not be a more beneficial equipment for building big arms than this bar. The angles make it easier on your wrists and elbows, but you can still target the biceps or triceps with as much effort as needed.
Dumbbells – Shaping the muscles with dumbbells is like shaping a sculpture with a chisel. You can twist as you need to, or you can alter the range of motion to what helps you best.
Cables – These are awesome for maximizing that pump while minimizing the risk of injury. That’s because the cables keep you in a fixed path of travel while also maintaining tension from start to finish.
Working Giant Sets into Your Program
So how would you work this workout into your own routine that you may already feel comfortable with?
I would suggest doing this once a week on a day with a muscle group that doesn’t require much effort like abs or calves. A program like this on its own would not be a big time commitment (about 30 minutes) so if there is a day you need to be in and out of the gym in a hurry, plug this in there. You should also take a day off after to maximize recovery so they have the best opportunity to improve and grow.
I don’t suggest doing this with another larger muscle group like chest or back because it’s pretty taxing on its own. The arms are somewhat involved with larger muscle groups when they are trained so it may be counterproductive.
As for the weights you use, make sure you use resistance that you can perform all four exercises with. The strength may vary from one movement to the other, but the focus is on quality reps, not strength.
Giant Set #1 – EZ-Bar
Close Grip EZ-Bar Curl – Using the closer grip will help you focus on the outer portion of the biceps, so that when you show the back, they will still look impressive.
Wide Grip EZ-Bar Curl – All you have to do is change your grip and you’re doing a whole different exercise. This variation works the inner head of the biceps. Most lifters are stronger with this version, but you’ll be pre-fatigued thanks to the first version.
Lying Triceps Extension – Use whatever grip you feel comfortable doing. Lower them behind the head if you can handle the stretch. If you have had a triceps injury in your past, focus on going down to the nose instead.
Close Grip Press with the Elbows Wide – This blasts the bottom of the tricep and magnifies that horseshoe look. All you have to do is perform your basic close grip press.
Giant Set #2 – Dumbbells
Seated Dumbbell Curl – If time is an issue, perform both arms at the same time. If you want to focus on each arm to make the most out of the set, go one at a time. You can alternate or perform all reps on one before the other.
Seated Hammer Curl – Everything about the dumbbell curl applies here, except that you’ll hold the weights with the palms facing each other. Bonus tip: hold the handle near the top for an extra emphasis at the top of the rep.
Seated Dumbbell Kickbacks - Lean forward and press the dumbbells behind you like you would a standard triceps kickback. Squeeze and hold the triceps at the top before going back down.
Neutral Grip Overhead Press – Yes, your shoulders will be working too. But going with the neutral grip will place more emphasis on the triceps at the top as well as when you come out of the bottom.
Giant Set #3 – Cables with Rope Attachment
Rope Cable Curl – When you curl the weight up, separate the handles as far as you can with an underhand grip. This will really emphasize that biceps contraction at the top.
Rope Hammer Cable Curl – Do the exact opposite for this. Keep the handles together and simply curl up as high as you can to build the brachialis. Your forearms will feel this too, but that’s a good thing.
Overhead Rope Triceps Extension – Lowering the rope as far as you can behind your head and then pressing up will hit the long head of the tricep. You may notice a stretch in the lat too. Just don’t overdo it.
Rope Tricep Extension – When you push the rope down, separate it and squeeze the horseshoe of the triceps as hard as you can. When you let the rope up, stop and push again before the elbows come up.
Giant Sets for Giant Arms Workout Program
Giant Set #1
|Close Grip EZ-Bar Curl||3||12, 10, 8|
|Wide Grip EZ-Bar Curl||3||12, 10, 8|
|Lying Tricep Extension||3||12, 10, 8|
|Close Grip Triceps Press (elbows wide)||3||12, 10, 8|
Giant Set #2
|Seated Dumbbell Curl||3||12, 10, 8|
|Seated Hammer Curl||3||12, 10, 8|
|Seated Triceps Kickbacks||3||12, 10, 8|
|Neutral Grip Overhead Press||3||12, 10, 8|
Giant Set #3
|Rope Cable Curl||3||12, 10, 8|
|Rope Hammer Cable Curl||3||12, 10, 8|
|Overhead Rope Triceps Extension||3||12, 10, 8|
|Rope Tricep Extension||3||12, 10, 8|
*No rest between exercises during giant set. Rest for 60-90 seconds between giant sets.