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December 18, 2023 2 min read

As the countdown to Christmas approaches days instead of weeks, vision of sugar plums are sure to be dancing in everyone's head.  Often times, fitness enthusiasts are asking each other for tips on ways to indulge without excessive bodyfat gain.  I don't believe that this time of year should be umbrella-d by guilt, but there are several tools that I have found to work well before enjoying a few days or even a week of untracked meals. 

One of these tools is the use of giant sets.  The volume of work and metabolic boost achieved hours and even days after allows for sensitivity to nutrients to increase significantly, provided the workout is done with appropriate vigor.  There are several ways to set up the session, but here are a few guidelines.

1.  Focus on multi-joint, compound movements that you can perform SAFELY through FULL range of motion.  Some examples include squats, deadlifts, chin ups, rows, and presses in all of their derivations.

2.  Work on driving tension into the targeted tissues.  A 4020 tempo works well for squats, deadlifts, presses, and chin ups while a 3112 tempo works great for rowing movements.  If you are unfamiliar with this 4 number tempo system, reach out to me on social @coachscholz and I will be happy to walk you through it.

3.  Keep the rest short (10-30 seconds) between the exercises before an extended rest in between rounds of the giant sets (2-4 minutes). 

4.  Make sure an appropriate load is chosen within the rep bracket.  For example, if the bracket suggests 10-12 reps but you can complete 15, the weight is too light. 

Here is an example of a giant set for legs that will be sure to prime the body for those holiday gatherings:

A1) Back Squat - 4020 Tempo - x8-12 Reps - 10 Seconds Rest

A2) Lying Leg Curl - 4020 Tempo - x6-8 Reps - 10 Seconds Rest

A3) Hack Squat - 4020 Tempo - x12-15 Reps - 10 Seconds Rest

A4) RDL - 3010 Tempo - x12-15 Reps - 10 Seconds Rest

A5) Walking Short Step Lunges - x15 Each Leg - Rest 3 Minutes

Expect to decrease the weight 10-20% on all movements before starting the next round.

2-3 circuits of this will be sure to have you leaving the gym feeling like you earned that giant feast - GUILT FREE!

Happy Holidays and Run Your Health!

Coach Scholz

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