Thursday, 22 April 2010

Giant Set Weight Training

One of the greatest weight training methods that a martial artist can perform is giant sets. Giant sets are a training method that is very beneficial for all. It is a way of boosting not only your muscle tone, size but also stamina of the muscles.

Giant sets training involve three or more sets of three or more different exercises for the same muscle group. For instance, if you are performing giant sets for legs, one could do 12 reps of leg extensions followed by 12 reps of squats followed by 12 reps of lunges. Obviously because of the fact that one performs so many reps for one giant set, one must use a medium weight rather than heavy.

For martial art reasons, muscle stamina is something of great importance. When muscles do not have the stamina to carry on working when they are tired, one can easily be dominated by their opponent.

Giant sets are also a great way of training the mind for martial arts. In order to finish a giant set one has to push through the pain barrier and fight the urge to stop. Giant sets training is one of the most difficult form of training and it is very tempting to stop and carry on with more normal weight training.

Giant sets are good to shock your muscles. When performing the same routine for a period of time, your muscles can become used to the workout and can stop growing. Giant sets are a great way to shock your muscles to react to the change of the workout and can be “reignited” to start growing again. For this reason, use giant sets sparingly. They are not for every workout but can produce amazing results if used every so often.

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Tom said...

By my way of thinking, if you want your muscles to "grow", you use a weight training program that keeps the reps relatively low. And, you eat a lot so you put on weight.

Weight training for martial arts, on the other hand, involves (as you said) high reps to stimulate strength endurance (muscle stamina).

I'm not sure that it's practical to aim for growth and endurance with the same workout. Perhaps untrained people can get away with it, but once you reach a certain level of fitness it's difficult to do both at the same time.

Having said all that, your 'giant sets' are a good way to train for martial arts (and for many other sports), especially when they're mixed in with other types of workouts. Pure, sport-specific training can't get you to the same levels of physical conditioning that generic general physical preparedness (gpp) workouts can. Your giant sets, with their emphasis on work rather than technique, are a good example of a gpp workout.

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