Staggered Sets


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Staggered Sets Workout Principle

Training with staggered sets is a perfect type of training to do when short on time and you only have 30 or 45 minutes to get a tough high intensity workout done. Training with staggered sets on a regular basis and is not for the feint-hearted as it is extremely tough.

It is different to antagonistic training like doing biceps and triceps as a superset. A good staggered set combination would be Chest and biceps as the one is a pulling movement and the other is a pulling movement which means you will not be diminishing the ability to perform the movement with your full strength.

The objective is to do the smaller muscle group, in this case the barbell curls, after the major muscle group set has been completed and is resting. So there is no rest taken because as the chest is resting from doing 8 reps of bench-press you are hitting your biceps with barbell curls.

It is super-tough to do on a regular basis but there are bodybuilders who start off training hard and fast from the beginning by shoving in as much volume as possible in a given time period. Training with staggered sets obviously reaches the point of volume training which in itself has a major effect on your ability to increase muscle strength and size.

However if any additional strength is achieved while doing staggered sets then the muscle gained with addition of this training intensity, you will add more than the average amount of muscle increased doing normal workouts. Training with staggered reps needs to be done very sparingly.

The results that one can get from this type of training on a regular basis are well documented but it is tough and one needs to be an advanced trainer who has been training with weights on a regular basis for a few years. The reason is that you need to know how your body responds and that means staying in tune with the feedback that your body gives you.

Below are just a few of the obvious combinations that one could use when doing staggered sets. Training biceps with back or training hamstrings with legs is not a good idea as the examples clearly demonstrate:

Back and Triceps
Chest and Legs/Calves
Legs and Shoulders
Back and Shoulders
Chest and Biceps


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