The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member hemants's Avatar
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    Giant sets - advantages and disadvantages?

    Okay, let's suppose you're on a split routine where you're doing chest/back/calves.

    Rather than doing :

    Chest : 3 sets of 8
    Back : 3 sets of 8
    Calves : 3 sets of 8

    wouldn't it be more efficient to do giant sets ie. :

    {Chest 1x8 -> immediately go to Back 1x8 -> Calves 1x8 } rest x3

    I would think that workouts would go by quicker and your heart rate would stay elevated longer.

    What would the disadvantage be? Running out of breath if the exercises are too large? Is there some principle that suggests that the second set can't be too long after the first on a particular exercise?
    If the only thing you are holding is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

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  3. #2
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Its just a case of not having all of the equipment available at the same time, I would be quite annoyed if someone was doing giant sets at peak time. If your in a home gym situation, you can knock yourself out doing them - it just depends on your endurance level, your pain threshold, more than likely your V02 max aswell.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hemants
    I would think that workouts would go by quicker and your heart rate would stay elevated longer.

    What would the disadvantage be? Running out of breath if the exercises are too large? Is there some principle that suggests that the second set can't be too long after the first on a particular exercise?
    Some thoughts:

    If you have minimal time and/or want to improve your general conditioning, then giant sets aren't a bad idea.

    If you are focusing on building strength and lifting heavily and intensely, you probably aren't going to be able to (or want to) jump so quickly from exercise to exercise.

    If you are doing exercises that require a lot of motor control and technique (for example, heavy compound movements and olympic lifts), you probably need more focus and shifting from exercise to exercise might hinder that.

    There is evidence (at least anecdotal) that alternating between opposing muscle groups (say tris and bis) can improve performance with each. I'm certainly not saying you should go pedal to the metal on both and expect to see PRs, but it something to think about doing when you take 5-15 minutes rest inbetween each set of bench (like powerlifters often do).

    Lack of facilities, as Risk said, is something to think about. Most people aren't going to be real excited to see some yay-hoo monopolizing the entire gym.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

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