April 15, 2024

Eufol

Inspiring Healthy Living

The Mega Set – The Forgotten Set

Most people who train with weights can be split into 2 categories: those who want to gain size, and those who want to gain strength. Both of these are great goals and have very specific workout routines, exercise and sets. The type of training I almost never see in the gym is muscle endurance.

For most of us, our gym goals don’t lead to the Mr. Olympia stage, or the Olympic Games Power-lifting Arena. Yet we tend to ignore the most practical exercises. Shovelling your driveway for 30 minutes does not require a 400lb bench press. Carrying your 3 year old all day through the zoo doesn’t require 21 inch biceps. What most day-to-day activities require is muscle endurance: the ability to move a medium amount of weight for an extended period of time.

My first introduction to this type of set was through my Russian mixed martial arts coach. He used to say to me “What good is a 300lb bench press if you can only do one? In a fight, you might have to chest press your opponent off you for 10 minutes.” I am paraphrasing here because he spoke broken English with a thick Russian accent, but he was right! I could move a large amount of weight for a few reps, but at ½ my max I fatigued after about 20 reps. With about 8 weeks of specialized training I was racking that same weight from boredom after 60 reps. Then we moved on to circuits of mega-sets, but that’s a story for another time.

Mega Set Workout (6 to 8 week cycle)

Day 1 Chest
– 2 warm up sets
– 1 set Bench Press max weight for 5-6 reps
Bench Press and Dumbbell Flyes
– 4 sets of 50 reps each (To start, use about ½ weight of your previous 10 rep max). Keep your rest to less than 2 minutes between sets

Day2 Cardio

Day 3 Back
– 2 warm up sets
– 1 set Bent Over Rows max weight for 5-6 reps
Bent-over Rows and Lat Pull-downs
– 4 sets of 50 reps each (To start, use about ½ weight of your previous 10 rep max). Keep your rest to less than 2 minutes between sets

Day 4 Cardio

Day 5 Legs
– 2 warm up sets
– 1 set Squats max weight for 5-6 reps
Squat and Bent-leg Dead lifts
– 4 sets of 50 reps each (To start, use about ½ weight of your previous 10 rep max). Keep your rest to less than 2 minutes between sets

Day 6 Arms and shoulders
– 2 exercises per body part, 4 sets, 8-12 reps per set

Day 7 Rest