What is a Giant Set Training System?

This video and blog will explain what is a Giant Set training system, exploring the five key considerations when planning a Giant Set and linking the benefits to your anatomy and physiology knowledge.

You’ll discover:

  • What is a Giant Set training system?
  • The benefits of using a Giant Set system
  • Five key considerations when planning a Giant Set for clients
  • 8-minute video tutorial with Giant Set examples
  • And Three Example Mock Questions to test your knowledge

What Is A Giant Set Training System?

A Giant Set is a training system whereby FOUR OR MORE exercises are performed back to back with no rest between.

It is important that all three exercises target the same muscle, rather than area of the body, and are performed to overload.

Removing the rest is more demanding on the neurological system as there is no recovery in between, so muscle recruitment is being used maximally throughout the session.

This is great if your client is looking for muscle endurance as it uses the type 1 muscle fibres maximally and features four or more points of overload on the same muscle inside every giant set.

This is more appropriate for intermediate clients, than beginner clients as they have already built a foundation of training through beginner training systems (basic sets, multiple sets or supersets) first.

Watch: A Guide to Giant Set Training

What is a Giant Set Training System

The benefit of a Giant Set Training System

There are three key benefits to using a Giant Set Training System:

Greater Workout Density: This is why the Giant Set system is less suitable for beginners. By removing the rest you are planning for more volume and more overload in Less Time.

Plateaus: If a client has hit a strength or hypertrophy plateau, a Giant Set can be a great way to challenge the muscle at a greater volume and therefore break the plateau and start getting adaptations again.

Fibre Recruitment: When you reach overload on one exercise, you recruit a portion of the muscle fibres within that muscle. When you change the exercise, but continue to target the same muscle you can recruit more muscle fibres from the same muscle belly. This means that you get more of an all-round and thorough recruitment across the four or more exercises than you would one.

Endurance: Although each exercise has a target number of reps (i.e. 10 reps) the multiple exercises leads to an increased number of overall reps. This means your client gets endurance of that muscle with benefits of the strength or hypertrophy rep ranges. So 4 exercises at 10 reps would create hypertrophy endurance in the muscle as it is 40 repetitions but performed at 100% 10 RM

Examples of a Giant Set:

Here are three different examples of a Giant Set:

Quadriceps for Hypertrophy:

  • Squat 10 reps
  • Leg Extension 10 reps
  • Leg Press 10 reps
  • Box Jumps 10 reps
  • Rest for 90 seconds
  • repeat

Giant Set on Latissimus Dorsi for Endurance:

Giant set examples - the latissimus dorsi exercises
  • Lat Pull Down 15 reps
  • Bent Over Row 15 reps
  • Seated Row 15 reps
  • Straight Arm Pull Doiwn 15 reps
  • Rest for 30 seconds
  • repeat

Gluteus Maximus for Power:

  • Power Clean 4 reps
  • Jump Lunge 4 reps
  • Kettlebell Swing 4 reps
  • Sumo Deadlift 4 reps
  • Glute bridge weighted 4 reps
  • Rest for 3 minutes
  • repeat

Five key considerations when planning a Giant Set for clients

Now you know what a Giant Set is, here are 5 considerations to factor into your Giant Set planning and instructing with a client:

SPACE = Make sure the four or more exercises you choose are easily accessible to move between, so you can keep the rest short. This might mean moving a few free weights closer to a resistance machine or changing the exercises you choose to make it fit the space you have available.

INTRO = To avoid a rest in between exercises, give a thorough introduction to the Giant Set Training System. This will include setting up machine adjustments, checking client technique and finding the right weight for the client to reach overload. Then when you start the working Giant Set, all of the adjustments and adaptations are already set up.

ORDER = Consider the order of the exercises inside the Giant Set. You could start with the more demanding or technically challenging exercises first whilst the core and the targeted muscles are fresh. This is a great way to overload the muscle repeatedly but not compromise client safety.

ABILITY = Ensure your client is ready for a Giant Set. This is an intermediate system so make sure the client has already done basic sets, Supersets and/ or Trisets before trying a Giant Set.
Read More about the Superset Training System HERE
Read More about Trisets HERE

MUSCLE = We’ve mentioned this already, but it is really important. Remember, the exercises need to all target the same MUSCLE not the same muscle group or body part. This allows for maximum overload on the one muscle, which is the intention of the Giant Set.

Test your knowledge with 3 Mock Questions

Having learned about Giant Set Training Systems, look at the three Mock questions below. Jot down your answer on scrap paper or as a note on your phone.

Then scroll down to reveal the answers.

1) Which statement best describes a Giant Set?

A. Four or More exercises on different muscles with rest inbetween
B. Three exercises on the same muscle with rest inbetween
C. Three exercises on different muscles with no rest
D. Four or More exercises on the same muscle with no rest

2) What is a benefit of using Giant Set training systems?

A. Works opposing muscles
B. Good for absolute beginners
C. Great for endurance
D. Lots of rest to allow for recovery

3) Which of the following is an example of a Giant Set?

A. Shoulder Press, Frontal Raise, Squat, Lateral Raise
B. Shoulder Press, Press Up, Frontal Raise
C. Press Up Wide, Bech Press, Pec Fly, Incline Press up
D. Shoulder Press and Lat Pull Down


Q1: Answer = D
Q2: Answer = C
Q3: Answer = C

If you want more mock questions like this, then you can download more Free Mock Questions: DOWNLOAD NOW

There’s not just one Resistance Training System

There are over 17 resistance training systems that are taught in the Level 3 PT syllabus which can be overwhelming to distinguish which system to use and when. to plan them. Our FIT-Progressions online programme breaks down each of these in detail with clear protocol to follow for each one.

Plus you learn how to periodise your planning of these systems to allow for logical progressive overload so your client can get their goal every time.

>>>> Join us for FIT-Progressions here

Become a knowledgeable and confident FITPRO, with a clear strategy to get results with your clients every time.

There’s no more self-doubt. There’s no more guessing what to plan or how to get client results. FIT-Progressions has 8 modules and 18 video tutorials that guide you through every stage of your Level 3 Personal Trainer case study, and how to work with clients effectively.

This is for you if you’re…

  • struggling to complete your coursework for PT, Yoga, or Pilates
  • a newly qualified FITPRO that feels stuck or overwhelmed
  • unsure where to start when planning a client session
  • worrying about applying your course knowledge with a real client
  • doubting you could get results and lack structure to client packages
  • anxious and confused about how to get found and get busy

Click the link to find out more and join us:

Dedicated to More

Hayley “What is a Giant Set” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

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