5 Sets Every Skinny Guy Needs to Know About

This post originally appeared on Chadhowsefitness.com

Workouts, like anything in life, have ebs and flows. We have intense periods of training, filled with meaning and purpose, and flat times. For about a month – up until last week – I was in one of those flat periods. But then everything changed…

Chad Howse Muscle

How to Create a Legendary Workout

There were two things that brought my workouts back to the standards I created for myself during my transformation and when I was fighting. Standards that I have held myself to ever since.

1. A mental switch.

I got back into the mode of training like a fighter from a mental aspect. This is probably the greatest contributor to me getting my workouts back to where I like them to be (and getting them there in the first place).

We’ll cover this mid-week.

2. A technical switch.

I added – or reverted back to – unique sets that I was doing when I was boxing. Sets that have me shaking only 8 minutes into a workout. Sets that have me gasping for air, thinking about quitting every second I’m in the gym.

They pushed me mentally as much as they do physically.

Today, we’ll look at a few of these sets that can transform any bland workout into a Legendary training session, producing legendary results.

5 Muscle Building Sets Every Guy Needs

1. The Rest Pause Set

Lift to failure, rest for 5-10 seconds, then lift to failure again. That’s the essense of a rest-pause set. It’s depleting the muscle once, then just for good measure, killing it again right away.

This set is a KILLER. Add it to any set to peak your intensity to new levels. You’ll experience pumps, sweats, and shakes like never before. It’s also a mini-version of the challenge set that I’ll talk about later.

Start by performing an exercise to about 8-10 reps or failure. Drop the weight, then pick it up, once again lifting to failure with no set rep count. You should reach 3-5 reps, but that’ll drop as you progress through the workout.

2. The Power Set

This isn’t your average ‘power set’ of 4×6 or 5×5. This is a great set for athletes, or guys trying to build athletic, hard muscle (which should be all of us).

Adding this set back into my training has been huge. Starting a workout with a massive set like this – which I usually superset with another exercise for the same rep count – gets the muscles off to a great start.

Try the superset below to start your next workout:

A1. Military Dumbbell Press
A2. Bent-ver Dumbbell Row
Reps: 8,6,4,6,8
Rest: 60 seconds

3. The Fighter Training 24

24′s are one of my favorite sets because they combine power-lifting with endurance training. It’s hard to find a better set for a guy trying to become his own hero, build his dream body, or get in kick ass shape.

I use these to warm up with a lighter weight, then I also use them later on in the workout as a heavy set, or a brutal finisher. A 24 is 4 exercise done for 6 reps with no rest periods sepparating them. You can use any 4 exercises.

I like doing a 24 like I show here in the video:

4. The Finisher

No matter what I’m doing on a given day, whenever I finish a workout with a “finisher set”, I walk out of the gym in pain, with my muscles bursting with a massive pump, but also with a smile on my face because of the quality of the workout I’ve just done.

There are many different kinds of finishers. Some done with low reps, doubled or tripled up, and others done with higher reps to give the muscle one final blast.

Lately I’ve been adding a finisher ‘quad set’ to the end of my workout. Even if it’s a challenge set like I describe next, a finisher is one of the best ways to boost the metabolism and create as much muscle damage as possible.

Check out this finisher set (do only one or two sets at the end of your next workout).

30 reps of each:

1. Weighted Dips
2. 2 Way Lateral Raise (seated front raise, lateral raise)
3. Barbell Curl
4. Alternating Dumbbell Curl

5. The Challenge Set

Challenge workouts (or challenge “set”) are the toughest form of training I’ve done. They’re a large part of the PowerHowse Challenge – the workouts that helped me gain 32 pounds of lean muscle in 32 weeks. And adding them back into my routine has resulted in a glorious concauction of pain, fat loss, and some serious lean muslce gains… as well as a much needed boost in conditioning.

A challenge workout is basically a list of exercises – depending on the split you’re using – with a total rep count for each exercise. Rather than having scheduled rest periods, you bang out as many reps as possible, resting minimally (10-25 seconds), until you’ve completed the entire set rep count, and then you move on to the next exercise.

The goal isn’t to knock down an exercise in one shot, you WANT TO FAIL. If you want to build muscle while burning fat, get in shape that would rival a prizefighter stepping into the ring, then you need to try these workouts.

Check out this video if you want to find out more about it, and the PowerHowse Challenege

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