When you do giant sets for shoulders you must have the weights set up ahead of time in order to move immediately into the next set. Preparation is everything there should be no lagging or intensity will be lacking. For this reason, it is best to workout when the gym isn’t crowded or be very knowledgeable in weight training, so much so that you can improvise instantly with another shoulder exercise in place of the one planned.
Take this giant set for shoulders for example. First set is upright rows with barbell, second set is side lateral raises, third set is Arnold shoulder press and fourth set is seated rows, which works the back but also the rear delts. The reason you do this set last is that it’s the easiest set and the easiest set should be the last set. Let’s pretend someone is on the seated row machine what do you do? You have to think fast and immediately do another shoulder exercise. The set before the seated rows was the Arnold press so you could do another set of upright rows only you would be using dumbbells instead of the barbell, which will be a little tougher but that’s okay.
Don’t get stuck, you must be flexible when it comes to doing giant sets mostly because you have to move fast from set to set. We’re supersetting remember and it’s all about intensity. Flexibility in a workout is vital if you’re serious about getting the results you want. Writing it down is one thing, so that you have a plan, but you must be able to improvise without blinking an eye. Making these types of changes also creates muscle confusion, which we all know, thanks to P90X, is an excellent way to keep muscles responsive instead of flat lining like many so called body builders.
Flat lining in body building simply means that nothing is happening. You’re not gaining strength or definition you’re in a rut and its time to get out of it. One of the best ways to do this is mixing it up or muscle confusion as they call it nowadays. A good example of mixing it up would be doing giant sets with some drop sets in the mix or pyramid sets. If you don’t know what these are you might be reading the wrong article. This article is mostly about advanced weight training techniques.
Not that you can’t do them if you’re not advanced, but it’s vital to be able to perform sets with proper form. If you can’t superset at first that’s okay none of us could in the beginning. We all had to start with less weight as well as less reps, but getting the form down pat from the get go is vital. Without proper form you will not achieve optimal results and there’s a chance that you will spend much time dealing with shoulder injuries, which means setbacks.
Shoulder tendonitis or a torn or damaged rotator cuff can take months to heal. This means you lose strength, flexibility and endurance in your workouts. Not that you can’t workout at all, but you will be very limited and there’s a chance of re-injury making it take even longer to heal. How do I know this? I know this because I have done it, not only once or twice, but several times. I had to learn my lessons the hard way as many of us who love weight training have.
Performing giant sets for shoulders with bad form isn’t the only way to end up with shoulder injuries you can also get them from over training. In fact, this is the reason for all my shoulder injuries. I’ve got form down pat, but my problem is overdoing. I get carried away in the moment or maybe it’s endorphins I’m not sure. This can be easy to do at times because you’re pumped and don’t want to stop or even slow down. You need to know your limitations and this takes time as well as trial and error. If you’ve been a gym rat for a while you know your limitations, but the problem could be that you don’t respect them like you should.
The main reason I do giant sets for shoulders is genetics. Everyone in my family has weak hunched over rounded shoulders and I simply refuse to have them, so I don’t at least not anymore. I used to when I was in my early teens, but by age 18 I was introduced to weight training and the rest is as they say history. It took me years of experience in the gym to learn what I know now. Well, a lot of it I picked up from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Body Building back in the 80’s. I still believe it’s one of the best books available to learn basic weight training principles.
The best thing you can do is experiment on your own to find out what your shoulders respond to since everyone’s body is different. I plan to write more articles on giant sets for shoulders and other body building techniques, but for now it’s time to end this one.