Plateau Breakthrough 3: Different Types of Sets


Plateau is when your body gets used to and stops responding to your workout. I insist so much on this topic due to one reason only, to help you continue your progress and reach your fitness goal. If you don’t overcome your plateau, you will be just wasting time working out without getting any significant results. Plateaus are easy to overcome, below are listed some types of sets that you can incorporate in your workout regime, instead of the plain old 3 to 4 sets of a particular exercise.

Super Set

Super set is doing two exercises one after another without any rest in between. This can be done with same muscle group example, squats followed by leg press, antagonist muscle groups (when one muscle contracts, the other relax) example, biceps curls and triceps pushdowns or with upper body/ lower body exercises example bench press followed by lunges. This type of set adds super intensity to your workout.

Giant set

Giant set is when you perform multiple exercise of the same muscle group one after another without rest in between. For example on your chest day, do incline bench press, followed by dumbbell bench press followed by pushups and ending with dumbbell fly. This set takes intensity to a whole new level

Drop set/Reverse pyramid/Strip set

This set can be on machines, barbells or dumbbells. Drop set, as the name suggests, is the type of set where you pull as many reps as possible using about 70% of your 1RM (one rep max), as you go to failure, quickly switch to a lighter weight and keep doing it until you complete your target reps. This way you can start off with heavier weights which in a normal set would have been impossible to complete the set.


This type of set was preferred by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. Ah! Now I have your attention. In rest-pause set, you try to complete as many reps as possible with heavy weights. Upon failure, you rest 5 to 10 seconds, walk off the pain and get back right to it to complete your required reps. This set allows you to lift a much heavier weight and is especially useful in high rep (endurance) type of training.


It is the exact opposite of drop set. In this set, you start off with a lighter weight, completing your required reps. In the second set, increase the weight and try to complete the required number of reps (no worries if you fail to do so), in the third set increase the weight further and again try to reach your target reps and so on. This is an excellent type of set for strength and size. It slowly progresses from a warmup to overload.

Jump sets

The basic concept is to complete more number of heavy sets than you could do otherwise in a plain set. This set works best with using antagonistic muscles e.g. biceps and triceps. If you plan on doing 5 sets of pull ups followed by 5 sets close grip bench press, jump set tells you to do heavy 3 sets of pull-ups followed by heavy 3 sets of triceps followed by the remaining 2 sets of pull-ups and close grip bench press.

(More about plateau in our article


You might also like