Training Systems

Bodyweight Giant Set Workout for Hypertrophy

Bodyweight giant sets are in essence bodyweight supersets or tri-sets with at least four different exercises back to back with minimum rest intervals in between which can be about 5-15 seconds. These different exercises target the same muscle group and overload it with high exercise volume and increase the time under tension.

Benefit of Calisthenics Giant Sets

A major advantage of incorporating bodyweight giant sets into calisthenics routines is that they allow you to increase the tension on the muscle without increasing the weight.

Typically, in mainstream bodybuilding exercises, it is recommended to progressively increase the amount of weight on the target muscle in order to stimulate muscle hypertrophy.

This is also a recommendation in calisthenics hypertrophy exercises, yet for bigger muscle groups like legs and chest muscles, we can reach a fitness level where bodyweight will not suffice.

However, in giant set workout without weight, we can dial back the amount of weight and focus on maintaining the form and continue the repetitions. The muscle group will do many repetitions before it is allowed a full rest.

Another advantage of calisthenics giant set is that it allows us to target a muscle group from various angles which subsequently leads to enhanced athletic performance and a well-rounded body shape.

Finally, bodyweight giant sets are effective in shedding fat and increasing calorie-burning even after the workout. Even more effective than straight sets, supersets, or traditional cardiovascular exercises. High-volume training combined with short rest intervals revs up Excessive Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, which will lead to an increase in post-workout metabolic rate.

Example of Upper Body Giant Sets without Weight

Chest Back
Push up on the floorPull up with pull up bar
Narrow hands push upNarrow grip pull up
Wide hands push upWide grip pull up
Diagonal push upReverse grip pull up
Full RestFull Rest

Similarly, we can perform the same exercises with the TRX training system.

TRX push up (arms at 90° to the body)Standard pull up with pull up bar
TRX upper chest push up (arms inclined upwardsTRX seated pull up (hands facing each other)
TRX lower chest push up (arms inclined downwards)TRX reverse grip pull up
TRX clock pressTRX kneeling pull up (body inclined forward)
Full RestFull Rest

Example of Giant Set without Weight for Legs

  1. Standard squat with straight feet
  2. Narrow legs squat
  3. Wide legs squat with feet tilted outward
  4. Lunge
  5. Full Rest

Bodyweight Giant Set for Legs on the Video

This calisthenics giant set can be practiced with TRX or as it is shown in the video without equipment.

Bodyweight Giant Set for Hypertrophy

Some fitness pros believe that giant sets are not considerably more effective than supersets when it comes to muscle hypertrophy. They recommend that giant sets should be used by more advanced trainees who require extra stimulates in their training routine.

However, in calisthenics exercises, we can reserve bodyweight giant set for when we are out of options to increase weight more than that of bodyweight. This way we can make the exercise more challenging and improve athletic ability. Notwithstanding, these types of advanced exercises should be regarded as occasional add-ons to the training routine, and we shall not fill the entire workout plan with them.

For each bodyweight giant set, 10-plus repetitions would be suitable. Calisthenics giant set is demanding and may not suit the training program for beginners and intermediate trainees.

Make sure to maintain the proper techniques during each exercise and target the muscle group properly. It is likely that without proper care you turn the bodyweight giant set into circular training and reduce its effectiveness. For that purpose, during each exercise have your attention on the target muscle rather than body status.

Related, bodyweight supersets and tri-sets.

Calorie-burning even after the workout

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