Whole-Body Speed Set Training

Whole-Body Speed Set Training
With this 5-day full-body program, you’ll be killing it in all areas – muscle power, size, strength and endurance – on every set.

Killing two birds with one stone is something. But blasting your muscles on four different levels – power, size, strength, endurance – on a single set is a whole other beast. If getting the absolute most out of every working set sounds appealing, Speed Set Training is the program for you.

On the heels of some intense superset training, we'll be getting back to straight sets – well, sort of. With Speed Set Training, you'll do 15 reps per set for one exercise at a time. But the 15 reps are anything but typical.

Each set you do consists of three distinct tempos or rep speeds: (1) fast, explosive reps on the first five reps, (2) super slow reps (at a cadence of five seconds up, five seconds down) on the next five reps, and (3) normal speed reps (2 seconds up, 2 seconds down) on the final five reps.

The weight used will be extremely light (50% of your 10-rep max), and volume will entail only two sets per muscle group, but your muscles will hardly know the difference. The weight you'll be using (50% of 10RM) would be one you'd normally be able to do 30 reps with. But with the Speed Set technique, your muscles will be totally spent after 15 reps.

I’ve covered Speed Set Training before on JimStoppani.com – in this article as well as in the below video – but this is the first time I’ve designed it as a full-body program. The benefits of the protocol are the same, only with the added fat loss benefit from training the whole body in each workout.

First off, Speed Set Training enhances all major aspects of muscular development and performance: power, size, strength, and even endurance. And it does so on every set.

Power and explosiveness are trained on the first five reps, when you’re moving the weight as fast as possible and targeting fast-twitch muscle fibers (the ones with the greatest potential for growth, compared to slow-twitch fibers).

Hypertrophy (muscle size) is emphasized on the slow reps due to the increased “time under tension” (TUT) and the accompanying muscle damage it elicits. The normal speed reps will also promote growth, as they always do.

Even though the weight is light, strength will also be enhanced, as it’s a byproduct of increasing both muscle power and size. Big, explosive muscles are strong muscles.

Finally, endurance comes into play because Speed Sets are long sets, due to both the high rep count (15) and the fact that five of those reps take 10 seconds each. The TUT principle applies to endurance as well as size.

Speed Set Training offers a practical benefit, too; it’s great to use when you have limited equipment available – for example,...

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