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Giant Program 2.0

This full-body version of my classic giant-set program offers yet another training option and maximizes fat loss.

Giant Program 2.0

How do you make a "giant" program even bigger? By offering a new way to do it that will keep the gains coming!

My original Giant Program here on JimStoppani.com is a three-day split: chest, shoulders, triceps on day 1; back, biceps, forearms, abs on day 2; and legs, traps, calves on day 3. And this split routine has worked well (and will continue to work well) for countless JYM Army members looking to pack on muscle size, add strength, and strip away body fat. (For more specifics on the program, read the program overview.)

But now, I'm switching things up and offering a "2.0" version of the Giant Program – consisting entirely of full-body workouts.

I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I'll mention again that I'm a huge fan of full-body training because it's been shown through recent research to burn more body fat than bodypart split training. Just about every workout I do these days hits all major muscle groups, and I’ve been very happy with the results – building muscle while staying as lean as ever!

Each workout in the Giant 2.0 program will include a series of giant sets for each major muscle group in the body – four different exercises for the bodypart in each giant set.

In my original bodypart split Giant Program, I have you do 2-3 giant sets for each muscle group. In the 2.0 version, you’ll only be doing one giant set per muscle group (one set of each of the four exercises). The reason for this is simple. Because you’re training every muscle group in every workout, you only have so much time. Plus, because you're training every day, you’ll want to keep volume in check to allow for adequate recovery.

These full-body giant set workouts can be performed anywhere from 3-7 days per week; if you do train seven days in a row with the program, make sure you take 1-2 days of rest before starting into your next week of training.

Giant Set Exhaustion

My Giant Program 2.0 alternates between different exercise sequences. 

In one workout, you'll do two multi-joint (aka compound) exercises first, followed by two single-joint moves. This will allow you to use the heaviest weight possible on the multi-joint exercises to maximize the mechanical overload placed on the muscles. This is the conventional way to do giant sets – where you do big moves first and finish with isolation exercises.

Conventional is great, but results are maximized only when you combine it intelligently with the unconventional. And that’s what I’ve done here by flipping the script…

Other workouts you do in the program will involve performing two single-joint exercises first, then two multi-joint moves. This is a technique you're probably familiar with: pre-exhaustion, "pre-exhaust" for short.

For a given muscle group (in this case the chest), the conventional exercise order of biggest move to smallest provides the benefit of allowing you to use the most weight possible when the target muscle is fresh. With pre-exhaust, the benefit lies in full exhaustion by way of isolation, albeit it with a lighter weight and less mechanical overload. Both practices are great for stimulating muscle growth (just in different ways), which is why both are utilized in the Giant Program.

And yet in other workouts, I'll mix and match single-joint and multi-joint moves more randomly and in alternating fashion at times. It's all about changing things up to keep the muscle guessing, and growing.

Giant Rep Schemes

My original Giant Program utilizes linear periodization with microcycles. Because my full-body 2.0 version won’t be presented as a 4-week program like the original, the periodization won’t work exactly the same. Instead, the microcycles will change every workout like this:

Workout 1: 12-15 and 26-30 reps (on "heavy" exercises and "light" exercises, respectively)

Workout 2: 9-11 and 21-25 reps

Workout 3: 8-10 and 16-20 reps

Workout 4: 3-5 and 12-15 reps

Workout 5: 9-11 and 21-25 reps

Workout 6: 8-10 and 16-20 reps

Workout 7: 3-5 and 12-15 reps

Here's a table that shows what exercises will get what rep ranges:

Muscle Group Heavy Exercises* Light Exercises**
Chest Chest pressing moves: bench press, machine press, dumbbell press, dumbbell incline press, etc Chest flye moves: dumbbell flye, cable crossover, cable flye, machine flye, etc
Back Rows: barbell row, dumbbell row, seated cable row, etc Pulldowns: lat pulldown, standing pulldown, straight-arm pulldown, dumbbell straight-arm pullback, etc
Legs Squats and deadlifts: back squat, front squat, deadlift, Romanian deadlift, sumo deadlift, etc Lunges, leg curls and leg extensions: barbell lunge, dumbbell lunge, reverse lunge, step-ups, seated leg curl, lying leg curl, leg extension, etc
Shoulders Shoulder presses and upright rows: dumbbell shoulder press, barbell shoulder press, barbell upright row, dumbbell upright row, etc Raises: lateral raises, front raises, rear delt flyes, etc
Traps Barbell shrugs: barbell shrug, barbell behind-the-back shrug, Smith machine shrug, trap bar shrug, etc Other shrugs and straight-arm dips: dumbbell shrug, cable shrug, straight-arm dip, straight-arm pressdown, etc
Triceps Close-grip bench, dips, lying and overhead extensions: close-grip bench press, dips, lying triceps extension, dumbbell overhead extension, cable overhead extension, etc Pressdowns and kickbacks: cable pressdown, one-arm pressdown, reverse-grip one pressdown, dumbbell kickback, cable kickback, etc
Biceps Curls with arms at sides or behind body: barbell curl, dumbbell curl, incline dumbbell curl, behind-back curl, etc Curls with arms in front of body: preacher curl, concentration curl, high-cable curl, etc
Forearms Wrist curls (all variations) Reverse wrist curls (all variations)
Abs Upper abs and obliques: Smith machine crunch, cable crunch, machine crunch, oblique cable pushdown, etc Lower abs and core: hanging leg raise, Smith machine hip thrust, planks, woodchoppers, etc

*Exercises to be performed with rep counts of: 12-15, 9-11, 8-10, 3-5, 9-11, 8-10, 3-5 in Workouts 1-7, respectively.

**Exercises to be performed with rep counts of: 26-30, 21-25, 16-20, 12-15, 21-25, 16-20, 12-15 in Workouts 1-7, respectively.

Note: Keep in mind, the exercises listed in this table are just examples of what you can do. There are countless other comparable "heavy" and "light" moves you can select for each muscle group. If you have your own personal favorites not listed in this chart, by all means do them.

Bottom line: Combining in a single program heavy, moderate, and light weights with low, moderate, and high rep counts, respectively, is a recurring practice of mine when designing workouts. And the Giant Program – in both its original and 2.0 forms – is a prime example of this.

Take Giant Action

If all these techniques and rep ranges are starting to overwhelm you, don’t worry – the workouts are very straight-forward and easy to follow. (But also very challenging!)

To make it as simple as possible for you, I actually posted seven days of Giant 2.0 workouts on my Facebook page – and now I'm putting them here on JimStoppani.com, where they can be more easily accessed and also downloaded to your mobile device so you can take the workouts to the gym with you.

View The Complete Workout

That said, make the program your own. I realize that grouping four exercises one after another with no rest presents some practical issues when training in a busy gym. With the workouts I’m showing you, I did my best to select exercises that could be done in close proximity to each other. However, if you find that a piece of equipment you need is being occupied, feel free use comparable exercises to make the routines more feasible.

All right, time to get to work. Enjoy all the gains that this lethal combination of giant sets, pre-exhaust, full-body training, and varying rep ranges has to offer!

Be Giant!




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