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Compound Sets For Maximizing Resistance Training Gains


Front Deltoid Compound Set Example:
Front Raises + Lateral Raises

When it comes to weight-training, utilizing compound sets is probably my favorite training method. This is usually because I split up my resistance training by muscle groups and it's hard not to incorporate compound sets into these types of workouts. However, even if you are doing total body workouts, you can still incorporate at least a few compound sets into your workout to get you warmed up quicker, improve your endurance, hit a lagging muscle group hard, or just burn out target muscle groups at the end of a workout. A compound set is defined as doing a complete set of a specific muscle or muscle group, followed immediately by a different exercise that hits the same muscle or muscle group. Utilizing this tactic isn't rocket science, it can be as simple as doing a set of dumbbell bicep curls followed immediately by a set of dumbbell hammer curls (the regular dumbbell bicep curls hitting the long head of the bicep more and the hammer curls hitting the shorter head of the bicep and the forearm muscles more, but both exercises hit all of the muscle groups to some extent).

So what are the advantages of adding compound sets to your workouts? It is an extremely quick and efficient way to get a quick muscle pump going, which increases delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles being used while removing excess lactic acid. Because you are targeting the same muscle group again, the blood flow will stay in the same area which will supply the muscles more efficiently than if you were training chest and legs for example. Compound sets can often stress the targeted muscles more than a workout that staggers which muscle groups are being used. The increased time under tension for the muscles, increased overall workload, and decreased rest time can all combine to cause the muscles to adapt by getting larger, stronger, and more enduring. You can also save time during your workouts by achieving muscle fatigue  much quicker by obliterating a single muscle group with several compound sets in a row. If you are hitting a plateau in your training, adding compound sets is a surefire way to get yourself to blast through it. Whether you are trying to improve muscle mass, strength, endurance, or metabolism, adding compound sets to your resistance training workouts  can help significantly.

A Few Compound Set Examples:
Chest- Bench Press + Pushups
Upper Back- Pullups + Straight Arm Pulldowns
Triceps- Skullcrushers + Tricep Dips
Biceps- EZ Preacher Curls + Dumbbell Curls
Deltoids- Dumbbell Front Raises + Lateral Raises
Quads- Squats + Leg Extensions
Hamstrings/Glutes- Stiff-Legged Deadlifts + Leg Curls
Abs- Situps + Crunches
Calves- Standing Calf Raises + Seated Calf Raise Machine

These are just a few basic ones, the possibilities are limitless so try out as many as you can!

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