Advanced techniques are used to boost the intensity of a workout, improve muscular endurance and shock your body to prevent a plateau. This kind of training can also enhance fat loss, and because it incorporates very little rest you also get some cardiovascular benefits. In addition, these techniques all force more blood into your muscles, which helps deliver nutrients and amino acids to the tissues and accelerates the repair process. These techniques can be intense, so use them sparingly. Overuse can lead to overtraining. Here’s the breakdown:
A drop set is basically an extended set of a move, usually performed as the last set of that exercise as a burnout. For the seated dumbbell shoulder press, for example, you’d do two sets of 10-12 reps using a certain weight. For your third set you’d begin with the same weight and do as many reps as you can, then “drop” or reduce the weight and go to failure, then drop the weight once more and rep out until you can’t lift the weight anymore. This kind of technique can not only boost the intensity of a set but also bring up a lagging bodypart and burn more calories.
A superset is a combination of two or three moves that either work the same bodypart or opposing muscle groups, and the exercises are done back to back with no rest in between. Typical supersets are a seated row with a push-up for back and chest and an overhead press with a seated lateral raise for shoulders. Between supersets you rest only long enough to recover and catch your breath, then hit it again. This helps you save time, burn fat and spike your metabolism.
A giant set is a circuit of four or more moves for one bodypart performed one after another with little to no rest in between. For example, you might do an overhead press, a lateral raise, a rear-delt raise and an upright row for shoulders, rest a few minutes to catch your breath, then repeat. Giant sets increase the intensity of a workout by overloading a muscle group and pushing it to its limit to burn fat and boost the cardiorespiratory response.