Total Body Workout: Giant Sets

Happy Friday to All!

I’m so excited another weekend is upon us.  I’m already gearing up for some pizza eatin’ when I get home. It’s Pizza Friday after all! Andy is picking up some pizza at Donatos since I work late tonight.  What a guy, always thinking about me and my pizza obsession 😉

I’m also looking forward to a nice glass of wine.


I rarely drink during the week nights, so when Friday rolls around I like to to have a glass or two to unwind after a week of working (or make a homemade margarita!)

Total Body Workout

I teach a class at work called Total Body Toning every Thursday at 11am.  For the most part, I do a total body weights workout, covering each muscle group.  I change it up by doing different exercises, doing a circuit style workout, a pyramid style workout, or just straight sets.  I keep em’ guessing and I always try to keep em’ challenged!

For this week’s workout we did Giant Sets (doing multiple exercises back to back with no rest). It  looked like this:

Directions and set up:

  • 1 weighted body bar (or barbell and weights)
  • Dumbbells (I always suggest having multiple pairs of dumbbells, as some exercises you can go heavier on than others)
  • 1 mat  
  • 1 bench or 1 aerobics step to use as a bench

Warm up for 5 minutes (cardio and stretching). Go through each exercise back to back.  Rest at the end of the giant set (60 seconds).  Then repeat each set once more.

Set 1: Legs and Shoulders: Repeat 2x

Set 2: Back and Biceps: Repeat 2x

Set 3: Chest and Triceps: Repeat 2x

We didn’t have time to do the last set of exercises, which was all core work.  Here is what I had designed that set to look like:

Set 4: Core:

To do the first 3 sets of exercises (plus a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down and stretch) it took 45 minutes. Some of that time is the class getting chatty, so if you do it on your own, it’s probably even quicker. If you add on the core work, it will probably take closer to 60 minutes, depending on if you do it once or twice through.

I liked the workout, it was fun! We used lighter weights, as the reps were higher.  However, I still remind them to choose challenging weights so that at the end of a set of an exercise, they can’t pump out any more reps. If they can, they need to increase those weights!

Although I’m advocate for lifting “heavy” weights with lower rep ranges (6-10 range) and setting weight training goals, higher rep training does have it’s place and is definitely a challenge.  It’s a nice way to round out your workout routine!

Weekend Plans = NONE!

I have zero plans this weekend…which I’m kind of excited about!  Have a great weekend everyone!


How are you going to unwind this weekend?


8 responses to “Total Body Workout: Giant Sets

  1. Happy Pizza Friday. I’m about to start the dough right now for mine! I love giant sets. I don’t do them often though – typically end up doing super- or tri-sets. I am going to try to unwind tonight with pizza and wine and keep myself busy around the house tomorrow as I’ve got my first half on Sunday…Then I hope to relax on a patio with the hubs after the race (weather permitting).

  2. Im the same way – I have to be in the mood to drink, but when I need to unwind, a couple glasses is the way to go!

  3. I just did this workout, it was great! Thanks!

  4. Pingback: Getting the hang of it « Low… and behold!’s Blog

  5. I am a HUGE advocate of heavy lifting and low reps but I am also a very big fan of de-load weeks — ie once every 8-16 weeks, taking 1 full training week and dropping weight significantly (50%) and increasing reps significantly — it’s a great way to give your CNS a little reprieve from the heavy heavy compound lifts!

    It must be so fun to get to exercise your creativity and design and lead classes 🙂

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