Tip: Build Size & Strength in the Same Workout
You can train for size gains. You can train for strength gains. But you can't do both at the same time, right? Experienced lifters know that if you optimize hypertrophy, you won't get as strong as you possibly could, and if you optimize strength you won't get as big as you possibly could. Why? Because they require different approaches. Research has shown that training for maximal size or maximal strength is dependent on a variety of factors like rep ranges, loading, tempos, rest periods, and a million other variables that training micromanagers try to track with their FitBits. But what about those of us who aren't content with just one or the other? Is it impossible to get the best of both worlds within a given training cycle? Or even within the same workout? The truth is, you can maximize your gains in one while still getting a whole lot closer to the other than you currently are now. That's where the 5-10-20 method comes in. But first, the basics. This is a method made up of tri-sets. Here's how those work.
Tri-Sets for Greedy GainersThe tri-sets you'll use in the 5-10-20 method will contain a variety of rep ranges and varying degrees of intensity during each set. Tri-set training involves doing three exercises for the same muscle group to recruit as many motor units and exhaust as many muscle fibers as possible.
- The first exercise: Do a basic compound movement. That's non-negotiable. Take advantage of your ability to move some real weight while the muscles are still fresh. Not only is heavier load training optimal for improving strength, it also produces an acute hormonal response resulting in elevated levels of testosterone and growth hormone.
- The second exercise: Here you'll do another compound exercise for the same muscle group but you'll use a different plane of movement. For example, if you used a flat bench press for the first exercise, you'll use an incline bench here.
- The third exercise: This will be the isolation exercise. Use a machine or cables to help prevent injury as fatigue sets in and as you approach muscular failure. For years it was thought that training with higher reps wasn't advantageous for muscle growth. But new evidence suggests that training with lighter loads (30% 1RM), can be just as effective at building muscle when training in the 25-35 rep range.