How To INSTANTLY Increase Your Training Volume & Intensity

As you get more advanced in your workouts you need to look for ways to progress past basic beginner weight training and get your muscles to perform more work in the same amount of time either by upping your training volume and / or training intensity.

One killer trick for doing this is using “Jump Sets” which basically means pairing up 2 exercises for different muscle groups and performing sort of a “super set” by jumping back and forth between the 2 exercises.

Now technically “super sets” are 2 exercises performed for the same bodypart with little or no rest in between. So for example; you may do a set of bicep preacher curls and then immediately go to standing bicep curls. Then you would take your normal rest period before repeating the super set.

Super sets are a good way to increase your training intensity. However, what I’m about to describe to you is a simple way to increase BOTH training volume and training intensity simultaneously. And it requires no more time or effort then what you are putting into your workouts right now.

Jump sets are basically super sets between 2 different muscle groups with normal rest periods between sets. An example of this would be doing a set of bicep curls, rest a minute or so, then doing a set of tricep push downs, rest a minute, and then repeat. Jumping back and forth between the exercises until you complete the total desired number of sets.

Now at this point you may be saying to yourself:

“This is all fine and dandy… I’ve learned a new way to do my exercises, but how is this going to help me get bigger and stronger?”

Good question!
I’m glad you asked…

When you are training 2 or more muscle groups in a single workout and performing your sets in the traditional fashion of doing all sets for one exercise before moving on to the next exercise, and then doing all exercises for one bodypart before moving on to the next bodypart. There is going to be a big imbalance between the level of training intensity that you can perform for each muscle group.

Obviously, you’ll be able to train harder and lift more weight for the first muscle group, but as you progress through the workout your strength and energy levels will drop off. And by the time you get to the last bodypart you’ll have very little energy left in the tank and you won’t be able to give it 100% effort.

By using jump sets and alternating back and forth between bodyparts you are able to train both muscle groups with higher intensity right from the start, and you’ll also be able to keep up with higher training volume as well.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a strong believer in using jump sets like this in his training, as were many of the great old time bodybuilders.

Let me show you an example…

Let’s say that you were going to train chest and back in the same workout and you were going to perform 5 sets of dips for the chest, and 5 sets of chin ups for the back.

If you were to perform them in straight sets the workout may go like this:

(Note: I’m just using these numbers as examples, your actual reps may be different based on your individual strength levels.)

Example of Straight Sets:

Pull Ups:
Set 1 – 12 reps
Set 2 – 10 reps
Set 3 – 8 reps
Set 4 – 6 reps
Set 5 – 4 reps
Pull Ups
Dips:
Set 1 – 12 reps
Set 2 – 10 reps
Set 3 – 8 reps
Set 4 – 6 reps
Set 5 – 4 reps
Dips

By the time you get to the last couple sets of each exercise your strength will really be dropping off due to muscle fatigue, especially when done is a straight set fashion.

But if you were to do the same number of sets for both exercises done in a Jump Set fashion you would be able to get more total reps and maintain higher strength levels into the final sets.

Example of Jump Sets:

Dips: Set 1 – 12 reps
Chin Ups: Set 1 – 12 reps

Dips: Set 2 – 10 reps
Chin Ups: Set 2 – 10 reps

Dips: Set 3 – 9 reps
Chin Ups: Set 3 – 9 reps

Dips: Set 4 – 8 reps
Chin Ups: Set 4 – 8 reps

Dips: Set 5 – 7 reps
Chin Ups: Set 5 – 7 reps

*Note: you would take a full rest break in between each set before moving onto the next set.

In the above example, you’ll be able to perform higher reps into the latter sets then you normally would if you performed them straight through. Thus increasing both your training volume and intensity.

And the best part is that the workout time is the same, the total number of sets performed is the same, and the rest periods are the same. But the overall workload is higher for each exercise because you are resting one bodypart when you jump to another.

Jump sets work best for agonist and antagonist muscle groups.
Examples of agonist and antagonist muscle groups are:
- chest & back
– biceps & triceps
– quadriceps & hamstrings
– abs & lower back

Another thing that I want to mention is that this technique can be used throughout your entire workout. You don’t have to limit it to just one exercise for each bodypart.

Some jump set examples are:
- bench press & barbell rows
– cable cross overs & lat pull downs
– dumbbell curls & overhead dumbbell extensions
– preacher curls & push downs
– leg extensions & leg curls
– sit ups & hyper extensions

And the list goes on and on…
It’s only limited by your imagination and what gym equipment you have available.

Note:
Big exercises like squats and deadlifts do not work well for jump sets as these are the biggest and most demanding exercises you can do. It is best to do these 2 exercises by themselves so you can focus your attention and effort 100%.

=============================

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Leave A Reply (20 comments so far)


  1. S.I.
    4 years ago

    Wow !! Great info as usual Lee ! Could I use Jump sets for Overhead press and bench press ?

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  2. Chuck S
    4 years ago

    I was just thinking deadlifts and pushups, when you shot me down with your last note. Well, since I don’t have enough weights for really good deadlifts, it will probably work anyway.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  3. Steve
    4 years ago

    Fantastic article Lee, its amazing how such a simple adjustment can make so much difference! Thanks for the info, I’m writing out a new routine to give it a go!

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  4. Colton
    4 years ago

    Nice Lee thanks for this wonderful tip… Just the other day I had the exact problem with my back and shoulders workout, by the time I got to my shoulders after working my back I could barely lift any weight to work my shoulders good… You posted this tip at just the right time for me so thanks Lee haha!!

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  5. Alex
    4 years ago

    Nice !!!
    This is great info man, i really tend to lack a bit of energy on the second part of my workouts.. this way really helps working all groups with the same intensity, and also using the same rest periods you will have a greater rest period between 2 sets of the same exercise, wich brings even more intensity in each set.. i have tried all types of supersets, and this seems to work really well when youre going for strength..

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  6. leehayward
    4 years ago

    S.I.:
    Wow !! Great info as usual Lee ! Could I use Jump sets for Overhead press and bench press ?

    You could, but it works best for opposing muscle groups. So over head press and lat pull down would be a good combo. Bench press and bent over row would be a good combo, etc.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  7. leehayward
    4 years ago

    Chuck S:
    I was just thinking deadlifts and pushups, when you shot me down with your last note. Well, since I don’t have enough weights for really good deadlifts, it will probably work anyway.

    You could do that. Chest and back is a good way to pair up body parts for jump sets.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  8. leehayward
    4 years ago

    Alex:
    Nice !!!
    This is great info man, i really tend to lack a bit of energy on the second part of my workouts.. this way really helps working all groups with the same intensity, and also using the same rest periods you will have a greater rest period between 2 sets of the same exercise, wich brings even more intensity in each set.. i have tried all types of supersets, and this seems to work really well when youre going for strength..

    You’ll really notice a big difference with maintaining your strength throughout your workouts with this technique.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  9. Chand
    4 years ago

    Very interesting article Lee. I should be grateful if you can send me a program based on jump sets for body weight exercises. As you can see I rarely used weight for my workout. Thanks.

    Chand.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  10. Randy
    4 years ago

    I’ve always believed in symmetry for my workouts, setting up my exercises to always work opposing muscle groups. But I don’t rest between the sets. Take triceps and bicepts. I pump out my bicepts, the go straight to my tricepts, rest for 30 seconds, then start over. So what’s allowing more rest between exercises going to do for you, other than naturally letting you get more reps in each move? Thanks…

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  11. kenneth
    4 years ago

    Great Great info lee you been very helpful for me thank you

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  12. David JB
    4 years ago

    The gym I go to normally have a queue for a lot of the equipment so by the time you came back to do the second set the machine would have been taken. Otherwise I reckon this would work under most circumstances. The principle is sound so I think I may just give it a go anyway. Cheers Lee.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  13. leehayward
    4 years ago

    Chand:
    Very interesting article Lee. I should be grateful if you can send me a program based on jump sets for body weight exercises. As you can see I rarely used weight for my workout. Thanks.

    Chand.

    You can use the alternating set examples that I used for chin ups and dips and apply it to your other exercises.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  14. leehayward
    4 years ago

    Randy:
    I’ve always believed in symmetry for my workouts, setting up my exercises to always work opposing muscle groups. But I don’t rest between the sets. Take triceps and bicepts. I pump out my bicepts, the go straight to my tricepts, rest for 30 seconds, then start over. So what’s allowing more rest between exercises going to do for you, other than naturally letting you get more reps in each move? Thanks…

    Longer rest periods will allow for heavier weights to be lifted and thus stimulate more fast twitch muscle fibers during your training.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  15. leehayward
    4 years ago

    David JB:
    The gym I go to normally have a queue for a lot of the equipment so by the time you came back to do the second set the machine would have been taken. Otherwise I reckon this would work under most circumstances. The principle is sound so I think I may just give it a go anyway. Cheers Lee.

    I agree, this works best when training at a less busy time so you can have 2 pieces of equipment without anyone interrupting you.

    Another alternative is to workout with a partner, while you are using one machine your partner could be using the other one, and you could just alternate back and forth keeping both machines in use.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  16. gym
    4 years ago

    Great post Lee. I usually struggle with my training intensity. Sometimes I can clearly see that I exaggerated with the lenght and amount of workout series at my gym…and ocasionally I feel that my workout was to short. It is hard to get balance when you want to see results quickly and are rather an impatient person…

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  17. Adesina Adebola Michael
    4 years ago

    Thank you lee,but I normally train my back with my Triceps,shoulder with legs,chest with biceps…can this technique be applied to this too?

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  18. leehayward
    4 years ago

    Adesina Adebola Michael:
    Thank you lee,but I normally train my back with my Triceps,shoulder with legs,chest with biceps…can this technique be applied to this too?

    Yes, you can pair up other bodyparts for this as well.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  19. Masterhossaine
    4 years ago

    Thanks dear coach.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  20. Great Post with good sample program. Thanks Lee for explaining Jump Sets, which can be used in Advanced training.

    Rajesh

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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