T Nation


Most strength coaches suggest that for hypertrophy most work sets should have a duration of about 20-60 seconds. But in looking at the tri-sets suggested in some programs each individual set is about 60 secs, maybe more, with no rest between sets (individual exercises) for a total of at least 120 secs or more TUT of each tri-set. This is much more than than the usual suggested 60 sec max. I understand the principles behing the use of tri-sets (using different exercise angles, different support muscles, etc). They are obviously effective for growth but last sometimes even 150 secs or so in duration. As I said, you can’t argue with success but are there any theories out there?

i think there are two mechanisms working in tri sets.

  1. you have to be taking 10-20 seconds rest between tri sets to walk to a new machine, remove weight, or change angle. This is a rest period, abiet a short one. It may allow your muscles to recover.
  2. You may be recruiting new motor units in a tri set which weren’t stimulateld in the 1st exercise of the tri set, while doing the 3rd.