Real quick, if you have yet to read the most recent post I put up about Vince “The Iron Guru” Gironda yet, make sure you do so HERE so you get caught up to speed.

Back when I was prepping for my first and only bodybuilding show, I remember using this particular method to much success.  I basically took Vince Gironda’s “Tri-Set” method to training a particular muscle group, or “weak area” and used that to help grow or spark more muscle growth in a certain area.

For me, it was my chest.


I had good definition but, no real mass or thickness to my chest.  So I had to attack it with Tri-Sets.  Basically, what you would do is select 3 different movements for a particular part body and do them in a circuit.

So for example, using my chest, I would do a set of bench press, followed by dumbbell bench, then finish with maybe dips or flys.  If you’re familiar with bodybuilding at all, this is nothing that new but, pretty effective.  More on this in a second….

Back then some 3 years ago, I was still using old school bodybuilding methods to build muscle which right now, wouldn’t serve me all that good (As I’m strictly focused on in performance based training now) but, for peeps wanting to gain some serious mass, this is stuff you will want to pay attention to and apply into your program ASAP!

To be honest, I don’t think the methods I used back then were the absolute best as today, after having a few years to test, tweak, and discover new innovative ways to train, I’ve updated this method to make it far more superior and athletic in nature than the old way I used  approaching tri-sets.

This is good for those of you out there wanting to add on slabs of muscle but without sacrificing any athletic abilities.

So basically what I have done is take Vince’s “Tri-Set” method and tweaked it up a bit to favor a more athletic style of approach for building muscle.

Instead of using your typical bodybuilder movements, I want to focus on keeping things more functional based.

The basis I used with this new “Tri-Set” style of lifting is this:

Movement 1 – Explosive POWER movement

Movement 2 – Heavy STRENGTH movement

Movement 3 – Fast FUNCTIONAL / PUMP movement.

Now, I’ve put these movements into this particular order for a reason.  The reason is to correctly activate your muscle fibers for maximum usage.

To explain a little bit more here, the first movement is designed to be extremely fast.  In fact, it’s more of a plyometric type movement in that, you don’t want at any point to slow your movement down at the end.  So a plyo push up with full extension at the end will suffice as a good movement for this.  You could even do a medium to heavy med ball chest toss or throw as well but, we must target the chest as the main muscle group.

The second movement is designed to be extremely heavy but, not so heavy you can only get one rep.  We want to be able to get at least 2-3 maybe even 4 reps on this movement.  This will help recruit more muscle fibers in the area we’re trying to reach to help move the heavy load.  So, a heavy dumbbell bench press, would be fine or, if you must, a heavy barbell bench press.  The key is to get a HEAVY load and move it 2-4 times as fast as possible.  Try not to grind the reps out.

For the last movement, we’re looking to use a weight that we can get 8-15 reps out of and still be super fast with.  For this movement, we want it to be a functional free moving exercise like a weighted dip or push up.  Another great example of this would be a suspended push up or even suspended ring dip or fly.

One of the famous movements The Iron Guru was known for was the Ring Fly.   

This is an excellent and highly functional movement you can do to help increase both strength and muscle in the chest.  Throw it in with a Tri-Set, and you’ll be feeling it for sure!

So, for this particular Tri-Set for our chest, it would look like this:

1A) Plyo Push Ups x 5-10 reps ***Must explode all the way off the floor

1B) DB Bench Press x  2-4 reps  ***Be as fast and explosive pushing the weight up

1C) Ring Fly’s x 15-20 reps or when movement slows down quite a bit  ***Control yourself on the way down and be as fast and explosive on the way up.

You would repeat this cycle 3-4 sets resting anywhere from 60 secs to maybe even 3 mins.

For the remaining part of your workout, you would hit ab and grip work or another Tri-Set focusing in on another muscle group, usually the antagonist group of the muscle that you just worked.  So, if you just did chest, you would do a tri-set for your back.

Where most people would go wrong, they would hit another 3 movement Tri-Set for their chest which would be overkill.

Thinking that “more is better” is never the right way to think unless you’re talking about hot chicks that like to train insane or money right??  LOL.

One thing I strongly agree with The Iron Guru on was the fact that you do not want to totally demolish your muscles when you work out.  You want to get in some good QUALITY work but avoid total failure at the same time.

With many of my movements, including bodyweight, I’m a firm believer in leaving a few reps in the tank.

The reason for this is to help protect your nervous system from getting too overly damaged and fatigued.  You can work your muscles and they’ll recover in a fair amount of time, say 24-48 hours usually but, when you really tax your nervous system, like with total failure training or H.I.T. training, it can take up to 72+ hours MINIMUM for it to fully recover.

iron guru dipsMost people don’t have that much patience nor want to take that much time off from training so they keep pushing their training to levels of failure, overtime they get way to0 over-trained and their results start to plummet.

Don’t let this be you!  Get in just enough work and get out!

You should always strive for more QUALITY over QUANTITY especially when it comes to building muscle.

Before I wrap it up, just another example of a quick athletic based Tri-Set to build more muscle, here’s one you could do for the hamstrings….

1A) Broad Jumps x 6  ***Explode for distance and height.  Reset every rep to get maximum power.

1B) Barbell Straight Leg Deadlift / Romanian Deadlift x 4  ***Explode on the way up and lower the weight down slowly, under control

1C) Weighted Glute Ham Raises x 15  ***explosive concentric, slow and controlled on the way down

Repeat that cycle for 3-5 rounds.

So, the Iron Guru’s Method of Tri-Sets + a little bit of Athletic Training added in for good measure should help you bring up those weaker areas as well as build up your stronger areas in no time!

Here’s to adding more muscle quickly!


PS – Just to let all you muscle building freaks out there know, I’ve got something special coming real soon to add on to the Iron Guru’s Secret Special Book…

ALl in good time….

Stay tuned!