You are here

Density Giant Set Training: Maintain Muscle During Fat Loss

Average: 4.2 (190 votes)
4.2 5 190
The density set training system is a perfect workout for someone looking to drop fat, hold on to muscle, and train hard and heavy. Each session is brief and intense, but extremely effective!

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Lose Fat
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
3
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, Medicine Ball
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

Density trainingMax Out and Cut Fat

I hear it every time I ask someone their opinion on fat loss.  I see it every time I go online.  Looking to lose fat? Cardio, cardio and more cardio!  Well I have a problem with that, and I think every other muscle-bound guy out there does as well.  I don’t like killing myself on the stationary bike in the gym while wearing a garbage bag and having the thermostat cranked up into the triple digits.

Also, another problem I have with this method, is the loss of muscle size and strength during cutting phases.  So why not lose some fat while lifting heavy?  I’ve devised a density program to reduce or eliminate strength and size loss during a hardcore cutting phase by placing emphasis on the powerlifts.

I promise, you won’t have to touch an elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike.  This program should be a favorite among heavy lifters because it allows you to have a max effort on a powerlift every day, even though it’s a cutting cycle. Because of its uniqueness and difficulty to adapt to, you may even see gains in size and strength while simultaneously cutting fat.

This program is designed as a full body workout with emphasis on a powerlift each day.

Core work is not included, but can be done as a warm up or cool down.  However, stay away from erector muscles, they get plenty of training during the actual workout, and any more activity may lead to overtraining and injury.

A sample day may look like this:

  • 5 Minute Dynamic Stretching/ General Warm Up (Done to stretch muscle fibers while raising heart rate)
  • 5 Minute Specific Warm Up (Ex. Bench on bench day, etc…)
  • Max Effort 1RM on Powerlift
  • 5-10 Minute Core Work
  • Density Workout
  • 5 Minutes Static Stretching/Cool Down

Constructing the program for you:

  • Each of the powerlifts should be done at 80% of your 1RM.
  • Assistance exercises should be done with 70-75% of your 1RM (possibly more or less depending on your strengths and weaknesses).
  • When med balls are called for, use a weight you are comfortable with, if the med ball is too light, you might not receive benefits of that exercise; too heavy, you may be placing emphasis on the wrong muscle groups, or you may experience too much joint stress.
  • During the max effort portion, don’t make any more than three attempts at a lift, this will too greatly hurt performance in the later density circuit.

Rules of the Program

  • Plyometric/bodyweight exercises can be done with dumbbells if an exercise feels too light.
  • Weights should not be increased throughout the program unless a weight feels drastically too light/too heavy.
  • Exercises in the program should be repeated through for 25 minutes NO MORE, NO LESS.
  • Each exercise in the set should be done back to back, any rest needed should be taken between sets.
  • The goal is to add a set done every time through the workout.
  • Separate each workout by at least a day to avoid overtraining.
Day 1
Bench Press Day
Exercise Reps
Bench Press 5
Push Up 20
Push Press 10
Medicine Ball Jump Snatch 15
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10
Chest Dip 15
Day 2
Deadlift Day
Exercise Reps
Deadlift 5
Back Extension 20
Barbell Curl 10
Close Grip Chin Up 15
Dumbbell Lunge 10
Split Squat 15
Day 3
Squat Day
Exercise Reps
Squat 5
Tuck Jump 20
Upright Row 10
Inverted Row 15
ATG Front Squat 10
Dumbbell High Pulls 15

So there it is.  If you want to lose some fat, put down the cell phone and stop texting for 25 minutes to get in the best shape of your life.  You’ll look better, and still be able to bench an impressive load.  Try this program for a month or two, and then come back and do it again the next time you want to lose a little fat.  Have fun maxing out on the powerlifts, but be ready to sweat your ass off when it’s time to work.

Related Workouts View all Fat Loss Workouts

  • Share This Article
  • Rate & Share
    Average: 4.2 (190 votes)
  • About The Author
    Although a swimmer at the division 2 level, John’s passion lies in weight training, from bodybuilding to powerlifting, as well as Olympic lifting and all forms of training.
Related Supplements View all Top Supplements
Elite Whey

Great Tasting, Fast Digesting Protein That's High in BCAAs!

4.3
Average: 4.3 (17 votes)
Juiced Aminos

2:1:1 BCAA's, EAA's And Key Aminos For Pre/Intra/Post-Workout!*

4.5
Average: 4.5 (1 vote)

Comments (424)

Add a comment

No Profile Pic
Kris
Posted Mon, 08/29/2011 - 17:01

Hi, would like to know the advantage / disadvance of working out in the morning (5:00am-untill) vs the afternoon (after 6:30 pm)... kindly let me know.. thanks

  • 5
  • 5
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Wed, 08/31/2011 - 11:08

Morning workouts are more advantageous as they burn more fat through out the day.

  • 1
  • 1
No Profile Pic
andrew
Posted Wed, 08/31/2011 - 03:18

Would running on rest days kill the work out?

  • 3
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Wed, 08/31/2011 - 11:09

Running is fine, it has great cardiovascular benefits when done with this workout. When I was doing this workout, I would run on rest days as well, but not so much that it destroys my legs for the next days workout.

  • 1
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Valerie
Posted Wed, 08/31/2011 - 13:16

i am so fired up to getto that physical part of my life! i swear, im so motivated and determined to get there, no matter what it takes or how long..i want it,and i want it ibad!!

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Sat, 09/03/2011 - 22:53

Good! This is a good program for that. If you have any questions, comment on the workout and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

  • 1
  • 3
No Profile Pic
GoHardOrGoHome
Posted Thu, 09/01/2011 - 07:44

I'm 15 and I work out 4 days a week, do you think it would be okay if I tried this program and did it four consecutive days ?

  • 2
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Thu, 09/01/2011 - 10:52

As long as it agrees with your body. Don't push yourself too far or injuries might further stop results.

  • 3
  • 1
No Profile Pic
GoHardOrGoHome
Posted Thu, 09/01/2011 - 16:35

so do you think it will be okay as long as I don't push too hard? will this help build muscle mass? I would be doing this every morning before school and doing a core and conditioning exercise in the afternoon after school..

  • 2
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Sat, 09/03/2011 - 22:47

Adding mass while doing conditioning work can be very difficult, if not impossible. But having the sessions separated like that sounds like the best approach.

  • 2
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Noel
Posted Thu, 09/01/2011 - 14:04

I am planning on doing this monday wednesday and friday.
Is yoga flow okay to do tuesday and thursday?

  • 1
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Sat, 09/03/2011 - 22:49

Yoga is an excellent choice no matter the program. It speeds the metabolism and helps the recovery process. Doing it between workout days is a great way to do it.

  • 2
  • 2
No Profile Pic
erickson
Posted Fri, 09/02/2011 - 18:52

I'm very eager to try this program... i've been looking for a better workout plan to help me burn more calories without the need of working out for almost 2 hours a day just because i need to run on a treadmill after lifting weights...

  • 1
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Sat, 09/03/2011 - 22:51

That's why this program is so popular among litters of all levels. If you have any questions with it, feel free to comment on this and I'll be glad to help.

  • 2
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Lee
Posted Tue, 09/06/2011 - 13:31

Thanks for the workout! Exactly what i was looking for!

  • 1
  • 1
No Profile Pic
Rodolfo
Posted Tue, 09/06/2011 - 15:12

for this workout are the C E Ester required???

  • 3
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Tue, 09/06/2011 - 15:35

It's not required, and is just an advertisement paired with the workout.

  • 3
  • 2
No Profile Pic
erickson
Posted Tue, 09/06/2011 - 19:00

I've tried the program (day 1, 2 and 3)... and I love the level of difficulty because it made me sweat like im running... though i have to modify the reps of some of the exercises for me to complete one set... // John, what exercise can i do to replace the "chest dip"... this exercise is so hard for me... hope you can help me, thanks!

  • 1
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Wed, 09/07/2011 - 14:54

The chest dip can be tough for even experienced lifters because of the emphasis on the triceps in a range of movement the body may not be accustomed to. I would suggest replacing this with, if possible, a dipping machine that replicates the motion of the chest dip with a lighter than body weight load. If you cannot do or have one of those available, I would suggest a deep decline bench press variation.

  • 1
  • 1
No Profile Pic
rose
Posted Wed, 09/07/2011 - 00:50

Is this workout mainly for guys? Or can women do it too, i have read it and am interested in trying it out, but will i be able to see results from the workout?

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Wed, 09/07/2011 - 14:56

I think it would be a great routine for many to try girls and guys alike! Its a different approach to fat loss that I think many would like. If you try it, and as long as you see results, stick with it!

  • 2
  • 3
No Profile Pic
rose
Posted Wed, 09/07/2011 - 12:59

Hi, this looks like a good workout, and i was wondering if this is good for women as well?

  • 3
  • 4
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Thu, 09/22/2011 - 19:25

This is a great workout for all to try! As long as you see results, keep on going!

  • 2
  • 3
No Profile Pic
gavin
Posted Thu, 09/15/2011 - 11:37

great stuff, im on it for sure, just a couple of stupid qeustions.

1. im in the middle of ghana with limited equipment so i dont have a medicen ball, replace it with a dumbell i asume?

2. i dont have the means to do push press can i replace it with something else and what would that be?

great training program, thanks

  • 1
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Thu, 09/15/2011 - 12:12

A dumbbell should be sufficient to complete the exercise. And for the chest dip, I could do some sort of decline pushups.

  • 1
  • 3
No Profile Pic
gavin
Posted Thu, 09/15/2011 - 11:41

sorry thats chest dip i dont have not push press

  • 2
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Dylan
Posted Fri, 09/16/2011 - 11:07

Hey all!

I really like this workout but I have a question regarding over training. I've been doing insanity workout program for 3 months now and love the results I've been seeing and cardio improvements but I want to start toning up and building muscle, so I want to add a weight routine as well. If I do insanity in the morning can I do this at night and not "over train?"

  • 3
  • 3
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Thu, 09/22/2011 - 19:27

I am not too familiar with the workouts in insanity, if i were you, i would choose a low intensity weight routine and slowly transition it in.

  • 2
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Nic
Posted Tue, 09/20/2011 - 12:58

question about the number of reps - let's say I am doing day 1 for example and i get to the dips for the second time around - and this time i'm exhausted and can't do 15; what then? 1) do i so the most i can without stopping and move on to the next exercise or 2) do i do as many sets as needed to achieve the 15 before moving on? Thanks for the routine - going to try it for the first time in about an hour! Nic

  • 3
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Thu, 09/22/2011 - 19:28

If you can't successfully complete all of the repetitions, do them in multiple sets but as quickly as possible as to not compromise the intensity of the workout.

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
Nomo
Posted Thu, 09/22/2011 - 00:17

Been doing this workout for 2 weeks, showing some good results. Wondering about supplements, would you still take BCAA's on this or eliminate them? Currently 184 lbs, 11% bf. What supplement combo's would you recommend on this program?

  • 3
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Thu, 09/22/2011 - 19:30

On this program as well as any, I would suggest a multivitamin with high dosages of the B vitamins, a quality whey protein, a creatine monohydrate product, and the occasional ZMA

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
Sam
Posted Tue, 09/27/2011 - 09:56

Hey, John. I've been on this program for about 2 and a half weeks now. Yet, I can't push pass 3 circuits within the 25 minutes. When I started this program I was able to do 3 circuits and after going at it for 2 complete weeks and 2 days I still feel like I haven't improved. How long do you recommend me going a it before I switch things up? Thanks

  • 1
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Wed, 09/28/2011 - 20:27

That's a tough spot... Maybe the problem can be just how you're going about it. If you're too physically taxed to do more than three circuits, then I'd say take a short break between exercises. If the problem is simply running out of time, then maybe I'd try to up the intensity if at all possible, as in limiting rest periods, faster repetitions, etc.

  • 2
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Dustin
Posted Fri, 09/30/2011 - 17:22

Alright, my biggest concern isn't so much with the workout. I'm sure I'll see significant improvement based off the fact I've never done weight training before.

However, my issue is the mandatory pt I do in the mornings. Will I be able to do this along with the early morning pt I do from 6:30 to 7:30 (Most of this is Cardio with Sit-up (Or variations of) and Push-ups (Or a varition of) And Pull-ups every so often.

This is five days a week for me and it's mostly to keep to a standard (No improvement but staying where you need to stay) I'm hoping that doing this won't cause me injury. Army pt is Mandatory and I cannot ask them to let me do my own thing during that time period. I'm hoping that the pt I do for the Military will just add onto the improvements I might see in the future; but again, I've never done weight training so I don't know for sure. (Which is probably a good reason to ask. Hm.)

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
Scott
Posted Sat, 10/01/2011 - 00:00

you need to give your muscles rest in order to rebuild and grow, so id stick with running and abs in the morning and then this routine just as it is

  • 1
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:15

I am aware of how the military runs and how it runs its physical training program, and i must admit i am disapointed in it. I would suggest doing this as well to target all muscle groups and as a better form of "physical training". Because you are in the military this would be a great program that promotes great muscular funtionality.

  • 4
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Scott
Posted Fri, 09/30/2011 - 23:58

one week in on this routine, and a lean diet, the week before was just time off, ive gone from 256lbs to 241.6lbs seeing my hard earned muscle start to expose itself. im going to do this cycle for another 4 weeks and i am taking progression shots to show how possible it is to transform your body from point a to point b. afte 4 more weeks i will be cycyling into a different HIIT circuit routine to keep my body confused.

  • 1
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Mon, 10/03/2011 - 20:24

That's excellent. Continue training and there is no limit to what the human body can do.

  • 1
  • 2
No Profile Pic
RajaRaviVarma
Posted Sat, 10/01/2011 - 12:08

I have read almost all the comments and it seems to give good results if followed properly. But my only doubt is, I'm going to do all these exercises at my home, so what if I don't have access to any of the accessories, for e.g. Medical ball, Parallel bar etc.

Can I skip those exercises? Also I don't have enough weights for dead lift and squats. All I got is 16 Kg plates and a barbell bar and two dumbbell bars.

Provide me some advice please.

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Mon, 10/03/2011 - 20:28

That's a tough spot! I workout at home as well and I used to be in the same situation as you with limited equipment. Of all the advice I can give you, skipping exercises is the most important not to do. Because I'm not sure what you're working with, I can give limited advice. I would say do your best to mimic the motions and weight of the exercises mentioned in the program. Best of luck to you!

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
RajaRaviVarma
Posted Tue, 10/04/2011 - 06:50

Thank you. Sure I will try to mimic the exercise for those I dont have equipments.

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
Alphonso
Posted Sat, 10/01/2011 - 21:40

What is an average base for caloric intake with this routine?
Should I also take protein supplements while on this program?

  • 2
  • 2
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Mon, 10/03/2011 - 20:31

Protein Supplements are always a good idea, but if you don't have a supplement available, then Milk will work great. As for the caloric intake, everyone's needs vary, so my best advice is if you're trying to gain, eat more calories than you burn, if trying to cut, burn more than you consume. For this program to work as designed, the caloric intake should be adjusted accordingly to hunger. Eat no more/no less than you need to.

  • 1
  • 3
No Profile Pic
Sourav
Posted Mon, 10/03/2011 - 01:37

Plz tell me a substitute for the inverted row n hyperextension.my gym lacks da equipment.

  • 3
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Tue, 10/04/2011 - 20:18

Inverted rows can be done almost anywhere. Just find a squat rack, pull a bench up, put your feet on the bench and pull yourself up to the bar. Also, you can pull a chair close to a chin up bar and do the inverted rows on that. For hyperextension, if you don't have anything where you can position your legs and lift your back up, I'd suggest straight leg deadlifts.

  • 2
  • 2
No Profile Pic
Sourav
Posted Fri, 10/07/2011 - 04:55

I have been folowin dis routine for a week.its a gr8 workout.i hv some questions regarding diet.i m 20 year old male 5"2,74 kgs n hv fat around my tummy i would likd 2 lose.i also want sharp muscle tone.plz advise

  • 2
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Mon, 10/17/2011 - 20:05

I'd suggest looking at the dieting articles on this website, they are great & effective.

  • 1
  • 1
No Profile Pic
kevin
Posted Fri, 10/07/2011 - 14:56

what can i do in place of the medicine ball
jump snatch

  • 3
  • 1
No Profile Pic
John Matulevich
Posted Mon, 10/17/2011 - 20:06

A standing broad jump would be a good substitute. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and try to jump as far as you can for each rep.

  • 1
  • 1

Pages

Add new comment