Density Giant Set Training v2.0: Stronger And Leaner

John Matulevich
Written By: John Matulevich
December 21st, 2012
Updated: December 28th, 2017
412.8K Reads
Get your body stronger and leaner with this two template updated version of the extremely popular Density Giant Set Training workout system.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Lose Fat
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration16 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout30-45 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

Density Giant Set Training was originally a workout that I designed for myself to lose a bit of fat while maintaining the strength that I worked so hard towards in the gym. After the success I found in it personally, I decided to take it public.  It was then my first article to hit the Muscle & Strength archives, and from there the program became an overnight success.  To this day, it is one of my most viewed workouts, is one of the most popular fat loss workouts on Muscle & Strength, and continues to bring people across the globe fat loss success.

Because of the countless people contacting me for further similar programs, I decided to revisit this good ol’ workout, tweak a few things, and offer a bit more variety for even more success than the original.  As long as you follow the template, and hit every single rep with every bit of intensity you can, this program will help you meet, and possibly exceed, your fat loss goals.


If you need the background to Density Giant Set Training, I strongly recommend you read this: Density Giant Set Training.  But the short and simple explanation of this workout is that I designed this program to lose fat without stepping on any dreaded traditional cardio machine and to maximize to efficiency to save as much time as possible for life outside of the gym.  And thanks to all of the support and feedback from the original program, I’ve managed to make an already awesome workout, even better.

Many people have told me that they were unable to get together enough equipment in the gym to successfully complete multiple circuits without having to wait for equipment (which can be quite a buzz kill when trying to bang out a serious program like this with all out intensity).  So to this, I’ve responded by changing the format which allows for some serious intensity without the need to hoard all of the equipment in the gym.  The new format, which is outlined below, only requires at most 4 exercise instruments at a single time.

Another problem many people have experienced in the first program is the rigid structure, which doesn’t allow for much additional work.   This structure was also very oriented to maintaining strength during the program.  However, now I have created to slightly different workout templates.

One of these templates is still the 3-Day split, geared towards maximal strength retention during fat loss.  This is still great for athletes trying to make weight such as Powerlifters, Wrestlers, and MMA athletes among others, but now I have also included a 4-Day split geared more specifically towards people looking more to maintain size and muscle mass during a fat loss period.  This latter model is geared more towards bodybuilders, and the general population looking more towards physique goals.

Again, in no way am I trying to put down the great Density Giant Set Training program, just now there is more variety in terms of ways to hit the program to achieve your desired results.  But the original program is still definitely awesome, and I definitely suggest giving that program a whirl either after, or before this one, to continue your fight towards fat loss.

Program Fundamentals

In the original program, there was one circuit and the idea was to complete as many circuits as possible within the 25-minute mark.  Now however, the aim of the game is to finish the predetermined number of sets in the shortest time possible.  That means the program variable has changed from amount of circuits and the constant being the time, to the circuits being constant and the variable being the time.  This is another great reason why this program and the original can be used separately for continued results.

As stated earlier, the format is a bit different now.  Now you have three circuits.  The first consists of 2 main lifts.  You will go through this first circuit 4 times, with one set of each exercise each time through the circuit. The second will consist of the secondary exercises you will do to supplement your performance.

You will go through this second circuit 3 times, which is one less circuit, but one additional exercise. And for the third (you should sense a general pattern by now), you will do 4 exercises, but only go through the circuit twice.  These exercises are all pretty isolated and just the icing on the cake.

Following the last circuit, you can also do the additional “finisher” listed below that day.  Finishers are just an extra way to push your body to the limits and help you get to your fat loss goals that much quicker.  You might want to just run through the first week with just the circuits before adding the finishers in, just to get a feel for the workout before getting too crazy.

If you still want to do some extra cardio on the side to help speed up the fat loss process, I’d suggest doing it on your off days, and/or during a second workout that day.  Some great exercises people implemented in addition to this program are swimming, jogging and walking.  I’m especially fond of the latter as it helps you recover from the Density Giant Set program, while burning extra fat.

Density Giant Set Training v2.0 Workout Templates

Below you will see two templates.  Template A is more similar to the original.  It is a 3 day split with the emphasis on maintaining strength and cutting fat.  Template B is a 4 day split emphasizing muscle mass retention while also cutting fat.  Understand that both are very similar, and that if you want to maintain size, but can only do the 3 Day split, it will be just as beneficial to do Template A.

The same can be said for strength maintenance.  If you want to hold onto strength, but are interested in the 4 Day split, then go right ahead.  It’s all about finding what you like, and in turn, what is most sustainable for you and your goals.

And as you know, a good warm up and cool down are paramount for a successful and sustainable workout program.  A good way to implement them into this program should look something like this:

A. General Warm Up - This is anything to get the heart rate up, a light jog, a barbell complex, frolicking through flowers, whatever.

B. Specific Warm Up - This is where you slowly build into your first circuit and establish your working weights for the day in the compound lifts.

C. Main Work - This is where the actual Density Giant Set Training comes into play.

D. Cool Down - Here is a great opportunity to work on mobility and flexibility. Just be sure to lower your heart rate. And if you have a foam roller, use it.

E. Post-Workout Nutrition - Also very important.  Don’t think you shouldn’t eat now just because you are trying to lose fat.  Make sure to fuel your body and recover.

Template A​

Template A
Day 1
Circuit Times Through Each Circuit Exercise Reps
1 4x Squat 5
    Stiff Leg Deadlift 8
2 3x Push Press 8
    Hyperextension 8
    Leg Extension 8
3 2x Barbell Hip Thrust 20
    Standing Calf Raise 20
    Rear Delt Flye 30
    Bicycle Crunches 30 ea
Finisher 1x Burpee - 60 seconds AMAP
Template A
Day 2
Circuit Times Through Each Circuit Exercise Reps
1 4x Bench Press 5
    Lat Pull Down 8
2 3x Incline Dumbbell Press 8
    Seated Cable Row 8
    Push Press 8
3 2x Overhead Tricep Extension 20
    Swiss Ball Curl 20
    Dumbbell Lateral Raise 20
    Crunches 40
Finisher 1x Push Ups - 60 seconds AMAP
Template A
Day 3
Circuit Times Through Each Circuit Exercise Reps
1 4x Deadlift 5
    Front Squat 8
2 3x Step Up 8 ea
    Lunge 8 ea
    Leg Curl 8
3 2x Dumbbell Shrug 20
    Seated Calf Raise 20
    Cable Face Pull 20
    Plank 40 seconds
Finisher 1x Kettlebell Swing - 60 seconds AMAP

Template B​

Template B
Day 1
Circuit Times Through Each Circuit Exercise Reps
1 4x Bench Press 8
    Lat Pull Down 12
2 3x Incline Dumbbell Press 10
    Seated Cable Row 10
    Dumbbell Flye 10
3 2x Preacher Curl 15
    Overhead Tricep Extension 15
    Crunches 40
    Front Dumbbell Raise 20
Finisher 1x Push Ups - 60 seconds AMAP
Template B
Day 2
Circuit Times Through Each Circuit Exercise Reps
1 4x Squat 8
    Stiff Leg Deadlift 12
2 3x Lunge 8 ea
    Hyperextension 8
    Leg Extension 8
3 2x Dumbbell Shrugs 20
    Seated Calf Raise 15
    Rear Dumbbell Flye 12
    Bicycle Crunch 30 ea
Finisher 1x Burpee - 60 seconds AMAP
Template B
Day 3
Circuit Times Through Each Circuit Exercise Reps
1 4x Landmine Row 8
    Military Press 12
2 3x Dumbbell Row 8
    Dips 10
    Straight Arm Pull Down 12
3 2x Cable Tricep Extension 12
    Swiss Bar Curl 10
    Dumbbell Pullover 25
    Dumbbell Lateral Raise 15
Finisher 1x Pull Up - 60 seconds AMAP
Template B
Day 4
Circuit Times Through Each Circuit Exercise Reps
1 4x Deadlift 8
    Front Squat 12
2 3x Step Ups 8 ea
    Reverse Lunge 8 ea
    Leg Curl 12
3 2x Glute Bridge 15
    Cable Face Pull 15
    Plank 40 seconds
    Romanian Leg Raise 20
Finisher 1x Pull Up - 60 seconds AMAP

So there you have it.  All you need for your fat loss success sits right in front of your eyes.  If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below, or email me at  This program has helped hundreds before and will certainly help you.  Just remember with exercise program, what you put into it, is exactly what you get out of it.

Posted on: Tue, 10/23/2018 - 11:19

Has anyone tried this? What were your results?

Posted on: Sat, 10/20/2018 - 18:26

Is it ok to increase weight as progression in this routine??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 10/23/2018 - 10:02

Hi Bruceton,

Yep! Increasing weight is a good way to achieve progressive overload.

Posted on: Mon, 02/09/2015 - 07:16

Great workout!
For v2.0, do we still do the 1RM at the start?

How long typically would you be spending in the gym with this workout?


al smith
Posted on: Wed, 09/17/2014 - 20:35

what is a romanin leg raise

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:33

I'm starting this today I'll be posting back in the next few weeks ; )

Posted on: Wed, 03/05/2014 - 00:21


Posted on: Mon, 12/09/2013 - 18:03

It doesn't seem like there is that many ab exercises in this workout do you recommend doing extra ab work on am off day or is this enough to tone my abs as well as everything else?

Posted on: Thu, 10/10/2013 - 23:28

How often should i increase my weight..weekly or biweekly.

Posted on: Mon, 10/07/2013 - 19:07

some of the stuff doesn't have the amount of times listed i just see the reps does that mean i only do it once?

Jose gomez
Posted on: Sat, 10/05/2013 - 20:57

Every time I'm done with a set should I add more weight to it??

Posted on: Thu, 08/01/2013 - 18:38

I am going to start this on monday but was wondering if this will help me gain strength and lose weight? I am a wrestler who is mainly looking to gain strength and not gain so much weight and lose weight.

Steve G
Posted on: Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:38

Looks like a great workout. I was wondering the Swiss ball curl is that the curl you do for your hamstrings. Also in template A day 1 it starts off with 4 sets of Squats followed by deadlift so is this like supersets after you finish squats go right to deadlifts then how much rest until your next set. Also would it be ok to switch week to week like 1st week do template A then the 2nd week to template B would that be ok..Once again john you are on your game

Posted on: Sat, 06/15/2013 - 16:27

what is a cable face pull?

Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2013 - 00:44

Love the workout. What supplements do you think are best for this type of work-out? What do you recommend?

Posted on: Sat, 05/18/2013 - 15:13

Do you recommend doing one day on and one day off on template B?

Posted on: Wed, 05/15/2013 - 14:47

I really like this workout and have been doing it now for the past 4 weeks. I have been doing template B because I typically go to the gym at least 5 days a week and need a program. I feel like I'm ready to start another program, just to shake things up. I took a look at your circuit training for women you posted on leancurves and I'm not sure it gives me enough coverage. Do you think doing it 4 times a week with a day of rest in between covers enough of the muscle groups and hard enough, without being too redundant?
Are there other workouts like this that can help me burn more calories/fat?

Posted on: Wed, 05/08/2013 - 17:20

Hi John,
Could you please write down how this work out is to be completed as there are numerous versions being discussed here. So taking Template B Day 1, is it as follows;
Bench press then Lat Pulldown
Bench press then Lat Pulldown
Bench press then Lat Pulldown
Bench press then Lat Pulldown
Then short rest then onto circuit 2
Incline Dumbell Press then Seated Cable Row then Dumbell Flye
Incline Dumbell Press then Seated Cable Row then Dumbell Flye
Incline Dumbell Press then Seated Cable Row then Dumbell Flye
Then short rest and onto circuit 3

Or is it a short rest after each superset e.g
Bench press then Lat Pulldown followed by short rest
Bench press then Lat Pulldown followed by short rest
Bench press then Lat Pulldown followed by short rest

Thanks Barry

6'2 chick
Posted on: Sun, 05/05/2013 - 08:28


I am. A former athlete who hasn't been out of activity for a year and a half now. So I am pretty much starting from scratch! My goas are to lower my body fat from 25-26 to 18-20, and get lean muscle mass. Also in the long run, I would like to do fitness/figure competitions. This workout seems great, do you think it's the one I should follow to acheive my goals? If not, do you have any workout routine suggestions ? Thanks

Posted on: Thu, 05/02/2013 - 04:20

i am starting to do giant sets for fat taking ON hydrobuilder as my protein. is it ok? coz it has 5g creatine on it. thanks

Posted on: Sat, 04/27/2013 - 13:24

is that Good to make the 4 Circuit
each one 4 TImes
or not ??

Posted on: Tue, 04/23/2013 - 08:33


After significant time off due to injury, a return to the gym, and finally completing a strength/muscle phase, I started V.2 this Monday, May 22. I am following Template B for the next 5/6 weeks with two days on, one day off, two on, and two off but may adjust due to work or recovery needs.

So far, so good. I love the supersets, little to no rest periods, and intensity this workout requires. I also love that I can get it all done in less than an hour with warm up and cool down included.

I gained some weight during my last phase and hope this workout with a reasonable diet will get me back to a good weight. I will check in 5/6 weeks and update my progress just so you can have yet another example of the Density workout's success.

Age: 33
Height: 6' 1"
Starting Weight: 211
Typical Weight: 200 - 202
Goal Weight: 200ish (I'll let the mirror decide my goal weight).

Thanks for the workout and advice provided in the article and comments.


Posted on: Thu, 05/23/2013 - 08:25


An update after five weeks with the DGS V2 - Template B workout.
Age: 33
Height: 6' 1"
Starting Weight: 211
Typical Weight: 200 - 202
After 5 Weeks - Weight: 205/206

I followed the workout pretty closely but had to adjust at times due to work. I liked the workout and am pleased with my progress. If I could have gotten a handle on my diet, I think I would have made even bigger strides. After a much needed week off, I'll see if I can fix that.

Thanks again for this workout (and your others) and have a good one.


Posted on: Fri, 04/19/2013 - 09:46

@John Matulevich
I wanna Knew what i do
i need to loss Fat and in the same Time Grow up my Muscles
what Template i do A or B or BOTH

Michael Whities
Posted on: Wed, 04/17/2013 - 11:12


I sent you an email already but, I want to thank you again. I'll be sending another email later/or tonight with concerns of exercise substitution.

I'm using Template B - 4 day. Workout M, T, rest W and workout T, F, and rest S and S.

Thank you.

Dan Vagle
Posted on: Thu, 04/11/2013 - 16:21

OUTSTANDING WORKOUTS! Ive been lifting for 20plus years now,and these workouts are fabulous!

Roman Padilla
Posted on: Wed, 04/03/2013 - 16:42

can I get printable versions of template A please

Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:28

do i take a break after every work out day

for the 3 day splits
thursday- rest

for 4day split

monday and tuesday work
wed - rest
thursday and friday workout

does this sound okay ?

Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 00:09


Sorry I do not understand, for example day one do I go through circuit 1 then 2, 3 or do I finish the requested sets first? Thanks in advance.

Posted on: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:30

I dont get it how do i perform each circuit i do a 4x bench press and 4x lat pull down or i'll do both as superset? Reply asap

Posted on: Sun, 03/17/2013 - 13:21

You pretty much superset every exercise in the circuit.

Posted on: Mon, 03/18/2013 - 11:35

You'll perform the bench press and then go straight to the lat pull down. Then go right back to the bench and repeat this 4 times.

Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2013 - 17:46

Thanks Michael .. was looking for an explanation on rest methodology

Posted on: Sat, 03/09/2013 - 08:56

Can someone explain what a Romanian Leg Raise is and how to do it? Thanks.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2013 - 22:32

So, I've started this workout and I'm facing a dilemma as how much weight should I use? Should I go max?

Posted on: Wed, 02/27/2013 - 10:54

This is a great workout is it supposed to be 4days on 1day off?

Posted on: Fri, 02/15/2013 - 10:16

Great workout. Just finished my first 6 week session of template B and I've lost 16 lbs with very little change to my diet.

Posted on: Thu, 03/14/2013 - 07:11

Did you see some decent gains?

Muhammad Shafi
Posted on: Sat, 02/09/2013 - 12:41

I have joined the gym recently.... just about a month ago in which i spend my most of the days at home.... how should i start now??

John A,
Posted on: Wed, 02/06/2013 - 13:35

John, I am 5'6", 27 years old, 246lbs, and 28% BF. I am no stranger to weights and have been doing another routine on here to get more muscle mass, It worked well for me and I feel good about size now I am ready to cut all that excess fat and actually have it show. Will this routine work for my goals along with a reasonable diet or should I go for a more traditional fat loss routine ( I hate the treadmill with a fiery passion )? Thanks in advance for your response!

Posted on: Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:30

So I have about 80 pounds to drop do to work and not making time for the gym over the past almost 2 years. is this a good workout to drop a lot of work or do I need to keep looking?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 02/08/2013 - 19:00

This is certainly an appropriate routine. Just keep in mind that your diet is really the determining factor in your weight loss goals.

Posted on: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 20:22

have done the first density giant two separate times for a month each. great workout. looking forward to this new workout starting tomorrow. thanks!

Posted on: Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:49

thank you

Posted on: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 00:54

If I'm trying to lose the fat on my stomach can I run after the workout?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2013 - 15:29

You can

Posted on: Fri, 02/01/2013 - 12:03

Just wanted to know if this routine adds a decent amount of muscle gain or is it more towards just the fat loss while maintaining and toning aspect?

Posted on: Thu, 01/31/2013 - 02:37

I want to do the Template B workout but when are the rest days?

Could i workout Monday and Tuesday, then have wednesday off, and workout Thursday and friday, then have saturday and sunday off.

Would this be good and ideal for fat loss. I was thinking of doing some jogging and jump rope on wednesday (rest day).


Posted on: Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:23

what do you recommend for the split? is it exercise every other day or two days on one day off? i saw similar questions but no answers? thanks.

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2013 - 16:32

I was wondering what you do after like the third day of template A or the forth day of template B. Do you take a 3 or 4 day break?