Types of Sets for Better Calisthenics Workout

If you’ve hit the gym and done 3 sets of 10 bench presses and you’re still wondering why you haven’t piled a second or third 45-pound slab on the bar, the set you’re doing. Calisthenics Worldwide recommends that you check the type of use. If you’re doing handstands or handstand push-ups and your static holds and sets/reps aren’t improving, check the type of set you’re using. The type of writing you use can affect your motivation and ability to break through stages. We’ll cover them all in this article, so buckle up! 

Straight Sets

Straight sets are very effortless. No pun intended. Examples of straight sets are 3 sets of 10 reps with about a 1-2 minute rest in between, 5 sets of 5 reps with a 3-minute rest between each of the sets. Traditionally, 3 sets of 10 reps for muscle hypertrophy and 5 sets of 5 reps for strength. But really, it’s not the number of sets or reps that matters, it’s energy, volume and effort. 

Cluster Sets

A cluster set is the division of a single set into multiple clusters or subsets. This type of set is typically used for technical exercises. For example, instead of doing just 5 reps using a door pull up bar, a set consists of 3 clusters of 3, 3, 2 repetitions. Within a single cluster, you can rest up to 20 seconds between 3, 3, 2 repetitions. Using this type of set gives you more bulk without adding more sets. Proper use of cluster sets allows you to build more firmness and power in a similar amount of time. 

Rest-Pause Set

A set structure similar to a cluster set is called a rest set. This type of set is typically used to intensify training, focusing on muscle hypertrophy. The idea is to do the exercise until it fails, then take a short break. Repeat the exact same exercise for 20-30 seconds until failure. Repeat this 1-2 times.

Here is an example using a pull-up rest set. 

  • Pull ups till failure
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Pull ups till failure
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Pull ups till failure 

Drop Sets

If you’ve ever done strength training or bodybuilding, you’ve heard of drop sets. Do the exercise until you fail, drop the weight, act it again, and drop the weight until you fail. You might be surprised how easily this type of set can be adapted for bodyweight energy training as well. If you’re trying to strengthen muscle, it might be worth a try. An example drop set is: 

For Pike Pushups, your structure can be

Set 1 with the straight set: 10 pushups

Set 2 with the straight set: 10 pushups

Set 3 with drop set: Pike Push Ups till failure, regular pushups till daily, knees down push ups till failure. 

Bottom Line 

Try incorporating some of these distinct types of sets into your Calisthenics program to spice things up and create an effective daily fitness routine. The following set types are important for maintaining a healthy training spirit.