What Are Muscle Rounds?

What are muscle rounds?

A Muscle round is a type of set first popularised by Leo Costa as a tool to pump a muscle group full of blood.

The basic idea is that instead of completing your usual set in say for example 3 sets of 8-10 reps, with a minute rest between each set taking 5 minutes or so total, that you complete lower reps, with lower rest.

As such, you’d still be completing the same amount of reps, but with shorter rest periods.

The most widely used example of this is as follows;

Repetitions are broken up into sets of 4 repetitions, separated by about 10 seconds rest (typically about 5 deep breaths) for a total of 6 sets. (Dr Scott Stevenson)

Pick a weight that you’d normally be able to do 10 reps with, but in this instance, instead of doing 10 reps, you’ll now be performing 24. The aim is to fail on the last “set”. When you can complete all 6 sets without failure, increase the load.

How To Programme Muscle Rounds

I first came across muscle rounds when looking into Scott Stevenson’s Fortitude Training System. So I’ll use this as an example of how to programme.

In this instance, programming is geared to high frequency and relatively low set volume, with 4 days a week of training. 2 days are completed with full body work, 2 with upper/lower, with the upper and lower days constituting muscle rounds rather than loading and/or pump work.

Here’s an example from JDH_Physique of how to programme Upper/Lower Muscle Round workout days;

You’ll generally programme in work that you haven’t completed at another point in the week. Scott says the best approach tends to be to have 1 or 2 muscle rounds that you keep in from week to week until you’ve got everything you can out of them, and change up the others from week to week to keep things varied. Do log them, though, and when you come back to an exercise, you can try and beat it.

Day 3 – Lower Muscle Rounds

  1. Thigh compound
  2. Thigh compound 2
  3. Ham iso
  4. Quad iso
  5. Calf 1
  6. Calf 2
  7. Biceps

Day 4 Upper Muscle Rounds

  1. Back thickness/width
  2. Back thickness/width
  3. Back thickness/width

Do 2 of one type and one of the other. You can alternate this weekly to balance things out or can just keep prioritising a weakness if needed.

  1. Chest 1
  2. Chest 2
  3. Delts 1
  4. Delts 2
  5. Triceps
  6. Optional ab work

Alternatively, you could programme muscle rounds as a “finisher” as part of any given training day to add in additional volume as I’ve seen the likes of Joe Bennett and Jordan Peters do;

I’ll try and shoot some content of me performing a muscle round at some stage so you can see just how taxing they are! But definitely do give them a try!