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  • Writer's pictureLaura Flynn Endres

What is a Tri-Set?

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

A tri-set is a combination of three different exercises performed consecutively, usually with little to no rest between exercises.

The three exercises can either work the same muscle group, or work opposing muscle groups.

In a same muscle group tri-set, you'll need an adequate rest between tri-sets, usually 1-5 minutes.

The goal here is to increase volume and time under tension. Tri-set benefits are muscle adaptation and improved strength!

An example of a tri-set in which all 3 exercises work the same muscle group (in this case the chest muscles):

1. 10 Push-Ups

2. 10 DB Chest Fly

3. 10 DB Bench Press

In an opposing muscle group tri-set, the goal is efficiency. You allow one muscle group to rest while you work another muscle group. But while you might not rest after each exercise in the tri-set, you'll rest for 1-2 minutes after completing the tri-set before doing it again.

Opposing muscle group tri-sets are a great way to increase intensity which can help you burn fat without sacrificing muscle.

A tri-set example that works different muscle groups:

  1. 10 Lunges

  2. 10 Bicep Curls with Dumbbells

  3. 10 Push-Ups

You should adapt the level of difficulty to match your fitness level.

For example, adapting the opposing muscle group tri-set above to beginner level might

look like this:

  • 10 Lunges

  • 30 Seconds Rest

  • 10 Bicep Curls with Light DBs

  • 30 Seconds Rest

  • 10 Push-Ups

  • 30 Seconds Rest

  • REPEAT once or twice

For an advanced exerciser, however, the tri-set might look like this:

5 Rounds of:

  • 10 Lunges

  • (No Rest)

  • 10 Bicep Curls with Heavy DBs

  • (No Rest)

  • 10 Plyometric Push-Ups

  • (No Rest)


With the right exercise selection, you can get an amazing tri-set full-body workout!


Superset vs Tri-set

If a superset is doing two exercises back to back with no rest and a tri-set is doing three exercises back to back with no rest, it's clear that a tri-set is likely more difficult and better for those who've built up a solid base of endurance and muscle strength.

The value in both methods is enhancing your training efficiency while spending less time working out! And because your rest periods are short, you're gonna feel more gassed. Both supersets and tri-sets are a great way to increase your intensity to yield better results.


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