A lot of guys that workout have body parts they love to train. For me, it's my biceps – and nothing beats the pump that comes from a few sets of preacher curls. On the other hand, many people also have body parts that hate to train, such as legs, back or abs.
The bugaboo for me was abs. Oh I wanted a shredded six-pack like the ones on the covers of bodybuilding magazines – but I hated the work required to flatten and tighten my abs. Then I tried staggered sets of arms and abs training and entered the brave new world of the washboard waistline.
What are "staggered sets?" Staggered sets integrate your favorite body part training with a workout for one that you'd otherwise avoid training. For example, if you love to work your chest but hate to train calves, with staggered sets you do one set of calf training for every three sets of chest work that you completed. A sample chest / calves staggered set workout would be three sets of bench press followed by one set of standing calf raises, then three sets of dips followed by one set of contained calf presses, then three sets of incline bench press followed by one set of sorted calf raises.
When I used staggered sets to train my abs, I integrated my abs work into my arm training in this same 3-to-1 fashion to ensure that I trained my core. For every three sets of arm training I completed I also did one set of abs work. Since I loved training arms so much, before I knew it, my abs became flatter and tighter than I ever imagined because of the staggered sets workouts. If you want to try staggered set workouts for your biceps and abs, here's one of my favorites to help get you started.
Sample Staggered Set Workout – Biceps / Abs
Dumbbell Preacher Curls – 1×8, 1×6, 2×4 followed by 1 set of 25 – 100 abdominal crunches.
Concentration Curls – 1×8, 2×6, 1×4 followed by 1 set of 25 – 100 reverse crunches.
EZ Bar Preacher Curls – 2×8, 1×6, 2×4 followed by 1 set of 25 – 100 twisting crunches.
If you've got a body part that you hate to train, especially if it's your abs, try working it with staggered sets. You may never fully enjoy training this body part, but it's a lot easier to take this "medicine" when you combine it with your favorite workouts.