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The Art Of Reading Set Schemes - Stronghorn Fitness

The Art Of Reading Set Schemes

The fitness world is vast and extensive. Every you look, there seems to be a new community popping up daily. And just like tribes of people found around the world, these fitness tribes have their own language, cultural norms and heritage. Well, we’re no different at Stronghorn. We have our own way of influencing and building our tribe. As well as our own way of delivering or expressing our workouts. Such as Set Schemes.

What are Set Schemes?

Simply put, Set Schemes are the building blocks to the whole workout. While the idea behind Rep Schemes – how many reps –  will bleed over into different fitness modalities and goals; Set Schemes – how the reps are to be performed – can be written so many different ways. Think AMRAP  (As Many Reps or Rounds As Possible) to ROT’s (Rounds On The) to RFQ (Rounds For Quality).

Our Top 5 Set Schemes

#1: Ladders

A series of sets of ascending, or descending, reps with a constant load. Ex: Swing x 10, 15, 25 – this means that you’ll do 10 Swings, rest, then 15 Swings, rest, then 25 swings and rest. You may do multiple rounds of a ladder, where you’ll repeat all the rungs starting at the first rung.

In the case that you have multiple Ladders, you’ll super-set each rung of each ladder. Ex: Swings x 10, 15, 25 & Gob Squats x 5, 3, 2 – This means that you’ll do 10 Swings & 5 Gob Squats, rest, 15 Swings & 3 Gob Squats, rest, 25 Swings & 2 Gob Squats, rest.



AMRAP stands for “As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible. These sets usually coincide with a time limit where you’ll complete as many rounds or reps as possible within the given time limit. Ex: AMRAP : Swings : 10min Cap  – This means you complete as many Swings as you can in 10 mins. Or AMRAP : 50 Swings, 20 Sit Ups, 10 Burpees : 10min Cap – This means you’ll perform the reps for each exercise as written as many times as possible in 10 mins.

#3: Chipper

A Chipper represents a high amount of reps to be completed for an exercise, with the idea that you’ll “chip” away at the reps in chunks at a time. Ex: Chipper : 500 Burpees – this means you’ll complete 500 Burpees with the reps broken up by your discretion.

#4: ROT’s

ROT’s stands for “Rounds On The” and represents sets or rounds that will be completed with a set tempo or cadence by time. Ex: 5 ROT 2 – this means that you’ll complete 5 total rounds, with each new round starting every 2 minutes. Within each round, your objective is to complete the required reps for the set and then active recovery the remainder of the time allotted.

#5: Pyramid

Pyramids are similar to Ladders in that there is a ascending or descending order to the reps. The difference is that you’ll reverse the order of reps instead of going back to the beginning rung. Ex: Pyramid : 10, 15, 25, x Swings – this means that you would complete each rung in sequence and then reverse the order not repeating the last rung – 10 ,15, 25, 15, 10.

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