Devil Sets: Taking True Alpha to Another Intensity Level

Are you ready to take Alpha Wave Training to a whole ‘nother level of muscle-building?  Team True Alpha is already at work on amazing follow-up ideas to take our future resistance training programs to even higher levels of intensity!  In the meantime, I want to introduce you to a brutal technique I’ve personally been using for years with incredible results.  Warning: this is a savage high-intensity tactic that produces extreme soreness … and RESULTS!  I call them “Devil Sets” because of the number that defines them: 6-6-6, the Number of the Beast!  And also because the last couple of repetitions will absolutely hurt like the Devil


If you’re familiar with the Alpha Wave Basic Training program that forms the resistance training core of Alpha Male Challenge (AMC), you know about a variety of high-intensity techniques (Supersets, Drop Sets, etc.).  James and I like higher intensity resistance exercises (with proper form) because greater intensity generally means greater results.  AMC advocates varying the tempo of repetitions in a systematic way.  Slowing down your repetitions is an awesome way to keep the target muscle under tension for an extended period of time.  

Now, if you’re looking to slap on more meaty muscle, you know from AMC you’ve got to hit heavy compound (multi-joint) movements hard – do NOT neglect those big mass-building exercises!  But here’s a way to make your machine isolation exercises count for more!  Devil Sets are perfectly suited for such machine exercises as the pec deck, machine side lateral raises, bicep machine preacher curls, triceps push-downs, leg extensions, and seated leg curls (although my training partners and I sometimes do them on standing dumbbell biceps curls as the last set of that exercise, and on lying dumbbell triceps extensions). 

Ready?  Here’s how to do a Devil Set.  Pick one of the exercises above and use it as your last exercise for that body part.  Let’s say you’re doing biceps and you choose machine preacher curls as your final exercise.  Set the resistance with a weight that would enable you to complete about 10 standard repetitions, and start to curl.  But rather than simply lifting the weight quickly, you’ll raise the weight slowly to the count of 6 seconds (I slowly count “one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, etc.), concentrating on squeezing the target muscle as hard as possible every inch of the way (the mental focus is key to this technique!).  When you get to the top, you’ll lower the weight to the same slow count of 6 seconds, again focusing on keeping the muscle contracted hard even as the weight descends.  When you come close to finishing the rep, do not let the tension off the muscle!  Stop just shy of a straight arm position and without any momentum or body torque, slowly begin your next rep, raising the weight to the slow count of 6.  You’ll complete 6 reps, with 6 seconds up, and 6 seconds down – 6-6-6.  As for sets, start out with just one Devil Set.  Experienced lifters (AMC Levels A and B) can progress to two or even three sets.

If you have a training partner, next time choose a weight that’s even a bit heavier, so that you can only complete 4 or 5 reps without needing a little spotting assistance to lift the weight.  Only get a bit of help lifting the weight – you’ll be strong enough to lower it unassisted even on those last two reps.

Having not only sketched the Devil in pen and ink (big thanks to Elissa Lowe for digitally adding color to my old drawing) but having actually played him on film in “Toxic Avenger Part III” (okay, yeah, probably a lot more fun to shoot than to watch, LOL), I know a thing or two about Old Scratch, the Prince of Darkness!  Try my Devil Sets and let me know what you think!  If you choose a weight that really challenges you, you’ll find few exercise techniques that are as intense and draining, both physically and mentally.  I guarantee you’ll be cursing the Dark Lord (and me as well, ha-ha!) on those last two repetitions, but you’ll prove that you’re willing to dig deep into your True Alpha reserves and at the same time shock wild new growth out of your body!!