Tuesday, January 31, 2017

10 Ways to Improve Your Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups

I used to really hate pull-ups as a kid because I had really long and skinny arms. They were my Achilles heel in the Presidential Fitness test. If I jumped really high on the first rep, I might get one or two kicking and screaming. Overtime with more training, things got better. I believe everyone has the capability to perform this exercise, unless they have an injury that makes it impossible. The time it takes to get there is irrelevant, since no two people are the same or lead the same physical lifestyle. The following are nine pieces of advice that I have found beneficial.

Train all the muscles involved

Pull-ups and chin ups are more than just a lat exercise. There are many different muscles involved, and if one muscle lacks the strength to keep up with the others, it will hold you back. Consider what the body does during the exercise.

The scapulae are retracted by the traps and rhomboids. These big muscles in your upper middle back pull your shoulder blades back and together as you pull. Keeping these muscles strong will prevent your shoulders from rolling during the movement, which can stress the rotator cuff. Some effective exercises to train these muscles are various standing shrugs, shrugging with your chest pressed into the pad of an adjustable bench set at 30-45 degrees, and various row exercises.

The elbow joint flexes. It’s not always popular to train your biceps, but your elbow flexors are very important to do both movements, with the biceps brachii emphasized more in the chin up and the brachioradialis emphasized more in the pull-up. Any type of curl with your palms facing upward will emphasize your biceps, while using a neutral grip like a hammer curl or palms facing downward like a reverse curl will also develop the brachioradialis. The brachialis will benefit from most curls.

The humerus adducts, meaning your upper arm is pulled closer to your body. Your lats insert into your upper arm. Due to this, your lats play a role when your upper arm moves. They are a primary mover for humerus adduction. Developing this powerful muscle group will help with your pull-ups and chin ups. Aside from pull-ups and chin ups, nearly every back exercise will help develop your lats, although it's beneficial to take the muscle through its many functions. Vertical pulling, like lat pulldowns, horizontal pulling, like different rowing exercises, and pullovers are all great ways to train your lats.

The teres muscles and posterior deltoid also play a role in humerus adduction. Face pulls and reverse flies with both overhand and neutral (palms facing each other) grips are good exercises to develop these muscles.

Consider training secondary muscles and your core.

Strengthening your abdominal muscles can be helpful, as they contract isometrically to keep your core/ trunk stable.

Use an assisted pull-up machine

Along with number one, using an assisted pull- up machine was the biggest implement that helped me achieve pull-up success. It allows you to maintain proper technique in the exercise with a lighter load, so you can develop a proper movement pattern and focus on training the muscles through a full range of motion instead of using improper technique/ momentum. You can also fully control how much assistance you're receiving, so it's easier to progress as you get stronger in the exercise; you just lower the assistance pin, until you are using no assistance at all.

Use static holds and negatives

Your body is capable of much more strength during the eccentric (negative/ lowering phase) of an exercise, and even greater during an isometric (static hold) contraction. Using negatives will help develop the muscles involved, as well as teach your body the proper movement pattern for an exercise. One way to incorporate these would be to use a bench, chair, or another stable surface that allows you to start at the top position of a pull-up or chin up. Static holds are also great for teaching your body to use the right muscles and get stronger. Also, weighted negatives using a weight belt or dumbbell between your legs can help you get past a plateau.

Use longer eccentrics by taking a longer time to lower your body back down to the start position.

This tip is especially helpful if you can already do several pull-ups or chin ups. Increasing the time you take to lower your body to the starting position does several things. First, it will improve your technique. Second, your body will recruit more muscle fibers because of the longer time under tension. Lastly, since it is much more difficult to perform a pull-up using a 5 second count to lower your body to the starting position than a 1 second count, as you get stronger in this method, you will be significantly stronger doing pull-ups and chin ups at a normal pace.

Use a chair for assistance

This is especially useful if you lack access to an assisted pull-up machine or train at home. Set the chair close enough to the bar so you can perform the pull-up motion with one or both feet on the chair. The great thing about this exercise compared to having someone hold your feet is you can control the amount of assistance you are receiving every rep.

Train with a higher frequency

Can you imagine Mozart practicing the violin once a week, especially when he first started playing? Or Ted Williams taking batting practice once a week? Why the mentality of training an exercise or muscle once a week is still popular is beyond me. True, there are some extreme cases where training each muscle once a week is beneficial, but that seems to apply more so to an elite level strength athlete like a world class power lifter. This is because nervous system recovery, especially when using very heavy loads, can take longer than actual muscle recovery, which many studies have found to take 36-72 hours for full recovery. When training pull- ups and chin ups multiple times in a week, it is a good idea to use a variety in all your training methods to prevent over training, emphasize good form, and monitor your recovery.

Improve body composition

The greater your muscle to body fat ratio, the stronger you'll be. Also, to some extent, the lower your body weight in general, the easier these movements will be.

Practice good form

Your technique is the foundation of everything. Not only will proper technique prevent injury, but since it will allow you to properly train the muscles you are trying to train, you will progress much faster. Also, you will become better at pull-ups and chin ups faster by using proper and consistent technique, since your body will learn and adapt to what you're trying to teach it. Imagine a baseball pitcher trying to use a different delivery every time they throw a pitch. It just wouldn't be effective. Once you develop proper technique for your body, the movement will become almost automatic. While there will always be some differences in what constitutes proper technique, there are some universal principles. First, never roll your shoulders during the movement. Doing so can cause rotator cuff or labrum injuries. Second, avoid using too much momentum. Allow your muscles to do the work.

Use a variety of hand placements

Getting stronger through one hand position can help you get stronger in another. Using multiple grips is a great way to develop all the muscles involved in the movement as well, since different hand positions will emphasize different muscles. Varying your hand placement can also prevent overuse injuries. Weighted pull-ups and chin ups. High rep and low rep training can compliment each other. In addition, changing the amount of weight used in an exercise can be a great way to speed progress and overcome plateaus. If I can do 4 pull-ups, I can probably do multiple sets of 1-2 reps with 5-10 pounds of additional weight using either a dumbbell between my legs or a weight belt. By gradually increasing either my total weighted reps or the weight used, I will be able to perform more reps at my body weight. Since this is a different loading parameter, it can prevent overtraining and overuse injuries when alternated with higher rep training.


There are a lot of different ways to apply these tips to your regimen. The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body as you progress. Make sure you give it a heck of a workout, but are also recovering properly through good sleep, nutrition, and programming. An example of a workout regiment designed with the goal of improving pull up performance may look like this:

Day 1 (Monday. Emphasis on Heavier Weight)

-Warmup. 5-10 minutes sauna. 4 light sets 12 reps lat pull downs. -Pull- ups over hand grip or assisted machine pull-ups. 4 sets 5 reps. (use weight if needed). Then one 10 second negative using a heavier weight/less assistance than you used during your sets. Rest periods 1.5-2 minutes. -Lat pulldowns (close neutral/palms facing each other grip) 6 reps superset with cable rows (10 reps) and dumbbell reverse flies (15 reps). 3 sets 1.5-2 minute rest periods. Goal of this is muscular development, so really focus on slow controlled movements and "feeling it”. -Incline chest to pad dumbbell rows superset with dumbbell shrugs. 3 sets 6 reps. Use a 5 second count to lower the weight to the starting position. -Preacher curls. 4 sets 6 reps 30-60 seconds rest between sets. -Standing EZ bar curls (6 reps) superset with hammer curls (10 reps) and cable curls (20 reps, handle on each side of the pulley system, the movement looks like you're doing a double bicep flex), 3 sets, 90 seconds rest between sets. -Behind the back wrist curls 3 sets 12 reps. -Abs and stretch

Day 2 (Tuesday. Heavier chest, shoulders, and triceps)

Day 3 (Wednesday. Higher rep legs and abs)

Day 4 (Thursday. Higher reps)

-Warmup 5-10 minutes Sauna, 4 light sets 12 reps lat pull downs. -Pull- ups using a neutral close grip. 3 sets max reps. (If you are using an assistance machine, use an assistance that allows you to complete 12-20 reps). Use 2 minutes rest between sets. -Lat pulldowns superset with face pulls on the pull down station. 4 sets 12 reps 45 seconds rest between sets. -Dumbbell rows superset with dumbbell reverse flies and dumbbell shrugs. 3 sets 12 reps 45 seconds rest between sets. -Chin ups/ machine assisted chin ups. 3 sets 10 60 seconds rest between sets. -Standing dumbbell curls 6 sets 10 reps 20 seconds rest between sets. -Reverse curls 3 sets 8 reps. 45 second rest between sets. -Abs and stretch

Day 5 (Friday. Higher rep chest, shoulders and triceps)

Day 6 (Saturday. Heavier legs and abs)

Day 7 (Rest)


Of course this program is flexible, based on your needs, time available, etc. As you emphasize doing what's right for you, you will achieve great results.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Gym-Mythbusters Episode III:

The Skinny on Weight Loss

Perhaps the most popular area of focus in the fitness industry is weight loss, although there has been a slight shift in recent years. Regardless, "losing weight" will always have its place in the fitness realm, with no shortage of diets, workouts, and supplements to aid the quest (some of which are quite useful). So, what the heck? Why so many conflicting and changing opinions? And what exactly is weight loss?

The first question that should be asked should be "Is my goal actually sheer weight loss?" Thanks to the BMI system (a chart that gives a desired weight range based off your height, taking no account for muscle mass), many people equate lighter with healthier. This is not the case. I have seen a 300 lb. power lifter/ arm wrestler knock out 8 strict pull ups. Warren Sapp, an American football player, weighed 300 lb. / 136 kg and ran 40 yards in 4.69 seconds. That's really fast. There were multiple running backs in this year's combine from big schools who didn't run as fast, even though an important part of being a running back is, well, the ability to run. Many people gain weight as their waste shrinks. Who is sheer weight loss important for? Weight class athletes, like a wrestler for example, who need to weigh a certain amount to compete in their sport. They will often use techniques like water reduction to get there. Or someone who needs to lose actual lbs for health reasons (Although improving body composition by developing muscle mass will most likely be a part of this goal).

For most however, the goal is actually a combination of fat loss and muscle development. There is a large difference between losing 10 lb. of fat and lean tissue and losing, say 7 lb. of fat while building 3 lb. of muscle. The latter is much more in line with the goal of "looking good." So, if your goal is to "be healthier", or "look good", making weight training a part of your program is key. Building more muscle mass will increase your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate, or essentially the amount of energy your body expends at rest). The higher your BMR, the more calories your body burns throughout the day. When you burn more calories than you take in, for most cases, you will lose weight) This busts the first myth that people interested in losing weight shouldn't strength train, or that strength training will make them fat.

Second myth: the perfect diet. All the best diet plans have several things in common. First, they put you in a caloric deficit (less calories in than out). Secondly, they focus on healthy, non processed foods, and try to make sure your bodies needs are met while staying in a caloric deficit. This is important, because lacking healthy fats, for example can be hard on your joints. However, no two people are alike, which is why a blanket approach is less than optimal. The best diet plan will primarily be a sustainable lifestyle, not something where you lose 20 lb quickly just to gain it all back in 4 months. Secondly, it will be designed around your goals and body's nutritional needs. If you want to gain weight, it will be designed to do so in a healthy fashion. Lastly, it's probably going to follow advice your mom gave you when you were a kid, like "Eat lots of vegetables", "Choose the baked chicken over the fried", and "Don't eat that candy." Sometimes just keeping things simple is the right answer.

Third myth: "It doesn't matter what I eat as long as it fits my macros" (amount of protein, carbohydrate, and fat prescribed to lose weight). There is a lot wrong with this mentality. There is vast difference between how your body processes and uses 30 grams of protein from a lean steak cut and 30 grams of protein from a McDonald's burger, or 30 grams of carbohydrates from blueberries versus 30 grams of carbohydrates from a candy bar. Or in another example, a high glycemic carb (like sugar) versus a low glycemic carb (like Oatmeal). The higher a carbohydrate is on the glycemic index, the faster your body processes it. Any energy not used immediately by the body is stored. The longer it takes your body to process a food, the more efficient it can be with the energy from the food and the less is stored. For most people, the goal is not just weight loss, but a healthier, stronger, body. Whether your goals are aesthetic, health, or performance related, the quality of what you eat can enhance or hinder your progress.

There are more myths on the nutrition side of the house, but I feel these three main ones should be addressed. Regardless of your goals or current progress towards your goals, there are some fundamental principles that will help you.

Good progress for sheer weight loss is 1-2 lb. a week. However, the lower your body fat %, the longer it can take, and there does come a point where losing too much weight is simply not healthy. If your goal is weight loss, I recommend using a smartphone app if you have one, such as Myfitness Pal or Loseit. They use some basic equations to put you in a healthy caloric deficit. If you follow the plan you will lose weight.

Emphasize lots of vegetables, healthy high protein sources, healthy fat sources, and low glycemic carbs with some fruit when designing your meals. In spite of recent opinion, cardio does aid in weight loss, and can be a valuable tool. If you are a strength athlete or concerned about losing muscle mass, try emphasizing sprints or strongman training.

Incorporate a sensible weight training routine that trains every muscle group and meets your current needs. Increasing your muscle mass will increase your body's ability to burn calories, lower body fat, and help with aesthetic goals.

Get adequate sleep. Adequate sleep will help keep cortisol levels low, as well as allow your body to repair and recover.

Be consistent. Don't worry about what other people think. Focus on doing the right things for you.



"Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar": The Nutrition Source. N.p., 2016. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

History of Fitness Episode 4: Michael Jordan's Baseball Career

Michael Jordan. The name elicits a vast array of emotions for anyone who lived during the 1980s-early 2000s. Even those who were not sports fans could tell you who he was; perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time. However, in the year 1994, after winning 3 straight NBA championships, Jordan decided to retire temporarily (although the choice seemed permanent at the time) to pursue a career in professional baseball.

Now, the popular consensus has largely been that Jordan's baseball career was a disaster (reference baseball segment in original Space Jam movie). However, that's not necessarily the case.

I think a couple things should be considered before we make that harsh criticism of Jordan. First, the man hadn't played baseball since high school, or over a decade. Imagine trying to play in a professional orchestra because you played cello ten years ago. Any amount of achievement in that venture would be considered a success. Second, Jordan was certainly motivated by his father's murder. "It was really his father's dream that he play baseball," Phil Jackson observed. "His father wanted to play pro ball and did play semi-pro. When his father passed away, I think Michael was kind of living out his father's dream." So, quite possibly Michael was hated for trying to pay a tribute to his dad and work through the grieving process after his father's murder. The hatred came because he was a successful pro basketball player. If your everyday Joe tried to do the same thing, they would be praised for their courage, etc. and I'm willing to bet that the majority (Maybe 99.999%) of those who criticized Jordan would not have achieved anywhere close to the success he did given the same circumstances. Believe it or not, he actually was successful.

First thing to consider, he started his career in the AA level of the White Sox organization. Thousands of very talented, professional athletes never even reach this level. Also, many times players are called up to the major league level from the AA team, so this was not easy or light competition. If you include guys sent down for injury rehab, etc, eight of the seventeen position players who spent time on the Baron's roster (Jordan's team) played at the major league level to some extent or another, including the great Steve Sax.

Jordan stole 30 bases this year, second on the team, trailing only Doug Brady who recorded 34. Brady would go on to see some time on the MLB club the next year. Brady also had 70 more plate appearances than Jordan. Jordan had a higher walk rate than Brady, and more RBIs. (Runs Batted in, a stat that essentially measures how many runs are scored due to your at bats). In fact Jordan ranked fourth in the team with 51 RBIs, only trailing slightly Kerry Valarie's team leading 58. Incidentally, Jordan and Valarie both hit 3 home runs that year. In fact, Jordan's 3 home runs were only bested by 4 of his teammates, including Glenn Disarcina, who slugged 7 and lead the team in that category. Jordan also had 46 runs scored, 17 doubles, and posted a .202 batting average. (It should be noted that the team batting average was .248, so Jordan wasn't as far off that mark as some think) True he did lead his team in strikeouts with 114, but he hadn't played baseball in over a decade, not to mention his strike zone was quite large due to his 6' 6" frame. Jordan actually had a decent season (and in some categories, excellent) against high level competition, while dealing with the constant criticism and magnification of any perceived mistake. There is a reason Terry Francona, who coached Jordan, and would go on to win 2 World Series coaching the Red Sox, stated, to paraphrase "I’m going to guess if he would have invested a couple more years, I bet he would have found his way to the big leagues.” (Two more years in the minors, which isn't unthinkable since Doug Brady, whose stats were eerily similar to Jordan's, played on the big stage the next season.)

There is a lot we can learn from Michael's baseball story. First, people can always find something to criticize if they really want to. In spite of the odds, and the fact that he had just lost his father, Michael put together a good first year. However, our society often doesn't value relative success, but absolute success. "He was such a great basketball player, why would he waste his time in baseball?" Or, in a gym scenario "That was a pretty good lift, but nothing compared to what I saw on YouTube." Popularity is fleeting anyways. If Michael Jordan couldn't maintain 90% public approval his whole life, who can? Therefore, the goal of popular adoration is a vain pursuit, as it is often very temporary. Surely the criticism hurt, but Michael was able to overcome it by focusing on what he could control. For any worthy goal, this is vital, even goals outside the gym. You can only control what you can control. Tune out the negative, and focus. The next thing we can learn from "His Airness" is success happens over time as you are consistent. Michael practiced as hard as anybody and knew success happens bit by bit, not all at once. His methods were beginning to pay off, as he achieved a .252 batting avg. in the fall league, a full .050 higher than his time with the Barons.

The next point we can learn from Jordan is his lack of fear for failure. As he once said "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Failures and setbacks will always be part of the path to success, no one is exempt from this. Anyone can be a critic. It's easy to find fault with others, whether real or imagined. Many people take joy in kicking a "dog when their down." Listening to people like this will not get you anywhere. Also on that same note, as you seek to help and lift others instead of tearing others down, you will find that you yourself will be uplifted, and even perform better. It is ok to have setbacks, because they are temporary. I hope we can follow Michael's example, and follow our heart over popular opinion.


1. 1994 Birmingham Barons Statistics -- Register | Baseball-Reference.com. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2016, from http://www.baseball- reference.com/register/team.cgi?id=dfd224a8 2. Terry Francona says Michael Jordan could've played in the MLB. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2016, from http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/terry-francona- says-michael- jordan-couldve- played-in- the-mlb/ 3. Lazenby, R. (2014). Remember Michael Jordan;s time in baseball, 20 years later. Retrieved June 23, 2016, from http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/74071860/chicago- bulls-michael- jordan-20th- anniversary-retirement- baseball-white- sox 4. Michael Jordan Quotes | Basketball Quotations | Bulls | MJ. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2016, from http://www.sportsfeelgoodstories.com/michael-jordan- quotes/

Monday, June 6, 2016

Workout of the Week: Week 5


-Warmup 5 minutes light walk, 3 sets 12 reps light lat pulldowns.
-Barbell Flat Bench Press. Use a proper, gradual warmup, into 8 sets of 2 reps on the bench press with a 45 second rest between sets. The weight used should be 10-30 lb heavier than the weight used for the 5 sets of 2 reps.
-Dumbbell Flat bench 4 sets 8 reps 30 seconds rest between sets
-Incline barbel bench 3 sets 10 reps 30 seconds rest between sets
-pull-ups or assisted pull ups (6 reps) superset with neutral grip Lat pull downs (10 reps) and cable rows (10 reps). 4 sets.
-Dumbbell shoulder press (12 reps) superset with incline chest to pad dumbbell rows (6 reps) and reverse flies (10 reps). 3 sets
-Ab bench or weighted crunches for 3 minutes, rest as needed.


-Warmup. 10 minutes light bike.
-Several warmup sets on the squats ( start with an empty bar.). 3 drop sets. ( Do a set, lower the weight, and immediately continue the exercise. 3 reps the first set, then lower the weight two times, each time to a weight you can do for 6-10 reps.
-Leg press 3 sets 8 reps 20 seconds rest between sets
-Leg extension 3 sets 15 reps 20 second rest
-Laying hamstring curls. 3 sets 8 reps
-Hip adductor superset with hip abductor and standing calf raises. 3 sets 12 reps. Continuous circuit, no rest.
-Standing cable curl. Drop set. First weight 6 reps, then lower the weight 3 times, aiming for 6-8 reps each drop. 3 sets.
-Preacher curl 4 sets 10 reps 20 seconds rest between sets
-Reverse grip preacher curls. 3 sets 10 reps 30 seconds rest.
-Tricep pressdowns 4 drop sets. Start at a weight you can do for a comfortable 6 reps, then drop down to the next weight increment, do no more than 10 reps. Do this all the way to the lightest weight increment, with your only rest coming when you're lowering the weight. Rest 90 seconds-2 minutes, then repeat.
-Interval sprints on the treadmill. Walk/ light jog for 2 minutes. Increase to a sprinting speed ( If you’ve never done these before, start fairly mild, and increase speed weekly.) and sprint for 30 seconds, then rest on the sides of the treadmill for 30 seconds. Do this for 15 minutes. Then do a 1 minute cool down.



-Warmup 5 minutes light walk, 3 sets 12 reps light lat pulldowns.
-Barbell flat bench superset with lat pulldowns. Normal warmup progression into 5 sets 10 reps. Use a 5 second count to lower the weight to your chest on the bench and a 3 second count to allow the weight to raise back to the top on the pulldowns. Aim for 90 seconds rest after each set. You should be able to get at least 4 sets of the full 10 reps. Once you can complete at least 4 sets of 10, increase the weight.
-Incline Barbell bench superset with cable rows. 5 sets 10 reps.
-Dumbbell Rows superset with reverse flies, shrugs, and Shoulder press. 3 sets 8 reps.
-Ab bench or weighted crunches for 2 minutes, rest as needed.


-Warmup. 10 minutes light bike.
-Leg extensions superset with laying hamstring curls. 4 sets 15 reps
-Leg press superset with Kettlebell swing or rope pull through. 3 sets 8 reps
-Barbell squat. 3 sets 3 paused squats.
-Hip adductor superset with hip abductor and seated calf raises. 3 sets 8 reps.
-Standing Ez bar curl. 10 sets 6 reps with a 30 second rest in between sets.
-Dumbbell Preacher curls 5 sets 6 reps with a 30 second rest in between sets
-Tricep giant set. Seated dumbbell tricep extensions ( 6 reps) superset with tricep press downs ( 12 reps) and tricep rope extensions. ( 20 reps) 5 sets.
-Interval sprints on the treadmill. Walk/ light jog for 2 minutes. Increase to a sprinting speed and sprint for 30 seconds, then rest on the sides of the treadmill for 30 seconds. Do this for 12 minutes. Then do a 1 minute cool down.



When performing the drop sets, make sure you have a spotter, as you will be pushing to near failure. Focus on good technique, but don't be afraid to start a little heavier. If you don't get close to all the reps, you can always lower the weight for the next set. Remember, the healthier you eat, the better you'll recover, perform in the gym, and achieve your goals.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Time-Saving Techniques: The Giant Set

One of the challenges you may run into in your fitness quest is lacking enough time for an effective workout. However, there are various ways and techniques to overcome this challenge. One of these is the Giant Set. Generally for a giant set, you will use three different exercises that emphasize training a particular muscle group from three different angles and three vastly different rep ranges. They are brutally effective for muscle development, and are also useful for lowering body fat and increasing strength, although usually the primary goal is hypertrophy. If I wanted to train my chest with muscular development in mind, my routine might look something like the following;

-Warmup 5-10 minutes (Gradually work up to weights to be used. )
-Giant Set. Barbell Flat Bench (6 reps, use a 3 second count to lower the weight to my chest) superset with Incline Dumbbell Press (10 reps, use a 5 second count to lower the weight to your chest) and cable flies. (20 reps, pump them out.) Rest 2-3 minutes in between sets. No rest between exercises.
-3-5 sets of this and your chest should be smoked. One great thing about this training method is you can get a lot done in a small amount of time. (3 sets would give you 9 total sets from 3 different angles and rep ranges for your chest in about 20-25 minutes counting your warmup. With 5 sets, 15 total sets for your chest in 30-40 minutes). You are also getting a longer time under tension for the target muscle group(s), which is important for muscular development.
-Since they are so hard and so different, giant sets can be a great plateau buster. A way you can use this technique to increase strength would be to start your first exercise in the 1-5 rep range, and then increase the muscles' time under tension with two additional exercises. You can make the next two exercises more strength/ power focused ( paused reps or plyo metrics, for example), or keep them in higher rep ranges. Both will work. Any type of increase, especially in the first set over time ( Say going from 300 lb for 2 reps to 4) will result in a strength increase. One of my favorites for legs that has helped me with squatting strength would look like this;
-Normal warmup
-Barbell squats (3 seconds to lower weight to the bottom squat position. 1 second pause before driving the weight back to the standing position. 3 reps). Superset with 45 degree angle leg press (15 reps) and leg extensions (30) reps. 3 sets. 2 minutes rest between sets.
-Giant sets can also be helpful if you are lacking enough weight to make a workout effective. For example, if all I have are two 20 lb Dumbbells, and I want to train my biceps, but I ideally need 35 lb-70 lb dumbbells, I can use a giant set to make the workout more challenging, and long eccentrics/ shorter rest periods if it's still too easy. A possible giant set for the biceps in this situation would be;
-Standing dumbbell curls. 10 reps, using a 10 second count to lower the weight to the starting position. Superset with spider curls ( 15 reps using a 5 count to lower the weight) and hammer curls ( Burn out, as many reps as possible).

These are just examples. Don't be afraid to get creative based on your needs. I don't know if I would train this way all the time, but for at least a training cycle it can be very beneficial. When life gets busy, the giant set can be your best friend.