Building muscle, while at times difficult (if not outright frustrating), isn’t that complicated. It can be accomplished through several different techniques. And while some may promote one type of training as the “best” or most “optimal” the reality is that we’re all different, meaning a particular training program may be great for your buddy, but not ideal for you at this moment.
Today let’s look at one of the best training styles for those looking to maximize muscle growth and training economy but are short on time -- drop sets.
What Are Drop Sets?
A drop set is a training set in which you perform a given exercise until failure and then set the weight down. You then reduce the load between 10-30%, depending on the exercise and your fatigue levels, and rep out again until failure.
At this point, you can choose to perform a second drop set (i.e. reduce the weight another 10-30% and rep out to failure), or end the set and rest.
Drop sets are intense as you are forcing your muscles to failure repeatedly with little-to-no rest. As such, it’s suggested to use drop sets for the last set of an exercise and keep the total number of drop sets in an entire workout to no more than 2-3.
For example, if you’re doing a back & biceps workout that includes 3 exercises for back and 2 exercises for biceps, such as:
- Pull Ups - 3 sets
- T-Bar Row - 3 sets
- Seated Cable Row - 3 sets
- Incline Biceps Curls - 3 sets
- Rope Hammer Curls - 3 sets
A drop set would only be performed on the final set of your 3rd exercise for back (seated cable rows) and the final set of your 2nd exercise for biceps (rope hammer curls).
Why Are Drop Sets Beneficial?
Drop sets allow you to train past failure, extend total time under tension, and accumulate more volume in less time. This ultimately reduces how much time you have to spend in the gym to achieve the desired training adaptations you want from resistance training.
For those looking to increase calorie burning during training, the shorter rest periods will increase heart rate and breath, providing a challenge for your cardiovascular system as well.
Potential Drawbacks of Drop Sets
Drop sets (if performed correctly) can be extremely fatiguing to your muscles as well as your nervous system
Performing too many drop sets in a given workout drains you mentally and physically. And, if you’re not taking your rest and recovery seriously, you could end up missing subsequent training sessions because you’re under-recovered.
Additionally, the high amount of muscular fatigue induced by drop sets can lead to form breakdown (body english, swinging the weights, not controlling them, etc.). This can ultimately increase the risk of injury while also reducing the muscle-building potential of drop sets.
Drop sets are a fantastic method for building muscle with limited time, limited equipment, or breaking through a plateau.
As great as they are, it’s imperative to be mindful of the total number of drop sets you perform throughout the week due to their high level of fatigue. In other words, do not perform drop sets with every set of every exercise in every workout.
To gear up for the rigorous demands of drop set training, you’re going to need a serious pre workout supplement. HyperMax-3D contains everything you need to dominate your training sessions and get a killer muscle pump!
After your workout make sure to fuel your body properly by having a serving or two of EAminoMax and/or a protein shake.