What are drop sets?
Drop sets are a great way to increase muscle mass as they are a quick and easy way to increase blood flow into the muscles, get the heart pumping and most importantly of all fatiguing the muscles to ensure muscle hypertrophy. What are drop sets? Drop sets are essentially a technique whereas you perform an exercise and then drop (reduce) the weight and continue for more reps until you reach failure. Called the ‘multi-poundage system’ this method was discovered in 1947 by Henry Atkins, who was the editor of Body Culture magazine. The reason why drop sets work isthat in any given set you are only recruiting a certain amount of muscle fibers. By then stripping the weight down and going lighter you recruit different muscle fibres, which should help the muscles achieve growth that couldn’t be achieved by sticking with the same weight. There are numerous variations of drop sets. Two of the more popular variations include: Running the Rack: This technique is performed when using dumbbells. Once you reach failure with a certain dumbbell weight, pick up a lighter weight off the rack and perform as many reps as possible. Continue down the rack until failure. Sample routine using Running the Rack: Alternating Dumbbell Curl Set 1: – chose a weight you'd fail at 4-6 reps. Set 2: – reduce weight by 5lbs. 8-10 reps Set 3: – reduce weight by 5lbs. 10-12 reps Set 4: – reduce weight by 5lbs.12-15 reps Set 5: – reduce weight by 5/10lbs.15-20 reps Rules: 1st set should be heaviest. No rest in between drops sets. "Walk down the rack" selecting weights. Plate Stripping: When using a barbell, plates are stripped from each side until you can no longer perform reps with the given weight. Ideally, you want to have a training partner who can strip the weights for you, so you can maintain your position. Your training partner can quickly pull a plate off each side of the bar when you can no longer do reps with a given weight. He/she can continue to strip away plates, up to two or three times, until you reach a point very close to total muscular exhaustion. Sample routine using Stripping: Flat Bench Press Set 1: – chose a weight you'd fail at 4-6 reps. Set 2: – strip weight by 10lbs:8-10 reps Set 3: – strip weight by 10lbs 10-12 reps Set 4: – strip weight by 10lbs 12-15 reps Set 5: – strip weight by 20lbs15-20 reps Rules: 1st set should be heaviest. No rest in between drops. Ensure training partner strips weights for you.