Posts Tagged ‘drop sets’

Bodybuilding Secrets, the drop set

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

You wanna start at this end?

Drop sets (also known as strip sets and staged sets) are a great tool to incorporate into your strength training routine. For one it is a great way to change up an existing exercise routine that has hit a plateau. But mainly it is a great way to work on muscle endurance and strength. The idea here is to start with a heavy working  weight for a low rep count (4, 6 or 8 for instance) then immediately lighten the weight and continue with reps and so on, this could mean three drops of 6 reps making a drop set of 18 reps, these are the basics of a drop set. Drop sets place extra demands on the cardiovascular system so aerobic fitness is a factor. In a small way you are getting an interval cardiovascular workout while strength training. In order to get the most benefit from drop sets in your workout you should have a personal trainer or even better two training partners to take off the weight, normally while you’re in an extended position, for you as quickly as possible so that you don’t have time to rest between reps. You should not rest until the set is done, there should be nothing left to give.

Example of a drop set
Bent over barbell rows
25lb plate, 10lb plate and 5lb plate on each side (5lb plate on inside)
6 reps with all weight on both sides; no rest
take off the 25lb plates on both sides
8 reps with 10lb and 5lb plate; no rest
take off the 10lb plate on both sides
10 reps or to failure; end of set, then rest, then repeat

You can do this with nearly all exercises, both with free weights and even easier, with machine based exercises. The idea is that you will build muscle using weight of around 80% of your max, muscle endurance is improved due to the high rep count (the example set laid out above accounts for 33 reps in one set). Make sure you rest 1-2 minutes between sets to insure maximum strength gains. Also you are burning fat by cycling your heart rate throughout the set.

Your muscle doesn’t know what weight’s written on the dumb bell

Don’t do drop sets every single day for weeks at a time, you will overtrain. You would typically take  one week out of the month do drop sets for every body part then go back to regular sets for 3 weeks and so on. The rationale behind all this only works if you allow adequate time for recovery, remember recovery is different for everyone and influenced by many different factors. I know one doorman who used to claim that steroids allowed him to recover the same day, whatever. That said, if you break down your muscles with intense exercises techniques and do it right, with correct recovery and diet you WILL see results and fairly safely too!

MY TIP? If you are ready for your third set of an exercise and the previous two were shit,  finish things properly with a heavy drop set, you will know what I mean.

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

 

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