6 Drop-Set Tips that Power Up Any Workout
When done right, drop-sets boost the impact of any set. The great thing about them is they can be done with pretty much any exercise.
If 10 reps is good, is 20 reps better?
Rep volume depends on your goals.
But, drop sets do increase the number of reps you achieve in a set, placing more time under tension on your muscles. Are they worth doing?
Let’s back up.
What are drop sets?
Drop sets are when you lift to failure, reduce the weight, and squeeze out a few more reps.
You can drop the weight once, twice or three times. You could do more, but I find by the third drop, I’m toast. Sometimes I don’t make it the third drop.
6 Benefits of Drop Sets
I love drop sets because they:
- Accelerate and contribute to muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue builds muscle.
- The high rep volume achieved results in an awesome sarcoplasmic hypertrophy set (i.e. build large muscles).
- The best part is they don’t impact the amount of weight you lift, yet you get more reps.
- You lift your usual weight, but get to squeeze off a few more reps. It’s a win/win.
- The pump from drop sets is awesome, as you can well imagine that high rep sets provide.
- Finally, drop sets help improve weightlifting endurance … something that can always be improved and will help your overall weight training.
6 Drop Sets Tips:
- Reduce the time taking off weights as much as possible.
- If drop setting with free weights, set up your plates so you can quickly pull them off (i.e. use 5’s, 10’s and 25″ for fast removal).
- Maintain proper lifting form to the bitter end – but cheating may be okay in some instances.
- Try a pre-workout booster for increased energy and maximum muscle pump.
- Avoid drop sets for every set. Reserve them for the last set of an exercise or muscle group (unless your entire program is drop-set focused).
- 3 drop sets is sufficient.
Drop sets are yet another way to vary your workouts and more importantly, add intensity to your workouts.
Give them a try. If anything, you’ll love the pump.
Should you do drop sets for every set?
No. Drop sets are best reserved for the last set of an exercise or the muscle workout. Doing them for every set would be too much. You can try it, but you’ll find it will reduce the amount of weight you lift on subsequent sets compared to not doing drop sets.
What is the best set for doing drop sets?
The last set of an exercise or the last set of a muscle workout (i.e. your last set of chest).
Drop sets and free weights
Doing drop sets with free weights is less convenient than machines.
If you use a barbell, you must plan the plates so that you can quickly pull off the outside plates to reduce the weight quickly and by the amount your wish to reduce the weight.
If you’re using dumbbells, you’ll need to line up the dumbbells you need. Sometimes they aren’t all available, which means you may drop more than you want. It’s still worth doing though.
Having a workout partner or personal trainer helps a lot with free weight drop sets because they can quickly remove weight for you
Do your best to minimize time taken to change the weight.
The inefficient element of free weights is why I prefer drop sets using machines.
Drop sets and machines
Machines are perfect for drop sets because you can change the weight in seconds. In fact, it’s almost seamless. Cranking out 3 drop sets works great.
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