Maximize Muscle Growth with Drop Sets

Having trouble putting on the size you want? Maybe it’s time you tried drop sets.

Maximize Muscle Growth with Drop Sets

If you want to maximize your muscle-building potential, you must work to activate every muscle fiber in a single set.

Drop setting is one of the best ways of achieving this. By integrating drop sets into your regular program and mixing it with proper nutrition, you will be able to put on the size you yearn for.

The aesthetic benefits of drop setting are endless. However, without properly understanding the mechanics behind drop sets, you can be led astray and become a victim of over-training and even injury. Neither case will help with muscle growth. Regardless, with a little information and direction, you will be drop setting your way to maximized muscle in no time.

So here are some FAQ to get you on the right track.

What are Drop Sets?

Most popular among bodybuilders and those looking to create symmetry in their physique, drop setting (also known as break downs, strip sets and descending sets)  is the practice of working to or just short of muscular exhaustion with a single weight, then stripping off between 10 to 30% of the weight  to complete more reps.

Compared to straight sets that only combat the first layer of fibres, preventing you from reaching maximal growth potential, drop sets work to activate the deepest muscle fibers, leading to maximum growth. This technique is very effective in inducing hypertrophy, but is not conducive to speed, strength or power. As such, you will rarely see football players or similar athletes training with drop sets.

Why are Drop Sets Effective?

In a straight set (8 to 12 reps with one weight), you do not hit all muscle fibers, only the number of fiber required to lift a specific weight for a specific number of reps. By adding a drop set and stripping off 10 to 30 % of the weight and continuing the set, however, you begin to recruit reserve fibers. In doing so, you are hitting stubborn muscle fibers. The primary focus of drop setting, therefore, is to shock the muscle by adding stress to a standard set. This added stress induces hypertrophy within the muscle amplifying muscle growth.

How Do you Perform Drop Sets?

There are many ways in which you can implement this technique into your program. The trick is to select the method that best suits your training style and goals. Drop sets are very easy to incorporate as they can be completed using barbells, dumbbells and even machines.

To be efficient, however, they are best performed with a partner that can strip the weight for you. Similarly, drop sets work best when the gym is slow, giving you the entire weight rack and preventing you from throwing elbows for dumbbells.

Keep your goals in mind when deciding how to perform your drop sets.

A typical drop set focuses on hypertrophy by dropping the weight by 10 to 30% following the completion of 8 to 10 reps. Once the weight is dropped, you will complete another 6 to 10 lifts. Also known as tight drop sets. This is a perfect way to add those much-desired inches to any body part.

But what if you want to be big and strong? Well, no problem. Power Drop Sets, also known as Low Rep Drop Sets, are a way to develop size and strength at the same time. In these sets, you will keep your rep range within the strength rep range (4-6 reps).

Can I Increase Endurance Using Drop Sets?

Working outside of the hypertrophy range on the second part of your set can help you. The 50% drop sets, also known as Wide Drop Sets, allow you to build size and increase your endurance as you activate your muscle systems. This is done by decreasing your load by 50% and working with 6 and 20 reps per drop set.

How Do I Avoid Over-Training with Drop Sets?

To avoid over-training, you should only perform drop sets with one exercise per body part. For example, when working back, drop set on the lat pull down, and stick to straight sets on the other exercises in your program.

Drop setting will ensure hypertrophy through large muscle tears, which require effective supplementation for rapic recovery and repair. To make the most of your training, add adequate high quality muscle-building protein to your muscle-building arsenal. ISOFLEX is the ultimate muscle-building protein shake, combined with Krush LOADED for complete creatine muscle therapy, VITASTACK to feed your entire body and to kickstart your workout into high gear, you can’t beat the power of Razor8 Blast Powder.

Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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