Employing drop sets into your lift routine can really benefit muscle growth
Powered by Trucks : Anthony Trucks
There are three main ways to train when it comes to weightlifting. You can lift for muscular strength, muscular power, or muscular size. Within those, a person could work on additions like stamina and recovery for each area as well.
For this article we’re going to focus on hypertrophy (muscle size), and more distinctly drop sets. When it comes to building muscle mass the goal is to increase the number of reps, and the weight, and shoot for an intense muscular burn while completing the reps in a full range. In short, more reps and heavier weight.
This creates micro tears in the muscles that will eventually heal and force the muscle to adapt to the external stresses placed on it. The adaptations occur in the form of a larger muscle grown by increasing the cross sectional fiber size and allowing more weight to be moved later on as the size and strength of the muscle increases.
There are many ways to create a program to achieve muscle growth. I’m going to focus on one of the many ways by talking about what we call “drop sets.” Drop sets are lifts in which you use a lighter weight in comparison to the weight you use during your working/previous set(s). Drop sets essentially mean dropping the weight down. The way this works, is that it helps the body to kind of “finish off” the muscle group after you’ve gotten a great workout, or a great heavy set.
Doing this allows us to get the last little micro tearing of that muscle to allow for greater gains in muscle size as it recovers and grows. I’m going to go over three of the many, simple ways you can incorporate drop sets into your workouts to start getting those great gains in muscle size.
1) Finisher Drop Set
This is accomplished by completing your regular workout sets and reps until you’re essentially gassed and tired from the workout. You then drop the weight, as much as 25 percent, and do as many reps as possible to finish off the muscle and get that good burn.
2) Decreasing Drop Sets
This is best done on a cable machine. You start each set with a high weight that is hard for you to complete successfully for a given amount of reps or failure, then, once you’ve finished those reps, you immediately drop the weight by 5-10 pounds and crank out the next reps, and so on until you’ve gotten to the lowest weight you want to use and you can barely feel your muscle anymore.
3) Strip Drop Sets
This one is a little trickier and will involve three workout partners. This is when you drop the weight after each rep and go until failure. For example, using this technique while bench pressing, load the bar with a weight that is hard for you to accomplish twice using as many 10-pound weights as possible on the bar. You start by doing one rep, and every time you lower the bar to touch your chest your partners each remove a 10 pound plate from their respective sides. This drops the weight by 20 pounds each rep until you get down to a naked bar and work the muscle until it burns like the summertime asphalt.
Well there you have it, folks. As summer approaches, this should be a great addition to your training to get your body ready for the swimsuit season.
Anthony Trucks is the owner of Trucks Training facility in Brentwood and covers weight training for SportStars.
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