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Ways To Get Muscle? Drops Sets For Muscle Growth

Updated on October 10, 2011

Need a way to gain more muscle and strength? Maybe your workouts are getting stale because your body is adapting to it? Drops sets can be a great technique to incorporate into your workouts from time to time. Drops sets add more volume to your workout to give your body a reason to grow and get stronger.

What Are Drop Sets?

A drop set is when you lift a weight until failure, then you take some weight off almost immediately, and lift until failure again, or close to failure at least. This can be repeated multiple times.

For example, lets say you normally bench press 205 lbs for 10 reps. After you lift 205 lbs, take 20-30 pounds off almost immediately. Lift that until failure, then take another 20-30 pounds off (or more).

A drop set may look something like this:
205 lbs 10 repetitions.
175 lbs till failure.
145 lbs till failure.
100 lbs till failure.

Drops Sets For Muscle Growth or Breaking Strength Plateaus

Drops sets are great for building muscle mass or breaking through strength plateaus. They can be done on your last normal set or at the start of your workout. Drops sets should not be done every workout, however. They can be very taxing on your central nervous system, which in turn, could lead to over training. Drop sets should be done every once in a while to give your muscles a shock.

Drops sets can be used for any muscle group. The principle can be applied to leg muscles, biceps, triceps, back etc. Just keep in mind, you need to go into the next drop set very fast. It may be a good idea to use a bunch of 5-10 lb weight plates on a barbell so you can take them off quickly.

Example of Dumbbell Bicep Curl Drop Sets:
40 lbs 10 repetitions.
30 lbs until failure.
20 lbs until failure.
10 lbs until failure.

Drop Sets can be a great way to get muscle whether your a beginner, intermediate, or advanced weightlifter. They will be more beneficial for more intermediate lifters though, mainly because beginners can gain muscle easier than seasoned lifters who have already put on a certain amount of muscle mass and strength.

If you find that you are not gaining any more muscle mass or strength, then drops sets may be for you! Changing your workouts is important so your body has less chance to adapt. When your body adapts to the same workout, it can sometimes be difficult to make progress, whether it be gaining muscle or strength.

Although drop sets may make you bigger and stronger, they are meaningless without a good diet. Be sure to be getting enough protein, carbs, and essential fats. Also get at least 8 hours of sleep a night so your body can recover fully. Drop sets may leave you feeling sore, especially if you have never done them before, or it has been a while since you have. Never train the same muscle group again if you are still experiencing soreness!


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    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 

      7 years ago

      A fresh way I have learned from you David, thanks for the sharing...


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