Drop Sets | The Secret of Muscle Growth

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Using A Drop Set Method To Build Muscle

A drop set is a technique that you can apply into your workouts in order to achieve increased muscle mass. As noted in Arnold's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, drop sets were originally invented by the editor of Body Culture magazine in 1947, Henry Atkins. Also called breakdowns, down the rack, and even the “multi poundage system” by Atkins himself, it's no surprise that this bodybuilding method is exceptionally favored by people looking to build muscle. If performed correctly, a steady flow of drop sets over time can definitely leave you with bulging masses for muscles.

What Is A Drop Set?

As we went over, a drop set is a type of muscle building technique, but other than a technique, what exactly is it and how do you use it? You would use this method by incorporating it into your workout to obtain hypertrophy, or muscle mass. Drop sets can be performed when using exercise machines, dumbbells, KB Duo, KB PowerBands, or barbells. The method begins first by setting your weight right beneath failure. Once you've achieved your ideal amount of reps – with extreme struggle on the last two or three reps – you then shave off some of the weight, and begin another set. Again, by the end of this second set, you are struggling and reach failure. At a third set, you perform the same act with yet more reduced weight. Think of it as you are progressively lowering your weight while continually reaching failure throughout all your sets of repetitions.

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Who Uses Drop Sets?

Anyone who is looking to build muscle can apply drop sets to their favorite workouts. But, typically bodybuilding enthusiasts are the main partakers in this method. That's because the primary goal behind a drop set is to build muscle. Certain athletes seeking physical traits other than mass – like power or endurance – will not typically use drop sets. But if you're trying to find a promising technique to help whip those flabby muscles up into large bulging guns, then drop sets are probably the way to go for you.

How Does A Drop Set Method Work To Build Muscle?

Not many methods come close to the intensity and effectiveness of the drop set technique when it comes to gaining bulky muscles. Basically, a drop set works to build muscle by activating more and more muscle fibers with each new set of reps and each additional load of decreased weight. A single set of reps on the other hand, doesn't offer the same advantages, in that one straight set will not recruit nearly as many muscle fibers. This is important as using as many muscle fibers as possible is a must for bodybuilding. While the popular one set workouts do not actually initiate all your muscle fibers, using drop sets throughout your exercises will certainly activate a larger amount of fibers, including “reserve” fibers – stubborn fibers that may be deep down in the muscle and that are nearly impossible to reach while engaging solely in one set workouts.

Utilizing Drop Sets When Bodybuilding

First you'll want to decide which workout you're going for (i.e. bench press, dumbbell, etc.), and then you can apply the drop set method. When using drop sets to build muscle, a good rule of thumb is to perform about 3 or 4 sets. You'll also want to make sure that each rep is at a maximum range of between 67% to 85% and that you reach failure ideally between 6 to 12 reps. Depending on your physical goals, and what you can and cannot lift, you can decide which types of drop sets you'll be using. Yes, is more than one, but the two most common forms of drops sets are tight drops and wide drops.

  • Wide Drops: With this method, your weight reduction will be about 30% per set. Although wide drops are typically easier to perform than tight drops and they allow more repetitions, they do not have nearly as much intensity as tight drops. That being said, wide drops are advised for workouts that are geared toward larger muscle groups, like squats or leg presses.
  • Tight Drops: This type of drop set requires a 15% to 20% decreased weight at each set. They are generally harder than wide drops and are typically used on smaller muscle groups.

You can use both or either of these drop set varieties, depending on which muscles you want to workout and what your body is capable of performing.

Drop Set Examples

So you're dying to trade those spaghetti arms for guns? Well, depending on your ideal personal goals, go ahead and try out one of your favorite exercises with the drop set method incorporated into the workout. Remember, you can use dumbbells, exercise machines or barbells when performing drop sets. If you're indecisive, you can choose one or more of the following examples to try:

  • Bench Press: Excellent for your chest and triceps, start by using a bench press at 225 pounds, and try a set of 8 reps. Decrease the amount of weight to about 185 pounds and keep going for 8 reps. The last set will also have the same amount of repetitions, but at 135 pounds.
  • Barbells: To workout your biceps, you can use 125 pounds in the beginning while performing 10 reps, and then take off 10 pounds. With 105 pounds left, do another set of 8 reps, then decrease the weight by about 15 pounds to get 105. Try 8 or so reps and reach failure on the third set.
  • Dumbbells: Curls, shoulder presses and lateral raises can all be performed via the dumbbell while using drop sets. If for example, you're engaging in a fiery rage of lateral raises, you can start off with 40 pounds and 8 reps, then decrease the weight to 30 and try another 8 reps. From there move down to 20 pounds or so with a third set of 8 reps.

Aside from these examples, there are always other ways when it comes to using a drop set technique while working out. Another fantastic alternative when toning your muscles is to try the Kb-Duo. The Kb-Duo is potent for suspension training and shaping muscles such as your biceps, your core, and your triceps. Even better, is that applying drop sets while using the Kb-Duo to build muscle is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Using Drops Sets With The Kb-Duo: Tricep Extensions

  1. To work out your triceps, take the plastic clip of the upper strap, and secure it to the other side of the door. Firmly close the door and face away from it.
  2. Extend your arms over your head and bend at the elbows to workout your triceps.
  3. In the beginning, you'll want to keep it challenging so plant your feet closer to the door, use all your strength, and for go about 8 to 10 reps until failure. Then to make this challenge slightly easier, move your feet out away from the door, and repeat your reps until you reach failure again. For the most effective workout, you should do about 3 to 4 drop sets throughout the whole exercise.

Tip: Keep in mind that in order to make it easier or more challenging, you can alter where you place your feet; closer to the door and you've got more of a challenge, while staying at more of an upright angle is going to make the workout easier. Shifting the angle of your body is an excellent way of using the drop set method with the Kb-Duo.

Bodybuilding and Drop Sets

Building muscle is definitely an art that takes time to perfect. And it most certainly doesn't happen over night, but with patience and a consistent workout plan, you'll be on your way to earning beefy, solid brawn for muscle. Needless to say, applying drop sets to that your exercises is most certainly an additional and effective aid in achieving your bodybuilding goals.