Personal Training: What Are Drop Sets

Posted by Ben Simpkins on August 31, 2016

Depending upon where you are on your fitness journey you may know that there are different type of sets and training methods to help load up the muscle group you are training, these can be simple to imply or some are a little more complex. We are going to look at each one in detail to help you understand how to implement them into your training regime and get yourself some extra results.

If you are quite new to lifting weights then I wouldn’t worry too much about these now as you will still be getting good results with your current training programme but if you have been lifting weights for over 6 months and would like a new stimulus and a little change to your routine then this would be worth adding in.

What is a drop set?

This is where you start an exercise on a set weight and perform as many repetitions as possible until failure, “drop” the weight down, and continue the same exercise until failure again. You must limit the amount of rest between sets.

How do I use a drop set?

You can work on a pyramid system where you start with working on 10-12 reps, increase the weight and drop to 8 reps, then one final increase and hit 4-6 reps. Once at the top you keep working on as many repetitions as possible on each weight until you drop to around 30% of the highest weight you used.

Or you could focus on a basic one where you hit your desired rep range, so lets say you were working to 15. Keep the weight as heavy as possible for the 15 reps while keeping form, then take some off and continue to work the same exercise until failure.

When should I use them?

Typically I throw a drop set into the last exercise of the muscle group that is being worked as a finisher, but you can create a programme solely on drop sets but to achieve this you would need to pick 4 exercises and muscles groups to work on.

Get ready to feel the burn! These hurt, like bad, but they get results and are a fantastic calorie burner so they are well worth including in your routine. Just make sure you start at a heavy enough weight to get the full benefit as if you can hit 30 reps on your start weight, you have gone too light!

Make sure you keep the correct form throughout to reduce the risk of activating muscles that shouldn’t be involved and you keep the tension in the right muscle groups.

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