How Doing Drop Sets Can Improve Your Muscle Gains

It’s easy to get caught up in a routine – and that also applies to your strength training workouts. But, the problem with settling into the same routine for each workout, is your body gets accustomed to what your asking it to do. That’s when you start to plateau, and your workouts become less effective. Here’s how doing drop sets can improve your muscle gains.

Normally, your workout probably looks like this. It’s pretty simple. Do one set of an exercise. Then rest. Then repeat for a certain number of sets. That’s great when you’re first starting out, as it’s an easy formula to remember. And, it’s what most people do when they are doing their strength training exercises.

These are called “straight sets” – and the are only effective up to a certain point, as you end up only targeting one type of muscle fiber. And, if you’ve normally been doing somewhere between 4-8 sets, your more powerful, larger muscle fibers are the ones that get targeted. These are your Type II muscle fibers. When you start doing more than 10-12 sets per exercise, that’s where you start hitting your Type I muscle fibers.

And, those Type I muscle fibers are the ones that are smaller, and are more endurance-oriented fibers. You can target and grow them and add some muscle size and strength with them as well.

So, if you do higher weights / smaller sets, you build Type II muscle fibers. If you do less weights, more sets, you hit the Type I fibers. With Drop Sets, you end up hitting both types of muscle fibers, which can help improve your muscle gains.

Also known as “declining sets”, drop sets work like this:

First Set: Pick a weight you can do only 8 -10 reps with perfect form, to the point of failure. Complete the set, then reduce the weight by 20-25%.

Next Set: Without any rest between the previous set and this set, and lift to the point of failure. Drop the weight again by 20-25%.

All Remaining Sets: Repeat the process of minimizing rest between sets, lifting to failure, drop the weight 20-25%, and do the next set.

Keep in mind that this is a high-intensity workout. So, replace one or two exercises with drop sets, and put them near the end of your workout, as you’ll find these are quite exhausting! And, these also work best when using dumbbells or cable machines, rather than free weights, as with free weights, you’ll spend quite a bit of time swapping plates. Cable machines or dumbbells allow you to change weights much faster, as you want to minimize your time between sets.

And at Fitness 4 Home Superstore, we carry an full line of both dumbbell systems, and cable-based home gym machines. Stop into any of our three Phoenix area locations to check out our full selection!

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