What is a drop set?
Drop sets don’t physically mean you drop a set off your workout flow.
A drop set is when you perform an exercise with heavy weights until you hit or almost hit failure, then you drop some weight and continue for more repetitions with the lower poundage.
Why should you incorporate them in your training?
If you’re not an endurance athlete, yet looking to add some muscle mass and definition, drop sets are for you.
By starting heavy with low reps, then upping the rep count and steadily lowering the weights until you reach failure, you’re hitting deeper muscle fibers that you cannot hit by doing 8-12 reps of the same weight.
For example, you’re performing chest press and can only do 12 reps using 40 lb dumbbells, once you hit that twelfth count and feel like you could not get another rep complete, you know you are at your max for 12 reps. This really means that you’ve maxed out at 40 lbs, but if you drop 15-20lbs off your dumbbells, you can likely keep going. This is the point where you’d continue to move down the dumbbell line, picking up lighter and lighter weights and upping the reps until you reach your breaking point.
By lowering the weight each set, without rest between, you’re activating more and more reserve muscle fibers that aren’t working during a regular 3-set circuit.
What kinds of exercises can you perform drop sets with?
Lateral pull downs, bicep curls, back rows, tricep extensions, squats or leg presses, lateral shoulder raises, chest flys just to name a few. However, since drop sets could lead to overtraining and draining your muscles quickly, it’s important not to try them in every workout multiple times, rather stick to one drop set per muscle group trained.