If you are having trouble putting on size, maybe it’s time to take a page out of Arnold’s playbook. Arnold Scharzenegger, the legendary bodybuilder, used drop sets to challenge his body. His idea was simple – shock your muscles and pack on muscle. Arnold said, “By the time you’re on the lower weights, the burning is so intense that 40 pounds feels like 110”.

Incorporating drop sets into your workout protocol produces rapid muscle failure and maximizes hypertrophy. “Even if you started with 15 pounds and worked down to 5, it’s a great way to work your muscles quickly and always keep them guessing.”

What Are Drop Sets?

A drop set is the simple technique where you perform a set of any exercise to failure then drop some weight and continue for more reps with the reduced weight. This is performed 3 to four times.

According to Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, the drop set method was originally “discovered” in 1947 by Henry Atkins, editor of Body Culture magazine. Atkins called it the “multi-poundage system.” Since then, this muscle blasting technique has gone by many different names including breakdowns, descending sets, triple-drops, down the rack, strip sets or the stripping technique.

Why Are Drop Sets So Effective?

Traditional straight sets of 8-12 reps only combat the first layer of fibers and can actually preventing you from reaching maximal growth potential. Drop sets work to activate the deepest muscle fibers, leading to maximum muscle growth.

According to Tom Venuto, “by stripping off weight and continuing the set, you cumulatively recruit more and more “reserve” muscle fibers. Drop sets hit the “stubborn” muscle fibers “deep down,” causing growth that normally couldn’t be achieved by stopping after a single set of six to twelve.” [1]

The primary focus of drop setting is to shock the muscle by adding stress to a standard set. This added stress induces hypertrophy within the muscle amplifying muscle growth.

Avoid Over-Training with Drop Sets

To avoid over-training, it is recommended that you should only perform drop sets with one exercise per body part. Many people will incorporate drop sets into the last exercise of the muscle group they are training that day. This ensures your muscles are properly warmed up and you reduce the risk of injury. Some people find it hard just to go heavy from the get go.

Drop sets will ensure muscle hypertrophy through large muscle tears and give you an amazing pump. If you want to maximize muscular growth be sure you are taking the right supplements for rapid recovery and repair. Be sure you have a high quality protein powder, creatine supplement and a multivitamin in your supplement arsenal.

Drop Sets for Mass Gain Video


[1] – http://www.burnthefatinnercircle.com/members/Drop_Sets_For_Maximum_Muscle_Growth.cfm

About The Author

Brian E. is from southern California and has worked for names like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe as a supplement expert and consultant. He currently lives in Utah and is studying marketing.

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