The Mystery of Drop Sets – Uncovered
By: Bodyzone Comments: 0
There are many mysteries in the world that are yet to answer. Did the man land on the moon, or did it not?
Is there a Loch Ness monster, or is there not?
But one mystery that can comfortably sit on that list is that of the drop sets and their benefits.
But at the best gym of Chandigarh; Bodyzone, we believe getting out there and unravel all things related to fitness that are currently a mystery to you.
For those unfamiliar, the concept of drop sets is quite simple. Instead of your traditional fixed sets, reps, and loading schemes, you take one set, start off a relatively heavy weight, and do as many reps as you can. Once you hit failure, you immediately decrease the weight so you can continue to do more reps until you hit failure again. Repeat this continuous weight drop 3 or 4 times. The goal is to extend the seat to recruit more muscle fibres and fatigue the muscle overall. At the end of the set, the trained muscle should feel absolutely beat.
Now there are different ways you can do drop sets. Some people don't take the reps to failure but instead do a fixed number of reps for some drop in increments, and some drop in percentages. And some do more than one set to really push their limits. In this particular study, though, it's a comparison between normal sets and a single drop set to failure.
Let us tell you about a study that looked at this topic in a more keen way than usual.
16 active male college students, eight assigned to drop sets, the other eight assigned to normal sets. The triceps push-downs was the exercise tested specifically to allow isolation of a single muscle.
For the drop sets, they decreased the weight 3 times by 20% each drop, starting with a predetermined 12 rep-max. The normal set group also used a 12-rep max load and did 3 sets to failure with 90 seconds of rest in between.
So what did they find after 6 weeks?
In terms of strength, both groups improved quite well, but the normal set group improved strength by 25.2% versus 16.1% from drop sets. This lines up with research that shows strength is best achieved with heavier weights, which normal sets had over drop sets.
But here is where things got interesting.
In terms of muscle growth, however, we see a shift favouring drop sets. The drop set group saw a 10% increase in growth versus normal sets' 5%. Which, essentially, although not hugely different in absolute scales, is still twice as much growth.
So, what does that mean for you?
It's very clear that it will depend on your goal. If you're trying to get stronger, you might be better off sticking to normal sets and lifting heavy weights. For those trying to build muscle, drop sets are more cut for.
You can potentially build more muscle and essentially save more time doing so. But that doesn't mean you should start to drop setting all of your exercises all the time. This study was conducted only for 6 weeks. This duration, is then, certainly not the gospel truth of muscle growth and strength. Best way to go about it is to keep changing your workout style. Because the more you will change, the better it will get.