Drop Sets : Muscle Mass and Strength

30 03 2011

In weight training language drop sets is a technique for continuing an exercise with a lighter weight once muscle failure has been achieved at a heavier weight. It is just as effective for both genders.

How to do drop sets or extended sets to build more muscle:

  • You start off with a certain amount of weight and let’s say for example you start off with 200 pounds in the bench press and…
  • Let’s say the most reps you can do with 200 pounds on the bench press before your muscles get tired is 5 reps but instead of stopping at 5 reps…
  • You would DROP or lower the weight down to 180 pounds and then do as many reps as you could with 180 pounds and you’ll probably end up doing 5-to-10 more reps with 180 pounds and once you’ve done as many reps as you can with 180 pounds…
  • You would drop the weight again (maybe down to 160 pounds) and do as many reps as you can with 160 pounds so basically…

A drop set helps you build more muscle  while getting stronger. Making you do more reps in a set – drop sets are so intense!

You should only do 1-to-2 drop sets at the end of your workouts so for example…

  • Let’s say you do a bench press workout where you bench press 200 pounds for 5 sets of 5 reps then…
  • Only on your 5th set is where you would do the drop set of something like…
    • Bench pressing 200 pounds for only 5 times and then you would drop the weight and…
    • You would bench press 180 pounds for 5-to-10 times and then you would drop the weight again and…
    • You would probably bench press 160 pounds about 10-to-15 times and…

What to do :

  1. The goal of a drop set is to fatigue the muscle to the fullest extent, so the first thing you are going to do is decide what weight to start with. For example, if you normally do bicep dumbbell curls with 35-lb. weights, I suggest your first set start at 40 lbs. instead. WITHOUT ANY REST BETWEEN SETS.
  2. Set up your weights in a manner that is convenient for you to use one right after the other without any rest (or as little as possible) when going from one weight level to another. Only “drop” by 5 lbs. between sets.
  3. Perform 6 to 8 curls at the highest weight, then drop to the next weight and do the same, and finish with lightest weight (you may be very surprised how “heavy” this light weight may be during drop sets!). DO NOT rest between weight set changes. The goal of drop sets is fatigue. You will need to rest after you complete the full drop set.
  4. Give your 100% in each rep!

Benefits:

1. Boost intensity

The major advantage of making use of drop sets when working out is that they enable users to utilize most of their muscle fibers in a workout, thereby enhancing the workout’s intensity. Actually, performing drop sets is a great method of making your workout even more challenging. Higher workout intensity is believed to offer more muscular benefits.

2. Enhance muscle growth

Aside from an improved muscular endurance, drop sets also aid in promoting hypertrophy. The term hypertrophy refers to the process through which muscles are built, making them bigger. If your desire is to build muscles quickly, then you should consider starting to use drop sets.

3. Highly effective

Because performing weight training using drop sets involves lowering the weights once you become fatigued, it is highly effective and it also accommodates beginners. You can lower the weight with time until you become comfortable. However, experts usually recommend performing only three drop sets for more gains.

4. Workout suitability

Drop sets can be utilized when performing numerous exercises. Dumbbells and resistance machines are the most suitable when doing drop sets. This is because the weight reduction during the workout requires being achieved quickly.

The use of drop sets in weight training also has certain drawbacks apart from the many advantages. For instance, since this particular training system extends the set further than the normal termination point, muscles are overworked and this could lead to severe muscle pain.





Setting Goals

19 03 2011

Did you have one goal in mind, or multiple targets such as losing weight, getting six-pack abs by spring, packing on 20 pounds of muscle for summer beach trips, doubling your bench press in two months, and dropping your body fat to athletic proportions?
Here are nine sure-fire ways to make your dreamy fitness goal or goals come true:
 

Write down your goals
Whether you want to lose 10 or 20 pounds or make it your goal to be in the gym at least two or three days a week, list your goals on paper and elaborate a detailed plan with specific steps toward reaching them. Then, regularly refer to that paper each day. Keep copies of it in your car, on your desk at work, on the refrigerator, in your bedroom, on the bathroom mirror — anywhere that serves as a constant reminder.

Seek a workout partner
Motivation helps you stick to a program. Whether it’s lifting weights or jogging around the track, sometimes going solo won’t get you far. Arrange workout times each week with a coworker, a buddy, or your wife or girlfriend. Training together can be more encouraging than trying to meet goals alone.

Hire a personal trainer
A certified personal trainer might be the best investment and motivational tool. If that home gym you received as a holiday gift is collecting dust, a personal trainer will enable you to put it to good use. In-home personal trainers can be pricey, but they pay quick dividends in a shorter period than training alone to reach your goals.

Track your progress
Just as you wrote down your goals and strategy in the beginning, what can be more inspiring than seeing your progress in the mirror or noting your increasing bench press numbers? Record your progress on paper daily or weekly as another powerful source of motivation to keep you going.

Visualize your goals
It’s not enough to have a goal (or even several goals); you must actually visualize being leaner or more muscular. This will help you achieve both your short- and long-term goals. For example, if you are trying to add two more reps to your bench press, you must mentally prepare yourself right before you lift. Close your eyes and visualize that you will surpass the eight reps you achieved in your previous workout and eke out nine or 10 reps, so that you will be able to add weight for the next set or the next workout.

Take it slowly
You know the clich, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Even if you lose one pound in 10 days, or drop 2% body fat in six weeks, that’s progress. Don’t rush or become obsessed with reaching multiple goals, as frustration can wreck your game plan. Setting too many goals at once is unrealistic and potentially unrewarding. Opt for one goal at a time.

Be realistic
Know beforehand that there will be distractions on the road to your goals, such as work, school or family commitments that might disrupt your workout schedule. Therefore, set obtainable goals in a reasonable time period.

Be flexible
If you can’t get to the gym or do your workout one morning because of a snowstorm or a meeting at work, don’t fret. Either reschedule it for later, or do a modified 10-minute workout of upper and lower body exercises, such as pushups and squats, and a lower intensity activity such as a brisk walk around the block on your lunch hour. Don’t feel guilty or upset for not getting to the gym. You still burned some calories and promoted your heart health with the brisk walk, and those body weight pushups and squats benefited your muscles and bones!

Take a day off
You won’t go off the deep end by taking a day off from your scheduled workout. Enjoy yourself by going to a movie, reading a book, dining out, etc. It could be a welcome change to avert the monotonous routine, help you regain focus and prevent obsession, which may have turned off family and friends during the first days and weeks you began striving toward your goals.

Reach your goals: Congratulations! You dropped those 20 pounds, got the six-pack abs, doubled your bench press, or ran three miles non-stop, and achieved your goals. Now you have two choices: (1) Maintain your fitness goals or better yet, (2) Set other reasonable, reachable goals so you’re not complacent, but continually stimulated and physically active in a lifelong quest for fitness and health. The decision is yours.








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