Why Drop Sets Workout Is Harmful to Your Progress

drop sets

IG: @titan_grips

Why not do drop sets on todays workaout? The mechanisms of energy supply of the human body are such that we can carry out high-intensity work (heavy strength training) for an extremely short time, and low-intensity (moderately heavy and light weight training) for a relatively long time.

Bodybuilders have long been groping for a connection between the duration of the set and the extent of muscle hypertrophy. It is unlikely that someone performs both 1-2 and 100 repetitions in the set for muscle growth, and this is consistent with the findings of scientists who determined the most optimal number of repetitions in the set as 6-12.

In the arsenal of bodybuilders there are methods for performing heavy power work, providing mechanical stress for a sufficiently long period of time, leading to metabolic stress (acidification), such as a rest-pause, GVT and drop-sets.

What is drop set?

Drop set is a method of strength training in bodybuilding with a decrease in weights in one set and the implementation of the maximum number of repetitions of the exercise in a pumping manner.

What happens in the muscles during the execution of the drop sets?

drop sets workout
IG: @titan_grips

Consider the example of extension of the lower leg in the exercise machine. With a resistance of 60 kg you perform 8 repetitions to failure, which is caused by a decrease in creatine phosphate (CPh) reserves and the accumulation of a large number of hydrogen ions in glycolytic muscle fibers (GMF). These are just those fibers that can work hard, but not for long. We immediately reduce the weight to 40 kg and the set continues on intermediate (IMF) and oxidative (OMF), in which the formation of lactic acid is less active due to the presence of mitochondria in them.

After 6-7 repetitions, another failure occurs, because acidification will disable most of the IMF, but OMF will remain “in service”, although after two continuous sets lactic acid will become even more in them, because it passes there by diffusion from neighboring GMF and IMF.

Another drop of up to 20 kg and the last repetitions on still alive OMF and failure. Despite the vivid sensations during the set, modern science has not shown advantages in terms of dropset hypertrophy over the classic set, performed in the range of 10-12 repetitions.

We see the point in using this method mainly as a variety and recommend limiting yourself to two or three drop sets to the muscle group per workout and not to practice this technique weekly.

In addition, you have a great chance to get to know first what is the best combination of muscle groups to workout.

What is more, we’ve prepared top 3 home exercises for glutes according to science.