Strength training is essential to toning up and slimming down, but those bicep curls can just get monotonous. Challenge yourself and your muscles with a drop set. A drop set involves pushing your muscles to positive failure or maxing out at descending weight levels. Normal muscular failure is achieved when one can no longer do another full-range concentric (positive) rep with strict form/technique.Why go to failure? It is a sign that you are pushing yourself and making progress. Your muscles are literally being torn and rebuilt.
Pick an exercise like bicep curls. Start with the heaviest weight you can, for example a 25 lb set of dumbbells. Perform as many bicep curls as you can until you can’t complete the full range of motion. Now, decrease the weight 15-20%. If you did 30 reps, aim to increase your reps with the lower weights. Try to get at least 10 more curls in. Do not rest between sets.
Here are some GREAT exercises to perform as drop sets:
- lateral raises
- tricep extensions
- chest press
- chest fly
There are plenty of great squat options as well, but those are best done with a spotter and a bar. If you are at home, you can use dumbbells for extra squat resistance.
While your muscles should be fatigued, you should always be in control of the motion or movement. You want form over reps. If your body starts to sway, your back begins to arch or you are having to pull effort from other muscle groups to complete a rep, then you should stop and drop to the next weight level.
However, use this form of failure sparingly. A drop set is not only shocking to your muscles, but it’s also shocking to your central nervous system.
Have you added drop sets to your routine? How did you like them? Have you seen results? We’d love to hear from you!