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  1. #1
    Registered User pipios's Avatar
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    Benefits of drop sets

    I did drop sets this friday, and I have such a soreness it is crazy. I did it to do something different, but what is the purpose ? Is it more for cutting ? Or bulking ? Since I do both, lift heavy and high reps.
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  2. #2
    No longer in denial Nikonguy's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer but I'll tell you what a bodybuilder told me via email

    (not an exact quote)
    If you are eating at a surplus, getting lots of rest and taking all of your "supplements" drop sets mighthelp some people.

    If you are not doing all of the above drop sets will make you feel awesome but are not going to make you bigger.

    Looking forward to hearing other responses.
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  3. #3
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    Not a huge fan of them. Maybe do them on occasion to mix things up but I don't see the point on a regular basis.
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  4. #4
    Kicking sarcopenia's azz ljimd's Avatar
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    I usually do a back-off set to get some extra reps/work, but rarely do drop sets. Seems to me it would increase endurance. Adding muscle - not so sure. Can't hurt if you like them I suppose.
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  5. #5
    CARLMAN ntrllftr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nikonguy View Post
    I don't know the answer but I'll tell you what a bodybuilder told me via email

    (not an exact quote)
    If you are eating at a surplus, getting lots of rest and taking all of your "supplements" drop sets mighthelp some people.

    If you are not doing all of the above drop sets will make you feel awesome but are not going to make you bigger.

    Looking forward to hearing other responses.
    Originally Posted by ljimd View Post
    I usually do a back-off set to get some extra reps/work, but rarely do drop sets. Seems to me it would increase endurance. Adding muscle - not so sure. Can't hurt if you like them I suppose.
    I have considered drop sets as a major contributor of hypertrophy for me. I typically do them more frequently when dieting down. I feel that it helps me retain more size rather than when I do straight sets with lower bodyfat.
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  6. #6
    Kicking sarcopenia's azz ljimd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ntrllftr View Post
    I have considered drop sets as a major contributor of hypertrophy for me. I typically do them more frequently when dieting down. I feel that it helps me retain more size rather than when I do straight sets with lower bodyfat.

    Interesting take on it. Maybe I'll try them more often and see what I think.
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  7. #7
    Registered User bigvin73's Avatar
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    Depends a lot on the type of training I'm doing. For example when I'm using a Yates style heavy duty I will use drops set as my working set to add intensity on that 1 hard working set. Drop sets, forced negatives, static holds, ect are all tools in the box to be used at different times.

    Personally I like them to totally exhaust a muscle as you can force more work load onto a muscle and push out more reps/work
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  8. #8
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    I do them very very very rarely. Usually if I'm just running out of time and want to get some more work in.

    The #1 thing you should be focused on is adding more weight to the bar.

    Any variations of training techniques should be focused on this goal, and I don't think drop sets does that.
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  9. #9
    198 or bust Getsum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pipios View Post
    I did drop sets this friday, and I have such a soreness it is crazy. I did it to do something different, but what is the purpose ? Is it more for cutting ? Or bulking ? Since I do both, lift heavy and high reps.
    I do them occasionally for the increased volume and I've found that higher volume workouts tend to leave me sore the next day.

    I have no idea if this leads to hypertrophy or not, and I don't care, I just do them because I enjoy it.
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  10. #10
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    Increasing weight helps more with density and strength, and some size gains. Increasing volume with drop sets helps more with size increase via fluid in the muscle, and less increase in density and strength.

    So ideally(for me, at least), you want to increase density with which to further expand with fluid increases. If everything is going well with your training, you therefore will do some sort of pyramid attack up to 5 sets, followed by 2 or 3 drop sets (or declining sets).

    When I've had too much downtime, I'll work on getting the strength back first, and then gradually work in more and more high rep lighter sets until I'm back to that ideal combination.

    Every workout is like baking a cake. The lower rep heavier sets determine how much cake material you will start with, and the dropsets/pump sets/declining pyramids determine how much the cake will rise.

    Somebody like Flex, who favors the heavier approach, is dense as hell, and more dropsets should blow him up like nobody's business. From that point, however, size increases will slow.

    You can only obtain so much density or "blowing up" independently. It's always maximized when used together.

    There are other factors in bodybuilding (fat loss for example), but this more simple view of high vs low reps, heavy vs light, high vs low volume debate that is constantly tossed about here in these threads are usually most easily settled with my cake analogy.
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  11. #11
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    I do them (or a back off set) just in case I'm wrong and the "more volume" folks are right.
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  12. #12
    Registered User pipios's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tyrbolift View Post
    Increasing weight helps more with density and strength, and some size gains. Increasing volume with drop sets helps more with size increase via fluid in the muscle, and less increase in density and strength.

    So ideally(for me, at least), you want to increase density with which to further expand with fluid increases. If everything is going well with your training, you therefore will do some sort of pyramid attack up to 5 sets, followed by 2 or 3 drop sets (or declining sets).

    When I've had too much downtime, I'll work on getting the strength back first, and then gradually work in more and more high rep lighter sets until I'm back to that ideal combination.

    Every workout is like baking a cake. The lower rep heavier sets determine how much cake material you will start with, and the dropsets/pump sets/declining pyramids determine how much the cake will rise.

    Somebody like Flex, who favors the heavier approach, is dense as hell, and more dropsets should blow him up like nobody's business. From that point, however, size increases will slow.

    You can only obtain so much density or "blowing up" independently. It's always maximized when used together.

    There are other factors in bodybuilding (fat loss for example), but this more simple view of high vs low reps, heavy vs light, high vs low volume debate that is constantly tossed about here in these threads are usually most easily settled with my cake analogy.
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  13. #13
    psychosomatic quietchef's Avatar
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    Love em for when I feel like I still got something left in me, that I haven't given my all, left something on the table, (enter your own euphemism), etc....

    THEY TEAR ME UP!

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  14. #14
    Southerner in exile racedoc's Avatar
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    I used drop sets as part of almost every workout for over a year. Like a previous poster stated, they make you feel great but not much else if you're not at a caloric surplus, at least in my case as I was way under my caloric needs for a prolonged period. Since switching it up and forcing in more food, lifting heavier with no drop set or superset and 2-3 minutes between sets, I've added more mass in a shorter peroid of time than in any point over the past 20+ years. Also, a lot of the little nagging tendonitis crap I had everywhere seemed to clear up as well. Never really bought into eat more, sleep more, lift heavy but do less sets thing, but turns out it seems to work at least in my case.
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    CARLMAN ntrllftr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by racedoc View Post
    I used drop sets as part of almost every workout for over a year. Like a previous poster stated, they make you feel great but not much else if you're not at a caloric surplus, at least in my case as I was way under my caloric needs for a prolonged period. Since switching it up and forcing in more food, lifting heavier with no drop set or superset and 2-3 minutes between sets, I've added more mass in a shorter peroid of time than in any point over the past 20+ years. Also, a lot of the little nagging tendonitis crap I had everywhere seemed to clear up as well. Never really bought into eat more, sleep more, lift heavy but do less sets thing, but turns out it seems to work at least in my case.
    I would say that it wasn't the factor of doing drop sets alone. It was the misuse of the type of training. I would not recommend doing it every single training session as you stated. Also, eating at a surplus will change the body composition as well. As you stated you changed training style and diet at the same time. It would be unfair to say that the training method was solely the culprit of not making the gains. IMO.
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    What exactly do you consider drop sets? I ask because for 5/3/1 I do the 'boring but big' routine. That is I do the workout prescribed by 5/3/1 that week, lets say its the 80% x 3, 85% x 3, 90% x 3 week. So I consider those 3 sets of 3 as my work sets.

    Then I drop the weight down to where I can do 5 sets of 10 reps (at about 50% of 1RM). Would these be considered drop sets?

    If so they work for me in strength gain and hypertrophy. I did 5/3/1 for about 6 months without doing the 5x10 sets afterwards and doing other assistance lifts and since doing boring but big I can notice a difference.

    I think also that since the boring but big routine is recommended by wendler as the one to use to pack on more size and strength, that it probably works for other people as well. So if you consider these drop sets, I think they are worth it!
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    Originally Posted by pipios View Post
    I did drop sets this friday, and I have such a soreness it is crazy. I did it to do something different, but what is the purpose ? Is it more for cutting ? Or bulking ? Since I do both, lift heavy and high reps.
    I have used drop sets in a slightly different way. I like to use them to help add weight to specific exercises, which has had a long term effect of adding some strength and mass. I will say upfront that I am not a fan of dropping down to a very light weight to extend sets or do do burnouts as these have done anything for me.

    What I will do is this; I will take a set, not necessarily the last one, and increase the weight to a weight that I can get perhaps 3 reps with. After I hit those reps, I decrease to a weight I can only get 4-5 reps and hit as many as I can. I will drop one more time to a weight I can get 6-7 reps and do as many as I can. The end result is I have done 8-10 reps at a higher threshold than normal.

    This tends to work well for me on exercises like DB curls or one armed rows. For instance I will do a set of DB curls with 65 for 3,60 for 2, and 50 for 5-7.

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  18. #18
    Will work for Gym Equip bustasinclair's Avatar
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    I used to think drop sets were unnecessary, but over time I have changed my viewpoint. Your muscles cannot read the embedded number on the outside of the plates and dumbbells, so when you fatigue the muscle, the weight is perceived to be heavier.

    Doing drop sets can allow more ability to produce hypertrophy in the muscle with less weight because the weight feels heavier. I'm sure there is a better scientific explanation, but this is basically paraphrased what I have read from some experts. YMMV
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    Registered User beachguy498's Avatar
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    I do them with decreased reps, like a 12-10-8 or a 10-8-6 on 3 sets. It allows me to load up at a fairly high weight and decrease the reps as muscle fatigue sets in. The weight remains the same for alll sets.

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    Registered User stayfit2008's Avatar
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    Drops sets aretricky. You gotta watch out with these. Lots of people go in the gym to "Chase The Pump" so to speak. This really isnt a good focus for bodybuilders. What happens is you enter the realm of "overtraining". Drop sets, of not used in moderation and too frequent can lead to overtraining. This is not good especiall;y if its size your trying to put on. Overtraining = catabolism. Your gym time with weights should only be no more than 1 hour. This plus a good nutrition plan around your workout will take full advantage of the anabolic window your body is in. If you do implement dropsets try to keep them within that 1 hour of training and no real need to do more than 1 set per bodypart. Thats per bodypart, not per exercise.
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  21. #21
    I'll Mod Til I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pipios View Post
    I did drop sets this friday, and I have such a soreness it is crazy. I did it to do something different, but what is the purpose ? Is it more for cutting ? Or bulking ? Since I do both, lift heavy and high reps.
    Set "extenders" can have some benefit if used occasionally as plateau-busters.

    As far as using them on a regular basis, IMO your effort will be better-spent on just sticking with working to progress the weight and/or reps with good form on a routine of mostly straight sets.
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Set "extenders" can have some benefit if used occasionally as plateau-busters.

    As far as using them on a regular basis, IMO your effort will be better-spent on just sticking with working to progress the weight and/or reps with good form on a routine of mostly straight sets.
    Thnx
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