We’ve all seen prescribed workouts for bigger arms, or any other muscle group you can think of. They almost always start with a compound lift or two, followed by a generous amount of accessory work. If you just do 3 sets of 8-15 repetitions then you’ll reap the rewards and rock 20 inch arms in no time.
But have you ever wondered what we’re really doing in our workouts that we aren’t telling you?
Often times when you see a straight forward workout, there are numerous techniques being asserted to take the workout up a notch.
Sure we’re doing Barbell Curls and Dumbbell Curls, but it’s how the exercises are executed, and how each set is being intensified that makes the difference from scrawny arms to sleeve busting gains.
Here is my Go-To Intensifying Technique that is sure to bring you results, if you can handle it.
These are by far my favorite intensifier that I use on nearly a regular basis.
Drop Sets (or Kill Sets as one of my client refers to them) are meant to push your limits far beyond the designated rep range assigned to the exercise.
You’ve completed 3 sets of 6-8 heavy repetitions and you’re nearly gassed from all the lifting, but you know you need to squeeze out every last drop from your muscles. On the final set, keep the weight the same for as many reps as possible. When you can barely complete just one more rep, drop the weight 25-50% and immediately complete more reps.
By doing Drop Sets, you will be able to exert far more energy and power into the set than you could at a standard weight. When you drop the weight, you are able to keep pumping the muscle full of blood and increase the strain beyond what could have been.
Don’t be afraid of the intense burn you’ll be experiencing. Push through the pain, and really test your limits. The goal is achieve the gains you deserve.
What are the best exercises for using Drop Sets?
I’ve found that Drop Sets are great on any machine exercise because the range of motion is controlled and protects you from injury. Often times you can use different levers or a workout partner to really push through extra reps. It also makes dropping the weight significantly easier when you just have to reach over and move a weight pin.
While Eddie Hall has done Drop Sets on Conventional Deadlifts, I strongly recommend restraining from doing that.
Start by utilizing this intensifier for the following exercises:
Chest – Cable or Dumbbell Fly
Back – Cable Seated Rows
Legs – Seated Leg Extensions, Leg Press, Machine Squats
Biceps – Curls! You’ll thank me later.
Triceps – Cable Extensions
Can you do Drop Sets on Body Weight Exercises?
A great way to use Drop Sets on Body Weight exercises is by adjusting the angle of the movement or adding assistance.
For Push Ups, you can perform Drop Sets in multiple fashions. Start with a Weight Plate on your Back, and then remove the weight once you can barely lift yourself from the ground. Or try doing standard push ups but switch to kneeling push ups to squeeze out those extra few repetitions.
For Pull Ups, you can also switch from Weighted versions to Body Weight as a Drop Set. You can also begin with Body Weight unassisted Pull Ups, but add a band or workout partner for added help with the final repetitions.
Feel like taking things even further?
Rep out your heavy weight repetitions, drop the weight 50%, and then drop the weight TWO more times by 25% until your warm up weight feels like your max.