Drop Sets For Mass Gain: Do Drop Sets Work?

Drop Sets For Mass Gain: Do Drop Sets Work?


Hey guys, Sean Nalewanyj here of BodyTransformationTruth.com
and in this video I want to address the topic of drop sets and whether or not they are a
useful technique to include in your workout plan assuming that your goal is to maximize
your muscle size and strength gains. So executing a drop set is pretty straightforward. First
you take your regular weight and perform a standard straight set near or all the way
to muscular failure, and then instead of stopping there you reduce the weight by a certain percentage,
and this can vary anywhere from a very slight reduction up to around 50 percent, and you
continue performing additional reps. You can then stop there or you can drop the weight
again and perform more reps and basically you can just keep going and perform as many
of these “mini sets” as you want. So are drop sets effective, and should you include them
in your workout program? Well first of all, there really is no concrete data on this that
I am aware of that compares straight sets to drop sets so I can’t really give an absolute
recommendation on this one either way because no one really knows for sure, but I will just
give you a few thoughts here to consider. First off, if you are going to include drop
sets in your workout plan one thing is for certain, and that is that they should always
be performed at the very end of the workout for any particular muscle group that you’re
training. Not just the last set of an exercise for that muscle group, but the last set of
the entire workout for that muscle group. So if you’re in the gym and you’re training
chest and you’ve completed all of your heavy compound pressing and whatever other exercises
that you’re doing and you want to perform a drop set, do it at the very end after everything
else is done. The reason for this is that drop sets use up a lot of energy and they
produce a very high amount of muscular fatigue, and performing drop sets throughout your workout
is definitely going to sacrifice the amount of total weight you can handle and the intensity
that you can generate when it comes to your heavy straight sets. Heavy straight sets should
always form the underlying basis of your workout plan because your muscles grow primarily as
a result of you pushing them beyond their present strength capacity. So you definitely
don’t want to negatively impact your performance on any of your core basic lifts for any of
your muscle groups and for that reason always make sure to save your drop sets to the end
if you’re going to include them in your plan at all, which brings us to the second question,
which is should you even other including them? Well again no definite answer here. I know
that a lot of people really like to include drop sets in their plan so again I’ll just
give you a few thoughts here. Personally, I think that if your goal is to maximize muscle
hypertrophy and maximize your strength gains then I don’t think adding in drop sets is
going to make any noticeable difference to your results over the long term. Most drop
sets are simply going to push your muscles into a higher rep endurance based rep range,
which again, I don’t think is going to improve your muscle building results in any measurable
way. A lot of people swear by drops sets because they definitely feel as though drop sets work
really well, and this is because of the high degree of muscle pump and muscle burn that
they produce. But as I’ve covered many times before, muscle pump and muscle burn are not
limiting factors when it come to achieving optimal hypertrophy. You’ll always achieve
a muscle pump and a certain degree of muscle burn every time you work out, but turning
those two things into specific goals is definitely going to be a misuse of your effort. If achieving
a huge muscle pump and a high degree of muscle burn was the goal of your workout and signaled
that you were stimulating growth effectively, then your best bet for training would be to
grab a five pound pair of dumbbells and crank out sets of 500 reps or more, which we know
is not going to be ideal, and therefore the fact that drop sets do give you a big pump
and do feel very intense doesn’t necessarily indicate that they are helping you to gain
additional size and strength. And the other potential issue is that again drop sets are
very fatiguing and if used excessively it is possible that the resulting muscle soreness
or just the general muscle fatigue that they produce, it’s possible that that could negatively
impact your performance on subsequent workouts on those basic core heavy straight sets. So
again, I personally doubt that drop sets are going to enhance your results assuming that
your goal is to maximize muscle growth and strength gains. That said, however, if used
sparingly, so maybe one drop set per muscle group per workout, maybe two at the most,
and if performed at the very end of your workout, it’s probably not going to hurt your results
either so really, it’s your choice. If you enjoy doing them, if you feel that drop sets
help you in some way, or if your goal is not to maximize hypertrophy but rather just to
work out in general and to have fun with it then a drop set here or there is totally fine.
The choice is yours, but again, it probably isn’t going to make any real difference either
way. So thanks for watching this video. I hope you found the information useful here
today. If you did enjoy the video, as always please make sure to hit the “like” button,
leave a comment and subscribe to stay up to date on future videos. Also make sure to check
out my complete step-by-step muscle building and fat loss programs over at BodyTransformationTruth.com
by clicking the icon at the top of the video or using the link in the description box below.
Talk to you again soon.

40 thoughts on “Drop Sets For Mass Gain: Do Drop Sets Work?

  1. Thanks Sean. I use it occasionally but I think the best thing is to vary exercises, reps and sets all the time. Switching things up is what works for me and that includes training different body parts each week. Makes sense. Thanks heaps as always.

  2. O i didn't know that feeling the burn/pump is not optimal for gains. Then i have a question, i have wrist tendonitis, so whenever i do heavy dumbbell bicep curls my forearms would hurt. For the past months ive been doing, incline dumbbell bicep curls, where i lay down in an incline and relax my arms then i curl. This give me the ability to go lighter weight and i feel it much more than a regular dumbbell curl. So is that beneficial or going heavy on bicep curls is better?

  3. This is confusing as hell to me. So the soreness I experience after doing dropsets and hitting it hard doesn't lead to greater hypertrophy? I thought the soreness meant I'd broken down the muscle tissue and this would lead to bigger muscles after they healed.
    I've been lifting for years, and now I feel like the old-school doctor that's still prescribing leeches.

    I also recently heard that isolating muscle exercises like curls don't make much of a difference if you're already doing lat pulldowns and other large muscle exercises that involve the biceps. WTF is going on here?! Is this true? Have I been wasting my time hitting biceps and triceps with isolation exercises?!

    Makes me feel like I could be getting the same gains with half the effort.

  4. I've been using drop sets for almost every exercise I do. I have 3 warm up sets, light medium and full weight, then the full weight to failiure, drop weight to failure and drop again to failure. Each day I only do two working sets concentrating on each body part. This rotates around over the course of 8 days with as little as possible duplication. I am also doing fairly high reps around 12 to 18 for the first heavy part of the working set. It has helped me bust through a plateau in every lift. Made some serious gains doing this for the past 3 months, way faster progress than any other of my previous routines. 8 days might sound a long time between hitting the same muscle again but at this intensity you need it. Only doing 2 working sets each day allows maximum dedication to each set.

  5. Again Sean, the when, where and why and why "not" got answered in your video on drop sets. TY! Do you have videos on pause-reps and,  should you also leave them for the very last set, after you've completed an entire muscle group routine? I hope you get what I mean…

  6. No idea man, I've started adding drop sets for muscles such as my shoulders, or arms to break a plateau, and i'm seeing some serious improvements strength-wise that I haven't seen before adding them.

  7. Synopsis: I don't know either way, so just to be safe you shouldn't do it.. There is no real accepted literature on the efficacy of drop sets. There is also no accepted literature on the stretching of muscle fascia. There is, however, accepted literature on the muscle-mind connection. Basically, the more we think we're building muscle, the more we actually build it. That is enough for me to occasionally finish my day with a drop set. There is debate that "feeder sets" work, and a drop set certainly works in that regard. It's like all things regarding lifting: not enough evidence to be certain, it might help anywhere between not at all and a lot. It won't hurt your gains, so why not at least try it?

  8. In my opinion and personal experience, the effectiveness of a drop set= the correct weight being used for each set/the intensity of each set. Many individuals I see go "too light" (15-30 reps) or "too heavy" ( they can barely perform 4-5 reps). Drop sets are strictly for hypertrophy (8-12 rep range) moderate to heavy weigh, and I also believe each drop set should be taken to failure because it's an intense program.

  9. I agree with u Sean. Drop sets are really taxing man. I only do it for my biceps though and that too not often. But the pump is great for a day or two.

  10. Do them to switch things up.

    especially if you have rest day next day.
    For Cardio.. when at the end you feel u haven't worked hard and got energy left.. or to get a pump before going out on the pull lol

  11. To whom is this advice aimed at? I mean what split and what training frequency? I train full body, 2-3 times a week and I sometimes feel as if my muscles don't get the required stress for growth. Do you think incorporating drop sets would help in my case?

  12. I'm not agree with you drop set allow you to be more perform to do the sets why because u making ur body support high wight so whene u drop weight its easier for body and in same time it makes you make more volum drop set confuse the nervous system that why it works to have more hypo.

  13. The whole issue is whether drop sets build more muscle than a strength building approach. This video lumps these two together, which muddles the whole question. Not articulately stated.

  14. Man this dude is so full of shit after weeks of subscribing n watching his video I find his words hold no proof to much he says … there's been studying n testing drop sets build more mass n regular traditional weight lifting give u better strength … # UNSUB!!!

  15. I get what you are saying. they are taxing and not the best hypertrophy method, however wouldn't an endurance rep range be equal to a high amount of time under tension – resulting in hypertrophy

  16. I get what you are saying. they are taxing and not the best hypertrophy method, however wouldn't an endurance rep range be equal to a high amount of time under tension – resulting in hypertrophy

  17. I get what you are saying. they are taxing and not the best hypertrophy method, however wouldn't an endurance rep range be equal to a high amount of time under tension – resulting in hypertrophy .

  18. I get what you are saying. they are taxing and not the best hypertrophy method, however wouldn't an endurance rep range be equal to a high amount of time under tension – resulting in hypertrophy .

  19. About the 500 rep sets, I think there was a study mentioned by Layne Norton that said as long as your using 60%-65% of your 1 rep max, then it’s an effective set. So no you can’t grab 5 lb dumbbells and crank out 500 reps but if you hit about 60% of your one rep max, it should be effective.

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