Mechanical Drop Sets for New Muscle Growth – T Nation Content – COMMUNITY

by Dan North

Extend the Set, Maximize the Gains

Here are five ways to use mechanical drop sets to build every muscle in your body.

Drop sets are a time-tested way to build muscle. To do a classic drop set, rep out an exercise until you can’t continue, then, without resting, reduce the weight and do more reps until failure.

Mechanical drop sets are similar, but instead of decreasing the weight, you start with the hardest variation of an exercise and then switch to easier variations each time you hit failure. Here are five cool ways to do them.

1. Go from Isolation to Compound

Try this for triceps:

  • A1. Floor Extension
  • A2. Tate Press
  • A3. Neutral-Grip Floor Press

Choose a weight that allows you to get 8 reps on the first exercise. Remember, there’s no rest between the exercises. Rest for three minutes after the series and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

Start with 8 floor extensions. After your last rep, turn your palms forward and do Tate presses to failure. Then turn your palms back toward each other for as many neutral-grip presses as you can until you can no longer maintain proper form.

This blasts your triceps as you go from a tough isolation lift to a compound lift. The floor extension variation is also joint-friendly. Rolling the dumbbell back and forth takes some pressure off the elbows and allows you to focus on the triceps.

Here’s an example for shoulders:

  • A1. Alternating Lateral Raise
  • A2. Lateral Raise
  • A3. Cuban Press

For the alternating lateral raises, raise both arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Keeping your right arm raised, lower your left arm. Perform a lateral raise, then switch sides. While one arm is moving the other is doing an isometric hold at the top. Do this with a weight that allows you to get 5 reps on each side.

Then, rep out lateral raises with both arms simultaneously. Finally, bring both arms down to your sides, turn your palms toward your body (knuckles forward), and do Cuban presses. Tell me that isn’t the deepest burn you’ve ever felt on your delts.

Rest two minutes and repeat for a total of 2-3 sets.

2. Change the Angle

Your angle relative to the floor during exercises – like the inverted row and push-up – dictates the intensity of the exercise. For example, elevating your feet during the inverted row forces you to pull more of your body weight, as opposed to bending your legs with your feet on the ground, where you gain some assistance from the lower body and reduce the total amount of weight.

Try this for back and biceps:

  • A1. TRX Row with Feet Elevated
  • A2. TRX Row with Straight Legs
  • A3. TRX Row with Bent Legs

Start with inverted rows with your feet elevated. When you can’t do anymore, bring both feet to the floor with your legs straight. After you hit failure again, bend your legs with your feet flat on the floor and rep out.

Rest three minutes and repeat for a total of 3 sets. You can also use a barbell or Smith machine if you don’t have a TRX. If you have weak grip strength, use straps so your forearms don’t burn out before your back.

Here’s one for chest and triceps:

  • A1. Banded Decline Push-Up
  • A2. Banded Push-Up
  • A3. Push-Up

Loop your thumbs into the band, with the band running under your arms and along your upper back. This increases the tension towards the top end of the push-up as you lock out your arms.

Start by performing decline push-ups with your feet elevated. After failure, bring both feet to the floor and do it again (keeping the band in place). Finally, ditch the band and do as many reps as possible.

Rest three minutes and repeat for a total of 2-3 sets.

3. Change Your Grip

Try this for back and biceps:

  • A1. Wide Grip Pull-Up
  • A2. Narrow Grip Pull-Up
  • A3. Chin-Up

If your shoulders can tolerate an overhand (pronated) grip, use it. But the neutral grip I’m using is easier on the joints. The goal is just to go from the hardest to the easiest variation. So that means going from wide grip to narrow grip to supinated grip.

Rest three minutes and repeat for a total of 2-3 sets.

Here’s one for biceps:

  • A1. Zottmann Curl
  • A2. Supinated Curl
  • A3. Hammer Curl

Choose a weight that causes you to fail at about 6 reps on the first exercise. Go from one to the next without setting the dumbbells down. Rest 2-3 minutes and repeat for a total of two sets as your next arm finisher.

4. Change Your Stance

  • A1. Skater Squat
  • A2. Reverse Lunge
  • A3. Split Squat

Start with a weight that allows you to get about 6 reps on the skater squats. Wearing a chain is a great way to add load to your single-leg exercises without taxing your arms.

5. Change the Range of Motion

Hit your chest and triceps with this:

  • A1. Standard Push-Up, Full Range of Motion
  • A2. Add a Block to Decrease ROM
  • A3. Add a Second Block to Decrease ROM

This is a simple concept. As you fatigue, do a shorter and shorter range of motion.

Get two yoga blocks or something you can use for depth indication. Do full range of motion push-ups to failure. Without rest or even putting your knees on the floor, place one of the yoga blocks under your chest and do another set with a partial range of motion by tapping your chest on the block.

Finish by placing another block on top, then do more push-ups with an even shorter ROM for as many reps as possible. This works better with a partner who can put the blocks in place for you. But alas, you gotta work with what you got.


Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Nyc Health Store | Amazon Affiliate Store
Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)