There are a huge variety of techniques and strategies you can implement into your training to help you build strength and muscle. Mechanical dropsets are a great but underutilised tool to help you build muscle. In this blog, we will explain what mechanical dropsets are and give you some examples of you how you can implement this in your training for best results.
Understanding Mechanical Dropsets
Dropsets are a well-known training technique where you perform an exercise until you reach muscle failure, then immediately reduce the weight, and continue the set to extend the time under tension and maximise muscle fatigue. Mechanical dropsets take this concept a step further by changing the mechanics of an exercise rather than just reducing the weight.
The core idea behind mechanical dropsets is to transition from a more mechanically advantageous position to a less advantageous one within the same set. By doing so, you recruit different muscle fibres and continue to stimulate growth and strength.
How mechanical dropsets work:
Choose Your Exercise: Start with an exercise that targets a specific muscle group, such as bicep curls or bench press.
Change the Mechanical Advantage: After reaching muscle failure in the initial position, adjust the exercise to make it more challenging. This might involve changing your grip, hand position, or the angle of movement.
Continue the Set: With the mechanical change in place, continue the set until you reach failure once again. This will push your muscles to their limits and create a potent stimulus for growth.
For a bicep exercise, you may start lying on a bench set on incline and perform bicep curls in that position.
Once you reach failure, you can then stand up and continue performing curls while standing.
The standing curls are much easier to perform than lying on an incline bench, since you can engage more of you core and use momentum to help you complete more reps. Standing gives you the mechanical advantage and will allow you to continue exerting yourself and working the muscle.
Benefits of Mechanical Dropsets
Muscle Fibre Recruitment: Mechanical dropsets force your body to recruit a wide range of muscle fibres, including those that are often underutilised. This comprehensive activation can lead to significant muscle growth.
Time Under Tension: By extending the set through mechanical changes, you increase the time your muscles spend under tension. This prolonged stress can result in greater hypertrophy.
Plateau Breaking: If you have hit a plateau in your training, mechanical dropsets can provide the shock your muscles need to break through and continue progressing.
Efficiency: Mechanical dropsets allow you to work multiple aspects of a muscle group within a single set, making your workouts more efficient.
Tips for Incorporating Mechanical Dropsets
Prioritise Form: Maintain proper form throughout the entire set to minimise the risk of injury.
Choose Appropriate Weight: Select a weight that challenges you but allows you to perform the exercise with good form. Remember, you will be doing multiple variations within one set.
Warm-Up: Always warm up adequately before attempting mechanical dropsets to prevent injury.
Mechanical dropsets are a great addition to your fitness arsenal, allowing you to maximise muscle recruitment, time under tension, and overall workout efficiency. Whether you are looking to break through plateaus, build muscle, or simply add variety to your workouts, incorporating mechanical dropsets can help you reach your fitness goals faster and more effectively. As with any training technique, remember to listen to your body and gradually incorporate mechanical dropsets into your routine for the best results.
Do you use mechanical dropsets in your training? If you do, which movements are your favourite to incorporate? Let us know in the comments!