Powerful Set Variations For Building Muscle

Drop Sets

Complete 2+ sets of the same exercise — without rest — decreasing the weight used in each subsequent set. Weight on drop sets can decrease by 25-50% from set-to-set, depending on how many mini-sets you do.

Example:

1. Dumbbell Chest Press, 100 lbs, 12 reps
2. Dumbbell Chest Press, 70 lbs, 12 reps
3. Dumbbell Chest Press, 45 lbs, 12 reps
4. Dumbbell Chest Press, 25 lbs, 12 repsDumbbell-Bench-Press

Strip Sets

Complete 3+ sets of the same exercise — without rest — increasing the weight used in each subsequent set. This conventionally works best on machines with a weight stack, but it can also work with dumbbells (just keep in mind that hoarding 10 sets of dumbbells might be a little issue). Start strip sets with a moderate weight and continuously jump by 10-50% per set, depending on how many mini-sets you do within one strip set. I like to increase until failure.

Example:

1. Calf Raises, 100 lbs, 15 reps
2. Calf Raises, 125 lbs, 15 reps
3. Calf Raises, 150 lbs, 15 reps
4. Calf Raises, 175 lbs, 15 reps

8. Calf Raises, 250 lbs, 10 reps (reached failure)Seated-Calf-Raise

Burnout Sets

Complete an exercise using a light weight (less than half the lbs in a normal set) until you literally can’t complete another rep. Do burnout sets either as a standalone set or as the final set in a super set/circuit set; they’re most effective at the END of a workout.

Example:

1. Dumbbell Chest Press, 50 lbs, 12 reps
2. Dumbbell Chest Press, 20 lbs, 38 reps (to failure)

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