Drop Set & Pause Break | What Are They? How to practice them?

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Joe Dispenza


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By the healthiergang writer , medical student.

Drop Set & Pause Break: What Are They?

Il drop set (or even stripping) and the rest break are 2 training techniques that allow you to increase the intensity of a certain series.

It is important to state that strength techniques are not methods that must be applied systematically to each set of the training session. More importantly, these techniques must be taken into consideration only if you already have a good technique for the given exercise.

For example, if you are a beginner with a certain movement or have recently approached weight training, it is better to build a solid foundation rather than try your hand at skills you are not prepared for. The risk is to seriously harm yourself as well as to fall into overtraining

Drop Set: How To Practice?

Il drop set is perhaps one of the most classic techniques for increase the intensity of a series. This technique consists in bringing a series to technical failure (as long as it is possible to maintain a correct execution). As soon as this point has been reached, we move to a weight lower than the previous one by about 30 or 50% and continue with other repetitions until the technical failure is reached again.

The effectiveness of this technique lies in allowing an extension of the set in a point where the muscle is already being tried by a great effort. The result is a increased time under tension as well as a recruitment of certain muscle fibers that would otherwise remain dormant and unused.

If done correctly this technique causes severe burning in the muscle due to the accumulation of waste metabolites from muscle exercise (lactic acid and acid ions) as well as inducing a greater state of oxygen deficiency in muscle tissue.

It has been shown that these two conditions just described are directly correlated to a greater stimulus of protein synthesis and therefore to a hypertrophy in the muscle. Theoretically there is no limit to the number of times that the drop set can be applied to a given series, but in general it is optimal to perform from one to a maximum of three drop sets for a given series.

Obviously after the use of this technique the execution of the given exercise will be very taxed and therefore you will no longer be able to perform in the same way as the previous series. For this reason the drop set it is best to apply it to the last set of the given exercise.

Rest Pause: How Is It Practiced?

There is still a break it is a more demanding intensity technique compared to the drop set. This method consists in bringing a given series to technical failure. At this point you rest for about 10 or 15 seconds and then resume performing the same exercise trying to perform as many repetitions as possible until you reach the technical failure again.

Finally rest for another 15 to 20 seconds and then do the same thing as before: perform other repetitions up to the third technical failure. Sometimes it can be useful for someone to watch the set you want to apply rest pause to so that you can force a couple of reps on the third mini set.

The way it works this technique is more or less analogous to the way the drop set works, except for the fact that the weight used is the same and therefore the already fatigued muscle is again subjected to an effort with a weight similar to the previous one.

Basically the muscle does not find any facilitation but is forced to work at the same level of intensity. Also for the rest pause it is worth saying that the execution of the following series of the same exercise will be very compromised and it is therefore better to apply it to the last series of the given exercise.

How To Use These Techniques?

As mentioned at the beginning these intensity techniques they don't have to become something to use every time you want to increase the intensity of the exercise. If it is true that these techniques induce greater muscle damage, and therefore greater stimulation for the muscle, it also means that the CNS will be more taxed along with the muscle's recovery capacity.

Excessive use of these methods can be counterproductive as it could induce harm to which the body it is unable to recover. Using these techniques up to 4 times in 3 workouts per week is more than enough. Having said that, the benefits of a correct use of these techniques are many, from a greater hypertrophic response to help in making progress for medium or high level athletes.

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