Tip: Train Beyond Failure the Smart Way

There's a right way and a wrong way to train to failure for muscular gains. This is one of the right ways. Check it out.

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Mechanical Drop Sets for Muscle Growth

This is based on the same principle as regular drop sets: once you hit failure on an exercise, you find a way to continue doing work. Mainly, you reduce the weight so you can get more reps in. With "mechanical" drop sets you keep the SAME weight on the bar or machine but you change the exercise slightly so that you gain a mechanical advantage and can continue while working the same muscles.

A mechanical drop set can include two or three variations. The order, whether you're using two or three variations, is always to start with the weakest variation and work toward the strongest. That way, when you hit failure on the first movement, you can still get some reps on the next one. Here's what it looks like with a shoulder exercise:

Front Raise: Mechanical Drop Sets

  • Select a load that you can get 6-8 reps with on the first exercise.
  • Take each of the two or three variations used in a set to technical failure or close to it. Remember, you're using the same weight for all the exercises selected.
  • Take 10 seconds of rest when switching between exercise variations. This won't negatively affect any of the growth-producing stimulus but will allow you to get 1-2 more reps per variation.

Want to use the same method for biceps? Yes, yes you do. Here's how.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.