Both drop sets and supersets are two key techniques for breaking through plateaus.
Let us know if this sounds familiar and then we’ll tell you if you need drop sets and supersets. You’re kicking your ass at the gym day after day trying to make a better body for yourself. You put in the work, you push hard, but you suddenly stop making progress. You’re stuck. You’ve hit a plateau.
A training plateau can be one of the most frustrating aspects of bodybuilding. You feel like you lost control. No matter what you do, you aren’t seeing the change that you so desperately desire. You keep working hard, keeping grinding, stick to that rigid schedule but just can’t seem to make it happen. What do you do?
Well, we have two methods that can help you bust through that plateau and start giving you those awesome gains again: drop sets and supersets. We’re sure you’ve heard of these techniques before. They aren’t mind blowing new tricks, but they are an important part of a bodybuilder’s arsenal when you find yourself stuck. Knowing how to perform these and when to perform these, plus knowing just what they can do for your gains will make all the difference in the world.
Let’s talk drop sets and supersets and explain what these two techniques can bring to your workouts and those plateau bursting goals. With the right approach to your training and maximizing the best for your gains, you will better see those training wants and needs for the best results.
What Is A Training Plateau?
A training plateau is when your training stalls out and there isn’t much progress. When we work out, our muscles get used to those exercises over time, so eventually they start to anticipate what’s coming and growth starts to stall out (1). This can be devastating for our gains and will only hurt us in the long run.
If you aren’t one to want to change up your routine totally, although you need to eventually, there are ways to sort of cheat the system that can really burst through plateaus so you see those gains you want most. Here is where drop sets and supersets come into play and these will work wonders for you as you look to break plateaus and increase muscle growth and overall gains.
Drop Sets & Supersets For Busting Through
It’s time to talk drop sets and supersets. As two of the most effective ways to burst through a training plateau, these will work wonders when added to your routine for the best gains and overall results.
So, let’s say you can’t seem to move up in weight anymore. You push and push but always seem to hit failure within a work set. What do you do? Drop sets are a great way to keep stressing your muscles and increasing your strength so you continue to push and push past that plateau (2).
Drop sets are a technique where you drop weight after you reach failure during a particular exercise and continue to add reps to the workout. For example, let’s say you hit failure with dumbbell shoulder presses at 10 reps. Drop some weight and then do 10 more reps. Then after that, drop a few more pounds and do another 10 reps. What this does is keeps the muscle working, but since it was to failure, you need to drop weight so you can actually lift the weight.
This way, even if you hit your limit, you can keep pushing further and further until even the slightest amount of weight is killing you. And by doing this, you can continue to push yourself without sacrificing form, keeping your workout safe and allowing you to continue to grow even when all hope seems lost.
There is no specific or magic number to drop when you perform this technique. The key is to be able to drop enough weight so you can complete another set to the point of almost failure. By constantly pushing yourself, constantly stressing your muscles, and hopefully constantly breaking past that plateau you will see better results so come training and competition time, you will tackle any and all of those wants and needs.
Does your workout consist of a traditional body part training split? Are you starting to hit that wall? Then maybe it’s time to start incorporating supersets into your routine. A superset consists of pairing two movements that normally work opposing muscles (deadlifts and squats for example) and the point is to complete one set of each exercise one after the other without rest to create one “superset.”
Supersets are nothing new and anyone familiar with hardcore exercising should already know what it is. But maybe you aren’t including them in your workout. If you’re stuck, maybe you should reconsider.
Supersets are great at getting a pump, when your muscle tissue becomes so filled with blood that your muscles literally look like they are about to explode. All bodybuilders want to gain that pump and a superset is the perfect way to get it. You can also save time in your workout because you are limiting rest and allowing yourself to just plow right through any workout (3).
A superset will get every last bit out of your muscles in a workout. It will take you to new levels and hopefully push you past the limits that have been preventing you from making progress in the gym so you see the best results possible.
When it comes to your training and performance, drop sets and supersets are exactly what you need to see the best gains possible. By working to eliminate any muscle confusion, and take down those dreaded training plateaus, these two approaches to training are perfect for seeing the best gains possible. You work hard inside and out of the gym and should be rewarded for all that hard work. Place drop sets and supersets into your routine today and see how these can transform your results.
- Frontiers (2016). “Overcome strength-training plateau with accentuated eccentric loading”. (source)
- Schoenfeld, B.; et al. (2018). “Can Drop Set Training Enhance Muscle Growth?”. (source)
- Weakley, J.; et al. (2017). “The effects of traditional, superset, and tri-set resistance training structures on perceived intensity and physiological responses”. (source)