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In this week’s episode of the Discover Strength Podcast, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a young up-and-comer in the field of exercise science to discuss drop set training.

Max Coleman is a Master’s student at Lehman College in New York, under the tutelage of Dr. Brad Schoenfeld. He’s already starting to make a name for himself in the strength and conditioning space and we were lucky to have him join us today. We discussed a recent meta-analysis that Max spearheaded comparing traditional multi-set training versus what’s referred to as “drop set” training.

While the term “drop set” is not properly defined in the exercise science literature, Max’s paper does a good job of defining a working definition: “… the strategy is typically performed by taking an exercise to (or close to) momentary failure followed by immediate reductions in load (i.e., minimal to no rest between the drops in weight) and then performing as many additional repetitions as possible (29). Depending on the protocol, a single, or multiple “drops” (i.e., reductions) in the load can be performed either on some or all sets.”

It’s something our listeners or clients may have done in their own workouts. Typically designated with a total number of repetitions as a “breakdown set” (i.e. 20-rep breakdown, 30-rep breakdown, etc.). There are many ways to do a drop set, but this analysis looked to compare the effectiveness or this advanced technique versus a more traditional multi-set training approach.

Max and I discuss the types of papers included, why a study like this is important, and what this type of training design can tell us about the intensity of effort in a set. (Working harder for a shorter time, versus doing a traditional multi-set training approach.)
This episode is filled with great information comparing single versus multi-set training and why something like drop sets, might be a great addition to your current routine.

Keep an eye out for more coming from Max in the future. He’s currently in the process of putting together a first-of-its-kind study on “Deloads” in conjunction with Dr. Brad Schoenfeld and Dr. PAK, both former guests of the Discover Strength Podcast.

Check out the meta-analysis that Max led HERE.

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