Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What are Breakdown Sets?

Breakdown sets, also known as descending sets or drop sets, involve quickly reducing the weight being lifted with minimal rest, thus allowing the lifter to perform additional repetitions. The purpose of this is when failure occurs, there is still potential to do more reps with less weight. Breakdown sets are a method than can be utilized to train beyond failure. They can be used in a single set fashion or multiple sets/breakdowns.

Breakdown sets are most effective when a spotter (s) is present to remove weights or change pins on machines.

Historically, breakdown sets were used to enhance muscle growth/volume and endurance, primarily utilized by bodybuilders. However, breakdown sets may be used to target muscle strength as a near maximal weight can be lifted for 1-2 reps,  5% of the weight can be reduced and 1-2 additional reps are performed, etc., until the goal amount of reps are completed.

Breakdown training is used successfully in the training of many elite athletes.

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