Mechanical Drop Sets vs. Strip Sets

Mechanical-Drop-Sets-vs.-Strip-Sets UXO Supplements

How often do you incorporate Drop sets into your training? Did you know there are 2 different methods that can help you maximize muscle fatigue and stimulate muscle growth? Today we look at Mechanical Dropsets vs. Stripsets and their difference of approach.

Mechanical Drop Sets: The Basics

Mechanical drop sets involves changing the resistance on a machine or angle of a lift. The weight doesn't change, but the mechanical advantage does. You start with the most mechanically difficult movement. Once you reach failure you change the angle to a more mechanically efficient movement (i.e. decline pushups, regular pushups, incline pushups). The idea behind mechanical drop sets is as follows:

  1. Select Multiple Machines or Equipment: Begin your exercise with a heavy machine or weight that allows you to perform a specific number of reps with proper form. Go until almost failure, or absolute failure.

  2. Adjust the Machine: After completing the initial set, adjust the angle or resistance of a machine/bench/arm angle. Then continue again until failure. 

  3. Repeat the Process: Continue changing resistance or angle to maximize muscle fatigue and breakdown.

Key Features of Mechanical Drop Sets

  • Equipment Variability: They rely on the availability of different machines or equipment, making them suitable for gym-goers with access to a wide range of workout options.

  • Targeted Muscle Engagement: You can specifically target muscles or muscle groups by selecting equipment that emphasizes different aspects of the exercise.

  • Effective Muscle Fatigue: Mechanical drop sets efficiently induce muscle fatigue by altering the resistance and leverages.

  • Moderate Rest Periods: There is usually a brief rest period as you transition between machines or adjust equipment.

Strip Sets: The Basics

Strip sets, are designed to push your muscles to the limit by continuously reducing weight without rest intervals between sets. Unlike mechanical drop sets, strip sets can be performed with a single piece of equipment or free weights. 

Key Features of Strip Sets

  • Extreme Fatigue: Start with weights you can do for 10-12 reps to achieve failure, immediately drop weight 10-30% and perform again to failure. Repeat as many times as you want to induce hypertrophy. 

  • Minimal Rest: There's no rest between sets, creating a continuous and grueling workout.

  • Advanced Level: Strip sets are more suitable for advanced lifters due to their intensity

  • Effective for Plateau Breaking: They are effective for breaking through strength plateaus and stimulating muscle growth.

Which Should You Choose?

The choice between mechanical drop sets and strip sets hinges on your fitness level, goals, and the equipment available. Here's a quick guide to help you decide:

  • Mechanical Drop Sets: These are versatile and can be performed by individuals with access to a range of machines or equipment. They allow you to target specific muscles and are suitable for a broader range of fitness levels.

  • Strip Sets: Reserved for advanced lifters seeking extreme muscle fatigue and plateau-breaking benefits. They can be performed with standard gym equipment and are ideal for those looking to take their workouts to the next level.


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