|Training Intensity Principles: Stripping Method
Alternate Names: Drop sets, descending sets
The stripping method involves reducing the weight you use as you
begin to fail at the end of a set, so that you can continue to do
more repetitions. When you come to an end of an exercise of a given
set with a certain weight, you may or may not be surprised to know
that performing additional sets immediately following the initial
set is feasible if you reduce the weight. The main benefit of this,
is that each time you take a plate off and reduce the poundage to
perform additional sets, the muscle(s) which you are working are
forced to recruit additional muscle fibers. Similarly to the cheat
rep method, the stripping method is best performed at the end of a
workout, during your last set. At this time, muscle fiber
recruitment will be at its peak. An example of this can be seen
with individuals who start a dumbbell curl exercise, and perform it
until they have reached temporary muscular failure, they then take
another weight off the rack, which they feel they can handle for a
few more quality repetitions, and recruit new muscle fibers to
achieve temporary muscular failure once again. This is a very
effective shocking method.
You can apply the stripping method through one drop in weight per
set, or you can do one major set with several drops. Some will
complete their final bench press set and continue to remove weight
until only the empty bar brings muscular failure.
Barbells - When applying the stripping method with
barbells, use small weights. For example, if you are using 225
pounds, use combinations of smaller plates, rather than two 45
pound plates. This way, stripping is performed most easily.
Dumbbells - When applying the stripping method with
dumbbells, keep them close by so you can go from set to set
Perform the stripping method for: Machine shoulder press, or
machine bench press, dumbbell chest press, dumbbell curl, leg
Do not perform the stripping method for: Squat, deadlift, or
any bodyweight exercises like non weighted crunches,
hyperextensions, pushups, etc.
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