The difference between strip sets and drop sets is when a spotter is used. Strip sets are done while you are completing your set, so that your spotter takes the weight off a little to help you complete the next rep. We will be briefly looking at the benefits of using this technique and any possible injury that can be done.
The greatest bodybuilders of all time have all said from the beginning that we need to go past the point of failure in order to grow muscle. What they actually mean is to tear down or damage the muscle so that good nutrition will quickly repair the damage caused. The muscle then increases its ability to lift a weight because it has adapted to the stress.
It needs to be noted that science has not proved that this way of training is the fastest way to gain muscle. There are just too many other variables involved in the speed of muscle growth. Nevertheless there have been many different variations developed to go past the point of failure.
Pyramids, drop sets, negatives, forced reps the list seems endless on all the different ways that bodybuilders ‘go past the point of failure’. The art of spotting correctly usually comes with practice and knowing the person or partner that you train with.
Using strip sets you are relying on your spotter to reduce the weight as you reach the point of failure. Doing this type of intensity should not be done with every workout as there is a lot of damage that you can do and unless you are on steroids you need time to repair.
Drop-sets is something that you can do yourself without using a spotter. Going down the dumbbell rack as you continue to go lighter and lighter without stopping is a technique that is as old as the gym industry itself and is a well-used technique.
A good example of a strip set would be doing seated dips with the plates on your lap. As your triceps start to fail your spotter would remove a plate as you reach the point of failure. This will get to a point when you are only doing dips with your body-weight and still be failing.
A good example of drops sets would be doing alternate dumbbell curls until you fail and then selecting a light pair of dumbbells and continuing on down the dumbbell rack. Both of these methods are equally effective in reaching that point that Arnold called the threshold in Pumping Iron.