Effects of the Drop-set and Reverse Drop-set Methods on the Muscle Activity and Intramuscular Oxygenation of the Triceps Brachii among Trained and Untrained Individuals

J Sports Sci Med. 2016 Dec 1;15(4):562-568. eCollection 2016 Dec.


Influence of different load exercise to muscle activity during subsequent exercise with 75% of one repetition maximum (RM) load among trained and untrained individuals was verified. Resistance-trained men who were involved in resistance training (n = 16) and healthy young men who did not exercise regularly (n = 16) were recruited for this study. Each subject performed bench pressing with a narrow grip exercise using two different training set methods, the drop-set (DS) (3 sets × 2-10 repetitions with 95-75% of 1RM) and the reverse drop-set (RDS) (3 sets × 3-10 repetitions with 55-75% of 1RM). The mean concentric contraction power, root mean square (RMS) of electromyography (EMG), area under the oxygenated hemoglobin (Oxy-Hb) curve, and time constant for muscle oxygen consumption (TcVO2mus) values of the triceps brachii were measured during and after the DS and RDS. The trained group demonstrated significantly higher mean muscle power (242.9 ± 39.6 W vs. 215.8 ± 31.7 W), RMS of EMG (86.4 ± 10.4 % vs. 68.3 ± 9.6 %), and area under the Oxy-Hb curve (38.6 ± 7.4 %• sec vs. 29.3 ± 5.8 %• sec) values during the DS than during the RDS (p < 0.05). However, in the untrained group none of the parameters differed significantly for both the DS and RDS. Furthermore, a negative correlation was detected between the area under the Oxy-Hb curve and muscle thickness (r = -0.51, p < 0.01). Long-term effects of DS on muscle strengthening and hypertrophy will be explored in further research.

Keywords: Drop-set; NIRS; hypertrophy; hypoxia; resistance exercise.