With its inherent ability to allow for increasing the challenge and to work out anywhere while directly affecting your strength-to-weight ratio, more and more people are discovering the efficiency of bodyweight training. This kind of workout needs no class instruction or equipment.
Unfortunately, the same freedom from the constraints of a formal class can also be detrimental if the person performing the exercises ignores or is unfamiliar with some fundamental theory regarding muscle function, building and recruitment.
As an example, let’s say that you want to perform press ups (push-ups). You can add a significant amount of weight to a bar in order to create a greater challenge, but what can you do without equipment when you’re only recruiting a third of your body weight when performing a standard push-up?
If you add more reps, you increase endurance but are limited as to how much size you can build up.
This is where mechanical drop sets come into play.
Mechanical Drop Sets are derived from the same concept as used in body building simply referred to as drop sets in which you simply lift a weight to failure (meaning you cannot perform another repetition,) at which time you remove some of the weight and continue lifting, dropping weight until you cannot perform another repetition at any given weight.
This is known as going past failure as you continue to complete repetitions after you would normally stop at a single, designated target weight.
A mechanical drop set follows the same concept. Instead of using lighter weights, we discover more difficult ways to recruit the same muscles and then move to easier variations as we progress through the set.
An example would be to do inverted pushups and move to clapping pushups, and then on to standard pushups.
This type of exercise can be quite a shock to the system so be sure and adequately warm up first.
After that, you need to reframe your goals from completing a targeted number of reps and sets and move to a more organic feel.
Listen to your body. It will respond and quite possibly amaze you.