Are you looking for a unique way to end your next lower body focused session? Bodybuilding coach Eugene Teo has just the challenge for you. He recently shared the parameters of an incredibly hard workout, which he called the Bulgarian Split Squat Drop Set of Death. Teo says he first learned the format from the late, great strength legend John Meadows. As the name suggests, you might just feel like your legs have collapsed before you finish all the repetitions.
The format is simple: before taking up the challenge, work up to a maximum weight of eight reps for that exercise, the Bulgarian split squat. If you are not familiar with the movement, check out our guide and video below for important form tips. If you see Teo perform repetitions in his video, however, you will notice a difference from our version of the movement: He sticks to a bar for increased stability, a wrinkle for the exercise that he credits Meadows. This is not necessarily wrong, especially considering that the goal of the challenge is to pile up and build muscle. Especially with the heavy weights, feel free to hold on to a bar or stand for support.
Once you know the weight for a maximum of eight repetitions, perform four rounds of drop sets. This means that you complete the first set, after which you immediately grab a lighter weight and move on to the next set without rest. “If you work up to, say, 80 pounds, you might be able to do 80 pounds, 60 pounds, 40 pounds, 20 pounds and finish on body weight,” says Teo. Consider losing five to 10 pounds between sets if you can not start that heavy – but finish with body weight anyway.
But there are even more ways to increase your metabolism. According to Teo, the creator of the challenge, Meadows, implemented another method of increasing ante. “Add a 10-second isometric hold in the lower position at the end of each set.” You do not have to include the break, but increasing the time under tension will make this workout even more effective – and punishing.
You are not even done at that point. One of the great features of the Bulgarian split squat is that it is a one-sided exercise – so you still have to hit the other leg. Good luck going after all those reps.
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