Size Secret #5: Neurological Overload Set

Overload the muscle to force adaption & growth


BEN PAKULSKI: “Neurological overload set training is something I do that contributes to muscle growth and overcoming plateaus. On the final set of a given exercise — usually for each exercise in a workout — I perform four consecutive drop sets in 20% increments and try to knock off at least 5–6 reps with each weight. I find this to be a great way to overload the muscle, as well as overload the nervous system to force adaptation.

An example of NOS would be lateral raises for shoulders. I choose to do laterals seated because it removes one variable of cheating. My typical NOS set for laterals would look something like this: 70-pound dumbbells for 6–8 reps, then 55s for 6–8, 40s for 6–8 and finally 30s for 10 reps.”


  • 1. Bent-over lateral raises: 5 sets of 12 reps*
  • 2. Seated lateral raises: 5 sets of 8 reps*
  • 3. Machine overhead presses: 5 sets of 10 reps
  • 4. Reverse pec-deck flys: 4 sets of 10 reps
  • 5. Cable lateral raises: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • 6. Upright rows: 4 sets of 10 reps*
  • *Perform an NOS set (four drop sets where the weight is decreased 20% each time) on the last set.

Training Tip #1: Pakulski only trains shoulders once every other week because it’s a strong body part that tends to overpower others. When he does train delts, he likes to use high volume (i.e., 26 total sets in this sample workout).

Training Tip #2: The first compound movement doesn’t show up until the third exercise in the workout. This preexhausts the delts to ensure that the triceps won’t give out before then.

Train to get huge! See what Steve Kuclo does for size and strength.

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