Weight Loss

What are drop sets and how to do them correctly?

A toned body and prominent muscles are the dream of many. But dreaming is not enough, you need to actively act. The right workouts will help you achieve results. For example, drop sets, when performed correctly, will significantly increase muscle mass.

What is it?

If you have heard the word “drop-set”, but do not know what it is, then first find out the essence of this concept. “Drop” – to drop, “set” – to assign or build on (in this case, the word means “approach”). That is, a drop set is an exercise with weight loss during execution, which is most often used in strength sports, for example, in bodybuilding.


It can consist of two or more sets. The first set is performed with maximum weights and literally until the muscles fail, that is, until the moment when the exercise seems impossible. Then the weight is reduced, and the exercise is performed again to failure.

Weight is reduced by an average of 20-25%, just such a decrease will reduce the load, but at the same time provide the muscles tired after the first set with tension and full-fledged workout.

What are they?

There are several types of drop sets:

  • The first is classic or double. It consists of only two sets, the weight is reduced only once for the entire exercise. In this case, the reduction can be 20-50%. With a more significant decrease, the load will be less and the number of repetitions will be more.
  • A triple drop set means three sets and two weight reductions. The burden at a time should be reduced by 20-25%.
  • A quad drop set consists of four sets, and the mass is dropped three times (20% each).
  • Drop superset. A superset is a series of two different exercises that use nearby muscles, that is, antagonists (those muscles that perform actions that are opposite to each other), which include, for example, triceps and biceps, latissimus dorsi and pectoral muscles. So, when performing a drop superset, a superset is performed with maximum weights, then the weight is reduced for each exercise in the series, and the set will be performed again. This option is quite difficult, but it allows you to achieve maximum results.
  • Reverse drop set. If in the classic version the weight decreased, then in this one it increases. That is, the first set is performed with minimal weights (approximately 20-40% of the maximum mass), then the weight increases by 20-25%, but the number of repetitions decreases. Then the mass increases again, and the number of repetitions decreases.
  • A combo drop set is similar to a superset drop set. But if in the latter, antagonist muscles are involved in the exercise, then the combined option involves a combination of two different exercises that allow you to work out one muscle group. Weight will decrease for each exercise.
  • The forced drop set is similar to the classic one, but differs from it in almost complete absence of rest. In most cases, the help of a partner is needed to reduce the weight (for example, remove the discs from the bar or change the position of the simulator).
  • A progressive drop set requires maximum preparation. First, a warm-up is required, which will warm up the muscles and avoid injury. Then a working approach is performed, that is, with a normal working weight and with the usual number of repetitions without muscle failure. This is followed by a slight increase in weight and a triple drop set. And after rest and another increase in mass, a quadruple drop set is performed.

What can a drop set give?

Train right

So what can a drop set do?

  • Increased muscle mass. If you do the exercises as usual, the muscles will get used to it and simply will not increase. For significant growth, an unusual or so-called shock load is required. With it, blood flow to muscle fibers increases, they receive more nutrients and, therefore, work at full strength and grow.
  • Increased endurance. When performing drop sets, muscle fibers that are responsible for endurance work, as a result of which the muscles become more resistant even to increased loads.
  • Increased strength. The maximum load allows you to work out the muscles as much as possible and makes them develop.

Who is this workout suitable for?

Drop sets are more suitable for professionals or “advanced” amateurs, in other words, people with a certain physical training and developed muscles. But if beginners can perform such exercises, they will either do it incorrectly (and this will reduce the effectiveness of the drop set), or injure muscles or joints.

Pretty boy

With regard to gender, the exercise is suitable for both men and women. But since the latter does not require a significant increase in muscle mass, the burden should not be maximized. In addition, it is not worth working to the point of muscle failure.

How to do?

How do you do drop sets? A few basic rules:

  1. Basically, any weight-bearing exercise will do, such as machine deadlifts, bench press, standing press, and dumbbell raises. They can be performed both on strength machines, and with a barbell or with dumbbells. When exercising on a machine or barbell, you may need the help of a partner.
  2. Workouts that include drop sets should not be too frequent, as the shock load will exhaust the muscles and literally burn them. In addition, after such a shock, muscle tissue will take time to recover (otherwise, the risk of injury will increase). It will be enough 1-2 times a month.
  3. Training cannot and should not consist of drop sets alone. The best option is to use the drop set as a reinforcement or some kind of addition. So, if you perform several exercises for one muscle group, then it is better to apply a drop set for the latter (preferably basic). Then you should either end the workout or start using another muscle group. At the same time, it is better to include only one drop set per muscle group in the workout, otherwise you will get overworked.
  4. Start with a double drop set, this is the easiest option. Then go to the triple, and then to the quad. The load should increase gradually.
  5. The muscles should be warm, but not fatigued. So, it is best to first warm up, then do a few work exercises, and then move on to the drop set. Then the workout can be continued.
  6. The number of repetitions will depend on the preparation of the student and on his physical capabilities. It’s worth working to the point of failure, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear yourself out.
  7. Rest should be short. Its maximum duration is 15-20 seconds.

Successful and productive workouts to you!

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