Here’s How, When And Why You Should Do Drop Sets


When most people start working out, it’s often with a single goal in mind – aesthetics. To look good as quickly as possible. And while this is perfectly understandable, research suggests that it’s really good to develop some functional strength and mobility before starting to focus on the ways you can improve how your body looks. Drop sets are a trick you should definitely have in your arsenal when pursuing strength, building muscle and overall health and wellness.

So what exactly is a drop set? To put it simply, it’s a technique that allows you to keep on lifting even after your muscles become fatigued by either lowering the weight, changing the type of exercise or doing fewer reps. The goal of exercising in such a fashion is to increase muscular hypertrophy, or in layman’s terms, obtaining “muscle pump.”

Drop sets can be performed with almost any piece of gym equipment, but they’re most often done with barbells, dumbbells and certain plate-loaded machines. Machines can be effective for this because the weight can quickly be changed, allowing your muscles some time to recover, and this is exactly the point of a drop set: to keep your muscles working in a fatigued state. There is no one way to approach doing drop sets, and there are many different variations.

Here are a few ways to drop set your workout:

Conventional Drop Set

The traditional way of doing a drop set is to start with a normal exercise set, drop the weight when your muscles begin to feel fatigued and continue to work to failure.

Strict Drop Set

Follow your initial set by stripping some of the weight and perform each of the sets for a predetermined number of reps.

Post-Fatigue Partial

Instead of stripping the weight in the middle of the workout, start off with a lighter weight and perform a full set. Then, once your muscles start to feel fatigued, put on the extra weight and finish with half reps.


Complete your set normally, then take a short break and continue with the same weight. Works great with high-intensity, low-rep exercises. So, now that you have these basic guidelines on how to perform a drop set, it’s also important to remember NOT to do them all the time, for every exercise.

Rather, they should be saved for accessory exercises or small muscle groups. It’s best to save them for the end of a workout and do the most challenging exercises when you’re still fresh. They’re a great way to motivate you and rattle up your routine a bit as well as make your workout more dynamic and fun.

RELATED: Here Are The Best Tips For Increasing Muscle Pump

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