Drop-sets are considered as one of the best intensive techniques in the history of bodybuilding and are designed in an entirely new way to stimulate muscle growth. Drop-set — special reception with which approach to exercise is done to failure or almost to failure, then dumped some weight and run approach continues with a reduced weight. This method was originally opened by the editor of "body Culture" Henry Atkinson in 1947. Since then, this explosive technique was honored to get a considerable amount of different names, including descending sets, triple drop sets and strip sets.

Bodybuilders are unique athletes because their main purpose are only "cosmetic improvements", not the development of efficiency and productivity. That is why they prefer drop sets- because they are used to increase the size of muscles (hypertrophy). You never see football players, sprinters or other athletes using drop sets, because this technique does not increase the strength, power or speed and, therefore, as a rule, is not operated. But, if the goal is pure mass, then drop sets are ideal!

How to work with the drop sets

Let's assume that You do approach "liftings on a biceps" with 40 pound barbell. Here You have done the 10th repeat, which was pretty difficult. The eleventh was extremely serious, even with a little cheating. But the 12-th led You to the limit. Gun to your head, but You will not be able to perform the 13th repeat. You have reached the "honest" failure. But if you take away 15-20 per cent of the weight over the bar, then You will be able to continue.

Even if You reach the point of muscle failure after 12 reps in a conventional approach, this does not mean that You have reached absolute failure. You have reached what is called "positive failure", and Your muscles can still continue the approach, but with reduced weight. You see, in the usual approach, performed to failure, not activate all muscle fibers of muscle groups. Uses only the amount of fibers required to lift a certain weight as needed. Taking off some weight and continuing the set, You recrutarea more and more "reserve" muscle fibers. Drop-sets trigger "stubborn" muscle fibers, causing growth that cannot be achieved by performing a conventional approach, consisting of 6-12-year-repetitions.

Wait a second, isn't there a hiccup? My usual program is for 9-12 approaches on the muscle group, and when I use drop-sets, you can only do 6 approaches. Does this mean that I "cut down" their program, and hence their results? Of course not! If you have the opportunity to fully stimulate the muscles with fewer sets, but do it differently, then what's the harm? Any approach will produce fatigue. However, tired muscles will continue to receive a maximum load, so that reduced weight will be proportional to the previous, more heavy You used, being fresh and full of energy.

Creative methods to perform the drop-sets

The drop sets were a favorite technique of the training of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thanks to him this method is so popular today and almost every gym can contemplate this technique. But even a drop-sets being one of the many other advanced techniques bodybuilding workouts can be performed in various ways. Here are 12 of the most interesting and common ones:

#1 Drop-sets with a bar (strip sets)
Arnold is a method often liked to use for "lifting on a biceps", but it can also be used in any other exercise where the bar is activated. All You need to do is to reset the drives, as soon as you reach failure. Let's say You do presses lying with 50 kg barbell. The weight is around 20 kg + on 3 discs weighing 5 kg on each side. Reaching failure with a given weight, for example, by the 10th repetition, You reduce the weight by 20% (obtained on 5 kg on each side) and immediately continue execution until the next failure with a weight of 40 kg. Then reduce weight by 20% (percentage of the original rather than from an intermediate weight — reduce the weight each time the same) and move to the last point of failure with a weight bar in 30 kg. the Trick is to choose the right wheels, if you're going to use drop-sets (instead of two 15 kg discs, using three 5 kg disk so that you can reduce weight).

#2 Drop-sets on block simulators (up the unit)
To remove the plate from the rod can be cumbersome and time-consuming occupation (as long as You do not have a partner). On block gym drop-sets to perform the easiest. All You have to do is pull the pin from the weight stack and move it up to lighter weight. On the simulator for leg extensions, for example, even no need to leave the trainer for weight changes. This allows you to quickly change the weight, which greatly increases the intensity of the approach.

#3 Drop sets with dumbbells
Perform drop-sets in the exercises with dumbbells is very convenient. For example, if You are doing lateral rises with dumbbells, You can start with 12 kg then take a 10 kg dumbbells and complete approach with 8 kg dumbbells. In this scenario, You don't need to stray too far from the rack of dumbbells that will allow you to quickly change the load. Try this technique on your next day study deltas or bicep and You will feel how Your arms and shoulders are pumped like balloons.

#4 Tight drop sets (small decrease in weight)
Short drop-sets — a small reduction in weight, which makes the approach harder and harder. Compressed drop-set will include any reduction in weight from five to twenty percent. These drop-sets are often used for smaller muscle groups and isolation exercises.

#5 Wide drop-sets (a large reduction in weight)
Unlike compressed drop-sets wide by reducing more weight, more reps. These drop-sets used for large muscle groups (squats, bench press, leg press, the thrust rod in the slope) and a lower weight percentage is about 30%.

#6 Drop-set 50% (method of "halving" or 6-20)
This method of performing a drop-set allows You to use two totally opposite range of repetitions, each of which has its own impact on the muscle cell. It facilitates muscle growth plus an incredible pump. For starters, You need to pick a weight with which You can make no more than 6 reps. Doing six reps reduce the weight by half and do 20 more reps. Unlike other methods, which usually weight decreases 2 times per set (3 different weights), here it occurs only once.

#7 Powerful drop-sets (nismapentry drop-sets)
These draw-sets first adored Mr..Olympia Larry Scott. He used this technique to develop monstrous Delta and hands even though their genetic limitations. Larry believed that heavy weight and low reps (six reps) is the best way to simultaneously create the size and develop strength. Range of 6 reps allows you to use heavier weights, which help maintain the strength and build up muscle fibers. Start with six repetitions and then reduce the weight of 2 times by 10-15% and perform another 6 reps.

#8 Increasing (6-12-20) and outbound (12-8-4-2) Drop-sets
In the increasing drop-sets, the weight is decreased enough to significantly increase the number of repetitions. The reduction occurs by about 25-30%. That is, the first weight will be the biggest with which you can perform 6 reps. Then throws 25-30% is performed with the weight 10-12 reps. Then again reducing weight at the same 25-30% of the original weight and do it 15 to 20 repetitions.

Descending drop sets are very similar to short. There is a slight reduction in the working weight, about 5-10%, resulting in a lower number of reps with each drop set. Unlike other triple drop-sets here need to lose some weight 3 times (4 different weights) and do 10-12, 6-8, 4-6, and 2 reps with each weight training accordingly.

#9 Drop sets with grip and change position of your feet
This is a great methods perform drop-sets, which can affect the multi-faceted muscle from every conceivable and inconceivable angles. For example, in exercise "leg presses" you can concentrate the load on the medial, lateral, intermediate muscle or hamstrings and buttocks — it all depends on how You place your feet on the platform.

Start the exercise with 6-12 reps with your legs shoulder width apart in the middle. Then reset the weight, and place feet high on platform shoulder-width apart, with another 6-12 repetitions. Again, lower the load, place your feet together on the bottom of the platform and do another 6-12 reps. The last time we throw off the weight, put feet are wide with turned out toes and making the last 6-12 reps. Three drop-weight, four different load, four positions for the feet and exercise that will make Your thighs grow from top to bottom, from the inside out!

#10 Zero Drop-sets
This method is incredibly difficult and most people try to avoid it. In a zero drop-sets, rest time between the change of the weight is literally reduced to zero. For these drop-sets need not one, but two training partner. For example, if You are doing leg presses, You have to get up, to take off the weight on one side of the simulator, then do it on the other side, and then sit back in the machine. This process takes at least ten seconds. During this time Your muscles will begin to excrete the lactic acid and restore their energy reserves.

The presence of two companions will allow You to make a true zero drop sets, where You don't even have to put the weight on the locking levers. In combination with the continuous tension between the drop sets, this might be one of the most challenging workouts of Your life!

#11 Drop-sets using rest-pause
Drop-sets using rest-pause — the opposite of zero drop-sets. Here You play for about 15 seconds, that is, to lose weight You can at a leisurely pace, allowing you to gain strength to use heavier cargo. This method has two benefits: enables deep-hard-to-fiber and increases the strength.

#12 Drop-supersets
If drop sets are the best intensive appliances in bodybuilding, what deserves second place? Of course, it's supersets. And what could be better than combining two of the most effective methods of bodybuilding — the drop-supersets.

Here's how it works: first, select two exercises for Your superset. For example, if it is a day of deltas, let these two exercises will be "dumbbell lateral rises" and "dumbbell presses sitting". Start with a regular 8-12 reps side UPS and maximum weight. Then, as quickly as possible move on to the dumbbell bench press using a little less weight than usual, and follow the same 8-12 reps. Now, again without rest, go back to the side lifts but use less weight. Then take lighter dumbbells and go to the presses. And, finally, the last move to the side lifts dumbbells, losing weight, perform to failure, and move to dumbbell bench sitting, which also reduce the weight of the dumbbells. And all this is one approach, after which we have deserved the right to rest for a minute. This is a very intensive method, so use wisely.

Regulations on the use of Drop-sets

Here are some useful tips to maximize the efficiency of Your drop sets:

Minimum stay

Usually, the time between the change of the weight varies in the range from zero to ten seconds. Even if you're doing heavy drop-sets, rest should still be relatively short. In General, the shorter the time interval between the change of weight, the more intense and effective will be a drop-sets.

Preparation of equipment

To quickly move from one weight to another, You must properly prepare the equipment before beginning the activity. Instead of loading the barbell big disks, use small in 5kg and 10kg. If you're doing triple drop sets with dumbbells, line up all three pairs of dumbbells in advance.

Drop the weight 2 times (three different weights)
You can reduce the weight as many times as you want. However, there is a so-called point of "diminishing returns" at which further repetition are simply ineffective. Therefore, the most common method drop-sets are considered to be triple drop sets, where you use three different weights and two drop-weight.

Stick to the range in 6-12 reps
The range of six to twelve reps is the most productive in bodybuilding, so it should not break and when you perform the drop-sets. If You want to work for the maintenance or development of strength, range of four to six reps is ideal. If the goal is pure hypertrophy, keep to 8-12 reps. For relief and incredible detail of all muscles from time to time raise the bar to 15-20 reps, especially on the last drop-weight.

Use the maximum weight

Not enough to stay in the range of 6-12 reps, but also need to reach muscle failure. If You start with a weight that is too light, the efficiency drop-sets will be jeopardized. True six reps means that You are no longer able to do the seventh REP. You should reach complete failure or a point very close to failure, with each weighing in extra-sets.

Use drop-sets moderately

Being one of the most intensive techniques in bodybuilding, drop sets require caution and common sense. If you use them all the time, then You will quickly bring yourself to exhaustion and overtraining. A great way to use drop sets is the 3:1 method — performance of three conventional approaches to exercise, followed by one drop set.


Despite the fact that there are dozens of high-intensity training methods that can and should be used in your program, even a single engineering drop-sets will be enough to trigger serious muscle growth in a very short period of time. Don't just use the old method of Arnold dropping drives with rods "the lifting on the biceps", and try some of these different methods, and the result will amaze and delight you!