What Are Drop Sets? You Need To Know The Answer To This One!

Have you been hitting the gym for so long but it seems as if you’re not getting any muscular or stronger? If that’s the case, one of the things that experts recommend is adding drop sets to your routine. But What Are Drop Sets?

I know this term may seem foreign to you. Well, I must admit that it is to me at first but after some research, I have come to understand what this term is and how it can be beneficial to your muscle building and strengthening journey.

And so, I hope to share with you some of the information I have gathered about what are drop sets in this article. In addition to that, I would also give you information about how drop sets can help you in your bodybuilding adventure, and the various types of drop set that you can use. If you are ready, let’s get it on!


What Are Drop Sets?

So first things first, what are drop sets? Drop sets are a type of strength training technique wherein you will carry out an exercise using the weights that you regularly lift for a single set. Afterwards, you will reduce your weights by 10 or 30% and proceed on performing the exercise until you reach failure. Other terms used to denote this technique include strip sets, descending sets and breakdowns.

Since doing so can activate the deepest muscle fibers of your body, this technique can help you in enjoying maximum muscle growth potential. However, you must bear in mind that it is great in inducing hypertrophy however this technique has no effect whatsoever on developing strength, speed or power.

How Drop Sets Can Help You Improve Muscle Mass and Definition

What Are Drop Sets

Now that you know what are drop sets, your next big question will surely be how does it work? How can reducing the weight that you will lift can help you improve the size and definition of your muscles? The truth is, there are many ways on how it can do that. According to American Council on Exercise, here are some of them:

  • Doing Drop Sets Produce Metabolic and Mechanical Exhaustion

These types of exhaustion can only be created if you will work your muscle until it is already unable to carry out another repetition. The beauty of experiencing this exhaustion is that your stored glycerin gets depleted. As a result, acidosis takes place in the bloodstream. When this happens, your muscle fibers get damaged, and the body usually responds to it through muscle growth.

Additionally, depleted glycogen levels in the muscles will give it an opportunity to get and keep more glycogen which will cause your muscle to increase in size.

  • It Creates Structural Damage On Muscle Fibers

As mentioned above, any damages in the muscle can cause your body to go into repair mode. As your muscles get repaired, their size grows, and you get the muscle growth that you need.

  • It Causes Increased Blood Flow To The Muscles For A Short Period

The more blood you have in your muscles, the bigger it will get. And because of this, you can experience an increase in muscle diameter after doing drop sets, even just for a short period.

  • It Stimulates Nervous System Activity

When you use a single muscle repeatedly, the motor unit activity in that muscle improves. As a result, those muscles will stay semi-contracted even after your workout. A semi-contracted muscle gives off better muscle definition or tone.

The Different Types of Drop Sets

Now that you know what are drops sets and how it works, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the various types of drop sets that you can use in your workouts. To help you with that, I have enumerated and defined a few of these kinds below:

1. Conventional Drop Set

This is the traditional way of doing a drop set wherein you will start with performing one set of exercise then dropping down the weight then doing the exercise until you reach failure.

2. Post-Fatigue Partials

With this variation, you will lift a lighter weight until you start to feel exhausted. Once you do, you can continue doing the exercise for half reps until exhaustion.

3. Mechanical Drop Set

This is also called the super drop set. This technique is done by continuing the exercise after fatigue, but instead of reducing the weight, you will perform another variation of the exercise that you are doing.

4. 6-20 Method

For the first six reps, you will perform an exercise using a heavier weight. After that, you cut down the weights by half and do 20 more reps.

5. Strict Drop Set

This is just like the standard drop set, but in this variation, you will do the following sets at a set amount of repetitions.

6. Zero Rest Drop Set

This works the same way as a conventional drop set, but this time, there will be no rest in between. At a minimum, you can rest for at least 10 seconds, but if you are set on doing drop sets with zero rest, it is recommended that you work with two spotters beside you.

7. Grip Change Drop Sets

Instead of dropping weight, you will change your grip or adjust your position.

8. Wide Drop Sets

Instead of slashing the weight by 15%, you will reduce it by 20% or higher.


From the information that is mentioned above, we can say that doing drop sets is one of the best ways to build muscle. If you wish to maximize your growth potential, you can try the drop set variations that we have provided above. Make sure to try each and every variation so you can go for one that is most convenient for you to perform.

But please bear in mind that while this technique helps in boosting muscle growth, it does not have any effect on how powerful and strong your muscles can be. That’s why this method is not recommended for athletes or mixed martial artists who are aiming to improve their performance.

Do you have any questions? If you do, please ask them to us in the comments section. I would be glad to give you the answer, but if I don’t, I will gladly research it for you. Hope to talk to you there!

Emily Brathen

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments