Adding Drop Sets

Hey Dr. Darden. Lately I’ve been thinking about different ways I can change my workouts & I wanted to know what you thought about doing drop sets. I usually do 1 set which is composed of about 5 to 6 reps till I can’t anymore, remove some weight and do another 5-6 reps in order for me to hopefully reach a deeper inroad. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Standard Drop Sets (as you describe them) work well on occasion, BUT can grow stale just as any method will. If you’re newER to training they will do you well, but limit them to 2-3 week cycles. The 2-set technique was actually promoted by Lee Labrada in the mid-80s. He prescribed 3 exercises for large bodyparts (chest, back, quads) and 2 for all others. I used it for a couple of years and it did well despite my haphazard schedule and party ways at the time!
There are other versions to add to your workouts from time to time:

  1. 50% Sets: Do and all-out set in the 8-12 rep range. Rest 30-45 secs and then see if you can get at least 50% of the reps in your first set (using the same weight).
  2. Standard+: Usually when you see Drop Sets, they’re done 3 or 4 parts total (occasionally 5). These work best with DB Curls or Lateral Raises, where you can go right down the DB rack.
  3. FT/ST Fiber Attack: Do your heavy set with 5-6 reps max. Then, instead of dropping 10%, drop 30-40% and “Rep Out” for the 2nd set!
  4. Rollercoaster: Do a moderate weight that will have you hit 10 reps BUT NOT Failure! Rest 15-20 secs and do a Heavy set to 5-6 reps Positive Failure (stop after last rep you can do in “good form”). Rest 30-40 secs and then drop the weight substantially so you can get 15-20 reps to all-out failure.
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