T Nation

Drop Sets

I have a basic idea of what these are. For example crazy 8’s with tricep pulldowns. 8 plates 8 times, 7 plates 8 times, till u get to 1 plate, and thats 1 set, rest, repeat. Am i correct? If not what are theya and what are your thoughts on them. Thanks.

I have never done the “crazy 8’s” but drop sets can be very effective. However, most people overdo them. They burn themselves out (overtrain).
Incorporate d.sets into your program but don’t use this method every time you go into the gym.


Personally I never used drop sets. As Dboy stated these drop sets can be effective but dangerous concerning overtrain. A possible way to train using drop sets for some of the exercises, avoiding overtraining, is to divide the body in two parts : workout A and B. Perform then A off B off A weekend off B off A off B weekend off etc. There are many ways to raise intensity, for example:

  1. more load
  2. same load one more rep
  3. reduce rest time between sets
  4. use a better form of execution
  5. better concentration

With drop sets in the first set, if you perform 8 reps, the first 4-5 are probably easier, the last 3 difficult. For the 2nd set you have at least 3 possibilities:

  1. Having 2 spotters that remove some weight from your barbell.
  2. Having couple of lighter dbs close to you.
  3. Having no spotter, you may leave your barbell, with the same load, for only 3 seconds then perform the 2nd set.
    Anyway rest periods are close to zero.
    At your 2nd set you will immediatively find difficult reps. In the end your muscles will undergo a great pumping action and subsequent hypertrophy.

I’ve used dropsets quite a bit in the past (before I started WestSide) but usually as a finisher. Do your normal heavy work and finish off with a dropset. I prefered dumbells or machines for the drops, quicker to change weight.

I prefered relatively high weight, 4-6 reps, lower weight, 4-6 reps and another drop for a last 4-6 reps.


App. twice a month per musclegroup, large muscle groups only; hams, quads, chest and back. For me, using dropset for smaller musclegroups is overkill.

Works great but it’s very easy to overdo these, more is NOT better :wink:

Try and see what works for YOU.

Good luck

so say curl 40, 30, 20 10?

You could do that, but don’t really need to. Curling 40, then 30 would probably be fine. If you keep going lower and lower 'til you finish the set, (40, 30, 20, 10) that is the type of thing that often leads to overtraining. However, if you were do a “BIG” drop set like that (40, 30, 20, 10) every once in awhile it probably wouldn’t be the worse thing in the world.
Providing your body w/ a new stiumlus is what will make it adapt (grow BIGGER & stronger). Providing the body w/ a new stimulus at the expense of overtraining would not be smart. Listen to your body.