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Dropping Weight Every Set?


Yesterday at the gym I went to do 4 sets of 8 on seated dumbbell shoulder press. My numbers looked like this.

55lbs - 12 reps
55lbs - 7 reps
55lbs - 6 reps
55lbs - 5 reps

Only 1 set was I able to get to my goal of 8 reps.

So my question is , if I where to lower the weight through out the sets , is that just as effective as doing sets where you either keep the same weights , or raise the weight through out the sets?

Thank you.



Seems like you almost made your goal. I would stick with the weight you are doing until you get all the reps.

Now, if you were doing 4x8, why did you go to 12 on the first set?


All the sets I basically did as many as I can.


Ok, then you aren't doing 4x8. You are doing 4x 'as many as I can.' That is a big difference. Now, before we figure out how much weight you should be using, what type of rest periods are you taking between your sets? Too short of a period can affect how many reps you do in the next set.


So just to be clear , doing a "4x8" works similar to a "5x5" where I should basically do a weight where I can do 8 reps on my last set , and the ones before I don't fatigue?

My rest period was probably 2-3 minutes.


Well, that is one way to think about it. I find it is an individual thing. For me, for example, if I was going to rest 2-3 minutes, I would pick a weight that I was going to just finish in the first set. If I was resting less, it would be that I would make sure I was close to the 8 reps in the last set.

What you are doing is fine. Just know that you can keep using that weight and try to get those 8 reps in the last set.


So if I'm supposed to do "3x12" or "4x8" does that mean the numbers of reps I am supposed to do should be my goal for the last set?


Yes. If you make it, increase the weight next workout.


One more question

So lets say I'm doing a "3X12" exercise. If on the first set I do 12 , yet still have some energy in me to do 3-4 reps , should I stop at 12 , or do as much as I can?


Stop at 12 and raise the weight for the next set. I suppose you could keep going, but I'd imagine that the amount of reps per set that you chose had a specific purpose.


Exactly. If you can do more reps on the LAST set, you need to increase the weight. If you are supposed to do 3x12 (or 4x8 or 8x3, etc.) then only do 12 reps on each set. Once you can do 12 (or whatever the max is) on the last set, increase the weight the next workout.


Interesting , Thank you.