T Nation

Dropset & X-Rep Combo


I've been lifting for several months now, people on forums recommend me to not do drop sets and take it easy, I don't understand why...

Anyways, I read about X-Reps and am actually going to try them out today. Ive been occasionally doing drop sets on my last set per exercise, and its been working out ok. I was thinking of perhaps combining both into one? Say, make two drops in weight, then when moving that to failure, do X-Reps with it. Is this good/bad?


usually people will tell you that at your level(only several months), basic compounds movements + eating well is enough. But even if youre a newb its still fun to do those things imo, to spice things up. I did machine bench press until total failure(was barely handling 1 plate on a very last set) couple of times after my regular bench press and I felt gooooooood.


Yeah, How do you know when you are not a "beginner" anymore? I have gone from 165 to 178 in 3 months, sure its probably not all muscle mass, but its some damn nice progress. I Like to go do a full body workout 3x/week. I haven't even touched any supplements, not even whey protein. (which I should buy btw)

but yeah, how bout combining dem drop sets with x-reps guys? :wink:


X-reps blow. I'll try and look up the information on it again, but it's been shown not to help. Basically it was some idea that the guys over at Muscle and Fitness came up with the try and sell books. I bought the book, did the workouts, saw nothing great.

Not too mention none of their workouts included bench or deadlifts!

With only 3 months you are seeing the beginner�??s gains. You will be in that level for some time. One way to do it is compare your strength levels. I would give yourself a year of serious lifting before trying more advanced methods.


wow, I wonder if anyone else experienced no positive results from doing x-reps. I know that Arnold S. used a form of X-reps, but then again, he used steroids... :frowning:


What are x-reps?


Its where you do full range of motion on an exercise to failure and then do partial reps at the stretch point of the lift for 10 pulses.

So you would do incline bench (as the authors of the book say that regular bench is worthless and to only do incline and decline) until failure and then 2-3inches of your chest you would do 1inch pulses for 10 then have your workout partner help you rack the weight.

The idea of x-reps may be alright to up your intensity but I wouldn't do it for an extended period of time. My main problem is the workouts they designed were crap.


Ah. So take an old idea, change the name from "partials" to "x-reps" so it sounds fancy, and make money off it. Gotcha.

I do something like that sometimes, but I follow the partials with a static hold for 20-30 seconds. Give that a shot if you're bored . . . and want some hurtin'.


Another useless variation is J-reps. Innovative name. Same idea, no results.


I'd agree with the advice that's already been given.


At this point in your training you don't need to worry about adding in "intensity" methods (or really any advanced training techniques). Sure, if you want to throw one or two in from time to time to experiment with them then, hey, it's your time.

But, take it from those of us who have been where you are and have been doing this resistance training thing for a lot longer than yourself. At this point in your training, really all that you need to focus on is adding weight to the bar (for relatively the same number of reps) and making sure you get enough food and rest to support growth.

Sure, we could probably add in all kinds of fancy terms and big "$20" words and turn training into what would seem like a freakin quantum physics problem to you. But, really at this point you only need to focus on the basics (in fact for just about anyone who isn't an elite level athlete that's really all that you need to do).

Work on adding 200 lbs to your squat, deadlift, and bench. Work on being able to chin with your bodyweight in plates added, work on being able to dip with your bodyweight added, work on being able to do a strict bodyweight military press, work on being able to curl an olympic bar with 45's on either side for reps, and just as importantly eat, eat, and EAT!

When you reach those goals, and provided that you've done your work in the kitchen/at the table, you'll realize that not only were you really overcomplicating things before, but that we vets were just trying to help you to progress the best way that we had found. We weren't trying to keep you from doing some secret technique that would help you build muscle faster.

In summary, focus on the basics. Once you've built a strong foundation, well then it's up to you how you choose to fine tune things.


Is there anything wrong with doing drop sets? I have been doing them for a while with the leg press, and I have seen a nice jump in strength.

I need to correct myself, I don't do drop sets. I do drop like sets without lowering the weight taking a 4-5 second break between sets, doing 5-7 sets. Is there anything wrong with this?


yeah I want to know that as well... :slight_smile:


Why stop there? If two drops are good, five will be better. Maybe do some forced reps and negatives as well... Do X-reps on every drop too... wouldn't feel like you are training hardcore partial repping 5 lb dumbbells would you? What is the benefit you are seeking? THINK THINK THINK about what you are doing and why it will help you.

Is doing a 185 bench press down to 135 down to 95 with partials going to turn you into a 405 lb bencher(with massive chest gains to show for it) or is it going to turn you into a good drop setter x repper? Look at the guys around you in the gym, the really big guys and tell me what's common among them.

The vast majority of the time the biggest guys(who will eat enough to support growth) are the ones who have double tripled quadrupled their training weights over time. Not the guy who walked into the gym the first time and bench pressed 315 who is at 365 now, I'm talking the guy who was at 135 and presses 365. One of those guys has likely had massive size gains, and it should be pretty apparent as to who.

At some point you need to cut through the crap and figure out "this works" and "this is just fluff". First lesson, anything recommended only in one magazine as often as possible, used only by young teens and early 20 somethings, combined with trying to sell you things would likely be "fluff".


Those aren't drop sets, those are "rest-pause" sets. Personally I really like rest-pause (though certainly wouldn't do 5-7 sets of rest-pause), but once again, I wouldn't suggest for beginners to do rest-pause. They don't really need to. Save the advanced techniques for when you are advanced and actually need them.


Why are you fighting us so hard on this? You came to this site looking for advice, so clearly that shows that you realize that you don't "know it all" when it comes to building muscle. That's a good step.

But, you seem to be fervently arguing with the good advice that has been given to you. Why? Do you honestly believe that we are trying to lead you in the wrong direction? What would we have to gain by doing that? We're willing to take time out of our busy schedules to try to help you and give you the best advice that we can. Yet you seem to be acting like we're somehow trying to sabotage you, or keep the secret training method of drop sets to ourselves.

Listen, like I said before, we've all been where you are now. We've probably all experimented with God knows how many different training techniques, programs, frequencies, you name it we've probably tried it. And yet it seems like we're all giving you the same advice; "stick to the basics, get your diet right and rest enough."

We're just trying to help you to wade through the vast sea of information available these days on building muscle and to show you not only what works, but also what is most appropriate for you at this point in time. Honestly most of us probably wish that we had someone who was kind (and knowledgeable) enough to do that for us when we started out (I know I do). Then maybe many of us wouldn't have wasted literally years in some cases (or perhaps even decades) of our time worrying about minutia, or doing workouts that left us with little if anything to show for it.

Once again, the advice that we're giving you will help you reach your goals. Do as myself and Scott have suggested; work on getting as strong as you can on your lifts and eating and resting enough to allow for growth. Don't sweat the small stuff.


ooooook then, basics, lift a lot, eat a lot,



Eat your vitamin, get you Zn and Mg. They help alot.