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Simple drop set training, step by step

A man exercising with weights.

Drop set exercises are great, particularly when working with machines at the gym, as drop sets allow the person training to understand a sensible weight or resistance range that the person exercising can work within or improve upon. Drop sets offer a challenging workout whilst minimising the risk of injury and giving full control of the routine being undertaken.

In addition, drop sets also allow for an increase in the demands of the exercise during a training session or a decrease in its demands (either going up the scale/amount of weight being worked in stages or the other way around). A lot of people who use drop set techniques tend to go for the former scale (as the heavier weight is started with) rather than the former, for slightly obvious reasons.

So, how to complete a drop set?

As in this simple video example, below, culled from the July 2021 episode of the 2 Guys on Fitness podcast (which includes this drop set exercise) I demonstrate how the technique can be used on a pec’ deck.

In steps (with the principles here the same as applied to other exercises):

  1. Warm-up!

  2. Work some light resistance or weights to engage the muscles and brain.

  3. Set the resistance/weight to the heaviest that you know you can reasonably work with, even if for a limited number of repetitions.

  4. Undertake this number of repetitions at this weight.

  5. Next, drop the pin against the preferred resistance/weights to either the next level or the next two or three levels down.

  6. Undertake the same set of repetitions.

  7. Drop the pin once more in the same fashion.

  8. Continue down to a much lower and lighter set of resistance/weights.

  9. Rest, repeat four times.

To undertake this drop set the other way, simply start at the bottom and work up to the heaviest resistance/weight that can safely be managed using the same pattern and for the same number of repetitions.

Drop sets are a great way to engage the brain and to work to targets, whilst delivering an effective resistance or weights exercise routine. Do not, however, overestimate your ability when delivering a drop set, whatever the routine is (or whenever working with resistance/weights), as this can be dangerous and cause injury.


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