What Is a Drop Set? How To Use Them In Muscle Building Training

What Is a Drop Set?

All types of strength training methods tend to tease out those huge swollen muscles. Many weightlifting regimens utilize multiple strategies such as pyramid training and rest-pause for helping you burn and obtain the required results. And one of those techniques consists of a drop set. You will come to know how effective it is once you incorporate it into your daily workout Plan.

Drop Set Definition

A Drop Set consists of a training method where you perform and execute a regular set. However, instead of heading directly into your rest, it requires you to drop your weight and execute another set till you fail.

You need to ensure that your rest is minimal between the sets, along with sufficient time to decrease the weight. Here, dumbbells and cable machines are excellent for this job. Why? Well, because you won’t be wasting time trying to take those weights off from the barbell.

Drop Set & Its Types

There are two forms of drop sets. They include:

Plate Stripping – This type is only usable when you perform a set, which involves the barbell. You will get rid of plates between every set from the barbell to reduce weight. That’s how it gets the name “Plate Stripping.” Here, you will require a training partner to execute this method.

It is for ensuring that you receive adequate rest during your set. Once you complete the required reps’ amount, your training partner takes off one of the plates from your barbell. However, it only happens once you reach your failure on the present weight. You have to continue until there is no weight present on your bar.

Up The Stack – This drop set is quite easy to perform. You can do so even in the absence of a training partner. You can execute this workout by using a weight machine because it just involves pinning and unpinning your weight. You don’t have to depend on your training partner for unstacking the weight.

Plus, you also don’t need the needed dumbbells. Also, this type of drop set tends to be safer. When you fail, the weight won’t end up coming to crash on top of you. We encourage you to try this drop set whenever you are using a weight machine.

What Is a Drop Set?


Drop Sets & Its Benefits

Drop Sets helps garner a ton of benefits such as muscular endurance, muscle hypertrophy, and muscle gains. Let us delve into some of these highlights:

Muscle Growth

According to a study in 2018, there were two groups of people who tried a training protocol for six weeks. The first group finished three sets of exercises of conventional resistance training.

On the other hand, the second group finished only one drop set. Here, the researchers revealed that the group that performed the drop set training displayed excess muscle gains. The reason being higher muscle stress.

The drop sets do an excellent job in promoting muscle growth by completely fatiguing your muscle fibers within a particular muscle. Whenever you are training a set towards failure, you tend to fatigue all your small muscle fibers.

When you drop your load and instantly ask your body to execute another set, you are forcing your body to recruit the bigger muscle fibers that are fast-twitched. Thus, it promotes muscle growth.

Time Efficient

Since there is less rest present in a drop set, it is possible to finish the sets of every exercise in a lesser timeframe compared to the conventional sets.

Also, even if there are proven advantages to drop sets, it is best to avoid incorporating them in every single set. You shouldn’t insert it constantly in your full training program.

This training is quite demanding for your body, especially when you perform it correctly. Training towards failure tends to boost the AMP or Nucleotide Adenosine Monophosphate levels in comparison to training towards non-failure. Increased AMP levels show that the energy level of a cell is compromised, causing muscle growth or protein synthesis to decrease.

Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance refers to the ability of the muscle in exerting force repeatedly. It is referring to the number of reps that you can finish. According to a study, about nine young men with no training experienced muscle endurance through drop set training. In training, there were maximum repetitions of 30% 1RM or one-rep max. Even with a short training time, it is possible to boost your muscular endurance using drop sets.

How To Build Your Muscle Using Drop Sets?

If you wish to build your muscles using drop sets, then you need to follow these key pointers for maximum training. They include:

Dumbbells Line-Up

You need to line up your dumbbells for preparing your set. Ensure that they are within reach. It will end up minimizing your downtime and maximizing time under tension. It can also increase the time, which your muscles are repeatedly working. It will end up optimizing your possible muscle growth.

Being Strategic

You should strategize when it comes to incorporating drop sets in your workout regimen. You need to pick one exercise for every workout and one time for every week. It is very important for you not to overtrain.


Since drop sets tend to be quite an advanced technique, you should consider adding this exercise to your workout regimen if you possess prior experience of lifting weights. It is known for breaking through supercharge or plateaus results. This workout isn’t advisable for beginners.

Important Drop Sets Tips

While you perform drop set, ensure that you take these key tips into account for your safety:

  • You can execute this exercise only once every week with just one exercise. The advanced lifters can resort to two drop sets every week.
  • Keep your drop sets as the last exercise for your workout.
  • When you perform drop sets, you need to get a spotter.
  • Ensure that you are using a proper form. If you are having trouble while lifting weights, then get lighter weight.

In Summation!

Drop Sets are extremely effective for anyone that’s trying to build and perfect their muscle game.

It is proven to be far better than the conventional exercises of muscle building. Ensure that you are following the right steps and safety tips during the process. And always avoid overtraining yourself even if you are an advanced lifter.


Jason Shaw is an experienced bodybuilder, gym owner, nutritionist and content creator for many websites. He has competed at a high level and wants to bring that experience in muscle building, fitness and nutrition including supplements to our many readers, whether you're a skinny guy want to build muscle or a seasoned bodybuilder.

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