What is a Drop Set?

drop set


A drop set is a strength training technique where you decrease the weight and immediately continue repetitions with less rest between sets.


  • Drop sets involve progressively lowering the load each set while minimizing rest. This increases time under tension and metabolic stress.
  • They allow continued repetitions with fatigued muscles by reducing the weight. You can decrease load by about 10-30% each drop set.
  • Drop sets increase intensity, muscle damage, and metabolic stress compared to straight sets. They’re often used to break plateaus.


  • Bench press: 185 lbs x 6 reps, drop set to 165 x 4, drop set to 135 x 6
  • Lat pulldown: 130 lbs x 8 reps, drop set to 110 lbs x 6 reps, drop set to 90 lbs x 8 reps
  • Squats: 250 lbs x 5 reps, drop set 225 lbs x 3 reps, drop set 185 lbs x 5 reps

Related Terms

  • Straight sets, supersets, tri-sets, giant sets, hypertrophy, intensity techniques

Common Questions

  • When should I do drop sets? At the end of an exercise as you near muscular failure.
  • How much rest between drops? 10-30 seconds, just enough to change the weight.
  • How many drop sets should I do per exercise? 1-2 is sufficient to maximize benefits.

Do Not Confuse With

-Pyramid training – Gradually increasing weight each set, not decreasing

-Cluster sets – Sets with short 10-30 sec rest periods, but constant weight

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Categorized as obesity