Move It Monday: Drop It Like It’s Hot

by tinareale on May 6, 2013

I couldn’t resist on that title. I mean, what title could possibly fit today’s Move It Monday workout better? Drop sets? Causing some fire in those muscles? Drop it like it’s hot seems just right to me.

Have you ever done drop sets? If not, you’re in for a treat. They are perhaps my favorite way to push the envelope during a strength workout. Whenever I incorporate them into my workouts, or Best Body Bootcamp workouts for that matter, I get very positive feedback. Either from my muscles screaming to me the next day, or BBB participants screaming at me the next day. Short story? They’re good stuff.

move it monday

So, what exactly are drop sets? Drop sets are a training technique that encourages the muscles to reach fatigue, but then alters the load to allow the muscles to continue past fatigue. In layman’s terms – we do a number of reps to fatigue at a heavier weight, then decrease the weight load so we can do more reps after fatigue at the heavier weight.

Here’s an example of what that a dumbbell bicep curl would look like using drop sets:

  • 8 reps with 15 pound weights
  • hit fatigue and can’t do any more reps with 15 pounds
  • drop to 10 pound weights and complete 4 more reps
  • hit fatigue and can’t do any more reps with 10 pounds
  • drop to 5 pound weights and do 6 more reps
  • hit fatigue and can’t do any more reps
  • finished with one set of drop sets

A few drop sets tips:

  • Start heavy. The first weight you choose to use should cause you to fatigue somewhere around 6-8 reps into the exercise before needing to drop your weight. That will be different for every individual.
  • Have different weights readily accessible. You want minimal rest between switching weights and starting the next round of reps. You can use a machine or cables that allow for easy switching of the weight level, dumbbells lined up and ready to go, or even barbells if you can change weight plates fast.
  • Keep good form!!! You are working to challenge your muscles, but you reach fatigue when your form starts to suffer. Always train with good form.
  • Reps will vary. You are going to failure…NOT a set number of reps. The example gives 8 reps, then 4 reps, and then 6 reps. You may do 7 reps, then 7 reps, then 8 reps. There’s no key number to aim for in these sets. Go to YOUR fatigue.

Now are you ready for a workout with them? I thought you might be!

Drop Sets

Happy Training!!!

Have you ever done drop sets in your workouts? What is an exercise where you have a hard time increasing your weight?


1 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf May 6, 2013 at 7:30 am

I have to admit that I kind of love drop sets. They are so great for testing your strength. I actually haven’t been lifting much lately and this makes me itch to get back to the gym.

2 Miz May 6, 2013 at 7:37 am

I LOVE dropsets and tend to use them for legs.

A lot.

3 Linz @ Itz Linz May 6, 2013 at 7:54 am

drop sets are SO hard!! yet oh so effective… :)

4 Heather @fitncookies May 6, 2013 at 8:10 am

I actually really love when we get these for BBB! I feel like a champ when I’m done!

5 Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run May 6, 2013 at 8:23 am

I haven’t tried drop sets, actually! I may have to at some point just out of curiosity! Great list of moves, by the way! Love it!

6 tinareale May 7, 2013 at 7:04 am

You would love them!

7 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 6, 2013 at 8:57 am

I did drops as one of my Work It Out features. They are a great way to shake things up! I love finding new ways to perform excercises to keep things interesting and bust through a plateau.

8 [email protected] May 6, 2013 at 9:14 am

I definitely enjoy drop sets but don’t do them that often. Might have to incorporate one today as I’m looking for some strength before yoga!

9 rachel @runningrachel May 6, 2013 at 9:46 am

Cool! I will have to try this soon! Btw… now I have “Drop it like its hot” in my head…. ;)

10 tinareale May 7, 2013 at 7:05 am

You’re welcome for that! Haha!

11 Kim May 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

I love drop sets – you’re right – they are usually a reason for screaming of some sort!!

12 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast May 6, 2013 at 10:00 am

I’ve done these without knowing what they were called… I just pinned this. I’m hoping to do it today as I’m taking a mini running break to mix things up before marathon training starts.

13 Katie @ KatieEnPursuit May 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

Great post Tina! I’ve been needing to get some drop-sets into my routine & this is more encouragement! Love it :)

14 DeeDee May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

I love doing drop sets. I love weight training period. Slap on the headphones, crank up the music and for an hour I’m in my own little world doing something great for me.

15 Tamara May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

Love drop sets! My favourite use for them is rope tricep extensions. Love how wobbly my arms feel on the last set (usually only 8 at 5 pounds)! Pinning this for later!

16 tinareale May 7, 2013 at 7:05 am

Those are good ones!

17 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions May 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Oooh I really like the look of this workout! All moves I’m familiar with, and something I could definitely tackle in my bare bones gym. I might actually give this a whirl tonight since I only have a short 1.5 miler on my schedule. Hmm…

18 [email protected] May 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I love that title of the workout, actually ;) so fitting! And yes….drop sets rock my world!

19 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance May 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I haven’t done drop sets in a while. Great reminder–I should bring them back!

20 Heather @ Better With Veggies May 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Love!! I really like this series, it’s such a great way to get new ideas to mix up your strength training routine. Pinned it! :)

21 Purelytwins May 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

we need to start doing more drop sets! such a great way to challenge the body!

22 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers May 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I’m a big fan of drop sets. I’ve seen some big gains with them.

23 Melissa May 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I love drop sets – I always feel so accomplished at the end of the workout!

24 Coco May 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I had never heard of drop sets. Sound awesome!

25 Natasha May 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Hey Tina, I’m a regular reader of your blog and I had to come back to this post and comment because I used this workout as motivation for my workout on monday afternoon and did drop sets, and I am STILL crazy sore after more than 48 hours later! Thanks for making such a tough workout and inspiring me to challenge myself!

26 tinareale May 9, 2013 at 7:26 am

Awesome!!! Glad you liked it and it provided a good challenge. Hope you’re moving better by today, though. ;)

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