drop set training intensity

Two techniques to increase the intensity of your training

Discover two techniques to increase the intensity of your gym training

There are several techniques to increase the intensity of your bodybuilding training.

We won't talk about all of them, but we will address two very well-known ones.

Negatives and drop sets.

These are not techniques that can be used in all exercises and in all training.

But used casually they can be useful, especially when you're feeling stagnant.

Attention, these are not techniques to be used by beginners.

If you don't know them yet, read this article.


To do negatives you will need someone to help you.

With the negatives you will put more weight on the bar than you would use without this method.

So what are the negatives?

Negatives are a technique in which you will fully support the weight in the eccentric phase of the movement, in a controlled manner and practically without assistance.

Then, the person accompanying you will help with the concentric phase of the exercise, partially or completely.


José can do one repetition with 100 kg on the flat bench press, without help.

With this method, you could put 110 kg on the bar, and do several repetitions using this technique.


The most difficult phase of the movement is the concentric phase, which in the case of the bench press, is raising the bar.

With this technique, José would support the weight only in the descending phase, in which the bar goes from the starting position to close to the chest.

To raise the bar and return to the starting position, José's friend would lift the bar partially, or even completely, while José would use very little force at this stage.

So, José would do several repetitions with a heavier weight, but only in the negative phase of the movement.

drop set


Do not use this method excessively, as it is quite intense and exhausting, both physically and mentally.

Do it sporadically and see how you react.

Try doing it once in the last series of an exercise, preferably a compound one.

To make the most of this technique, control the weight, don't just let the bar fall.

You shouldn't let the weight fall, but you don't need to do it in slow motion either. Use a moderate speed, where you feel the exercise working the muscle.

If you can do more than 6 repetitions you are not using enough load. Increase.

Finally, ask your partner to pay attention to the technique with which you do the exercise to avoid injuries and work the muscle correctly.

Drop Sets

Drop sets are another interesting method for those who want to increase the intensity of their training.

This technique consists of doing an exercise until failure, or close to failure.

Then, instead of stopping and resting, you continue doing the same exercise, but with less weight.

You can drop the weight more than once.


Guilherme normally uses 20 kg dumbbells to do biceps curls, and achieves between 10 and 12 repetitions.

If you wanted to use the drop set method, as soon as you finished your 10 repetitions with the 20 kg dumbbells, you would immediately start the same exercise.

To do this, instead of using 20 kg dumbbells, I would use 14 or 12 kg dumbbells.

When you couldn't do any more repetitions with the 14 kg dumbbells, you could lower the weight one more time and continue doing the same exercise, for example, with 8 kg dumbbells.

drop set training


There should be no rest during a drop set, so this method is easier to do with dumbbells or machines.

You can also use it in movements with a barbell, but you need two people to help you immediately remove part of the weight.

The easiest way to use this method is on machines, where it is quite simple to reduce weight immediately.

It is also possible to apply it effectively with dumbbells, just have the weights you are going to use with you, ready to be used.

There are those who only do a reduction, and there are those who like to do this method until they finish exercising with physiotherapy weights.

Like the negatives, this method is extremely exhausting and should not be abused.

Do not use it in every training session, and when you do use it, choose just one exercise to apply it to, preferably at the end of training the muscle you are working.

Weight reductions are normally between 20 and 25% between sets, however, this value can be higher or lower.

It depends above all on the load you use in the first set, the exercise and your training experience.

Final notes

As you may have noticed, these techniques are anything but easy.

If you intend to use them, you know, start conservatively, and always have someone with you to give you feedback.

These are techniques to complement training, and not to serve as a training plan.

Finally, if you have recently joined the gym, these techniques are not for you.

You still have a lot to evolve without needing advanced methods!

If you have any questions, use the comments area below.

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