training intensity drop sets

Two techniques to increase the intensity of your training

Get to know two techniques to increase the intensity of your gym training

There are several techniques to increase the intensity in your strength training.

We are not going to talk about all of them, but we are going to address two very well known ones.

Negatives and drop sets.

They are not techniques to be used in all Exercises and in all training sessions.

But used casually they can be useful, especially when you are stagnant.

Attention, they are not techniques to be used by insiders.

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


To be negative you will need someone to help you.

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

So, what are negatives?

Negatives are a technique in which you will fully support the weight in the eccentric phase of the movement, in a controlled way and with virtually no help.

Then, the person accompanying you will help in the concentric phase of the exercise, partially or totally.


José manages to do a repetition with 100 kg on the bench press, without help.

With this method, you could put 110 kg on the barbell, and do multiple reps using this technique.


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

José with this technique would only support the weight in the descending phase, in which the bar goes from the initial 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 fully, while José would apply very little strength at this stage.

Thus, José was going to do several repetitions with a higher weight, but only in the negative phase of the movement.

drop set


Do not use this method in excess, 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 set of an exercise, preferably compound.

To get the most out of this technique, control the weight, don't just drop the bar.

You shouldn't let the weight drop, but you don't have to do it in slow motion, either. Use a moderate speed, in which you feel the exercise to work the muscle.

If you manage to do more than 6 repetitions, you are not using enough load. It increases.

Finally, ask your partner to pay attention to the technique with which you do the exercise to avoid injury and to 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 to do the same exercise, but with less weight.

You can drop the weight more than once.


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

If he wanted to use the drop set method, as soon as he finished his 10 repetitions with the 20 kg dumbbells, he immediately started the same exercise.

For that, instead of using the 20 kg dumbbells, I would use the 14 or 12 kg dumbbells.

When he was unable to do more repetitions with the 14 kg dumbbells, he could drop the weight yet again, and continue to do the same exercise, for example, with 8 kg dumbbells.

drop set workout


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

It is possible to use it also with barbell movements, but you need two people to help you take off some of the weight immediately.

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

With dumbbells it is also possible to apply it effectively, just have the weights that you will be using 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 negative ones, this method is extremely exhausting, and should not be abused.

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

Weight reductions are usually between 20 to 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 it, you already know, start conservatively, and always with someone with you to give you feedback.

These are techniques to complement a workout, 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!

Any questions use the comments area below.

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