training intensity drop sets

Two techniques to increase the intensity of your training

Learn about two techniques to increase the intensity of your gym workout

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

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

Negatives and drop sets.

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

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

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

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


To do negatives you will need someone to help you.

With 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 support the weight completely in the eccentric phase of the movement, in a controlled and practically unaided manner.

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


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

With this method, I 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 bench press, is to raise the bar.

José with this technique would support the weight only in the descending phase, where 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 use very little force at this stage.

Thus, José would 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 take full advantage of this technique, control your weight, don't just drop the bar.

You shouldn't drop the weight, but there's no need to do it in slow motion either. Use a moderate speed, where you feel the exercise working your muscle.

If you can do more than 6 reps you are not using enough weight. Increases.

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

Drop Sets

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

This technique consists of doing an exercise to 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 a bicep curl, and can do 10 to 12 repetitions.

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

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

When I couldn't do more repetitions with the 14 kg dumbbells, I could lower the weight one more time, and continue doing 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 also possible to use it in barbell movements, but you need two people to help you immediately take some of the weight off.

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 are going to use with you, ready to be used.

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

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

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

Weight reductions are normally between 20 to 25% between set, 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 want to use them, you already know, start conservatively, and always have 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 please use the comments area below.

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