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How To Get the Most Muscle Growth from Drop Sets

Drop it like it's hot, then do it again, and again, and again.

Learn how to force muscle growth with drop sets with the expertise of Mike Israetel.

Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community. He doesn’t only talk about workouts and fitness tips, he often dives deep into health and nutrition.

Drop sets are a training technique where you perform a set of an exercise to muscle failure, and then immediately reduce the weight and continue with another set. This process is repeated with decreasing weights, typically without taking any rest between sets, until you reach a point where you can no longer perform any more repetitions. Drop sets are commonly used to increase muscle endurance, induce muscle hypertrophy (growth), and enhance overall workout intensity. They can be implemented in various exercises, such as weightlifting exercises, resistance training, or bodyweight exercises.

Sounds simple, but there is a way that you can maximise muscle growth by utilising this technique. Find out below how.

Source: Scott Webb / Pexels

How To Get the Most Muscle Growth from Drop Sets

If you are trying to build muscle, you probably heard of drop sets. This is how you use this technique to force even more muscle growth in the gym.

  1. Do the exercise for (usually) 10-20 reps
  2. Reduce the load on the exercise by 10-30%
  3. Repeat the process of 10-20 reps with minimal rest in between

If you follow these guidelines, you surely will be getting the best out of drop sets. The best thing about drop sets, besides forcing hypertrophy, is that it saves a lot of time. You can crank up your workout without having to spend an hour in the gym.

However, there is a negative side to doing drop sets. You should be able to change between weights for the following set almost immediately, which makes this technique better for cable or some gym machines, not free weights such as barbells or dumbbells.

Source: ŞULE MAKAROĞLU on Unsplash

If you need more than 10 seconds to switch between one set and the other with a lighter weight, simply don’t do drop sets and opt for a normal set to failure with proper rest in between.

Another negative of doing drop sets, according to Israetel, is that people can be doing junk volume weight training, which is when you overtrain a muscle group and it ends up being detrimental for muscle growth.

For a full explanation from Israetel, watch the video below.

Ultimate Guide on Drop Sets

Drop Sets Common Mistakes

D Sets are an advanced technique used to increase muscle strength, endurance, and size. While they can have a profound impact on your training results, it’s important to use them properly in order to reap the full benefits.

There are several common mistakes that people make when performing D Sets:

  • You don’t use enough weight. If you don’t use enough weight to stimulate growth, then there’s no point in doing it at all! As a general rule of thumb, make sure that each set is challenging for you or else the exercise won’t be effective.
  • You don’t keep your form strict on each repetition of your drop sets. A good way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is by using weightlifting belts or straps so that you’re always pushing yourself but not going too far until after every set has been completed correctly with strict form followed by a brief rest period (about 30 seconds) before starting again with another drop set variation.
  • You fail to take advantage of opportunities during workouts where we could potentially add more volume without taking away from recovery time between each workout session.

An example of drop sets would be:

  • 100 pounds – 20 reps
  • 80 pounds – 13 reps
  • 60 pounds – 8 reps
  • Keep going until you are completely exhausted

Compound Exercises

If drop sets are too much, or you prefer just building muscle normally, then compound exercises can help you with that.

Compound exercises are effective for building strength because they work multiple muscle groups at once. They also recruit more muscle fibers than isolation exercises do. This means that compound moves build muscle faster and burn more calories over time. Ready to start getting fit? Here are some compound exercises you can add into your workout routine:


Squats are a great exercise for building your legs, butt, and abs. They’re also the most basic compound exercise you can do. If you want to build muscle mass and strength, squats should be at the top of your list of exercises—and there are lots of different squat variations to choose from!

The squat is performed by bending down with your back straight and lowering yourself until your thighs are parallel with the floor or lower, then standing back up again. There are several different types of squats.


The deadlift is a compound exercise that works several muscles in your body. It targets your core, legs, back and grip strength. The deadlift is one of the best full-body workouts you can do to build muscle mass and burn fat.

deadlift variations

The deadlift also helps with other exercises such as squats, lunges and rows. If you want to improve your performance on these types of exercises then adding in some heavy deadlifts will help build up those muscles needed to get better results from those exercises.

If you are new to weightlifting or have never done any kind of workout before then I would suggest starting with lighter weights until you get used to how it feels when using heavier weights in order not hurt yourself by doing too much too soon!

Barbell Overhead Press

  • Start with a barbell in the rack at shoulder height.
  • Unrack into the front rack position
  • Lift the barbell up above your head, keeping it at arms’ length and using only your shoulders to lift it. This is also called a shoulder press or military press.


Pull-ups are a great exercise to include in your workout routine. They can be done using a chair or tree branch, and they work the back, biceps, lats and abs.

squat, bench and deadliftSource: Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

You can also modify them to make them easier if you are just starting out on pull-ups or you have a specific injury that prevents you from doing the full movement of pulling yourself up with your arms. In general, the more challenging version is better because it will build more muscle mass throughout the upper body area by increasing strength in those muscles over time.

A good way to start developing some basic fitness levels before tackling this challenge is by doing inverted rows on an incline bench at home or at the gym; this will help strengthen core stability as well as arm strength for pull-ups later down the line.

Bench Press

The bench press is one of the most popular exercises among weightlifters. It works the chest, shoulders and triceps.

man trains to get a stronger bench press with spotterSource: Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels

To do the exercise: lie on your back on a flat bench with your feet planted firmly on the floor. Grasp a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lower it toward your chest until it touches (about halfway down). Then push it back up to its original position. You can also use dumbbells for this exercise; just remember that you’ll have to increase or decrease the weight accordingly depending on which version you’re doing (the grip will be different).

These compound exercises will get you in shape quickly.

Compound exercises are the best way to get in shape quickly. They work multiple muscle groups, which helps you build strength faster and increase your muscle mass. As a result, compound exercises are the best way to burn fat and increase your overall fitness level.

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