Drop sets have been around since the invention of the dumbbell. The concept is ridiculously simple but effective:
- Train to exhaustion, then immediately reduce the weight so you can do more reps.
- Continue until total failure, or until you crap a kidney.
Dumbbell exercises like lateral raises or biceps curls work exceptionally well with this method, as do exercises using a selectorized pulley such as triceps pressdowns. That said, barbell exercises also work if you have a partner to help you slide off the plates. Here are three more ways to do it:
A good rule of thumb is 20% of your work weight for a given set per drop. So if you're using 200 pounds on an exercise for 8 reps, you'd drop the weight by 40 pounds, or 20 pounds per side. This should allow you to perform another 3-4 reps, depending on the exercise, your training age, and your muscle fiber make-up.
Use one high-intensity technique set on the last exercise you do for a body part. Any more would be too much.