Self-Motivational Drop Sets Chest Workout

By: Tim Rigby (courtesy of Inside Fitness)

Do you know what the key motivation equation is for drop sets?  It’s that you do not have to give up when you fail.  You can continue on, because you have another option available to you that you may not realize. When you come to understand that there is a way to extend the performance of a set, you’ll intrinsically get more motivated, knowing that you’re stimulating your muscles even further.  It’s a great psychological phenomenon to experience when you go from not being able to complete a rep to finding the next one fairly easy to perform.  This is the basis for drop sets, and make no mistake that they have been widely embraced as a specialty technique by design (this is no accident).  The end result is that you’ll achieve better gains than if you simply gave up after completing a set to failure. In short, the practice of performing the specialty technique of drop sets is as follows:

  1. Perform reps of an exercise until you reach failure (or just short of it);
  2. Reduce the resistance of the weight by a fraction (usually 15-25 per cent);
  3. Continue to perform reps until you again reach failure (or just short of it);
  4. Either complete the set after one drop; or execute two, three or four drops.

To take full advantage of extending a set with lighter resistance for additional muscle stimulation, it’s important that you do not rest between drops.  Rather, you should only “rest” as long as it takes you to lighten the load, so to speak.  This is consistent with when you’re repping out in the normal manner of a standard straight set.  If you’re truly motivated, you’ll be able to shake things off your shoulders when they become tougher for you.  You’ll, in fact, embrace the difficult challenge based on the motivation you have of the knowledge that you’re adding to your results!


For the following exercises requiring drop sets, perform the drops on the final set of each exercise (e.g. the fourth set of incline bench press).

Exercise                                             Sets     Reps               Drops/Rate  Rest

INCLINE BENCH PRESS                    4          8, 7, 6, 6          3 @ 20%         2 mins.

PEC-DECK FLYE                                3          10, 8, 6            3 @ 15%         1:30 mins.

CABLE CROSSOVER                           3          10, 8, 6            3 @ 15%         1:30 mins.

DUMBBELL FLYE                              3          12, 10, 8          ---                    1:00 min.

DECLINE PUSH-UP                            3          12, 10, 8          ---                    1:00 min.

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