Triple Drop Sets


I liked your suggestion about doing triple drops, I had used them years ago and forgot how effective they really are. If I’m looking to really up the total tonnage to grow, would that be the best method to do so?


It’s a good method yes, but likely not the best IMO.

Triple Drop Sets vs Total Tonnage

Triple drop sets will stimulate muscle growth mostly via depletion of the muscles chemical energy. If you do them right, nearly all of it will be exhausted.

But triggering muscle growth via total tonnage is a bit different. You’ll get some depletion of chemical energy of course, but that’s not really the goal.

The goal is to consistently up the total tonnage/weight you’re asking your muscles to lift in a given unit of time.

To get maximal benefit from that method, exercise selection is crucial. Because after doing the math, you’re going to get much higher numbers with say, barbell squats then you are leg extensions.

Let’s look at an example: Terry Trenbolone is using 500lbs on his squats. He does 5 sets of 10 and rests exactly 2 minutes between sets. He started his first set at 3:00 and finishes his last set at 3:13.

That means he lifted 25,000lbs in 13 minutes, giving him a muscular output of 1,923lbs per minute.

These numbers are far, far higher than what most anyone can achieve doing triple drops. And if Terry wants to grow to the maximum extent of his genetics, he needs to beat this number the next time he repeats this workout.

It works the same for naturals or enhanced, at least insofar as the math is concerned.

So the next time you’re at a picnic and someone asks you how much you squat, you might initiate an interesting conversation by saying 25,000lbs in 13 minutes, or 1,923 pounds per minute.

At the very least, the person asking won’t take you for a total meathead

Now, in all seriousness this is an excellent way to train. Personally, I think it’s the fastest way to grow too. Not the easiest, the fastest.

When you think about it, it has all of the necessary elements.. including enough mechanical work being imposed.

I say that because when you practice HIT or “Heavy Duty” training, that one set is an all out effort yes – but trainees invariable get a LOT stronger…… but actual muscle growth is considerably less.

Other Options

There are also many more ways to keep upping that total tonnage number, vs. trying to do it in only one set.

You can increase the weight, reps or both and you’ll get higher numbers. Or you can compress the rest intervals by 30 seconds – you’ll get higher numbers. You can rep out on your first set when you’re freshest or your last set if that’s your preference – you just have more tools in the toolbox IMO.

Posted in

Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.