What is it? You’ll perform reps of an exercise until your muscles fail then decrease the weight and continue to do more reps with the reduced poundage. It’s possible to do several drop sets in one set.
Use it: Do them on isolation or machine exercises towards the end of your workout to completely thrash and fatigue your muscles.
What is it? These involve lowering a weight very slowly and pushing or pulling back to the start quickly. This forces your muscles to work harder.
Use it: Recruit a spotter to help lift the weight and then take eight seconds to slowly lower it. Alternatively, use a Smith Machine to press the weight up with both limbs and lower it slowly with one.
What is it? This is when you do two different exercises back-to-back for the same or different muscle groups without rest.
Use it: Pair pushing and pulling exercise like a bench press and a bent -over row to achieve back to front muscle. This will also save you time.
What is it? You’ll use momentum from the rest of your body to defeat a sticking point as you tire at the end of a set.
Use it: This can lead to injury so use it only when you’re warmed up. Swing your weight back on your final rep of bicep curls to help lift the bar up.
What is it? You’ll do a set of an isolation exercise for the muscle you’re targeting then do a compound multi-jointed exercise for the same muscle. Doing the isolation move forces the target muscle to work harder during the compound move.
Use it: Isolate your quads better when doing squats by performing a set of leg extensions then doing your squats – you’ll feel a better burn in the front of your thighs.
What is it? You’ll take a brief rest period during a set to give yourself extra energy to push out more reps.
Use it: Use a weight you manage 3-4 reps with. Finish the reps then rack the weight and rest for 15-20 seconds and try for another 2-3 reps. Repeat as many times as you can.
What is it? You’ll lift a weight through a limited range of motion – at the top, in the middle or at the bottom of a movement.
Use it: Find your weakest point in an exercise then do 10 repetitions through that range of motion. If you struggle lifting the bar off your chest on a bench press then do reps where it only moves 10-inches off your chest.
What is it? You’ll hold a weight in a fixed position for 10-20 seconds to resist against gravity.
Use it: Do it at the end of a set and hold the weight at the point where the most tension is on your muscles. For a bicep curl, hold the weight when your elbows are bent to 90°.
Words by Ray Klerck