Article Japanese Drop Sets

Japanese Drop Sets

Drop sets, or decreasing sets, are an extremely popular method of intensification for increasing muscle mass and endurance. The next step in increasing the results using this technique is the Japanese drop sets.
Being able to overcome your limits to physical training is a good first step to overcome your limits in life. If you are a person who wants to exceed their own limits, keep reading!

Just like classic drop sets (decreasing sets) Japanese drop sets are a very good intensification tool. A kind of sets that are used at the end of a workout to provide extra stimulus to the muscles, which helps to overcome the limits, increase the muscles and master the mental discipline!

The name is due to the Japanese researchers, being the ones who studied the training variables with many repetitions and found a positive correlation between them and the muscle growth. We will not go through scientific details of the study, but briefly it was a group of participants who did 10 sets of 36 repetitions with only 15% of the maximum force (the force with which you can do only one correct repetition), of 3 times a week for 12 weeks.


Japanese researchers observed:

✪ positive growth hormone response

✪ greater hypertrophy

✪ higher blood flow

✪ higher absorption of amino acids and glycogen

✪ higher endurance

✪ higher anaerobic and lactic threshold


But this training protocol of the Japanese can be modified in a much more applicable method! And it is a very efficient method, especially if it is done after an exercise with few repetitions and heavy weights.

For example, let's say you did 5 sets of 5 repetitions for a certain exercise because you know: few and heavy repetitions done for several sets are better for size and strength. After that, finish everything with a set with many repetitions, between 20 and 25.

No, not anything over 15 repetitions is cardio! Yes, many sets with few repetitions and heavy weights are the best for strength and size, but what the Japanese have discovered shows us that the body works in a wide spectrum and don't change suddenly from strength to endurance, but both aspects are trained to different intensities, causing a greater or lesser response for each one, depending on the part of the spectrum you train.

Specifically, if you train at the strength end of the spectrum, doing a few repetitions (1-15), the increases in force will be greater, the endurance will also be trained, but not so much, unless you move the training to the other extreme and increase the number of repetitions. As you do this, the effects on endurance increase, and those on force decrease.

Therefore, many repetitions with smaller weights increase in strength and size, but not as much as a few repetitions with large weights.

Drop Japanese sets should be used occasionally, not all the time. They are used when you want more intensity or when you try to trigger new muscle growth. They are done on days when you feel good, full of energy.

Japanese drop sets are very easy to implement, but not easy to do! But how exactly is a Japanese drop set made? It starts with a weight with which you can do 5 correct repetitions - at the first set you do between 4 and 6 repetitions, you lower the bar 5-15% by weight, you do as many repetitions as you can, and then you remove 5-15% from weight and make repetitions. You keep it that way until you reach a total of 25 repetitions.

Try to do this after your main legs training! After you have done the number of sets you wanted for legs flexions, put on a weight with which you can do 5 repetitions and apply the Japanese drop sets. If you want more security use the hack squat device. After you have done the 25 repetitions, your eyes will be out of orbit, your lungs will be in flames and pumping the quadriceps will barely let you move.



✪ Do the basic exercise (the number of sets and repetitions you want).

✪ You begin the Japanese drop set with a weight with which you can do 5 correct repts.

✪ With each drop set reduce the weight by 5-15% (calculate in advance what the weight is and

arrange on the bar so that to be easy to lower, and not to make big breaks between sets).

✪ Continue doing this until you make 25 total repetitions (from the first to the last set).

✪ Obviously, the pause between sets is only to change weights, ideally are few seconds.

✪ The performance you have during the Japanese drop set will tell you how much to get off the bar at each set.


It's a good technique to see what kind of muscle fiber composition you have. Slow-responding muscle fibers will only need a few drop sets to reach 25 repetitions. Those with fast-responding muscle fibers, which naturally have more strength, run faster, jump higher, require greater weight reductions from set to set and probably need more sets to make the 25 repetitions (fast-responding muscle fibers, even if they are much stronger, get tired much faster).

Try to implement this me.


2 years ago