Exercise Prescriptions for Triple Drop Sets

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Snapshot of Takeaway Points

  • Change is the only constant
  • Have a reason for why you are selecting a series of exercises
  • Triple drops increase growth in muscle mass &/or specific strength qualities


Triple drops are a very popular training protocol that extend the time under the tension of the muscle selected. Utilising them allows you to knock off more motor units and fatigue a higher number of muscle fibres. This can translate to new levels of growth, whether it be growth in a strength quality or muscle mass.

Please find below some alternative ways of thinking about exercise selection within a triple drop method. There are many different rep schemes for triple drops so you don’t necessarily need to utilise the ones mentioned below.

Option 1: Uni-angular 8-8-16

  • A1) Flat EZ Bar Extension (Chains, to Forehead): 8 reps, 4010
  • A2) Flat EZ Bar Extension (to Nose): 8 reps, 3010
  • A3) Flat Dumbbell Extension: 16 reps, 2010

Uni-angular translates to one angle. Thus, you are looking to use three very similar movements patterns. Notice how the movements also increase in stretch/ROM through the triceps which is a great mechanism for hypertrophy.

Option 2: Points/Position of Flexion Devil’s Drop Set

  • A1) Prone/Spider Dumbbell Curl (Supinated): 6 reps at 3111
  • A2) Standing Cable Curl (Supinated, Mid): 6 reps at 3111
  • A3) Incline Dumbbell Curl (Offset, Supinating): 6 reps at 3111

Points/Positions of flexion was popularised by Steve Holman and involves using a movement for 3 x different strength curves. I know that Steve recommended a specific order (Mid Range – Bottom Range/Stretched Position – Top Range/Contracted Position) but after playing around for years with it, you can indeed switch the order up to challenge the body.

Option 3: Doublé 6-6-12

  • A1) Flat Dumbbell Fly: 6 reps, 4010
  • A2) Flat Barbell Press: 6 reps, 3010
  • A3) Flat Dumbbell Fly: 12 reps, 2010

Doublé translates to double (Duh!) and the idea is the first and last exercise are identical in prescription, but not necessarily reps or tempo. It’s a protocol that mixes the pre & post exhaustion methods into one, leaving you utterly shell shocked!

Option 4: Mechanical Drop/Advantage 6-12-25

  • A1) Front Squat (Narrow, Cyclist): 6 reps, 4010
  • A2) Back Squat (Heels on 2.5kg): 12 reps, 3010
  • A3) Back Squat (Wide Stance): 25 reps, 2010

A mechanical drop/advantage protocol indicates for you to keep the weight constant throughout the set but adjust the movement to a stronger position, allowing you to continue time under tension.


I hope the above has got you thinking about what exercises you’re selecting and why. I always challenge as to why my coaches pick a specific exercise to get them thinking. Change is the only constant and if you want to achieve new levels of growth you must challenge your body accordingly.

Article written by: Tom Hibbert

Published on: 5/2/2019

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