Drop Set Strength

dropsetDrop Set Strength is a very long total body strength workout by Amy Bento based on the drop set method of lifting. The structure of Drop Set Strength is you do 3 sets of each exercise; set 1 consists of 8 reps at the heaviest weight, set 2 consists of 10 reps at a moderate weight and set 3 consists of 12 reps at the lightest weight. For each set, Amy sometimes varies not just the rep count, but puts a slight twist on the way the exercise is performed. There is no crew in this workout, just Amy. It is a intense and comprehensive total body strength workout. I did like this workout, but not nearly as much as Slo-Mo Strength. And I adore Slo-Mo. However, this one is still very good. It wins in how comprehensive it is. But you pay for that comprehensiveness in length. It is 91 minutes long; however there are 3 premixes so you can do a shorter workouts plus everything is chaptered by muscle group so you can create your own workout making it the length you need it to be (scroll down to the very bottom of this review for the premixes and the muscle group time lengths). Amy puts her effective and unique twist on most of the exercises to make them even harder and I liked it with most of the exercises. One, however, I did not. Seesaw Chest Presses. I just found that one awkward. In the future I will just do straight chest presses–I’ll be able to go heavier with traditional chest presses anyway. It’s hard to go super heavy on Seesaw Presses, plus I didn’t really feel it in my chest (the muscle group it is supposed to be working), I felt it in my neck, shoulders and arms. And not in a good way. I never like an exercise I feel in my neck.

Amy has a range of dumbbells that she uses: 20 pounds, 15 pounds, 10 pounds, 8 pounds and 5 pounds. I used even more than that even in the first round–I added 25 pounds, 12 pounds and 7 pounds to the mix. In the breakdown below I list what weight of dumbbell Amy uses for every set as a guideline. Keep in mind, you have to tailor a workout like this to your strength and fitness level. You may find the weights she uses too heavy or too light. So you will have to do the workout at least once before you will get the perfect workout for yourself. I found her weights to be a mix for me–sometimes just right, sometimes too light, and once even too heavy. Now, it also varies within an exercise group. Sometimes in a drop set one weight was perfect but I could go heavier on the 1st and 3rd set. I knew this was going to be an issue before I even started this workout so I previewed the entire thing and made a workout card, listing the weights Amy uses, before even doing the workout the first time. It is scribbled all over after going through the workout once! But now I know exactly what weight will challenge me next time I do the workout.

Though I do really like this workout, I think her coverage of the back is weak. She uses bridges to work the back and that is primarily a glute and hamstring exercise. She does specify pulling the shoulders together while doing it, but there are many, many better ways to work the back than doing a bridge. Still, one thing I did like in this workout is that she brought the legs into other muscle groups sometimes–deadlifts for back, concentration curls in a deep squat for biceps, bridges for back–so you got some bonus lower body work throughout.

Drop Set Strength 91 minutes long with a 5:30 minute warm up and an 11 minute stretch (9 minutes of w/o is abs). Equipment needed: step w/ 3 risers, a stability ball, dumbbells and mat.


Lower Body:
1. Wide sumo squat (1st set hold dumbbells in front of you 20#, second set hold dumbbells in goal post 10#, third set hold dumbbells straight overhead 5#); repeat all 3 sets
2. Bulgarian lunge (one foot on step behind you) (1st set dumbbells at side 20#, second set hold dumbbells pressed together in front of chest 10#, 3rd set hold dumbbells straight overhead 5#)
3. Close stance squats (1st set bring dumbbells forward beside knees when squatting 15#, 2nd set bring dumbbells forward as in 1st set, but when returning to standing, press dumbbells behind you w/ palms facing the wall behind you 10#, 3rd set, bring dumbbells forward at bottom of squat same as in 1st and 2nd set, but when standing do overhead press 8#)
4. Single leg deadlifts (1st set raise leg behind you 15#, 2nd set add wide back row while leg is raised 10#, 3rd set after raising leg, come down into reverse lunge–no row 5#)


5. Seesaw chest presses (lay on step and do diagonal chest presses with head raised; 1st set 20#, 2nd set 15#, 3rd set 10#)
6. Push ups (1st set–get into high plank then walk hands out as far in front of you as possible then lower slowly and push back up, walking hands back to start–do 4 reps; 2nd set–10 standard push ups; 3rd set–12 push ups on knees with hands slightly out in front of you)
7. Chest flyes (1st set 20#, 2nd set 15#, 3rd set 10#)

8. Bent over rows (1st set palms face body 15#, 2nd set is wide rows 10#, 3rd set palms face body while standing on one leg, 6 reps each leg 5#)
9. Deadlifts (1st set feet wide, knees bend, pull dumbbells behind you at top 15#, 2nd set take arms wider 10#, 3rd set pull arms up to goal post arms at top of deadlift 8#)
10. Bridges (1st set lay on back and get into bridge position; rather than raise and lower hips, hold bridge while pulling shoulders back and releasing, you’ll be tensing/contracting back and slightly raising hips/low back higher, 2nd set change feet to narrow stance and repeat; 3rd set still narrow stance, on heels with arms wide on the floor)

11. Arnold press sitting on step; at top of move tilt ends of dumbbells downward toward head (1st set 15#, 2nd set 10#, 3rd set 8#)

12. Double Vs: raise dumbbells in a V in front of you, the press them in a V behind you at bottom of move (1st set 15#, 2nd set 10#, 3rd set 5#)
13. Eagles: bent arm lateral raises while sitting on step (1st set 10#, 2nd set 8#, 3rd set 5#)

14. Concentration curls with elbow on inside of thighs–you’ll be in a deep sumo squat (1st set 15#, 2nd set 10#, 3rd set 5#)
15. Standing hammer curls (1st set 15#, 2nd set 8#, 3rd set the exercises changes–do a hammer curl, but at top, turn your palms so they are facing the ceiling and do a long or serving curl, which is pressing the dumbbells out straight in front of you 5#)
16. Seated curl: sitting on the step do a standard bicep curl but at bottom when arms are nearly straight, twist wrists/dumbbells all the way around so palms face the step (1st set 10#, 2nd set 8#, 3rd set you add the long curl described in #15 at top of curl 5#)

17. Wide tricep kickbacks (1st set 15#, 2nd set 10#, 3rd set 8#)
18. Overhead tension presses (seated overhead french presses) (1st set 10#, 2nd set 8#, 3rd set 5#)
19. Tricep push ups (1st set on knees, fall into step, catching yourself with hands close together then push back, 2nd set get into full plank with hands close together on step, come down halfway and jump feet in, 3rd set get on knees, hands close together on step, raise one leg–so 6 tricep push ups then change legs and do 6 more)


20. Standing figure 8s (two 5# dumbbells pressed together on front of chest; bring them down to side of body while leaning over then come up and halo around head; alternate sides) 4 sets of 8 reps
21. Tuck levitation (1st set–sit on step, holding dumbbells but dumbbells are on step, legs straight out in front of you, lift your body up on dumbbells and heels; push hips forward, bending knees, then come back to start, 8 reps; 2nd set–same thing but this time on floor, 8 reps; 3rd set, back on top of step–same as set 1, 8 reps; 4th set same as 2nd set–on the floor, 8 reps)
22. Lay on step with head/shoulders raised, arms overhead and legs raised; bring arms/shoulders and legs up then lower them down; 2 sets of 8 reps
23. Get into elbow plank with elbows on step and feet on floor; hop feet up to side and back, then up to other side and back for a total of 8 (4 on each side); 2 sets

You use the stability ball for the stretch

Split One Mix (63:22): warm up, legs, chest, back, core & stretch
Split Two Mix (53:32): warm up, chest, biceps, triceps, core & stretch
Split Three Mix  (72:54): warm up, legs, shoulders, biceps, triceps, core & stretch

Warm up 5:30
Legs 20 minutes
Chest 9:30 minutes
Back 8 minutes
Shoulders 9 minutes
Biceps 10 minutes
Triceps 8 minutes

Core 9 minutes

Stretch 11 minutes


5 thoughts on “Drop Set Strength

    1. I hope so since I ended up buying it! I plan to do it week after next. I’m excited–I adore her Slo-Mo Strength. I hope All Pump Extreme is as good. I also got some of her kettlebell workouts.


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