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Drop Sets + a 3 Move Lower Body Blast

by Courtney on April 9, 2012

Since I had so much to share with you guys this morning about my Easter weekend, I didn’t really get a chance to share much about today’s workout.

Today officially kicked off the sixth and final week of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp, and I must say that I’m already a little bummed that it’s almost over. Not only have I loved having workouts ready for me (hello, easy planning!) but it’s also given me an opportunity to try some various types of workouts that I’d previously been putting off… and today just so happened to be one of them.

Today was the first time that Drop Sets were incorporated into our routine.

So what are Drop Sets?

It is a technique for continuing an exercise with a lower weight once muscle failure has been achieved at a higher weight. It can be performed on weight machines, with dumbbells, or other free weights.

For example…

One of the exercises I did today was a chest press. I started with two 25lb dumbbells (seriously, who am I?) and did 8 repetitions. I then quickly changed dumbbells and used two 12lb dumbbells until I could no longer lift (exhaustion) – about 20 reps.

When performing drop sets, it is recommended that no more than 1-2 drop sets be done per muscle group since it is very easy to “over train.” You are essentially “shocking” the muscles by adding stress, thus increasing muscle size (also known as hypertrophy from my NASM materials).

Drop sets are recommended for those with a primary fitness goal of additional muscle gain, not for those looking to increase endurance.


SO, now that you’ve read through my little exercise lesson for today, how about I share a fun little lower body blast workout with you all? Winking smile

I gave this workout a go probably about two weeks ago and have been meaning to share it with you ever since. The workout only has 3 moves, but you’re going to do 3 sets, changing up the reps of each move in each set.

lower body blast

  • 20 Dumbbell Front Squats
  • 20 Weighted Step-Up to Rear Lunges
  • 10 Burpees
  • 15 Dumbbell Front Squats
  • 15 Weighted Step-Up to Rear Lunges
  • 20 Burpees
  • 10 Dumbbell Front Squats
  • 10 Weighted Step-Up to Rear Lunges
  • 30 Burpees

Yes…I went there. Lots of BURPEES! The move we all love to hate.

If you work quickly in between each move, this workout should only take you about 15-20 minutes…the perfect way to really blast out the end of a workout!

Here’s your How-To’s…

Dumbbell Front Squat

Grasp dumbbells with wrists facing each other, feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. Bring dumbbells up toward your collarbone until your elbows point straight out and your arms are parallel to the floor. Bend knees and hips to lower into a squat position, keeping knees behind toes. Keep head up, weight in the heels, and chest lifted. Once thighs are parallel to the floor, quickly rise and repeat.


Weighted Step-Up to Rear Lunge

Hold a medicine ball (or dumbbell) in front of torso, feet shoulder-width apart. Step right leg onto a step as you bring your left knee up to your chest (*do NOT propel up with back leg – put all of the weight into your front stepping leg). While keeping your right foot on the step, lunge backward with your left leg, lowering until the right thigh is parallel to the floor. Bring your right foot off the step and return to start, then repeat with the opposite leg. *Optional Bonus Burner – After lunging backward, twist from your torso, bringing ball over your right leg, and return to center.



From standing, sink down into a deep squat and put hands on the ground in front of you. Transfer body weight on your arms and jump back with both feet simultaneously. Keep your body perfectly straight in a plank position, engage the core, and do not let your hips sink. Jump (or walk) with both feet forward close to your hands, keeping glutes low. Leap up as high as possible and land into the squat position again softly. Keep core activated and movements controlled.



Give it a try – let me know what ya think! Winking smile

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance April 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I love that this only has three moves – I hate having to keep looking at my computer or paper when I can’t remember what all the moves are!
Caroline @ After Dinner Dance recently posted..Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches


2 Khushboo April 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Burpees or not, I’m still impressed your chest pressing with 25lb dumbbells…baller :)
Khushboo recently posted..What’s your WHY?


3 Alysia @ Slim Sanity April 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I always like to try out new workouts! Ending with 30 burpees may be a bit of a challenge haha
Alysia @ Slim Sanity recently posted..roasted cauliflower


4 Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine April 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I love to hate burpees.
Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine recently posted..Foodsession: Chicken and Waffles


5 Alyssa @ fit and fun in third April 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Can’t wait to give this a try and curse through the burpee pain!!
Alyssa @ fit and fun in third recently posted..Scenes from Easter Weekend


6 Courtney April 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Hey Court, I’m doing the bootcamp too and we have three more weeks! We get one more phase after this, so no worries, it’s not over yet!


7 Courtney April 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

Haha, so I’ve discovered! Whoops! :) Bring on the eight weeks!


8 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat April 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The dropsets sound like a quick way to change up a lifting routine – thanks for the expertise! ;)


9 Michelle@Peachy Palate April 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Love it! If only I had a step at home…what could I replace the step up to rear lunges with?! Hmmm…
Michelle@Peachy Palate recently posted..About time I got some Mac!


10 Ali @ Around the VeggieTable April 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I love your workouts :) Thanks so much for posting them! I am going to need to wait a bit on this one though because my legs are currently JELLO from yesterday’s workout.
Ali @ Around the VeggieTable recently posted..Five For Friday


11 Danica @ It's Progression April 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I love that you take the time to include how to do each move–it’s definitely appreciated!
Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..Easter 2012…Dessert again!


12 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health April 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Love that workout! And I’m sure 30 burpees will absolutely kill…but I will feel so accomplished at the end :). I’m heading to the gym soon to do Tina’s bootcamp workout and this is my first time with drop sets…I’m kinda nervous!
Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..I Love It When…


13 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Another great one to try!! I love all of your ideas! :)
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..King of the Mountain … and a Giveaway.


14 Catherine April 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Love focusing on the lower body b/c for me, thats where i carry my weight and where its hardest to tone up (besides abs of course!) Will be trying this today!


15 michelle kim April 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Wow! Looks like a great way to really get the heart going and lower body on fire!
Thanks (as always) for putting up helpful pictures for each of the moves!
michelle kim recently posted..Easter Sunday Recap


16 Carrie @ Lift Eat Repeat April 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I love step ups! I like to do them with a barbell or holding kettle bells! I also do my front squats with a barbell!
Carrie @ Lift Eat Repeat recently posted..If He Brings You To It


17 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes April 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Love dropsets…hate burpees :)
StoriesAndSweetPotatoes recently posted..Things I Might Literally Die Without


18 Yellow Haired Girl April 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Ohhhh…burpees. You went there ;) love em’ or hate em’, they work!
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19 Tina @ Best Body Fitness April 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm

You silly girl. I have one more phase for you after this one. Although you may wish I didn’t. ;) Mwahahaha!
Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..A New Beginning


20 Courtney April 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

Haha, see? This is where my brain is at already this week…oy vey ;)


21 Michelle (Better with Berries) April 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

This workout looks awesome! I am saving it for another week because I’m trying to go easy on the lower body work this week in preparation for a half marathon this Saturday!

Just curious (I don’t know a ton about training and most of what I know is from blogs like yours!) – what exactly is “over training”? I mean I figure it’s when you push your body and your muscles too far and too hard, but what exactly happens?
Michelle (Better with Berries) recently posted..My Career Change: 4 Things That Scare Me


22 Tara April 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I just recently experimented with drop sets too! It is a love-hate relationship…kind of like with those burpees. I hate doing them, but I love how much it hurts…is that weird?! ;)


23 Amy April 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Love this post, it’s really gonna help me out in the future! I hope you got my email that I sent you to If you didn’t please let me know :).


24 Katie April 10, 2012 at 8:41 am

This looks wonderful–and hard!
Katie recently posted..Back to reality…and an award!


25 Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt April 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

Courtney, Boot Camp is 8 weeks long! Your not going to get off that easy:-)
Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt recently posted..Easter Recap


26 Courtney April 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

Haha, yes, I just found this out yesterday! Whoops ;)


27 Kattreena May 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Just came across this and completed it– didn’t know how hard these 3 moves would work my legs! Holy cow! :) this is awesome and fits in some cardio, too! :)


28 Lauren April 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm

All athletes sooner or later face the situation when they do not see any visible changes in their shape anymore. The latest research has lit the light over this problem. Muscle growth is impossible without the muscle damage. Microtraumas which we get after the trainings eventually enforce the cells division and overall increase of the muscle volume. I have read an interesting article by nutritional reseachers at Military Grade Nutritionals Company. It is available here
They wrote about the special products, which prevent the unwanted changes in the muscle tissue, therefore preventing DOMS and fighting so called muscle plateaus. Already tried it several times. At first I was not sure if it was the product’s action or I just have trained less), but after my second training all doubts just went away. It really eased my recovery – almost no soreness! I feel that I can train harder, gaining more results than ever before!


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