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The Drop 5 Add 5 Protocol

DB Bench Press Chest Workout

We had a great workout last night and I wanted to share with you the flow of the warm-up and how we structured the finisher for chest.

Since I was traveling all weekend, I wanted to make sure I was properly warmed up and ready-to-go before I even touched a weight. I worked on firing up my upper back, shoulders, chest and mobilizing (fancy term for increasing range of motion and ‘opening up’ what is tight) my upper back and shoulders.

For the warm-up, we hit all of the following:
Push-ups: multiple sets x 5 reps (slow-eccentric)
Lat Stretches: 1-2 min each side
Thoracic Extension on Foam Roller: 1-2 min (at 2:09 in the video)
Shoulder Rehab Band Circuit: 2 sets x 5-10 reps each movement

We then went into CT Fletcher’s Tricep Gauntlet, but instead of doing the reps on the floor, we hit them on an incline bench. After the warm-up, this was just to get the triceps ready for benching and heat up the elbows.

Overhead Plate Tricep Extentions

Here is how the CT’s Tricep Gauntlet works:

Stack on the floor (in this order) a 45lb plate, a 35lb plate, and a 25lb plate.

Grab the 25lb plate on the sides,and perform tricep extensions where you keep your elbows facing the ceiling the whole time. Perform constant tension reps where you don’t fully lock out the plate – you extend up to right before lockout and continue back down into the next repetition. Perform the reps at a faster than normal tempo.

Hit 20 reps with the 25lb plate.

Then, grab the 35lb plate and repeat for another 20 reps.

Next up, the 45lb plate for 20.

Once you’re done with the 45, go back down to the 35lb, and then finally, the 25lb plate.

Like this:

Tricep Extensions: 25lb x 20 reps
Tricep Extensions: 35lb x 20 reps
Tricep Extensions: 45lb x 20 reps
Tricep Extensions: 35lb x 20 reps
Tricep Extensions: 25lb x 20 reps

Try to keep the rest to a minimum.

Next up, for the primary exercise, we hit heavy close grip bench press for 8 sets x 3 reps:

Now, after the main exercise we did a chest finisher, something I call The Drop 5 Add 5 Protocol.

The Drop 5 Add 5 Protocol

Keeping it simple in the gym is the best advice when you’re trying to build muscle and build strength.

Combining heavy training (heavy weight with low reps) and moderate-to-heavy training (moderate reps with higher training volumes) is the perfect mix for developing hypertrophy faster and saving your joints in the process – enter the Drop 5 Add 5 Protocol.

Simply pick the heaviest weight you can do for 5 reps (since you’re doing this as a finisher, you should already be warmed up), and that will be your first set. This is your baseline weight.

Now, drop the weight 5lbs and add 5 reps – this will be your 2nd set. You will proceed on for a particular number of sets OR go until you can’t anymore. I love more training volume, so we always go until we feel that we’re done.

Drop 5 Add 5 example from last night’s workout:

Set 1: 100lbs x 5 reps, rest 2-3min
Set 2: 95lbs x 10 reps, rest 2-3min
Set 3: 90lbs x 15 reps, rest 2-3min
Set 4: 85lbs x 20 reps, rest 2-3min
Set 5: 80lbs x 25 reps, rest 2-3min


If 5lbs is not a big enough drop for you – or your training partners – simply use a Drop 10 Add 5 Protocol. For example, grab your baseline weight and hit it for 5 reps. Then drop 10lbs and add 5 more reps. This will make the volume and intensity much more manageable.

On days when we’re really feeling good, we get up into the 30-40 rep sets. But be warned, this should only be done once every 3-4 weeks because you will be annihilated.

Also, as an important note, at some point you won’t be able to get the reps in a straight set so you’ll have to put in some short rest periods. We like to use a rest-pause training protocol, where you only rest 10-15 seconds and then get back into the set.

Then means that if you’re on set 4 and you’re trying to hit 20 reps with 85lb dumbbells and you have to stop, it might look like this:

85lbs x 12 reps
Rest 10-15 seconds
85lbs x 8 reps
Total: 20 reps

If you like simple and want to get a lagging muscle group to grow, try out the Drop 5 Add 5 Protocol as a finisher to your workout – just plug it in after your main lift and go to work.



By on June 8th, 2015


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Comment (1)

  1. Posted by - Dale Reesor on July 3, 2015

    Nice, I’ll give that a try today. My elbows are bothering me so I’ll probably move the pushups to last in that sequence.

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