Build Muscle & Strength With Pyramid Training

Pyramid training is performed as part of your workout and is one of the best methods for building muscle while also improving strength. In this guide you’ll learn all there is to know about implementing it into your workout plan.

What Are Pyramid Sets and why are they so important?

Pyramid training involves a group of sets of the same exercise such as bench press, starting with a lighter weight and higher reps.

Eventually, you build your way up to a heavier weight with fewer reps.

It is called pyramid training because of its triangle style movement of higher reps to lower reps.


Adding Pyramid Sets

Wonder how to do pyramid sets to your routine?

Well, adding a pyramid exercise to your resistance training program isn’t very difficult.

You just need a basic structure to get started so you can arrange your reps and sets in a way that works for you.

Here’s an example:
Set 1: 60% 1RM 12 Reps
Set 2: 70% 1RM 10 Reps
Set 3: 80% 1RM 8 Reps

You can do as many sets or reps as you like, so long as it follows this ascending style.


Pros and Cons

There are advantages and disadvantages to doing pyramids for weight lifting.

Pro: Warms You Up

One benefit is it makes sure you are warming up, if you add in multiple sets this is especially true. This is very important if you want to train closer to your 1RM (One Rep Max) as it helps avoid injuries that are more likely to occur without a good warmup.

Pro: Good For Powerbuilding

One thing that is common in strength training such as powerlifting is less reps, less sets. In bodybuilding the opposite is true. With pyramids you can get the best of both worlds which is why pyramid training is great for powerbuilding.

Pro: Dynamic & Flexible

A lot of types of training offer little room for maneuver. This isn’t the case with doing pyramids, there’s a lot of freedom of choice. You will see people talking about straight sets vs pyramid sets and there’s simply no need. You can do pyramid sets on one exercise and straight sets on another.

Con: Not The Best For Mass

While there is no doubt that you can and will gain size doing pyramids, it’s not nearly as effective as other methods for gaining pure mass such as straight sets.

Con: Not The Best For Pure Strength

Again, while you will gain more strength than someone who is purely bodybuilding, you won’t become as strong as someone who is powerlifting only. That said it has more likeness to powerlifting programs than bodybuilding where you tend to utilize straight sets.

The Final Rep

Pyramid training is amazing for getting the most improvement possible for both mass and strength. And best of all, it doesn’t require massive changes to your routine so give it a go on one of your compound lifts and see how it goes!