How to Correctly Perform Pyramid Training

Pyramiding your weights is a great way to build muscle size and strength. Working up from relatively lightweight to a heavyweight over multiple sets ensures you stimulate your muscles with the right amount of volume to stimulate growth and at the right intensity to produce strength adaptations. It’s best used on compound barbell exercises, but it can be used with machines and dumbells as well. 

Unfortunately, most programs don’t properly explain how to perform a pyramid correctly.  I used Pyramid training when I was in high school bulking for football. I gained approximately 30 pounds of muscle during those years, despite performing them incorrectly. Like most people, I over-taxed myself on the early sets, and couldn’t progress in weight as well as I could have.

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2019 Strength Training Program (Free Download)

2019 Program (image).PNG

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2019 Strength Training Program (FREE DOWNLOAD)

This is my workout cycle for the next 15-weeks. I wanted to mix things up. I based the program on Brad Schoenfeld’s Max Muscle Plan (with some tweaks by yours truly). It is an excellent book; well researched with practical guidelines and suggestions. I will probably repeat it, with minor changes, two more times before the end of the year.

Max Muscle Plan (Cover).jpg

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Strength Training Intensity – How Much is Optimal

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The latest issue of Muscle & Fiction and all the High-Intensity zealots would have you believe that if you don’t take a set to absolute muscular failure, you are wasting your time. That just isn’t true. On an effective strength training program for the natural lifter, most sets should stop 1 or 2 repetitions short of failure. We should avoid going to failure on all but the last set of each exercise. A simple, yet effective way to evaluate your rating of perceived exertion (RPE), is using this table developed by respected strength coach and competitive powerlifter Mike Tuchscherer.

RPE Scale (lifting)

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