Now that you’ve come this far in your fitness journey, you might be getting a little frustrated with your stagnant progress. The fitness tracker results and the self-kept progress photos don’t add up to the beast mode workout sesh you’ve had throughout the week. It’s as if you’re exhausting yourself without getting anywhere.
While it’s been proven to get results when you follow the 3-4 sets x 10-12 reps, at some point, your body will hit a plateau in your workouts simply because it’s been accustomed to the amount of stress it experiences during weight training. Now, now. Don’t fret as this is very common. It’s perfectly normal. What you need to do is tweak your program a bit and start incorporating pyramid training.
What Is Pyramid Training?
Pyramid training refers to a progressive approach of performing workouts for sets and repetitions. From the word itself, a pyramid is structured in a way that the top is the narrowest point whereas the bottom is the broadest. Translating it to workouts, pyramid training can done in two ways: starting from the heaviest weight or with the lightest weight on the first set.
Treat this as you would treat your usual routine. Start by warming up for 10-15 minutes and proceed with the program. Note that pyramid training will make you sore, so it’s imperative you end every workout with cool downs.
Types of Pyramid Training
Before doing any pyramid training, make sure that you can work out comfortably with your chosen weights. Make sure that the weight for each category allows you to perform the needed reps per set. Don’t overdo it to the point where you sacrifice your form for going for the extra rep. Remember to always keep it realistic when it comes to weights.
Ascending Pyramid/Standard Pyramid
Starts with the lightest weight on the first set and ends with the heaviest on the last set. The number of reps go down as you proceed to the next set.
Descending Pyramid/Reverse Pyramid
This is the opposite of the first pyramid training type where you start with the heaviest weight on the first set and the number of reps goes up on each set.
Combine the ascending and descending pyramids. Note that when you go back to the lighter weights after your heaviest, your strength will have decreased, making it more difficult for you to complete the necessary reps. On sets 5-7, it is important for you to observe your muscle’s endurance. By doing so, you can base the number of reps you’re realistically able to do and increase it over time.
The beauty of pyramid training is that it has no boundaries. It’s about identity; about learning which method works best for your body. What didn’t work for you three months ago could be just what you need now that your muscles have progressed. Which type works best for you? Only you can answer this question once you hit the gym and try them all out. After all, pyramid training is a trial and error process.