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 Post subject: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:57 pm 
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I thought I was being smart. Little did I know, reverse pyramid was already getting popular.

I was disappointed with my bench pressing. I was trying to do 10, 8 and 6 reps as the plates increased from 25lb, 35lb and 45lb. But at 45lb plates I only managed to get in 3 reps without my spotter.

So I started conditioning myself with reverse pyramids and starting at 45lb plates got 6 reps, 35lb at 10reps and 25lbs at 14reps all to failure. That’s a total of 2878 ft-lbs of work. Which means I have 2878 ft-lbs of energy in me for bench pressing.

In my next session I proceeded with normal 10/8/6 pyramid again but couldn’t get past 4reps at 45lbs. How come?


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 Post subject: Re: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Because you were tired, or still fatigued from the previous workout, or the phase of the moon was wrong, or you didn't hold your tongue right. Don't agonize over a single workout that doesn't go as well as expected. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

Are you benching single plates? Why not talk about the total load, rather than what plates you're using? I assume that you're talking about loading a 45-pound bar with pairs of those plates, so your loads are 95, 115 and 135.

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 Post subject: Re: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Also, I think that when most people (or at least many) do 10/8/6, they do it with the same load.

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 Post subject: Re: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Yeah, that's right: 95, 115 and 135lb. I thought it would be easier for people to relate to plates on each end.

Anyways, I'm not doing pyramid and reverse pyramid in the same session. I have a day of rest in between like: Monday pyramid, Wednesday reverse pyramid.

So I'm wondering why I can't perform the pyramid when I could with reverse?


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 Post subject: Re: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:37 am 
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It's simple. You are more fresh. You got more in your muscles, they are not overheated, they are filled with immediate energy sources and you motor units are all ready to fire. On the pyramid, you have already created serious amount of heat, you have used some of the immediate energy sources and haven't recovered all of them back, and you have already made some near maximal recruitment on the nervous system.

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 Post subject: Re: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:23 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
Also, I think that when most people (or at least many) do 10/8/6, they do it with the same load.


not I, my favourite rep scheme is the good ole 12/10/8/6/4 increasing the weight each time.


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 Post subject: Re: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Reverse pyramids is what really worked for my upper body when i started lifting but i wouldnt suggest doing them on every workout.


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 Post subject: Re: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:01 pm 
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OP,

why not just bench 3290 lbs once, and save time ?


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 Post subject: Re: Reverse Pyramid
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:56 am 
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tostig wrote:
That’s a total of 2878 ft-lbs of work. Which means I have 2878 ft-lbs of energy in me for bench pressing.

In my next session I proceeded with normal 10/8/6 pyramid again but couldn’t get past 4reps at 45lbs. How come?


See Oscar's answer. The "tonnage" or energy expenditure has little to nothing to do with the absolute maximum weight you can move. You cannot translate tonnage into any predictions about the max weight you can move, or how many reps you can get any particular weight.

If you want to be able to track your progress and be more confident in predicting what you can do, do this.

1) First, do a max attempt. Warm up with the empty bar, 5 reps. Add 10's, do maybe 3 reps. Go the 25's, do 2 reps. Keep adding weight, doing only 1 rep, until you fail. This is your best guess at your 1RM.

2) Use this formula to predict back and forth how many reps you can do or what your 1RM might be.

Max = Weight * (1 + Reps/33)

or to get how much weight you should be able to do, knowing your max:

Weight = Max / ( 1 + Reps/33 )

or how many reps you should be able to do at a given weight:

Reps = 33 * (Max/Weight - 1)

The formula is not magic. It is not guaranteed. But it is quite useful for trend tracking, if for example you do a set of 6 one day, a set of 5 another, then 3, then 4, and you want to track how those sets compared to each other.

Not everyone likes using formulas like this, but I have found it to be extremely reliable and helpful.

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