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workout question with pyramid workout

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:30 pm
by js2003
I asked earlier about doing 10,8,6,4,2 with progressively higher weight and then going back down to 4,6,8,10 but i noticed doing bench press this way pretty much tires me out, does that mean with this type of a workout, that I only do 1 body part a day or should i do chest and legs or what is a workout plan as far as body parts and exercises to do with this pyramid workout

thanks in advance

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:57 pm
by Ironman
That is just WAY too much. I think it is better to go down myself. Do the heavy stuff when you are fresh. After you have warmed up. Do 2 a little short of failure. Then 4 to 6 to failure, then 6 to 8 to failure, then 10 to 12 to failure. That's for hypertrophy.

Here is what I am doing for chest right now.
flat (alternate dumbbell and barbell each week)
2 short of failure
rest 30 seconds
load it so you fail around 4 or 5 reps
rest 2 minutes
load your 8 or 9 rep max, you should get 6 to 8 reps.
rest 30 seconds
load it light and go for 8 to 12.

4 minutes between exercises.

incline (alternate db and bb each week opposite of flat)
2 short of failure
30 seconds
4 to 5
2 minutes
6 to 8
30 seconds
8 to 12

That's it, no cables, no pec-deck, just move on to another body part.

wash rinse and repeat next week.

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:04 pm
by Scott Ismari
What Iron man is talking about is called a reverse pyramid. This is a more advanced workout and not necessarily good for beginners or early intermeidate lifters. In essence you will be able to lift more total weight than by doing a forward pyramid. Just make sure you are able to handle the amount % required.

As for doing the forward and reverse in one night....for a steady diet of lifitng it is way too much and can quickly lead to overtraining. If you want, it can be done ON OCCASSION just to shake things up a bit. There is a thing about muscle memory on this approach too. The muscle tends to "remember" the last weight you lifted on a given exercise and sets its strength level to that weight. It might sound weird, but yes it does work. Stopping at your heaviest weight to me is the best way to do it on a forward pyramid.

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:35 pm
by Ironman
That's a good point, are you a beginner JS? Pyramids aren't for beginners, neither are typical bodybuilding splits.

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:06 pm
by Matt Z
You could try something like this:
Barbell Bench Press
1) 12 reps (warmup set)
2) 8 reps (warmup set)
3) 8 reps (working set)
4) 8 reps (working set)

Incline Barbell Press
1) 8 reps (warmup set)
2) 8 reps (working set)
3) 8 reps (working set)

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:08 pm
by Matt Z
If your a beginner, you can do just one working set per exercise.

Strip Sets

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:41 pm
by quadfrog
Isn't pyramiding down the same as strip sets? As an older lifter, I prefer to warm up and pyramid up, never doing any less than 6 reps. I worry that handling the heavier sets fresh can be quite risky, even after a warm-up. Frank Zane said once, "I used to just sit around and wait as long as it took between lift near my maximum % each time." I bet that took quite a toll on his connective tissue and bones! I mean, he wasn't a very big guy to begin with.

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:29 am
by Ironman
pyramiding down can be called strip sets. I have also heard people call drop sets strip sets. I really don't think it matters how heavy the weights are. 12 reps with the 12 rep max, 3 reps with the 3 rep max, it seems the same to me. They are both just as hard, just hard in a different way. I do like to do conditioning sets with the warm up. You get used to the weight by sort of pyramiding up, but only with heavier weight. You only do a couple reps of each so you don't get fatigued, you just get used to the weight. That way you can lift as much weight as possible.

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:54 am
by TimD
I'm with Ironman on that one. If my top weight set goal is for a heavy percentage in the 3-5 rep range, my lead ins would probabl look like this, 8, 5, 3, 3, (if this set or even another needed) then the top 3-5. If I'm shooting for a higher rep range it might be 12,10,8, then top set. Just kind of all depends. Another tequnique I've used with higher reps for the top set is the 8,5, 3,3 while actually passing my top weight, then cutting back and hitting max reps in the 6-10 range. By passing it with 3's, when you cut back, the weight actually feels lighter then than it would if you just warmed up to it, meaning more reps.

Load and Muscel Fibers

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:52 pm
by quadfrog
A prevailing theory among proponents of heavy weight training is that significant muscle growth results when the maximum amount of muscle fibers are engaged. For this to occur, one must lift or pull increasingly heavier loads. When you have reached a certain percentage of lean body mass, you stop increasing the load and just maintain. Of course, you have to factor in the caloric surplus required, along with the workload. I've always wondered, though, if volume (amount of sets) was the equivalent to workload. All the hype about intensity, supersetting, muscle shocking, etc. was never of interest to powerlifters, and they are some pretty big people.