Reverse pyramid sets

  • DancerJock

    Posts: 58

    Nov 18, 2015 3:50 AM GMT
    I usually lift with regular pyramid sets, for example:
    50 lbs, 4 reps
    60 lbs, 3 reps
    70 lbs, 2 reps

    I read on the LeanGains blog about reverse pyramid sets, that take advantage of your full strength at the beginning of your lift, and lower the weight as you tire. For example:
    70 lbs, 2 reps
    60 lbs, 3 reps
    50 lbs, 4 reps

    Anybody have experience trying these?
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    Nov 18, 2015 5:03 AM GMT
    I do double pyramids.
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    Nov 18, 2015 7:01 AM GMT
    I mean you kind of need to pyramid up to a heavy set so that you don't hurt urself. For example on bench I do

    barx 20 reps
    135x 10 reps
    175x 5 reps
    205x 5 reps
    225x 3 reps
    that was basically my warm up but it's pretty much a pyramid
    245x 5 reps x 3 sets <<< Working sets

    then I'll usually do something like
    185x 10-12
    135x failure (around 20-25)
  • DancerJock

    Posts: 58

    Nov 18, 2015 9:17 AM GMT
    Thanks for posting, good to see what you're working at. And you're strong as f...!
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4913

    Nov 18, 2015 9:41 PM GMT
    Drop sets are the current thing and pretty much everyone who is doing serious lifting is doing it now. I don't. I ascend in weight but keep my rep count the same for each, usually 8 or 10 depending on how many sets I plan on doing. I figure that warms the muscles up and the increased work will do the breakdown as the muscles get tired. I stop when I can no longer finish the full set of reps. Pushing to failure forces the muscle to enlist every last fiber thus telling the brain to build this muscle up. But you have to make sure your body has what it needs to rebuild: protein, some fats and carbs.
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    Nov 25, 2015 5:02 AM GMT
    Rewind Egypt. That's the best way to do reverse pyramids.
  • Triggerman

    Posts: 611

    Nov 27, 2015 1:15 AM GMT
    Nothing is new. I have a book by John Grimek, Mr. America, Olympic weight lifter and power lifter from the 40's that talks about this and almost every "new" style of training.

    Anything new will cause adaptation and hence muscle growth.

    It makes sense that you should start with the heaviest weight at the beginning when you are strongest. A power lifter at a contest warms up but he does not pyramid up to lifting his highest weight for a contest. Is a horse going to run a great mile and a quarter by first running 1/4, a 1/3 and a 1/2 distance before he runs his mile and a quarter? By that time ATP, Glycogen and such are running low.

    Lifting for three sets before a big set only limits the last big set. And big sets build muscle. That is a simplified answer but fairly accurate.

    There is so much more involved such as Golgi Tendon Reflex and motor/ sensory involvement.

    But, reverse pyramid is a great way of training a muscle/muscle group. Or just something to force your muscles to adapt.

    We used to do this for biceps back in the day and it is a great bicep workout. Start with the heaviest weight dumb bells you can curl strictly for 8-10 reps. Then move down immediately to the next dumb bells on the rack and do as many as you can do. Then without waiting move down one more weight again. Keep working down to five pounds or so without a break and in good form till you are dying to curl a 5lb weight. It is called Running the Rack.

    It can be embarrassing to be struggling with a 5lb weight in front of guys in the gym that don't know what you are doing but it will kick your biceps and their synergists and stabilizers into growth.