Pyramid Power Strength Training. Who does it and how is your workout like?

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    Jan 22, 2008 9:04 PM GMT
    A university physiology professor and trainer sat down with me last week to give me advice and set up a new workout plan (I haven't really changed mine up since July.)

    He suggested a pyramid power workout for my chest & upper back on Mondays and Fridays, with Wednesdays focusing on arms and shoulders (lower body & cardio getting other days of the week).

    He also suggested supersetting (example: alternating between chest press & lateral pulldown sets) if the gym wasn't too crowded.

    If you are into pyramid workouts what exercises do you forcus on and what advice do you have?

    Thanks
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    Jan 22, 2008 9:37 PM GMT
    onmyway saidA university physiology professor and trainer sat down with me last week to give me advice and set up a new workout plan (I haven't really changed mine up since July.)

    He suggested a pyramid power workout for my chest & upper back on Mondays and Fridays, with Wednesdays focusing on arms and shoulders (lower body & cardio getting other days of the week).

    He also suggested supersetting (example: alternating between chest press & lateral pulldown sets) if the gym wasn't too crowded.

    If you are into pyramid workouts what exercises do you forcus on and what advice do you have?

    Thanks


    I would never structure a whole workout based entirely on pyramids it just wouldnt work as you would preexhaust muscles too quick. Id use it as I would any method ie some but not every exercise and too alleviate boredom of working out the same way all the while. Its just another method to take you to exhaustion and I dont see it as any better or worse
  • mljk

    Posts: 9

    Jan 22, 2008 11:41 PM GMT
    Listen to your prof and trainer, pyramids are great! I could list endless reasons, but really what it comes down to is its super efficiency between energy output (amount of energy used in working the muscles) vs time (total time used in working the muscles). Really, pyramids are stylized so u can expend the greatest amount of energy u can in EFFICIENTLY working your muscles, within the most EFFICIENT time frame.

    In my teens I trained with national coaches & national fitness trainers for track&field, and all my workouts were pyramid based. As well, throughout university, my best friend was the QB, and during his pre-season training in the spring/summer, all we were doing were were pyramids.


    The reason why u superset as well is 1)that to get everything done [u are working 2 opposing muscle groups per session], u need to superset. If not, u could well take over an hour, and as a lot of people don't really know, an effective 'weightlifting session' shouldn't take more than 35mins (plus or minus 10mins).
    Also 2)if u give your muscles too much time to rest, then why do pyramids in the first place.

    ONMYWAY, u didn't mention how your pyramids were set up. Are u doing bottom-up (starting your heaviest to decreasing weight) or top-down (starting light and increasing to heavy). If u are new at this, I would recommend bottom-up (u want to do the hardest things while u have the most energy to expend, so u can work your muscles properly each time).

    Also, what is your maximum rep weight at the base of the pyramid. If u are weighttraining for power, strength, and greater muscle size, I would recommend 75-85% of your maximum rep weight for that particular excercise. If u are training for muscle endurance, and more to get a more leaner/longer look, then I would recommend only doing 45-55% of your maximum rep weight during the heaviest lifting portion of your pyramid.

    Lastly, another thing to consider is muscle contraction speed during your pyramids. In university, when I was doing pyramids with my QB friend, his contraction speed was about 4 seconds, (1sec positive, 3sec negative). Since I needed to stay ripped and lean (and definately couldn't develop 'bulk muscle size' because of my job), my contraction speed was longer at about 6 secs (1sec positive, 5 sec negative). Of course my max rep weight was way lower than his, and the # or reps I did per set was double his.

    BFG1 said he wouldn't structure his whole workout as pyramids b/c of muscle fatigue too soon and it isn't good to. I disagree with his comment (in fact u can pyramid all of your cardio and anaerobic work as well).

    Think about it, if u have been workout for years, and lifting weights for about 45mins before u get tired, and all of a sudden u switch to pyramids, and u can only do it for 10-15mins, that's gonna tell u something about the shape u're muscles really are in.

    In truth, pyramids are great for everybody, but people who are not naturally athletically inclined, and who do not really work out to augment their athletic/physical abilities (strength, speed, power, endurance) have a lot of difficulties with pyramids because it shows just how 'out of shape' they really are (even though superficially they might have muscles bulging thru their shirt, or be super ripped).

    Pyramids is something that u have to do right and be super diligent about to really reap its rewards, so if u aren't really a self-motivated type of person at the gym, or your primarily focus for lifting weights is to attain a certain body shape, then yes there are other methods that will get u there that is alot less painful.

    However, if you really are a jock and want to improve your athletic/physical abilities, then nothing beats pyramid work.
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    Jan 23, 2008 10:16 AM GMT
    modeljock saidBFG1 said he wouldn't structure his whole workout as pyramids b/c of muscle fatigue too soon and it isn't good to. I disagree with his comment (in fact u can pyramid all of your cardio and anaerobic work as well).


    no offence meant modeljock but everything you said could be achieved with a hit based training routin in less time than you are stating. Yep pyramids are effective but if you use HIT correctly and go for the full push to exhaustion on the final rep (even if you dont complete the rep) you will achieve the same effect. and your TUT can be as great as a pyramid
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    Jan 23, 2008 7:20 PM GMT
    Thank you both for all this information!

    No I'm not structuring my entire workout on pyramids but I am incorporating it into my workout as suggested by professor X. I am going bottom-up as well since as you can see from my pic I am no workout pro.

    Any more suggestions and advice always welcome.