As much as Mondays generally hurt with the earlier wake-up calls and “business-as-usual” days, I always love coming here and sharing some new workouts with you.
Today I want to do a little climbing with you – increasing the intensity with a new workout approach and mixing up your training with something a little different. Some of you may use pyramids regularly. If so, then hopefully these two workouts will give you a little variety for your routine. If you’ve never done pyramids (or even heard of them), then I hope it will give you another tool you enjoy to add to your fitness arsenal. Let’s talk PYRAMIDS!
What is pyramid training? In sum, you increase a variable of the workout each set or round to gradually build the intensity over the course of the workout.
Let’s look at an example in a strength workout. You originally plan to complete 3 sets of an exercise for 10 reps each. With pyramid training, you will choose to increase the variable of your training load each working set by adding more weight…and using a different number of reps each set.
- Set 1 = 15 reps at a light to moderate weight
- Set 2 = 10 reps at a moderate heavy weight
- Set 3 = 6 reps at a heavy and challenging weight
Each set includes an increase in the amount of weight used, with the number of reps dropping accordingly to have the appropriate challenge each set. You could even reverse the pyramid by completing a 4th or 5th set by returning to the previous higher reps at the moderate or lighter weight load. Whew! By the time you reach the end, what started off so easily becomes quite the feat to complete!
You can use this training scheme for any strength workout of your own, or give this one a try!
Warm-up adequately before the workout with some dynamic moves for the upper and lower body or light cardio. Complete each exercises separately, completing all sets before moving to the next exercise and resting approximately 60 seconds between sets.
Start at 12-15 reps of a light to moderate weight. You may use dumbbells or barbells (with the exception of the Arnold press), whichever you prefer. For the second set, use a moderate weight for 8-10 reps. For the final set, use a heavy weight for 5-6 reps. The final 2 reps of each set should feel challenging.
Do pyramids work for cardiovascular training? You betcha! And wouldn’t you know it? I have a favorite pyramid interval workout to share with you today, as well!
For cardiovascular training, I enjoy using pyramids with intervals by keeping the rest period the same, then gradually increasing the intensity for each working interval completed. Like in the workout above – each rest interval remains one minute, yet the working intervals increase from 1 minute to 5 minutes over the course of the workout. Then, as shown in the workout, you can always reverse the pyramid in the opposite direction for an added challenge.
Let me know if you give either of the workouts a try!
Your Turn – Ever done pyramid training? What was your best workout this past week?