If you’ve been exercising for a while, you’re probably always looking for ways to optimize your training to get better results. One of my favorite strategies is called pyramid sets.
Pyramid sets work because we are hedging our bets and getting the best of both worlds.
The three main benefits of pyramid sets are:
What is a pyramid set?
A pyramid set is a parameter used with your fitness program. This means that you can apply this concept to any exercise, similarly to saying "I’m going to do three sets of 10," or five sets of five, or a drop set, or a super-set. It is a parameter that can be applied to any exercise. The "pyramid" refers to the weight that you're lifting. We'll be starting with a light weight and progressing to a heavier one, then going back toward a lighter weight.
How to do a pyramid set
The great thing about pyramid sets is that you only need to do one. You’ve hit your top weight. You’ve ensured that you have done enough volume to challenge the muscles. You’ve also prevented yourself from overextending by adding too much weight, because you have gradually increased weight up to your max.
One final note about muscle failure. How you feel is very important. The goal of this exercise is not to lift the weight at all costs, the goal is to do what you can with perfect form. So there will be a time at the end of your limit where you have a choice: either you go slower and shorten the range of motion or you compensate and use bad form. Always shorten the motion and slow down. Never force the weight up. No compensations!
I recommend doing pyramid sets one to three times per week. Right now in my training program I am alternating this parameter with a basic 5 x 5 program. It seems to be working for me right now. But again, you can do three sets of 10, one set of 20, 10 sets of 10, whatever. The important thing is that your fitness program matches your fitness goals.
Another consideration is that you want to add variety into your workouts. Your body will adapt to this program, which is great. At a certain point you will want to stop doing pyramid sets for a few weeks or even months. You’d be surprised, that when you return to action you will probably feel much stronger than before because you have given your muscles the chance to rest.
Thanks for reading to the end of the post. I hope you enjoy this and learn something about health and fitness that you can apply to your fitness goals. If you have anymore questions, feel free to comment below. Thanks!