Never heard of pyramid resistance training? Fear not. In a few minutes time, you'll have the whole concept down to a T.
But before we get down to business, we'll quickly discuss the importance of warming up. Warm ups are not only crucial for preparing your muscles and joints, but they knowingly prevent injury. You should be getting your heart-rate up for part of the warm up, so perhaps aim for five minutes on the treadmill followed by five minutes of dynamic stretching – ankle touches, sumo squats and arm circles are a good place to start. Once you’ve done this, you're ready to tackle the pyramid.
What is pyramid resistance training?
Good question. Picture a pyramid. The base of it represents light weights and high repetitions whilst the tip of it represents heavy weights and low repetitions. You’ll start at the base of the pyramid and gradually work your way up. Every time you get closer to the tip, you’ll increase the weight and decrease your reps. Get it?
Here’s an example we’ve put together to clarify things:
- 1st set - 20 bicep curls at 5kg
- 2nd set - 15 bicep curls at 8kg
- 3rd set - 10 bicep curls at 12kg
- 4th set - 5 bicep curls at 15kg
(You should choose your weights depending on your strength, these are just a generic example).
This type of training can be done with countless exercises - from deadlifts to weighted ab crunches to hammer curls.
How often should I do it?
You should primarily focus on one area per training session. If you've blasted your legs with weighted squats, lunges, glute bridges and deadlifts on Monday, try to focus on your arms on Wednesday and your core on Friday.
It's crucial that you don't over train. Three pyramid training sessions and two cardio-based sessions would be ideal. Remember that rest days allow your muscles to grow and repair effectively, so if you want to see results, rest up!
What are the benefits?
Pyramid resistance training is a super effective method for building muscle.
Whilst the light weights and high reps are good for muscular endurance, the heavy weights and low reps are good for muscle growth. Another benefit? If you’re working away from home, off on holiday, or simply daren’t face the weights section of the gym (it is rather daunting for many of us), then you can apply a similar concept to bodyweight exercises and still see results. Start with 20 squat jumps and then rest. Next, 15 squat jumps and rest. Next, 10 squat jumps and rest. And finally, 5 squat jumps and rest. This will still fatigue the muscles.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab some dumbbells and go get toned.