The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
Latest Article

The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
More Recent Articles
Contrast Training for Size
By: Lee Boyce
An Interview with Marianne Kane of Girls Gone Strong
By: Jordan Syatt
What Supplements Should I be Taking? By: Jay Wainwright
Bench Like a Girl By: Julia Ladewski
Some Thoughts on Building a Big Pull By: Christopher Mason

Facebook Join Facebook Group       Twitter Follow on Twitter       rss Subscribe via RSS
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Dead people are cool
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Go Leafs Go
    Posts
    0

    pyramiding up or pyramiding down

    Does anybody know what the advantages/disadvantages of pyramiding up weight versus pyramiding down weight? Thanks

  2.    Support Wannabebig and use AtLarge Nutrition Supplements!


  3. #2
    mind/body zen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    386
    *confused*

    I thought the idea of the pyramid was to go up in weight, then back down (extending the number of sets)

  4. #3
    Senior Member always_losing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Cape Town - South Africa
    Posts
    110
    Zen, i think you right.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    991
    most people i know that pyramid do it like this:

    8 reps
    6 reps
    4 reps
    3 reps
    2 reps
    1 rep
    4 reps

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    474
    Damn what is the deal these days? Does everyone know nothing on this site now? There are two kinds of pyramids, a decreasing and an increasing pyramid. Decreasing lessens the weight each set and increasing adds weight each set.
    Example Decreasing
    Set 1 10x185
    Set 2 10x175
    Set 3 10v165

    Example Increasing
    Set 1 10x185
    Set 2 6x205
    Set 3 4x215

    Now, to your original question. It's about preference and what works best for you. What works for you may not work so well for me. Either of these ways are fine. Increasing and Decreasing both makes sense. Mostly powerlifters use the increasing pyramid. I like to use a decreasing pyramid to keep my reps up when I'm going balls out each set. When you are lifting to failure and doing your 10rm, there should be now way you can get 10 reps on the next set. This is why I decrease the weight and keep my reps the same. However, there have been studies that have shown keeping the weight the same each set while decreasing reps is the best. However, it really comes down to what you like best. Try both, whatever seems and feels the best and produces the most gains stick too. I'm on HST right now so not really involved with pyramids right now.

  7. #6
    Dead people are cool
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Go Leafs Go
    Posts
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by NaturalBuilder
    Damn what is the deal these days? Does everyone know nothing on this site now? There are two kinds of pyramids, a decreasing and an increasing pyramid. Decreasing lessens the weight each set and increasing adds weight each set.
    Example Decreasing
    Set 1 10x185
    Set 2 10x175
    Set 3 10v165

    Example Increasing
    Set 1 10x185
    Set 2 6x205
    Set 3 4x215

    Now, to your original question. It's about preference and what works best for you. What works for you may not work so well for me. Either of these ways are fine. Increasing and Decreasing both makes sense. Mostly powerlifters use the increasing pyramid. I like to use a decreasing pyramid to keep my reps up when I'm going balls out each set. When you are lifting to failure and doing your 10rm, there should be now way you can get 10 reps on the next set. This is why I decrease the weight and keep my reps the same. However, there have been studies that have shown keeping the weight the same each set while decreasing reps is the best. However, it really comes down to what you like best. Try both, whatever seems and feels the best and produces the most gains stick too. I'm on HST right now so not really involved with pyramids right now.
    Thanks NaturalBodybuilder

  8. #7
    mind/body zen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    386
    Thanx NaturalBuilder,
    but despite the posibility of being scorned by another one of your replies, I'm going to explain that I've been out of gym for ten years, and what you described is not what used to be known as a pyramid.

    What you gave as an example of an 'Increasing Pyramid' is what I have known as traditional Progressive Sets:
    Set 1 10x185
    Set 2 6x205
    Set 3 4x215
    ....and some people, being dissatisfied with the idea of reaching failure on just one low-rep/high-resistence set, attempted to increase their sets by then cresting the virtual pyramid and coming back down in weight:
    Set 1 10x185
    Set 2 6x205
    Set 3 4x215
    Set 4 4x205
    Set 5 3x195

    a pyramid:

    . . . ./\
    . . / 215 \
    . /205 205\
    /185 . . 195\
    Last edited by zen; 03-21-2004 at 08:24 AM.

  9. #8
    "Tuna Boy" NateDogg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Central, MA
    Posts
    3,376
    Yup, a "pyramid" goes up and then goes down. It is an often used misnomer that simply going up in weight is "pyramiding up" or going down in weight is "pyramiding down".

    ...but since nobody here knows anything anymore, NaturalBuilder must be right
    "damn...can't beat logic like that.
    NAte is exactly right." - Tryska

  10. #9
    Dead people are cool
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Go Leafs Go
    Posts
    0
    Ok, so I've misused the terminology, but that is not what we should be dicussing what I wanted to know was what are the advantages/disadvantages of "progressively" increasing weight versus "progressively" decreasing weight.

  11. #10
    mind/body zen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    386
    Quote Originally Posted by devilman
    Ok, so I've misused the terminology, but that is not what we should be dicussing what I wanted to know was what are the advantages/disadvantages of "progressively" increasing weight versus "progressively" decreasing weight.
    NaturalBuilder's response was informative. I wasn't trying to dis' him (or anyone).
    I honestly couldn't give you a good disertation as I have not experimented with the various types. I always increase resistence in my sets and I usually don't even pyramid back down unless I am unhappy with my final set(s).

    It would seem to me (just as speculation) that a set of decreasing resistence (attempting to keep your reps up through your sets) might have a very different effect then a progressive set. You are doing a lot more reps and you a probably not going to get as near to your max weight in that movement as you would with a progressive set, which is probably why powerlifters would not choose it. I am also speculating that you are more likey to get a burn and pump from the decreasing resistence set, which is probably why bodybuilders might prefer it.

    My apologies for muddying up the waters here.
    Last edited by zen; 03-21-2004 at 08:44 AM.

  12. #11
    Dead people are cool
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Go Leafs Go
    Posts
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by zen
    NaturalBuilder's response was informative. I wasn't trying to dis' him (or anyone).
    I honestly couldn't give you a good disertation as I have not experimented with the various types. I always increase resistence in my sets and I usually don't even pyramid back down unless I am unhappy with my final set(s).

    It would seem to me (just as speculation) that a set of decreasing resistence (attempting to keep your reps up through your sets) might have a very different effect then a progressive set. You are doing a lot more reps and you a probably not going to get as near to your max weight in that movement as you would with a progressive set, which is probably why powerlifters would not choose it. I am also speculating that you are more likey to get a burn and pump from the decreasing resistence set, which is probably why bodybuilders might prefer it.

    My apologies for muddying up the waters here.
    Thanks Zen

  13. #12
    Senior Member always_losing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Cape Town - South Africa
    Posts
    110
    Good job zen...:>
    200lbs @ 10%
    340/400/450

    Dude... wow... i'm drunk. Flabbagasted at your choice of decision. Should i call you in 30 min when we are en route, come, oaks are for fun.

  14. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    991
    the reps list is showed earlier is called the "Nebraska Pyramid". i'm sure you guys have seen it in a gym at some time or another.

  15. #14
    HomeYield WillKuenzel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    7,769
    I do what you might call a 'reverse pyramid' or heavy weight first. For me, why build up to a heavy weight? If you know you can do it, then do it first and don't waste energy building up to it.

    Here's how my bench used to look:
    185x10
    205x8
    225x6

    Then I realized that I could do 225 but what if I did it first? Granted I warm up properly first. So now my bench workout might look like this (including warmup sets):
    barx10
    135x6
    185x2
    225x8
    205x10
    185x10

    Which is using more weight (or at least for a longer duration)? More weight = more growth, IMO.
    What is elite?
    "Those who work the hardest often complain the least." -anonymous
    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  16. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    474
    ...More weight = more growth...
    Amen.
    Last edited by NaturalBuilder; 03-21-2004 at 08:14 PM.

  17. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    474
    As for the pyramid. Heaviest weight on the bottom is the largest part of the pyramid, lightest weight on the top is the smallest part of the pyramid (the tip). Sorry if I came across as rude, I'm rather blunt at times.


    :alcoholic
    Last edited by NaturalBuilder; 03-21-2004 at 08:18 PM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •