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  1. #1
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    The value of PYRAMID training in your 50s

    Pyramid training is this simple:

    1- select a light warm up weight and perform 15-20 reps to grease the joints, warm the muscles and create elasticity. This helps wake up your mind and allows for auto regulated training.

    2- Based on the perceived effort, add more weight to limit the next set to 12-15 reps at failure.

    3- Based on the perceived effort, add more weight to limit the next set to 10-12 reps.

    4- continue with 8-10

    5- 6-8

    6- 4-6

    7- If you have the will and it’s safe, add and finish with a heavy 2-4.


    The value here is that if you are stiff, add less or not at all. You can have higher, lighter rep days as needed, or can push more iron when your body and mind permit.

    Listen to your body. None of it makes you smaller.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

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  2. #2
    temporary illusion supramax's Avatar
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    There is another pyramid and the following is a really excellent explanation of REVERSE PYRAMID TRAINING:

    https://leangains.com/reverse-pyramid-training-guide/
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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  3. #3
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    There is another pyramid and the following is a really excellent explanation of REVERSE PYRAMID TRAINING:

    https://leangains.com/reverse-pyramid-training-guide/
    I
    Like reverse pyramid training too!
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
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  4. #4
    Registered User jaxqen's Avatar
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    I like the one where you forget about sets and focus only on hitting a number of reps for a certain exercise.
    Never tried it, I just like the idea.
    There are some cons... I know.

    Reps: 20 total
    Load: 4RM
    Sets: Doesn’t matter

    Rest: 30 seconds between sets
    Set 1: 4 reps
    Set 2: 4 reps
    Set 3: 3 reps
    Set 4: 2 reps
    Set 5: 2 reps
    Set 6: 1 rep
    Set 7: 1 rep
    Set 8: 1 rep
    Set 9: 1 rep
    Set 10: 1 rep
    "Reminds me of the good ol' days back in 03-04 when ripptoes/5 by 5/hit/doggcrap reigned supreme and you did not need direct arm work for big biceps. Rows and chins were it. "Ever see a guy rowing 300+lbs with chicken arms?". Ah yes those were the days. God bless amusclehead and his twisted one dimensional views along with the rest of the former flock."
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  5. #5
    temporary illusion supramax's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    I
    Like reverse pyramid training too!
    Yeah, both ways are good for different things/lifts/goals.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    temporary illusion supramax's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    I like the one where you forget about sets and focus only on hitting a number of reps for a certain exercise.
    Never tried it, I just like the idea.
    There are some cons... I know.

    Reps: 20 total
    Load: 4RM
    Sets: Doesn’t matter

    Rest: 30 seconds between sets
    Set 1: 4 reps
    Set 2: 4 reps
    Set 3: 3 reps
    Set 4: 2 reps
    Set 5: 2 reps
    Set 6: 1 rep
    Set 7: 1 rep
    Set 8: 1 rep
    Set 9: 1 rep
    Set 10: 1 rep
    That's interesting. The Viking's Bare Bones Series is similar, but it has a specific number of sets to complete the rep goal.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
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    Registered User Ghomergher's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Pyramid training is this simple:

    1- select a light warm up weight and perform 15-20 reps to grease the joints, warm the muscles and create elasticity. This helps wake up your mind and allows for auto regulated training.

    2- Based on the perceived effort, add more weight to limit the next set to 12-15 reps at failure.

    3- Based on the perceived effort, add more weight to limit the next set to 10-12 reps.

    4- continue with 8-10

    5- 6-8

    6- 4-6

    7- If you have the will and it’s safe, add and finish with a heavy 2-4.


    The value here is that if you are stiff, add less or not at all. You can have higher, lighter rep days as needed, or can push more iron when your body and mind permit.

    Listen to your body. None of it makes you smaller.
    Thanks, Due to this great information you give us. it's very helpful and clear my all confusions.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Bane11's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Pyramid training is this simple:

    1- select a light warm up weight and perform 15-20 reps to grease the joints, warm the muscles and create elasticity. This helps wake up your mind and allows for auto regulated training.

    2- Based on the perceived effort, add more weight to limit the next set to 12-15 reps at failure.

    3- Based on the perceived effort, add more weight to limit the next set to 10-12 reps.

    4- continue with 8-10

    5- 6-8

    6- 4-6

    7- If you have the will and it’s safe, add and finish with a heavy 2-4.


    The value here is that if you are stiff, add less or not at all. You can have higher, lighter rep days as needed, or can push more iron when your body and mind permit.

    Listen to your body. None of it makes you smaller.
    Are all the sets you prescribe to failure? I find if I go to failure while using pyramids I'm gassed on the last few sets and cannot get the prescribed reps. The other way is not to go to failure on the first 2 or 3 sets saving failure for the last set or 2 but then I find it's not enough work as it feels I'm doing a bunch of warm ups and only one work set at least. And how much weight do you go up in each set snd is this on just basic movements or on every exercise?
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  9. #9
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bane11 View Post
    Are all the sets you prescribe to failure? I find if I go to failure while using pyramids I'm gassed on the last few sets and cannot get the prescribed reps. The other way is not to go to failure on the first 2 or 3 sets saving failure for the last set or 2 but then I find it's not enough work as it feels I'm doing a bunch of warm ups and only one work set at least. And how much weight do you go up in each set snd is this on just basic movements or on every exercise?
    I go to failure, If I don’t get the prescribed reps, I don’t sweat it. Conditioning and recovery time as well
    As your experience will determine how yiu respond to the volume.

    I certainly wouldn’t tell you not
    To try reverse pyramid given what u posted.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  10. #10
    Registered User Bane11's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    I go to failure, If I don’t get the prescribed reps, I don’t sweat it. Conditioning and recovery time as well
    As your experience will determine how yiu respond to the volume.

    I certainly wouldn’t tell you not
    To try reverse pyramid given what u posted.
    Thank you very much. Great info you give out.
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  11. #11
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bane11 View Post
    Thank you very much. Great info you give out.

    You can pyramid up and back down too for example:

    100x12
    105x10
    110x8
    115x6
    120x4
    125x2
    110x5
    100x7
    85x15
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Pyramid training is this simple:

    1- select a light warm up weight and perform 15-20 reps to grease the joints, warm the muscles and create elasticity. This helps wake up your mind and allows for auto regulated training.

    2- Based on the perceived effort, add more weight to limit the next set to 12-15 reps at failure.

    3- Based on the perceived effort, add more weight to limit the next set to 10-12 reps.

    4- continue with 8-10

    5- 6-8

    6- 4-6

    7- If you have the will and it’s safe, add and finish with a heavy 2-4.


    The value here is that if you are stiff, add less or not at all. You can have higher, lighter rep days as needed, or can push more iron when your body and mind permit.

    Listen to your body. None of it makes you smaller.
    How much (if any) rest in between sets?
    joe Henry
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  13. #13
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by joewattie View Post
    How much (if any) rest in between sets?

    Typically I alternate a push with a pull.

    Bench….Row

    Incline….pulldowns…

    That kind of thing. So one muscle group is resting while the other is getting worked.

    I start sets when my breathing is under control, not by a clock or timer.

    I can easily get 36-40 sets of chest/back/shoulders done in 45 min.


    Let’s say I’m training arms…alternating bicep work with triceps…

    I can easily hit ten sets each in about 20 min.

    Again, your conditioning counts toward recovery.

    For something like deadlifts, my rest might be 3 min. For most other stuff it’s under two min.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  14. #14
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Typically I alternate a push with a pull.

    Bench….Row

    Incline….pulldowns…

    That kind of thing. So one muscle group is resting while the other is getting worked.

    I start sets when my breathing is under control, not by a clock or timer.

    I can easily get 36-40 sets of chest/back/shoulders done in 45 min.


    Let’s say I’m training arms…alternating bicep work with triceps…

    I can easily hit ten sets each in about 20 min.

    Again, your conditioning counts toward recovery.

    For something like deadlifts, my rest might be 3 min. For most other stuff it’s under two min.
    Awesome Response! Thank you so much. Turns out that's pretty close to what I've been doing, not because I know what I'm doing, just because it's the only way I can squeeze in a workout in my allotted time. Glad to hear I'm actually doing something right. Thanks again!
    joe Henry
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    I’ve used Vince Gironda’s 10-8-6-15 method to good effect in the past. This is similar.

    It also similar to how I do things now, work up to a heavy set, and then a back off set.

    Not a fan of 1-5 reps because I found little carryover when I went back to doing more reps. But the stronger I got that 6, 8, 10 hell all the way to 20 reps on some exercises helped whenever I got in the mood to move maximal weights.
    Age: 29

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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    I’ve used Vince Gironda’s 10-8-6-15 method to good effect in the past. This is similar.

    It also similar to how I do things now, work up to a heavy set, and then a back off set.

    Not a fan of 1-5 reps because I found little carryover when I went back to doing more reps. But the stronger I got that 6, 8, 10 hell all the way to 20 reps on some exercises helped whenever I got in the mood to move maximal weights.
    Between you and @coachcalande I'm starting to think I'm actually doing more right than wrong : -) Thank you!
    joe Henry
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    I’ve used Vince Gironda’s 10-8-6-15 method to good effect in the past. This is similar.

    It also similar to how I do things now, work up to a heavy set, and then a back off set.

    Not a fan of 1-5 reps because I found little carryover when I went back to doing more reps. But the stronger I got that 6, 8, 10 hell all the way to 20 reps on some exercises helped whenever I got in the mood to move maximal weights.
    I’ll say this emphatically * none of this makes you smaller.

    Early In June I think it was, I decided to expand my training zone in terms of reps. 20-3 was just fine, do it all, get a ton of work in a little time and simply push every set to the limit, add weight and do it again and again…when the training just felt like enough or there was already enough iron….I could feel that.

    I’m not sure I really believe what so many believe about “hypertrophy training “ when really, all of the training is to get stronger in a VARIETY of rep ranges and guess what? Any rep range , done to failure, has been shown to create BOTH hypertrophy and an increase in 1 rm. training with a larger rep range is super refreshing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I built a lot of muscle using heavy 5-6 rep sets…but I am enjoying the heck out of doing pyramids from 20-3. Sure I do more sets…but that’s probably because I haven’t missed a workout in months I’ll bet.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  18. #18
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by joewattie View Post
    Between you and @coachcalande I'm starting to think I'm actually doing more right than wrong : -) Thank you!
    No right or wrong, only what produces results and what doesn’t….and what you will stick with and will not.

    Maybe I’m alone in thinking this way but great physiques have been built by some real morons in all kinds of methods…more than one way to skin the cat…pyramids are just one more tool in the tool box. I love the heck out of straight heavy duty stuff training 4 sets to the wall at 5-8 reps after a warmup….that’s great too…but eventually staleness can set in.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
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    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    I’ll say this emphatically * none of this makes you smaller.

    Early In June I think it was, I decided to expand my training zone in terms of reps. 20-3 was just fine ... I am enjoying the heck out of doing pyramids from 20-3.
    I stumbled on doing similar quite by accident. I'm old and wanted to avoid injuries. So I start with a set of twenty-ish. It's like a "warm-up" and inventory to see if everything's working ok. The first few are easy-ish and the last few are challenging and then ... "failure" such that "warm-up" actually becomes a working set.

    Then, typically, a set of 15-ish, then 10-ish, three sets of 5-ish the last set immediately followed by a drop set of 10-ish. This is all done in superset fashion between agonistic pairs.

    I thought I was just being silly but the more I read the more I realize I'm not that far off ...
    joe Henry
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by joewattie View Post
    I stumbled on doing similar quite by accident. I'm old and wanted to avoid injuries. So I start with a set of twenty-ish. It's like a "warm-up" and inventory to see if everything's working ok. The first few are easy-ish and the last few are challenging and then ... "failure" such that "warm-up" actually becomes a working set.

    Then, typically, a set of 15-ish, then 10-ish, three sets of 5-ish the last set immediately followed by a drop set of 10-ish. This is all done in superset fashion between agonistic pairs.

    I thought I was just being silly but the more I read the more I realize I'm not that far off ...
    That sounds perfect.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

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    Originally Posted by joewattie View Post
    I stumbled on doing similar quite by accident. I'm old and wanted to avoid injuries. So I start with a set of twenty-ish. It's like a "warm-up" and inventory to see if everything's working ok. The first few are easy-ish and the last few are challenging and then ... "failure" such that "warm-up" actually becomes a working set.

    Then, typically, a set of 15-ish, then 10-ish, three sets of 5-ish the last set immediately followed by a drop set of 10-ish. This is all done in superset fashion between agonistic pairs.

    I thought I was just being silly but the more I read the more I realize I'm not that far off ...
    I like high rep warms ups too, if nothing else than to “grease the groove” (lawd I hate that term but can’t think of an alternative)
    Age: 29

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    Somebody asked a question about how much weight to add each set…

    Well, I’ll counter and say that if you do multiple sets, it really doesn’t matter.

    Typically for me:

    Squats- I’ll make 30 pound jumps each set
    Bench 20 lb jumps
    Inclines 10-20 lb jumps
    Rows and lat pulls could be 20-40 lb jumps
    Shoulder press 10-20 lb jumps
    Upright rows 10 lb jumps
    Curls and pushdowns 10 -20 lb jumps

    Something like leg press could be PLATES.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

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    Learning how to Pyramid from high to lesser weights, doing dropsets the whole time, has revolutionized me. I'm NOT the most experienced around here by any means but I've gained more in terms of fitness and mass by dropsets on a reverse Pyramid than the classic 5x5 type approach the whole time.

    I've learned that I get best results by starting each workout doing heavy 5x5 compound workouts (not dropsets yet), and then move on to Isolations using dumbell or cables, doing reverse Pyramid dropsets.

    It's easy for me to overdo it using this approach but the results on my middle-aged body have been very encouraging
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    Originally Posted by BadGaskets350 View Post
    Learning how to Pyramid from high to lesser weights, doing dropsets the whole time, has revolutionized me. I'm NOT the most experienced around here by any means but I've gained more in terms of fitness and mass by dropsets on a reverse Pyramid than the classic 5x5 type approach the whole time.

    I've learned that I get best results by starting each workout doing heavy 5x5 compound workouts (not dropsets yet), and then move on to Isolations using dumbell or cables, doing reverse Pyramid dropsets.

    It's easy for me to overdo it using this approach but the results on my middle-aged body have been very encouraging
    I would say similar things. In the last three years I often trained like this:

    Bench- 2 warmups, 4-5 sets in the 3-6 rep range
    Incline- 4-5 sets in the 5-8 rep range
    Flyes- 4-5 sets, turn flyes to presses upon failure. * turns 10-12 reps into 15-20*
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    I would say similar things. In the last three years I often trained like this:

    Bench- 2 warmups, 4-5 sets in the 3-6 rep range
    Incline- 4-5 sets in the 5-8 rep range
    Flyes- 4-5 sets, turn flyes to presses upon failure. * turns 10-12 reps into 15-20*
    How did you spread intensity? On a fresh day I could get 5x5 at 275 on bench but I wouldn't be able to do that every time.
    Bench: 320
    Squat: 375
    Deadlift: 495

    "... But always, there remained, the discipline of steel!"
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    How did you spread intensity? On a fresh day I could get 5x5 at 275 on bench but I wouldn't be able to do that every time.
    I suppose that’s what I mean by auto regulate your training.

    Suppose you don’t have 25 reps with that 275 in your mind that day…

    Maybe instead you crank reps with:

    225
    245
    265
    275
    295

    Or maybe …

    275
    295
    305
    315
    225
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

    Fat ol man with 21.5 inch arms pushing for that 1500 pound club mark.
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