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  1. #1
    Mentally Absent sdb212's Avatar
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    Question What percentages for pyramid sets?

    If I want to do pyramid sets for my 3 big lifts and other compounds, what percentages should I do each at?

    I was thinking:

    warm up 30-40%
    working sets:
    1 @ 60%
    1 @ 70%
    1@ 80%

    I'm very open to ideas.
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  2. #2
    1 Corinthians 13 sirwazzles's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sdb212 View Post
    If I want to do pyramid sets for my 3 big lifts and other compounds, what percentages should I do each at?

    I was thinking:

    warm up 30-40%
    working sets:
    1 @ 60%
    1 @ 70%
    1@ 80%

    I'm very open to ideas.
    Do you mean pyramid sets with no rest? Little rest? Lots of rest?

    I kind of pyramid my sets I guess. I'm not really a 4 sets of 3 with the same weight kind of guy. For squats, I usually workout doing:

    Warm-ups going up in weight and down in reps starting at about 50% until I get to about 75%. (At that time I start doing sets of one to get my back ready for the weight, yet without fatiging myself.) Then from 75% I go up doing only one rep until I get to 85% or so. Then I start my working sets from there. (I take a lot of rest inbetween all sets, including warm-ups, by the way.)


    1 set of 5 reps at 90%
    1 set of 5 reps at 95% (Very hard, sometimes can't get last rep. If I feel I can't, I go slightly above parallel to at least get some work in.)
    Then lastly, 1 set of about 10 (to failure) at about 85%.


    That's what I do for squat day. (Just to give you an idea of what you could try if you wanted.) I'm kind of unorthodox, like I said before. But it really works well for me.
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  3. #3
    Registered User aargh57's Avatar
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    sd,

    It sounds like from you're last thread here about powerlifting, that you're a beginner with the compound lifts and that you're mainly concerned with getting stronger. Could I suggest reading this thread about Rippetoe's program?:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224

    Whether you choose to use his particular program or not, it's got a ton of good information, however you may want to consider doing it as it seems that this type of program is designed for beginners/intermediates.
    In his program you do a "sets across" method. This means that after you warm up you do 3 sets at the same weight (except for deadlift, for these you only do 1 set). I'm doing a 5 X5 ramping routine but I use similar %'s that sirwazzles does. I start with 50% and add 12.5% every set until I get to my top set of 5. In the article that I linked, he has this to say about pyramiding:

    "Pyramiding is an old-school bodybuilding type weight progression scheme where you start with a lighter weight and do a bunch of reps, then gradually increase the weight while lowering the reps. Its effectiveness is entirely dependent upon your goals and your exact methodology.

    1 method of pyramiding for a bodybuilder, used as an example:

    Warmups, then...

    225 x 12
    245 x 10
    260 x 8
    265 x 4
    270 x 1 or 2

    Note that the 12, 10 and 8-rep sets essentially obliterate the trainee, and that 2 more sets are performed, but with notably submaximal intensity (%age of 1-RM)? Since "heavy/hard" 8-12 rep sets are good for mass building, a good pump will occur, and the trainee will make some size gains for a period of time, but without some volume/intensity manipulation (or proper chemical assistance), the trainee will quickly stall on a program such as this. It can be VERY effective for periods of time, especially for well-trained individuals, but frequently the training emphasis ends up being placed on the lighter weights and higher reps, which burns the trainee out, rendering their last few sets too light to be of real use."

    So it sounds to me that he's not too keen on doing pyramiding especially for novices.
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    Mentally Absent sdb212's Avatar
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    I see your point. I can see how doing the first couple sets will exhaust your muscles for the last sets. Thanks for posting the link. It sounds like something that i could benefit from.

    for years I've done the X sets with X reps routine and the pyramid sets for a few weeks here and there. They always seemed to kick my butt too.

    I'll look at the rippetoe program and might pick it up in a few weeks. thanks.
    Last edited by sdb212; 09-11-2007 at 11:02 AM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User lucasrd's Avatar
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    I'm a firm believer in Pyramid Sets. I've been following a Strength Pyramid I got from the Football Coach at Iowa State. I figured out the percentages and put a "Pyramid Generator" on my website based on these percentages.
    Hope you find it useful.

    http://www.altrudev.com/benchPyramid.php

    EDIT: I know it says bench pyramid, but I use it for Squats and Deads too...
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  6. #6
    Mentally Absent sdb212's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lucasrd View Post
    I'm a firm believer in Pyramid Sets. I've been following a Strength Pyramid I got from the Football Coach at Iowa State. I figured out the percentages and put a "Pyramid Generator" on my website based on these percentages.
    Hope you find it useful.

    http://www.altrudev.com/benchPyramid.php

    EDIT: I know it says bench pyramid, but I use it for Squats and Deads too...
    thanks. I'll check that out. When I hit a rut, I always resort to pyramids. THey break up the monotomy of 3 sets of 8 or whatever.

    Here's today's workout. (copy and paste from my journal.)

    9-11-07 Legs
    To sum up the workout - records broken all around.

    Warm up:
    3 min. treadmill

    Squat: warm up: 45 x 10

    55 x 10
    65 x 6
    75 x 5 PR!!

    Deadlift: warm up: 45 x 10
    75 x 10
    85 x 7
    100 x 6 PR!!

    (there were some girls hogging the hyper bench, so I had to improvise)
    Leg Curl:
    40 x 10
    50 x 6
    60 x 3 PR!!

    One Leg Calf Raise:
    2 sets of BW + 25 x 12


    Core work:
    Planks: 3 sets of BW + 10 @ 0:30 each

    Cable Crunch:
    90 x 12
    100 x 9
    110 x 6 PR!!


    Notes: Best workout in a long time! My body is going to hate me tomorrow.
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  7. #7
    1 Corinthians 13 sirwazzles's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sdb212 View Post
    thanks. I'll check that out. When I hit a rut, I always resort to pyramids. THey break up the monotomy of 3 sets of 8 or whatever.

    Here's today's workout. (copy and paste from my journal.)

    9-11-07 Legs
    To sum up the workout - records broken all around.

    Warm up:
    3 min. treadmill

    Squat: warm up: 45 x 10

    55 x 10
    65 x 6
    75 x 5 PR!!

    Deadlift: warm up: 45 x 10
    75 x 10
    85 x 7
    100 x 6 PR!!

    (there were some girls hogging the hyper bench, so I had to improvise)
    Leg Curl:
    40 x 10
    50 x 6
    60 x 3 PR!!

    One Leg Calf Raise:
    2 sets of BW + 25 x 12


    Core work:
    Planks: 3 sets of BW + 10 @ 0:30 each

    Cable Crunch:
    90 x 12
    100 x 9
    110 x 6 PR!!


    Notes: Best workout in a long time! My body is going to hate me tomorrow.
    Looks like you had a fantastic workout! Congrats.
    "Rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. " 1 Timothy 4:7-8
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