Reverse Pyramid For Maximal Gains

Around 2000 after we all realize the world was not going to end from Y2K I started a different training style.  While I still really loved going heavy I was always a little tired once I made it to my heaviest weights.  I decided to stop pyramiding up in weight and do just minimal warms ups to tackle my heaviest sets first.  I would gradually lighten the weights as I needed to hit my rep goals while finding that I was able to go much heavier than before.

For example:


Give reverse pyramiding a try for your big lifts or smaller ones too!  Let me know what you think.


Free Workout: 3 Day A Week Routine

After your warm-ups you’re going to pick a weight, and use that same weight for all three sets. If it is done perfect here is how it will occur. It would do a set of 10 repetitions. Then rest. Rest periods between sets can be 90 seconds, 2, 3 or 4 minutes. For strength based routines use at least 2 minutes rest on smaller lifts and 3-4 on the big lifts.

You MUST use a stop watch and be consistent with your rest periods. After your rest, using the same weight, you will do another set, this set will be harder then the first but NOT to failure, if you can do more than 10 reps with it DO NOT, we are looking to do the first two sets to add volume, the last set is the only one that will be taken close to failure. Let’s say that on the last set, you get to exactly rep 10 and you know that if you tried another rep you would fail or your form would break down to get the rep, if that is the case it was done perfectly.

Let’s look at what happens if the weight is too heavy. Let’s say you get 10 reps for the first set, 10 for the second. And only 8 for the third. That means the weight was a bit too heavy, no problem you will have still stimulated growth. Do not make your form breakdown or get a spot from your buddy, To make the 10 reps, we are looking to take the last set to one rep short of failure. You should never miss a rep.

Now let’s look at what happens if the wait was too light. Let’s say you got 1 x 10, 1 x 10, and then on the last set you get to rep 10 and it is obvious you can do more reps, go ahead and get the additional reps. But once again take the last repetition only to the point where you get all the reps in good form. DO NOT ATTEMP A REP THAT YOU WILL NOT GET BY EITHER FAILING ON THE REP, OR HAVING FORM BREAK DOWN TO GET IT.

Again, on these routines you will fail if you take all your work sets to failure. On multiple set lifts you should use the same weight for all sets. As an example if you are doing rows for three sets of eight, the first should be relatively easy, the second should be a pretty hard set and a third should be almost a failure but not quite. When you know you going to fail on the last rep don’t attempt it.

Close Grip Bench Press –  3×3
Dumbbell Bench Press   –   3×10
Dumb bell Shoulder Press   –   3×8
Dips   –   3×10
Lat-Pulley Ab Crunch   –   3×10

Rest Day

Pull-Down Machine   –   3×8
Dumb bell Row   –   3×8
Hammer Curls   –   2×8
Reverse Grip Dumbbell Curls   –   3×10
Wrist Curl   –   3×10

Rest Day

Squat   –   3×6
Front Squat   –   3×10
Good Mornings   –   2×10
Hanging Leg Raises   –   3×10
Leg Press Calf Raise   –   3×15

Rest Day

Rest Day