When you are looking to diversify your workout, it is nothing short of a challenge. When you look around the gym, you will notice a lot of men simply going about nothing but repeated 8-10 reps, maybe 12-15, even 6-8.
When training, it is quite possible that you would have tried to do all possible rep changes within the same work out. You would have lifted heavy when doing low reps, and with high reps gone light weight and with moderate reps, done moderate weights. To give your muscles a well rounded workout though, it is better to bring in variation instead of allowing them to get accustomed to one stream of resistance. You could perform all rep ranges during one single exercise, by including the principles of pyramid training.
What Are The Principles?
There are three main forms of pyramid routines as listed below.
The Ascending Pyramid
Make use of the ascending pyramid to increase weight with every successive set. If you are doing shoulder presses in 4 sets, in the 1st set, pick a weight that allows you to get 16 reps at least. For the 2nd set add 10-20 pounds to the weight to get around 12 reps. For the 3rd set increase weight so as to get eight reps and for the 4th set, pick heavy weight that permits only 4 reps. Thus, you have a cocktail of high, moderate and low rep trainings in one schedule. While your muscles are bound to be exhausted, you will reap rich results.
The Descending Pyramid
What this routine entails is that during the first set, pick the heaviest weight there is. Please ensure that you warm up to working with the heavy weight beforehand. Your 1st set will begin with 5-6 reps, the second will see a decrease in weight and the reps go up until you reach 15-20 reps by the time it is your fourth set.
The reasoning behind this pyramid routines is to combine high and low rep training, the only difference here is that your muscles are more fresh and rested for your low rep set, where you can make use of more weight that prescribed.
The Triangle Pyramid
Go ahead and combine descending and ascending pyramids. Begin with a light weight and go onto an ascending pyramid with four or more reps. Then, go down in weight. Alternate for maximum benefit. To illustrate with example, the reps could be as follows: 16-12-8-4-8-12-16. When you lower the weight, you would not be able to do as many reps as possibly did in the first few sets. Go with as many as you possibly can. Go lighter and reach the number of reps you possibly want even. This pyramid is complete as it has more sets. The higher volume here will help build up on more muscle for you. For your next workout program, try the pyramid training!