Second only to the personal trainer who does the best quality food eating and best quality exercise exercising FOR YOU – while YOU get the results – is the free, invisible, silent, yet still super effective trainer. Don’t you think?
I know from time to time a couple of my clients might like me to be a little more silent… a tad more invisible…
Well, today I have the solution – at least a useful technique (I’m not going to totally make myself obsolete!) – in todays training show let’s chat: Super Quick Pyramiding Power.
A pyramid when used in training is a protocol (or as I prefer just a pretty pattern!) that sets the intention prior to starting your work-out.
It’ll help give you that nudge on the day when you’d be tempted to bludge without a compelling target… which is the number one reason I work pyramids into my own training.
It’ll gamify the training experience… if you’re into that sort of thing.
It’ll push you to lift more, do more, rest less… and the variations are limitless.
Or, to quote from schwarzenegger.com (!) : pyramid training is performing an exercise or two, for a particular rep and then working your way down to 1, intended to fatigue the muscle. This type of training can be employed as an upward or downward sequence in weight or reps.
Before we proceed,
First: Just because I quoted Arnie’s site – no fear – I guarantee 100% you absolutely will NOT get all bulky with this type of training… or any style of heavy lifting that you’re not basically doing as a part-time career and supplementing with obsessive excessive amounts of food. Check out show #009: Why Lifting Weights Is The Best Way To Lose Fat, for more info on this.
Second: It’s my podcast and I’m still going to call it a pyramid even though I might structure it in 2’s, 4’s, 5’s or anything that sounds effective (and maybe looks pretty!) to me.
Ok that covered, here are 4 super quick pyramids for you.
- Heavy Dumbbell Pyramid.
This works best if you have access to your heaviest working weights. The dumbbells that you can only squeeze out 8 reps with for each of the following 2 exercises… they’ll be similar to each other in weight yet maybe not exactly the same.
A1) Flat DB Press.
A2) 1 Arm DB Bent Over Row.
Start with 8 reps of each exercise and pyramid down to only 1 rep of each exercise.
You’ll get more heavy reps out. Instead of say 24 total reps at 3 sets of 8, if you get the whole way through it’ll be 36 reps… and for me ‘competitive Kate’ kicks in and I don’t want to reduce my weight, Especially when I know that each set I have less to get through than what I managed the previous set.
Because this is an opposing muscle group, a pushing movement followed by a pulling movement you really don’t need to rest. So it’s time effective and high value.
- Full Body Medium-Light Dumbbell Pyramid.
I find this is ok with one set of dumbbells because the easier exercise has twice the repetitions to the other.
B1) Renegade Row with Push Up.
B2) 1.5 rep Walking Lunge.
Start with 10 reps of the row/push up combo and 20 of the 1.5 rep walking lunge (so 10 walking away and 10 walking back).
Pyramid down to only 2 reps of the row/push up combo and 4 of the lunge.
You can do this full body routine with a single pair of 10 kilo DB’s if you’ve been training a while – heavier if you’re a machine – however even if you’re in a hotel gym and only have a pair of 5 kilo DB’s I guarantee powering through this combo without rest is absolutely going to get you working hard.
You get a whole heap of hidden core work in this stability stipulating pairing.
- Glute Burn Pyramid.
If you know me, you know I’m into Booty Love (!) in fact my fav body part to train got a show to it’s self back in #024.
C1) Single Leg ‘2’ Kettle-bell Dead-lift.
Start with 8 reps of each leg of each exercise and pyramid down to only 1 rep of each leg of each exercise.
Need I say more after Booty Love?!
If you find the dead-lift a little too challenging (and it is, you really don’t want to be progressing into this exercise before you feel confident with dead-lifts)… I also love to pyramid an Elevated Sumo Squat and the walk-out. (so stand sumo style on a couple of step tops so you get an extra few cms, and squat holding one heavy dumbbell between your legs)
Start with 24 reps of the sumo and 6 each leg of the walk-out. Pyramid by ‘4’ reps for the sumo and ‘1’ rep for the walk-out… so it’ll look like this 24 & 6 / 20 & 5 / 16 & 4 / 12 & 3 / 8 & 2 / 4 & 1.
Back to benefit 2 for the dead-lift walk-out combo… It’s a nice pairing – they just feel good together – the walk-out feels like it’s loosening you up for a strong dead-lift and of course they are both crazy-super-awesome for your balance and core as well.
- Heart-rate Pyramid.
I call this one cardio… it’ll get that heart rate flying.
D1) Snatch to Eccentric Shoulder Press (or Kettle-bell swing)
D2) Sumo in out Jump Squat.
You want to choose your heaviest (yet safe) dumbbell for the snatch or the heaviest (yet safe) kettle-bell if you’re choosing the swing option.
Start with 10 reps each side of the snatch or 20 total of the swing and 20 sumo in out jump squat.
Pyramid down by 2 reps at a time to only 2 reps of the snatch (or 4 reps of the swing) and 4 reps of the sumo.
As I mentioned, this counts as cardio and it’s way more fun than hanging on those boring cardio machines.
It’s an awesome finisher at the end of your work-out. Absolutely if you’re short on time it’s very worth doing on it’s own, however if you’re looking to squeeze the very most out of yourself – like your friendly trainer would! – then throw this pyramid or ANY of these pyramids in at the end of your session.
If you have access to a varying dumbbells and kettle-bells and you like the look of all of these pyramids then, YES they absolutely can be performed as one massive, challenging work-out!
I recommend doing them in exactly the order I’ve shared them.
I’d love to hear from you if you do decide to complete all 4 together. That’s your action step for today. Try 1. Try all 4. Try any other pyramid and let me know how you go. You can do that via the comments below.
That’s it for me today, big thanks to you for spending this time with me and I hope you can join me tomorrow for the Friday FAQ show where I cover, Turning Business Mastery Into Body Mastery.
If you liked this you’ll also like: 6 Primal Movements: fat blasting moves and how they relate to your best fat loss mindset.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.