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How Do Pyramid Sets Work?

Fitness 101: Pyramid Sets

Don't get stuck in a weight-training rut. You don't always need to lift for three sets of 15 reps. Mix it up and try pyramid sets.

Pyramiding your sets is just another way to challenge your muscles. The main purpose of doing pyramids is to completely exhaust the muscle fibers, which in turn helps build muscle. This is a great way to add variety to your current strength-training routine.There are two ways to approach pyramid sets. Learn them both when you


First you can start with a lighter weight and do many reps, which you follow with a second set using heavier weights, but do fewer reps. For example, for the first set (say bicep curls), warm up with a weight that you can lift for 10 to 12 reps. For the second set, use a weight that you can lift for six to eight reps. For the final, pick a weight that will exhaust your arms after four to six reps.

You can also go in reverse. Start with heavy weights with fewer reps, then decrease the weight but add reps.

Do you already do pyramid sets? If so, share your favorite set in the comment section below.

Image Source: Getty
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nancita nancita 7 years
I never do this, but great tips. It will definitely help get me out of my rut.
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
We have pyramid training whenever in my master swim, but this is the first time I learned it on weights. Like the idea, and will try it out!
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
cool idea!
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