Dynamic Pyramid Training for Lean Muscles

September 9th, 2019

One of the most effective ways to build lean muscle is with pyramid training. You can make it your own by including your favorite exercises. It’s best to focus on one muscle group so you can maximize the impact.

What is pyramid training?

First, pyramid training is a collection of sets of the same exercise that starts with light weights/ higher reps, then builds up to a peak weight/ fewer reps, and then goes back to lighter weights/ higher reps again.

With pyramid training, you also keep intensity high by limiting the time between sets. This keeps muscles active and under tension for longer, causing more micro-tears in the muscle fibers, which promotes muscle protein synthesis – the rebuilding process for new, stronger muscle.

What are the benefits of pyramid training?

There are two main benefits to pyramid training: it’s efficient and this type of interval workout is great when you’ve hit a plateau.

Pyramid training is a great way to shock your muscles with a new stimulus to promote growth and development. Because you’re using a variety of rep and weight ranges, muscles fatigue quicker and are forced to adapt and grow.

Breakthrough the plateau in the gym and challenge yourself with pyramid training. When you notice progress slowing, it’s time to make a change. At Driven + SWS, your trainer will customize your workouts to keep you on track for your goals.

Pyramid Training Workout

*This should go without saying, but ask your doctor before starting a new routine.

How it works: you’re starting off –hard. Why? Because as your muscles get tired, you won’t have to fight as hard to complete the reps with good form. Bonus: you’ve already pushed yourself past that point before, so you can do it again! Simply do as many as you can before the timer runs out.

1 minute – 45 seconds – 20 seconds

Kettlebell Swings

Skater Lunges

Plank with Alternating Leg Lift

This sample pyramid training routine will have your leg muscles burning! You’ll want to rest, grab some water, and then do at least 2 more reps.

Want to push harder?

Increase the number of reps. As you build up strength and endurance, start at three reps and slowly progress to seven.

Add some weight. Each week increase your starting weight but continue to maintain a consistent set range.

Reduce the amount of rest between sets. The longest period of rest should be one minute (for beginners). As you gain strength, reduce rest periods.

Pyramid training allows for easy progression. Make sure to keep track of what you’re doing each week and don’t be afraid to push harder during your workout.

Tips for Successful Pyramid Training Sessions

Don’t be overzealous. Pyramid training is intense and covers all bases – strength, hypertrophy, and muscular endurance. If you pick a weight that is too heavy, it will only result in early fatigue and loss of form.

Increase weight gradually. It is best to start with a weight of approximately 60 percent of your 1RM for that specific exercise, then increase the weight for each set by increments that fit your goals.

Maintain your form. If your form starts to falter, reduce the weight and try to maintain the target reps per set so you don’t miss meeting the required volume.

Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Keep enough energy in the tank so you can push for absolute failure on the final set! Do not be restricted by the planned reps and go to town!


For lean muscles, pyramid training may be just what the doctor ordered. We can help! Want more info on our customized, personal training programs? Call or text Driven + SWS at (813) 440-3016!

Categories: LifestylePersonal Training

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