Bodybuilding Training Tips – Dangers of Pyramiding

Nearly all bodybuilders use the practice of pyramiding when completing their sets in the gym. It’s almost an automatic process that occurs, whether or not the bodybuilder is familiar with pyramiding principles as described in bodybuilding textbooks. They place some weight on the bar, and complete one set. We’ll use bench press for this example. After benching 85 pounds for 15 repetitions, they’ll realize they can do more. They’ll place a 45-pound plate on each side, and complete 10 repetitions. Now they’ll add a 25-pound plate to each side for the next set, and complete 6 repetitions. Finally, as they realize the weight is getting heavy and the repetitions are becoming fewer, they will add a meager 10 pounds on each side of the bar and struggle with 4 repetitions with the help of a spotter.

This could be the first trip into the gym, or the 1000th trip, for many bodybuilders. Out of habit, they will often complete this same routine every time they enter the gym. They may eventually move on to heavier weights and more repetitions, but the process will always be the same. They will continually employ the technique of pyramiding subconsciously in their training. Simply put, pyramiding is the practice of increasing the weight on each successive set as you reduce the total number of reps completed. If taken to the extreme, a person would start with a very small weight, and complete a high number of repetitions. After several sets, he would be using a very heavy amount of weight, and struggling to complete a single repetition. It is how athletes – from amateur to advanced – approach their training.

There is a growing school of thought that supports the belief  Buy Sarms in Australia that pyramiding isn’t necessarily the best practice for bodybuilders seeking to add size to their bodies while maintaining the health of their muscles and joints. A look at some of the recent high-profile injuries shows that some of the great bodybuilding champions have been toppled in their prime – not by a superior athlete – but by an injury which occurred as a result of simply lifting too heavy. Dorian Yates comes to mind as such as example. After winning 6 Mr. Olympia titles and looking unbeatable, he suddenly had to retire due to injury. His last two Sandow wins were marred with the blemish of torn biceps and other body parts, which he admits were byproducts of his training protocols.

Ronnie Coleman, on the other hand, was well-known for sticking with higher repetitions when he was completing his own training. He still trained notoriously heavy, but he kept the repetitions higher and avoided injury. Of course, later in his career when he began making DVDs and pushing himself to the limit on the compound movements for singles and doubles, we saw him tear a triceps and a lat, and lose and never retain his Mr. Olympia title. There might be something said for heavy, sensible training where the bodybuilder never dips below 6 repetitions. If you can’t complete 6 reps, then the weight is simply too heavy!