Reverse pyramid training is my go to form of training when burning fat and retaining/building muscle and strength.
For those like me who haven’t maximised there strength gains and are new to movements like barbell squats and dead lifts this kind of training can perform wonders.
What Is Reverse Pyramid Training Combined With Failure?
It is usually 3 sets per exercise where you perform your HEAVIEST set first.
Be sure to warm up properly. I usually start with just the 25kg/45lb bar and then 50% of my HEAVIEST Set and work up to 80%. I then perform my top set aiming for the rep range, which usually results in you really having to push for that final rep.
After your heaviest set, you reduce the weight by 10 % and on the 3rd set reduce by 10% again.
An example of this in practice:
Imagine you were performing your heaviest set on the bench press with 100kg and attempting to work in the 6-8 rep range. Well I would warm up with the just the bar for 10 reps and then 50 kg and perform 8 reps. I would then perform 60kg,70kg and finally 80kg for a single rep. I would then wait for about 2-3 minutes and psych myself up for the main set.
I would then perform the 100kg set with full intensity working towards failure.
I would rest for 3 minutes, reduce the weight by 10-15% and work up to doing 1 more rep than the previous set. DO NOT GO TO FAILURE
For the third and final set, I would reduce the weight again by 10% and perform 1 more rep than the previous set.DO NOT GO TO FAILURE.
How To Progress with Reverse Pyramid Training
Well your main aim should be to improve your heaviest set. Once you hit the highest figure of your rep range,increase the weight by 1kg/2.5lbs or 2.5kg/5lbs. Progress on the second and third set depends on whether or not you performed a rep more than the top set comfortably.
3 Day Workout Split Using RPT
Here is an example of how I use reverse pyramid training when I am dieting down to single digit bodyfat.
Squats 2-3 sets RPT 3 sets of 6-8
Romanian Deadlifts – SS – 2 sets of 8-10
Barbell Glute bridge – 2 sets of 10-12
Calf Raises- 2 sets of 20
Bench Press – 2-3 sets of 6-8 RPT
Incline Bench Press – SS -2 sets of 8-10
Seated Barbell Military Press – SS – 2 sets of 10- 12
Tricep pushdown – RP - 20-30 reps. Rest Pause style. Should be able to get about 15 reps, rest 30 seconds, do as many as you can, rest 30 seconds and do as many as you can
Deadlifts – RPT – 2 sets of 3-5 Go to FAILURE on first set
Weighted Chin ups – RPT – 2 sets of 4-6 Don’t go to failure on chins
Close grip chin up – as many as possible
Chest Supported Row – SS – 2 sets of 10-12. Should be able to do 15 reps on each set
Barbell Curls – RP – 20-30 reps. Rest Pause style. Should be able to get about 15 reps, rest 30 seconds, do as many as you can, rest 30 seconds and do as many as you can
RPT is very draining on the central nervous system so if cutting, focus on diet and low intensity cardio as adding HIIT just means extra recovery.