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Pyramid training is not something derived from Egypt but rather a specific training technique for attacking the muscles.
The pyramid approach to training is just that – it starts off a low base, builds up to a point, then descends back down to a low base. The scheme here is to start with a high repetition set with a light weight. As the weight is increased, the repetitions are decreased. Finally, the action is reversed and you start lowering the weight load while increasing the amount of repetitions you perform. The pyramid training session requires a bit more time than most since there are several sets involved going up to the top and coming back down again.
There are various derivatives of this training, with ascending sets only, or descending sets only, or the true pyramid of a mix of the two (sometimes called a triangle).
Pyramid training allows your body to become thoroughly warmed up, something that often goes overlooked by some trainees. Getting the muscles ready to go gradually often allows you to lift more weight. Powerlifters in particular take a long time to warm up, and the pyramid style training also gets the muscles into the action in a step-by-step manner.
Many people also enjoy the gradual progression into the heavy weight ranges instead of jumping right in as some do. The pyramid is one of the best approaches on the mental side as it allows body and mind to get ready for the ever heavier weight loads.
The pyramid approach also provides a good pump on the backside of the training as the sets increase and the muscles become engorged with blood from the many sets. A full triangle style pyramid routine can go through a heavy volume of lifting.
You can modify a pyramid approach to suit your own training style. You may want to ascend in pyramid form, then finish up with a couple of lighter sets instead of going through the full pyramid on the way down.
Note: For more information on High Intensity Training see The Colorado Experiment Workout
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