Happy Thursday to you,
Last weekend Lucy and I went off to the Welsh mountains.
We managed to get in 2 full days of walking along with a very cold mountain lake swim. Invigorating!
The whole country of Wales is now on full lockdown so I’m glad we managed to get there just in time.
Will England embrace a full lockdown again soon just like France and Wales?
Let’s wait and see…
Pyramid training involves adding or subtracting: exercises, repetitions, rest periods or changing the weight after every round or set.
Using Pyramid workouts is an effective way to get more out of your workouts and to add in a little fun along the way.
There are several benefits to pyramid training workouts but mostly it is a clever way to work with your body so as you fatigue you are able to continue and get more out of each exercise.
There are 5 basic formats:
1. Movement Pyramids
Movement pyramids involve adding an extra exercise to your workout every set or round. For example you start off by performing exercise no. 1 and then rest and then you perform exercise no.1 and no.2, rest again and then perform no.1, no.2 and no.3 and so on.
I use these a lot with my kettlebell classes, they are fun and motivational.
2. Repetition Pyramids
These types of workout pyramids involve adding or subtracting the amount of repetitions you perform each round or set. So the first round you may perform 5 repetitions, the second round 10 reps, the third 15 reps and so on.
3. Timed Pyramids
Very similar to Repetition Pyramids except this type of workout changes the exercise time each round or set. So you could perform 60 seconds the first round, 45 seconds the second and 30 seconds the third.
These allow for fatigue so the time decreases as your natural stamina decreases.
4. Load Pyramids
Another effective pyramid format is to change the load every round or set. So each round you can increase the weight or decrease the weight (Reverse Pyramid Training). Using load pyramids is particularly effective for fatiguing muscles for muscle growth and for warming up gradually.
5. Rest Pyramids
When you start your workout you are fresh and need less rest whereas towards the end of your workout you are more tired and so need more rest. Rest pyramids take advantage of this principle by increasing the rest periods as you progress through the pyramid. Great for cardio training.
Choosing a format
You can have a lot of fun mixing up exercises, and rest periods using the above formats.
As with all exercise be sure to think about your goals.
- For cardio or fat loss you may want to work more with movement, timed or rest pyramids.
- For strength gains repetition pyramids work well.
- For muscle building load pyramids are a great option.
Let’s look at 2 example workouts…
Here’s a movement pyramid:
- Two Handed Swing
- Push Ups
- Goblet Squats
- Sit and Press
- Alternating Lunges
- Slow Mountain Climbers
Perform exercise 1 for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, then exercise 1 and 2, then rest 30 seconds, exercises 1, 2, 3 and 30 seconds rest. Keep adding an exercise each round until you have performed all 7.
You may find you can only last for 3 or 4 exercises but that is OK. Each workout try to improve on the one before.
Here’s a repetition pyramid:
- Clean & Press x 1 rep left then right
- Clean & Press x 2 reps left and then right
- Clean & Press x 3 reps left and then right
- Clean & Press x 4 reps left and then right
- Clean & Press x 5 reps left and then right
This is a great way to improve your strength in a safe and controlled way without overloading your system.
Each round allows time for you to reset and increases muscle recruitment.
You can use this format with any strength based exercise eg. pistols squats, pull ups or even push ups if you find them a challenge.
This weeks question:
Q. “Greg, I’m struggling with the Turkish Get Up, each time I try to sit up from the floor my leg lifts up. What am I doing wrong?”
A. The Turkish Get Up is a very core based exercise, the fact that your leg pops up into the air demonstrates a fault in your core activation.
You can usually fix this by doing 1 of 3 things:
- Switch on your core muscles by taking a deep breath in and then sitting up while you breathe out forcefully through your teeth
- Reduce the amount of weight your are using, this may be enough to help you get to the sitting position
- Reverse the movement by starting in the sitting position and then slowly lower yourself back to the lying position using your core muscles to control your descent. 5 secs is a good time to aim for.
Keep practicing and with time you’ll be sitting up with no problem.
I hope this helps.