The Best 12 Week Pyramid Workout Routine with PDF

Pyramid Workout Routine

From superset and tri-set to drop set and pyramid set, there are various ways of training the muscles for bodybuilding. Out of multiple rep-set methods, I’ll share a pyramid workout routine in this article.

The pyramid workout is an excellent way of training muscles for bodybuilding. It involves performing multiple sub-sets within a set. During the pyramid sets, the number of reps or weights will increase after each subset.

It helps the lifter reach muscular fatigue in a more time-efficient manner than the conventional rep-set method.

You can integrate the pyramid sets into your training program to increase muscular strength, endurance, and mass.

In this article, I’ll share all about the pyramid workout, such as its benefits, disadvantages, how to do it, and a sample of a 12-week workout routine.

If you want to try challenging and different workouts, follow this pyramid workout routine to maximize your strength and size.

Pros and Cons of Pyramid Sets Workout

Pros and cons of pyramid set workout routine

Let’s see some of the benefits and downsides of pyramid sets training that will help you whether you should do it or not.

Benefits:

  • Stimulate Muscle Growth: Pyramid workout allows you to increase the reps or weights in each subset and target the muscles with different levels of intensity. This kind of training puts the muscles under tension for a longer duration and helps stimulate muscle growth.
  • Interesting and Challenging: The increasing weight and lowering reps or lowering weight and increasing reps makes the pyramid workout interesting and challenging. The changing rep and weight keep your attention on lifts that help achieve better results.
  • Time Efficient: Pyramid workout allows you to perform more repetitions in the same or less time than the straight sets, making it a time-efficient workout training.
  • Improve Cardiovascular Fitness: Pyramid sets also keep your heart rate high during the lifts, torches significant calories, and promote cardiovascular fitness.

Disadvantages:

  • Tiring: The pyramid sets are an intense method of training, so it can make you tire quickly.
  • Not Suitable for Beginners: This is only for intermediate to advanced lifters with decent muscular strength and endurance.
  • Not for Bodyweight Workout: Bodyweight exercises, such as pull-ups, bar dips, push-ups, and hanging knee raise, play a crucial role in strength and muscle building. However, there’s no resistance involved during those movements, so you can’t do them like other exercises unless you use additional weight.

How to Design a Pyramid Workout Program?

Here’s how you can do the back and chest pyramid set workout.

  • Sets per exercise: 3
  • Subsets per set: 3
  • Rest between sets: 2-3 minutes

The intensity of lift during reps-focused pyramid workout:

  • Subset 1: Lift at 75% of maximum strength (1RM) and perform three reps.
  • Subset 2: Lift at 50% of your 1RM and do six reps.
  • Subset 3: Lift at 25% of your 1RM and perform nine reps.
  • Instructions: If you maximally lift 50kg in one rep, then perform three reps with 37-38 kg in the first subset, followed by six reps with 25 kg in the second subset and nine reps with 12-13 kg in the third subset.

The intensity of lift during weight focused pyramid workout:

  • Subset 1: Lift at 25% of your 1RM and perform nine reps.
  • Subset 2: Lift at 50% of your 1RM and do six reps.
  • Subset 3: Lift at 75% of maximum strength (1RM) and perform three reps.
  • Instructions: If you maximally lift 60kg in one rep, then perform nine reps with 15 kg in the first subset, followed by six reps with 30 kg in the second subset and three reps with 45 kg in the third subset.

I hope it’s clear what pyramid training is and how to do it. Now, let’s see an example of a 12-week pyramid workout plan that can break your plateau and help increase strength and muscle mass.

12-Week Pyramid Workout Routine to Transform Your Physique

Schedule:

  • Monday – Chest and Triceps
  • Tuesday – Back and Biceps
  • Wednesday – Legs and Shoulder
  • Thursday – OFF
  • Friday – Chest and Glutes
  • Saturday – Back and Legs
  • Sunday – OFF

This five-day weekly schedule allows you to train your large muscle groups (chest, legs, and back) twice a week. And training major muscles two times weekly is a great way to promote strength and hypertrophy.

If you also want to focus on core development, you can integrate abs and oblique exercises into your training program to bolster your mid-section.

Warm-up: It is best to do 5-10 minutes of warm-up exercises to increase your heart rate and prepare your muscles for intense resistance exercises. You can jog on the treadmill, do bodyweight cardio exercises, or lift a light bar and dumbbell for warm-up.

Week 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 – Reps Focused Pyramid Sets

Perform this workout every alternate week during the 12 weeks program.

Monday – Chest and Triceps

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Flat Barbell Bench Press3, 6, 970%, 50%, 25%3
Pec Deck Fly3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
High-to-Low Cable Fly3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
Rope/Bar Pushdown3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%2
One-arm Overhead Cable Triceps Extension3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%2

Tuesday – Back and Biceps

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Front Lat Pulldown3, 6, 970%, 50%, 25%3
Seated Cable Row3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
Bent-over Row3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
EZ Bar Curl3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%2
Hammer Curl3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%2

Wednesday – Legs and Shoulder (Superset Workout)

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Overhead Press + Leg Extension3, 6, 970%, 50%, 25%3
Lateral Delt Raises + Leg Curl3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
Rear Delt Machine Fly + Calf Raises3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3

Friday – Chest and Glutes

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Incline Chest Press (DB/Bar/Machine)3, 6, 970%, 50%, 25%3
Pec Deck Fly3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
High-to-Low Cable Fly3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
Hex or Trap Bar Deadlift3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%2
Hip Thrust3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3

Saturday – Back and Legs

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Leg Press3, 6, 970%, 50%, 25%3
Front Lunges3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
V-Grip Front Lat Pulldown3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%3
Seated Cable Row3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%2
Chest-Supported Row3, 6, 975%, 50%, 25%2

Week 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 – Weight Focused Pyramid Sets

Monday – Chest and Triceps

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Flat Barbell Bench Press8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Seated Pec Deck Fly8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Bent Cable Chest Fly8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Rope/Bar Pushdown8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%2
Skull Crusher8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%2

Tuesday – Back and Biceps

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Conventional Deadlift8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Front Lat Pulldown8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Seated Cable Row8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Preacher Curl8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%2
Cable Rope Curl8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%2

Wednesday – Legs and Shoulder (Superset)

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Overhead Press + Leg Extension8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Lateral Delt Raises + Leg Curl8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Rear Delt Machine Fly + Calf Raises8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Shrug + Face Pull8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%2

Friday – Chest and Glutes

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Incline Chest Press (DB/Bar/Machine)8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Seated Pec Deck Fly8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Dumbbell Pullover8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Hip Thrust8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%2
Dumbbell Frog Pump8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%2

Saturday – Back and Legs

ExerciseSubsetsIntensitySets
Back Squat8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
Leg Press8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
V-Grip Lat Pulldown8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3
One-arm DB Row8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%2
T-Bar Row8, 6, 430%, 45%, 60%3

Download The Pyramid Workout Plan PDF


The Alternate Training Programs

Share This Blog

Picture of Murshid Akram

Murshid Akram

I’m a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I help people achieve their best shape through my science-based and practical workout programs.
Picture of Murshid Akram

Murshid Akram

I’m a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I help people achieve their best shape through my science-based and practical workout programs.

About Me

I’m Murshid Akram, a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I primarily design workout plans and share science-based and practical information that can help you become stronger, functional, and healthier.

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for practical, helpful, and unique content that can help you elevate your fitness.

SEARCH YOUR WORKOUT​

You can also use this search box to find your workout​

Search