Newbie bodybuilders and lifters whose sole goal is to get noticed in the gym tend swing and flap their arms around like an idiot as they walk towards the bench. They proceed to load the bar with way more weight than they can handle with PROPER form, attempt to press it up crooked (and sometimes the weight slides off) and better pray their spotter can pull the weight off of their chest before something bad happens.
When at the gym you need to maximize your time and effort with a proven routine, and pyramid sets are just that. Pyramid sets for bench press warm up the chest muscles as well as your joints, and because bench press is a compound lift, you not only call upon the chest muscles but a host of supporting muscles as well. Pyramiding will definitely help to increase your bench press in a short amount of time.
Pyramid training is just like it sounds, you start off at the base and work your way to the top. This style of training is actually one of the safest because it guarantees youre properly warmed up before you hit the big weights at the top.
A Sample Bench press pyramid:
Click here to generate a pyramid workout sheet based on your own max.
Set 1 – 145 x 10 reps
Set 2 – 160 x 8 reps
Set 3 – 175 x 6 reps
Set 4 – 190 x 4 reps
Set 5 – 205 x 3 reps
Set 6 – 220 x 2 reps
Set 7 – 175 x 6 reps
*You should take a 2-3 minute rest between sets.
Pyramid exercises have been around forever and are still the most popular way to train the bench press. The above example is just one of the numerous ways a pyramid workout can be designed, but the underlying principle of all pyramid workouts must remain the same. Warm up with a light set, do increasingly heavier sub-maximal effort lead-in sets up to a 100% set, and if that goes well, add five pounds and try to create a new 1-rep max.
Pyramiding overloads the muscle effectively and works very well for building mass and gaining strength. This type of training is highly recommended for beginners, as it is very basic and designed to prevent injury.