Pyramid Workout: Chest & Back

A pyramid style workout focuses on only 1-2 exercises with a large volume of repetitions and heavy weights. These workouts are reserved for the days where you can spend a little extra time in the gym. And that time is worth it! Pyramid workouts are incredibly effective for isolating muscle groups.

With each exercise below, you will start with 10 reps and then decrease to nine reps, followed by eight, seven, six, all the way to one. Once you get to one rep, you’ll increase all the way back to ten, stacking the reps on top of one another. This totals over 470 reps per each exercise!

As you decrease your reps, you’ll increase your weight. You should be at the heaviest weight, truly challenging yourself on reps 1-4.

  • Focus: Chest, Back, Core and Shoulders
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Warm Up: Five minutes of cardio

Here are the two exercises to focus on for the chest and back:

Lateral Pulldown

  • Equipment: Seated Pulley Machine
  • Reps: Pyramid (10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
  • Weight: Females: up to 50 lbs.; Males: up to 70 lbs.
  • Tips & Tricks: Keep the arms and back straight; focus on isolating your lateral back muscles as you pull down

Vertical Chest Press

  • Equipment: Bench; Dumbbells
  • Reps: Pyramid (10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
  • Weight: Females: up to 35 lbs.; Males: up to 50 lbs.
  • Tips & Tricks: Isolate the inner pectoral muscles as you pull your arms to center