T Nation

Discussion About Ramping/Flat Pyramids


Ok, all these years ive simply trained in a straight set format, after reading here how most pro's simply Ramp to a heavy set on each exercise has made me think. Ive kind of got confused because when watching videos of these guys train they do RAMP up each set to a max set.

But how come they never mention that they "RAMP" up to a max set, for example when looking at articles on their routines they make out they are doing 20 all out sets. What i find stange is the pros obviously do this coz it works well but its strange because i have not found another site talking about ramping except here. Yet the pros train like this in their videos?? its strange lol


Good observation. Read books and articles from most pro bodybuilders and they will indicate that they use straight sets in training. Yet, get a video camera on them and all of a sudden they are ramping to max load.

To me what this means is that for the camera they are showing off and want to lift as much as possible, but the reality of their day-to-day training is that they use straight sets.


So what exactly is your point? And what is the 'flat phyramid'?


I believe the opposite is more likely true.

That they ramp up in real life, but they, or more likely their ghost writers, simply forgot to include it when writing up the program.

Even CT admitted that he always ramps, yet he forgot to indicate in in some of the programs he's written because it was common sense to him.




That may be true, but it is unlikely that they all just forgot. I have seen approx 5 top BB's books/articles and they all say straight sets.


well i guess that my point is that all these pros do ramping but theres hardly any information on the internet that explains this method?? thats why it confused me because these pro bodybuilders use ramping so it must be a popular method, but this is the only site i can find any info on it. This is the ONLY site apart from this that talks about Ramping which is named as "Flat Phyramiding" See link below


I just find it strange that there is very little info on a method used regularly by pro bodybuilders.


Because it is like writing an instruction manual on picking your nose. Ya just kinda do it, should come natural to you.


Hahahah lol yeh i see what you mean lol, so is it a standard to progressivly use heavier weights each set of an exercise?? because does that mean all these years ive been seriously overtraining if ive been performing 10-15 heavy sets per muscle??


Forgotten, overlooked, neglected, whatever you want to call it. Almost every elite lifter/bodybuilder I've seen train used ramped sets whenever they were working with heavy weights.

Ramping is somewhat intuitive to most people who get past the newbie stage. At least it was for me and those that I trained with.

Now, if a program specifically calls for "straight" sets, that's another story.


No, it wouldn't follow that you've been "overtraining" if you did 10-15 heavy work sets all at the top weight.

For example in the last 8 days, which had 4 chest workouts (as I was emphasizing it) I did 28 sets at the top work weight of each day. It was not overtraining.

Now if you've been using 10-15 sets at the top weight per muscle for every muscle group and were training every group 3 times per week, then that might be too much. But I suspect you weren't doing it 3x/week.

There is validity both to doing only one set at a top work weight, and multiple sets at the top work weight. The latter does not necessarily mean not ramping up to get there, either.


Yeh that clears it up a little, how come most pros use this method of training, do they all refer to it as ramping coz i cant find any info on ramping anywhere else, thats why im confused coz it dosn't make sense that theres no info anywhere else on this reguarly used method ??



ramping sets reps

will turn up quite a few hits, actually.

A nice example, not turning up in those hits or at least not the first page, is this article on the methods of a Russian bench press champion, http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/353/

While I can't prove it's so, I think most of us would agree that if the only sets that did anything for his strength were his top sets, he wouldn't have developed the strength to win those titles. He just didn't do that much work at his top weights at all.

But he did a very respectable volume of work in the ramps.

Clearly (I think, anyway) how he ramped was an absolutely critical component of his results. Even if he'd been able to safely do the top sets with no ramp, or with very little ramp, that alone wouldn't have done it for him.

By the way I've tried his method on squats, and it is brutal, despite the quite limited amount of work at the actual top weight each day. And absolutely the effect on the muscle is quite different than just using the top weight.

Regardless that the ramp sets left considerable or even a lot of gas in the tank each time.


A new fucking ramping thread every week.....

The concept is simple, the majority of truly huge and strong people ramp their sets. It serves two purposes, first it warms the body up enough to handle heavy loads, and second it allows you to set up for that one all out set which provides the most stimulation to the muscle and produces the most over all growth.

Newbs can sit around doing straight sets of 155 on bench, but when you have people benching 500 for reps it's just too much to do 3-5 sets of 500 pounds and would probably be counter productive because fatigue may lead to injury.

I own a few pro bodybuilders/powerlifters training videos. Every single one ramps on 99% of their exercises. The only exercise I remeber Kevin Levrone doing without ramping was 2 sets of 405 on inclines, and he still ramped up because he started with 315.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is caught ramping in Pumping Iron when him and Ed Corney are knocking out squats.

This is a very old concept and a guarenteed producer of results. Articles are written by pros to "satisfy" the public and make money, not to show case how they actually train. This is unfortunately true in many cases.


Yeh thats all starting to make this ramping thing a whole lot clear lol, so is a ramping generally more intense than it looks?


It can be, like anything else it's dependent upon how much effort your honestly putting into it.


ok does any of you know a good article other than here lol that explains everything about ramping


It's as intense as you make it.

Just to clarify as well, you can make ramping and straight sets just as intense. I just believe in the long run ramping will produce better results when heavier weights are being used.


Holy shit, you don't need a degree to figure this out. You would need to have experienced some pretty horrific head trama if you can't figure out ramping as the definition is in the word itself. Fuck.

Please nobody explain ramping any further than what was typed.

No offense OP it'd be better off if you figured out what works for you by you.


Well, what's more important, how "intense" something feels, or the results that it produces?

No, 1 all out set is not more intense than 10 all out sets, but good luck making huge amounts of strength progress for reps doing 10 all out sets on a regular basis.

The name of the game is progressive resistance. Do you think it's a coincidence that every guy in existence who can rep 495 for 6+ reps has an impressive set of pecs? Or, how about that people who are only benching 135 (regardless of how many sets of it they're doing) have much smaller pecs?

So, you shouldn't be asking yourself "what method is gonna make me the most tired", you should be asking "what method is going to allow me to get strongest for reps the fastest". And guess which method (doing 1 all out set, or 10) is gonna allow you to add weight to the bar most frequently?

Of course that's the stimulation for growth, you still have to eat to give your body the raw materials to build with.

Finally, as far as the articles/books, etc... someone said it above, they're ghost written (meaning that the pro didn't write them themselves) by little "experts" who don't really know what it takes to get someone huge. They then pay the pro to put their name on the article, and viola you've got lots of confused newbies doing programs which have never produced outstanding results and wondering which supplements they're missing out on which will magically help them put on muscle (ever notice how there are far more pages of supplement ads in those muscle mags than articles?).

You wanna know what works, look what the really big guys do. Look at Prof X's and Cephalic_Carnage's threads on this site; watch vids of guys like Ronnie, Branch, Ruhl, etc...; go read some serious BB'ing forums (sorry, but T-Nation, with the exception of a few threads, isn't anymore) and you'll see that the majority of them train this way.