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Is Training Like This Viable?


So my max bench press is 215. I've been using a bench pyramid calculator on chest day for about 2 weeks after I switched from a 5x5. I'm new to the percentage based pyramid schemes. What I want to know is, can I do the 250 scheme below until I can get all the sets and reps:

135 x 10 (55%)
160 x 8 (65%)
185 x 6 (75%)
210 x 4 (85%)
220 x 3 (88.5%)
230 x 2 (92.5%)
185 x 6 (75%)

Now I know that maxing 215 won't allow me to get the 220x3 and 230 x2. Would I get to 250 faster using that scheme until I can do these weights, or, should I instead stick with the 220 scheme and go to 225, 230, 235 and so on. I know for a fact the only weak point I have is my shoulders but I'm steadily adding weights on shoulder days.


You are way overthinking. You're still at the beginner phase of your lifting: just follow whatever program you want and work very hard at it and recover enough. The program that will get you stronger "fastest" is the one that you really dedicate yourself to and like enough to practice consistently.

So if you like what you're doing, keep doing it and work hard at it. If you'd rather 5x5 or 5/3/1, then go do that. But don't worry so much about "optimizing" at this point.


As a general rule never put in a max for a percentage based program that isn't accurate, especially 35lbs more than you can do.


I'm not particularly familiar with the type of programming you describe, but it seems beyond foolish to start a program that you will very obviously not be able to finish. Why don't you try a program based of your actual, real world 1RM?


I think you just need a few tweaks. Like perhaps having 3x1RM and working to completing those reps over time rather than a weight that is beyond you for even a single to begin with. That's just planning for failure. Other than that, this progression model has been successfully used for an eternity.

With that said, I think the key to progression is volume rather than intensity. So I'd prefer 5x90% 1RM rather than doing 100% until you can hit 3 reps but your body, you know what works for you.

I'd also use a known rep scheme rather than plucking one out of your backside.