in my (very) personal opinion of world class nutter lifter "Pyramid vs Reverse Pyramid" is a nonsense...
I mean if i do pyramid I start with light weight (40% 0f my 1rm)x8 reps,add 20lbish and do 3 reps and so on until i reach my 70ish %.
now the dilemma starts; if i push to failure the set with 70&& I will pay this in next sets with higher & of load,will do less reps...
option A; 70%X12 75%X9 80%X5 85%X3 ( reps number VERY GENERALIZED)
option B: 70&x7 7%X7 80%X7 85%X4/5 (of course,just 80 and 85% sets are working sets)
if I DON'T push first set to fsilure i'm doing -basicaly- a cluster type of training,saving my energy for one/two sets...
otherwise,if i do reverse pyramid I have to warm up (for example;benching) well before my main 85& aka 5 reps set, so i -again- start from 50& of 1rm x8 reps ,adding 20lb for jump and doing 3 reps for each set, until i reach 85% of my 1rm, then go for main all-out working set.
imo, just two warm up sets with 50 and 70% of your 1rm don't allow my brain,mind,body for a real 5 reps/85% 1rm set but could be just me...
my view; really each training protocol (even those of one century ago) works if you really bust your ass with.
choose one and do it hard for almost 3 months,then see results and decide.
about lateral raises; there is (very imo) a correlation between your working loads (on the bench,rows and military press) and your body weight,I mean if you are not injuried and train with 200lb on the bench very rarely you can train with 180lb on mp.
become stronger on main excercises and also isolations loads will go up.
PS; because a painful left elbow I went lighter on dbs lateral raises and more reps,13kg (30lbish) with perfect form-failure and then extra reps with just one arm alternating,great pump&pain.
maybe going heavy on compounds and light with isolations is the way????