T Nation

Ramping Question


I am new to ramping my sets. Well I have always 'ramped' instinctively but after reading Thib's recent article, I started following his method closely. From what I understand, he suggests keeping the reps the same on each set, keeping the reps explosive. (155 x 8 / 175 x 8 / 205 x 8 etc ....)

My lifts have actually decreased. I feel more fatigued on that last 'all out set' then usual. I usually ramp the exact same way he suggests but reduce the number of reps as I get closer to my one work set weight ( 155 x 8 / 175 x 6 / 205 x 4 ....).

Does anyone run into this same problem or I'm I missing the point of this whole ramping thing?!



Use your head. To start youll feel more fatigued if ur pyramiding starts smaller ie 10 8 6 4 2? and then u started using 8 for everything, therefore making u use 8 reps on a set u usually do 6 reps, youll be fatigued for the next one, think about it. But in my opinion, i think its the best way of ramping, ur not fatigued by extra reps on lighter sets, and its easy to record numbers.

Secondly, being explosive on lifts, like pressing movements, or any in fact, will make u more fatigued to begin with, and your numbers will drop significantly, for example ill press 40kg db's for reps on my final set, just doing my thing. if im explosive throughout, my numbers will drop till my final set is about 30-32.5kgs. but... being consistently explosive will allow your body better recruit more muscle fibres and later on, become better off, ie. be more explosive, lift more weight, leading to more muscle.

hope it helps


I think you should be doing fewer reps per set, in order to not be fatigued by the time you approach the top sets of the day. If you keep your ramping around 3-5 reps per set, from the first sets to the last, this wouldn't be an issue.


just pay attention to your body. say your doing 4 sets of 8 and you notice on the third set 5th rep that you are barely going to hit 8, stop the set. maybe just do 6. you can either tackle that weight again (maybe its just an activation issue)and then ramp up to your top set or you can just up the weight again and try and beat the log book by doing as many as possible on your top set. use some instinct.


oh and CTs style of ramping isnt for everybody, check out cephalic carnage: how do you train. he explains how he ramps up. its very clear.


Have your lifts been consistently decreasing? Or did they just take a hit the first time you added the extra reps?

Obviously you wont be as strong since you are doing more reps (24 instead of 18) but you should still be able to progress workout to workout.


All these posts are relevent. I've NEVER agreed with CT's ramping style (not just his, but that way,) no disrespect to CT of course.

But I know muscle endurance isn't generally one of my strong suits. If I was to try to hit 8 reps at 315 before a 365 front squat, I know I DEFINITELY wouldn't have the same amount of effort to be able to put out.


SSC, do u do wat CC does and ramps up say 8,6,4,2 and then top set of say 8??


Kind of depends on the muscle and the exercise that I'm on for that muscle.

Like, on my shoulder day, I'll start with DB presses. I'll go x15, 8, 5, 3, and then the work set. I'll then move to laterals and do something like x10, 5, and then work set.

I guess I'll normally start my ramping with slightly higher reps (10-15) because I like to get a tiny amount of pre-fatigue just to help me feel the muscle before hand.

But again, that's just me. :slight_smile:

EDIT: And yes, I got the mainframe for ramping from CC.


Cool, cheers, ill def being trying it out, as i used to just do straight reps ie 8 8 8 8 atm (last 2 wks) ive been doing old school pyramiding 12 10 8 6, so might try this and see how it goes.


i prefer CC's style as well...

I tried all methods...


Basically, the stronger you are (or the more strength focussed your goals are), the more you would need to ramp (so as to better prepare the system for bigger loads). Like pro-a-gression said, use your common sense - if you don't feel ready for a top set, do another set. Also, the ramping shouldn't be high volume, just a few reps which are enough to "amp" you up. So you'd do warmp up sets to get blood flow going (e.g. 12+), followed by low rep ramping (e.g. 3-5 reps). To make it more bodybuilding/hypertrophy oriented, I'd add in a drop set at the end (load that makes you reach near failure at 8-12 reps).

Smaller movements don't require ramping IMO (just normal 'pyramiding'). Same I believe applies for most movements after the big lift(s) in the workout.

Also a fan of C_C's advice on sets etc.


OP, if you want to follow CT's ramping style, do it correctly: start with 60% of 1RM, do sets of 3 explosive reps until you can't accelerate the weight anymore, then do a set of as many reps as possible with 70% of your last set of 3 or 4x6/5x5/6x4 with roughly 70-75% of your last set of triples, going slightly up and down from set to set (CT doesn't like multiple sets with the same load).

Thib stated many times that this style isn't suitable for sets of 6+ reps.


fabiop, i'm not 100% sure but i believe an example he gave in the latest article discussing 'ramping', he used 8 reps for each set as the example.
I will try to search CC's ramping method but from the sounds of things, it seems pretty similar to what I have been doing. Here's an example:
Deads: 185 x 6 - 225 x 4 - 275 x 3 - 335 x 2 - 385 x 2 - 405 x 1 - then i do my work set 405 x 6

I tried using the same reps (6) for all ramps today. Man, did that 405 feel a lot heavier than usual.


CC's style as in Common Cence guys?

If I did deads with a max set of 405 my reps would look like,

185 x 6
275 x 3
335 x 2
365 x 1
405 x .....


cool... very similar. I like to finish with at least 1 rep of the weight I plan on using so I don't get 'shocked' by the weight. Sometimes I even ramp higher than the weight I'll use for the ws. 405 x 2 - 415 x 1 and then back down to 405 for the work set.

I'm going to stick it out with CT's method for anothr week or so, to see if it's just a matter of adapting.
On a side note, I can't seem to find anything about CC's method. Does anybody have a link? thanks


C_C didn't invent a set method - it's pretty standard 'modern bodybuilding'. He doesn't go into detail for good reason, look what happened to that simple method of ramping; everyone started getting their calculators out lol...CT never meant it to be that complicated (just ramp up in small reps until performance/speed drops, then stop the set).

The basic 'bodybuilding' method goes like this:

High rep warmup (e.g. bar 15 times)
8 reps
5-6 reps
3-4 reps
work set (e.g. 5-12 reps)

For your biggest lifts (e.g. deadlifts/squats/benching/rows), you're better off ramping IMO (e.g. 6-10 sets with small weight increases, starting from around 50-60% of 1RM).


I am by no means "strong" for someone in this forum but I can say that ramping like this has allowed me to increase my deadlift from 300x3 to 350x3 in 7 weeks which I'm very happy with.My only difference is that as I near my top end I only pull singles.