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Ramping Up vs Pyramid for Hypertrophy?

Hi everyone. Just wanted to ask about the two approaches that are used by many professional bodybuilders.
In your opinion, what is better when training for size, Ramping (flat pyramids ) or pyramids where you start with high reps low weight and then decrease reps and increase weight as you move on?

Anyone? Please help

This falls into the “whatever works best for you” category. It doesn’t really matter just make sure that you can feel the muscles working. As for you question I prefer ramping up when it comes to compound lifts and pyramids when it comes to arm training.

[quote]HotShot818 wrote:
This falls into the “whatever works best for you” category. It doesn’t really matter just make sure that you can feel the muscles working. As for you question I prefer ramping up when it comes to compound lifts and pyramids when it comes to arm training.[/quote]

Thanks. When talking about ramping, what is the best way to approach it?
Do you need to fail on ramping sets? And how long should you rest between the ramping sets?

So ramping might look something like this, right?

150 lbs x 8
200 lbs x 8
250 lbs x 7-8
Should you then go with your real weight for 8 reps or should you take weight that you can do As many reps as possible even if that is 5 reps?

both work

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
both work[/quote]

Thanks. Could you please help me with the ramping method please? How do I do it right ( my post above )?

What you posted is fine, maybe add in one or two lighter sets. You don’t fail on the ramping sets they should feel pretty easy. Check out kingbeef’s thread and some Kevin Levrone vids to give you a good idea

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
What you posted is fine, maybe add in one or two lighter sets. You don’t fail on the ramping sets they should feel pretty easy. Check out kingbeef’s thread and some Kevin Levrone vids to give you a good idea[/quote]

Thank you very much! What about rest between ramping sets? Could I also do something like this? Can you have more than 1 working set? Because the ramping sets are just primers right?

So something like this ?

  1. 150 lbs x 8
  2. 200 lbs x 8
  3. 250 lbs x maximum reps
  4. 275 lbs x 1-2 reps?

I think many people will agree that you are way over-thinking it. There’s no perfect approach, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

[quote]DAVE101 wrote:
I think many people will agree that you are way over-thinking it. There’s no perfect approach, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.[/quote]

Sure, everyone has own approach. But I just wanted to get a general advice and to see whether my understanding of ramping is clear

You have to find what works best for the particular lift and allows you to do the most work at the end of the day.

Ex: I love doing 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 ramps on leg press and never feel like it affects the weight used on my top set; however, 15, 12, 10, 8 on DB Incline v. ramping 8s, I can handle a lot more and feel it alot more on my top sets in the latter case.

Other factors: where does it fall in your workout? Beginning, middle, end? Are you adding an intensifier on your top set like a drop set or slow negatives? What does your rest interval look like? How many sets are you doing at the top weight? WHAT’S YOUR DIET LIKE?

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
You have to find what works best for the particular lift and allows you to do the most work at the end of the day.

Ex: I love doing 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 ramps on leg press and never feel like it affects the weight used on my top set; however, 15, 12, 10, 8 on DB Incline v. ramping 8s, I can handle a lot more and feel it alot more on my top sets in the latter case.

Other factors: where does it fall in your workout? Beginning, middle, end? Are you adding an intensifier on your top set like a drop set or slow negatives? What does your rest interval look like? How many sets are you doing at the top weight? WHAT’S YOUR DIET LIKE? [/quote]

Thanks for your reply. But is it not pyramiding what you have described? I thought ramping meant not going to failure on primary sets and having 1-2 work sets in the end?

Is something like this fine in terms of ramping?

  1. 50 lbs x 10-12
  2. 100 lbs x 8
  3. 150 lbs x 8-6
  4. 225 x 2-3
  5. 230 x 1
    rest 3-5 minutes
  6. final working set 185 lbs as many reps as I can?

That should be enough to ramp up the CNS for the final set?

Or should I move 4) and 5) and do them after 6) ?

[quote]7asssa7 wrote:

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
You have to find what works best for the particular lift and allows you to do the most work at the end of the day.

Ex: I love doing 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 ramps on leg press and never feel like it affects the weight used on my top set; however, 15, 12, 10, 8 on DB Incline v. ramping 8s, I can handle a lot more and feel it alot more on my top sets in the latter case.

Other factors: where does it fall in your workout? Beginning, middle, end? Are you adding an intensifier on your top set like a drop set or slow negatives? What does your rest interval look like? How many sets are you doing at the top weight? WHAT’S YOUR DIET LIKE? [/quote]

Thanks for your reply. But is it not pyramiding what you have described? I thought ramping meant not going to failure on primary sets and having 1-2 work sets in the end?[/quote]

Yes, the leg press example would be a pyramid, where as straight ramping sets of 8 on incline is not.

[quote]jskrabac wrote:

[quote]7asssa7 wrote:

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
You have to find what works best for the particular lift and allows you to do the most work at the end of the day.

Ex: I love doing 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 ramps on leg press and never feel like it affects the weight used on my top set; however, 15, 12, 10, 8 on DB Incline v. ramping 8s, I can handle a lot more and feel it alot more on my top sets in the latter case.

Other factors: where does it fall in your workout? Beginning, middle, end? Are you adding an intensifier on your top set like a drop set or slow negatives? What does your rest interval look like? How many sets are you doing at the top weight? WHAT’S YOUR DIET LIKE? [/quote]

Thanks for your reply. But is it not pyramiding what you have described? I thought ramping meant not going to failure on primary sets and having 1-2 work sets in the end?[/quote]

Yes, the leg press example would be a pyramid, where as straight ramping sets of 8 on incline is not. [/quote]

Thanks for your reply. I will try pyramiding on all exercises first and will see how it goes. So for you pyramiding only works on leg press? I have seen how Shawn Ray and Wheeler train and they seem to pyramid.

[quote]7asssa7 wrote:

[quote]jskrabac wrote:

[quote]7asssa7 wrote:

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
You have to find what works best for the particular lift and allows you to do the most work at the end of the day.

Ex: I love doing 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 ramps on leg press and never feel like it affects the weight used on my top set; however, 15, 12, 10, 8 on DB Incline v. ramping 8s, I can handle a lot more and feel it alot more on my top sets in the latter case.

Other factors: where does it fall in your workout? Beginning, middle, end? Are you adding an intensifier on your top set like a drop set or slow negatives? What does your rest interval look like? How many sets are you doing at the top weight? WHAT’S YOUR DIET LIKE? [/quote]

Thanks for your reply. But is it not pyramiding what you have described? I thought ramping meant not going to failure on primary sets and having 1-2 work sets in the end?[/quote]

Yes, the leg press example would be a pyramid, where as straight ramping sets of 8 on incline is not. [/quote]

Thanks for your reply. I will try pyramiding on all exercises first and will see how it goes. So for you pyramiding only works on leg press? I have seen how Shawn Ray and Wheeler train and they seem to pyramid.
[/quote]

That was just an example. Some lifts I pyramid, others I ramp, others I just do same weight for all sets.

[quote]7asssa7 wrote:
Hi everyone. Just wanted to ask about the two approaches that are used by many professional bodybuilders.
In your opinion, what is better when training for size, Ramping (flat pyramids ) or pyramids where you start with high reps low weight and then decrease reps and increase weight as you move on?
[/quote]

Ramping is a great way for building strength muscle. It’s nothing new and ramping is based on the old Delorme and Watkins way of training. A basic ramp is doing 3 sets of 10 reps. You start with a light weight for 10 reps, then the second set you use a moderate weight for 10 reps, then on the last set you use a heavy weight which you reach failure at or near 10 reps. To calculate how much weight to use on each set you would break it down like this

set 1 use 50% of your 10rm (rep max)
set 2 use 70% of your 10rm
set 3 use 100% of your 10rm

So lets say that you can bench press 100 pounds for your top work set. You would use 50 pounds on your first set then 70 pounds on your second set before reaching 100 pounds on your third set.

So when ramping use 2 to 3 warmup sets followed by 1 work set to failure or near failure. As an option you can do a second work set but this will require to reduce the weight. This is known as a back off set, it’s not a drop set as you keep the rest period between sets the same. For example, when you have worked up to your top set and gone to failure of close to it, reduce the weight by 10 pounds in your rest period then when ready do another set to failure or near failure. Dorian Yates trained this way in his early years before he reduce the volume and only did one set to failure later in his career.

Your rest periods between sets will depend on the exercise your doing. For instance exercises like squats, deadlifts and bench presses will require longer rest periods like a minute and a half to two mins while the smaller exercises like side lateral raises and such would reqiure a minute to a minute and a half.

Hope this helps.

[quote]7asssa7 wrote:

[quote]HotShot818 wrote:
This falls into the “whatever works best for you” category. It doesn’t really matter just make sure that you can feel the muscles working. As for you question I prefer ramping up when it comes to compound lifts and pyramids when it comes to arm training.[/quote]

Thanks. When talking about ramping, what is the best way to approach it?
Do you need to fail on ramping sets? And how long should you rest between the ramping sets?

So ramping might look something like this, right?

150 lbs x 8
200 lbs x 8
250 lbs x 7-8
Should you then go with your real weight for 8 reps or should you take weight that you can do As many reps as possible even if that is 5 reps?[/quote]

I added some great size and strength doing this with a workout log for over three years, adding in 500c a day I went up 30 pounds, with not to much BT. Problem is the routine is brual. If any questions please ask. Try these, each for 6 weeks. But you will need to rest the 5 minutes, if this is too much, then superset body parts, and just have 3 minutes rest between each set.

Second set add 25%, third set add 15% fourth set, try first set weight.

30/15/10/20,
20/15/10/15,
15/10/8/6/4/15.

Wayne