How to Improve your Strength Level with Reverse Pyramid Training

There are many fitness regimes which promise big gains in muscle gain and size and increased strength. Of these, The Reverse Pyramid Training is considered effective and popular. There is a decline in production of force as training and workout sessions progress, because of fatigue and tiredness. The reverse pyramid training utilizes this concept and modifies the intensity of each set as per the fatigue levels.


Therefore, the heaviest and most intensive sets are performed in the beginning of the workout when there is less fatigue and as the session progresses and tiredness begins to show, the medium and the less intense sets are performed. With reduced force and drop in intensity of subsequent sets, the muscle fibers are still targeted to produce better results, despite fatigue.

The Reverse Pyramid Training is often recommended by trainers because of the positive and efficient results in terms of strength gain. The Reverse Pyramid Training typically comprises of

  • Warm-up exercise sets
  • The first set comprising of an intense use of force and weight lifts without breaking your form.
  • The second set comprising of a moderate intensity and ideally weight which is at least 10-12 % less than the first set.
  • A short interval of a couple of minutes.
  • The third and final set which requires less intensity and weights that are ideally set to be at least 10% lesser than the second set without a break in the form.

The number of repetitions is ideally determined after due considerations to your body acceptance. This is probably the reason why experts do not recommend this technique for complete beginners.

The Advantages of the Reverse Pyramid Training:

This style of training is effective only when done with high intensity and allows you to touch your limits all the time and slowly improve them too. This is because the heaviest and most difficult set is performed first when the body is still fresh. Also, it helps that the heaviest sets do not require any replication during a session and must be performed only in the subsequent workout session. The RPT is effective only when the volume of the sets is either moderate or low. Higher frequency with moderate volume is the key mantra here.


Many advocates of RPT recommend it as a better technique over the Ascending Pyramid training and straight sets. The APT and straight sets do not tap the potential fully because of which their effectiveness in producing the desired results is much lesser.

Tips to be considered when undergoing Reverse Pyramid Training to improve Strength:

  • Do not forego your goal for form and shape, to be able to lift more weights. This will not give you the desired results in the long run.
  • Keep tracking and checking your progress in intervals and adapt as per the requirements.
  • Ensure that your body has adequate rest between each set.
  • The first set, the heaviest and most intense, is the one where you should strive to push your limits slowly but steadily.

Now that we know that RPT can be a very effective tool to improve strength, it pays to remember, that this training module has a pre-requisite of excellent exercise routine and technique. Only if you are good at these, then go for RPT to improve your strength. It is not for beginners.