WHAT IT IS
The exact opposite of the traditional pyramid lifting technique, which involves increasing weight and decreasing reps each set for a given exercise. With reverse pyramids, you use your heaviest weight on the first set, and then go lighter with a higher-rep count on each successive set.
WHAT IT DOES
With traditional pyramids, you perform your heaviest set last, when your muscles are already fatigued from previous sets. Conversely, pyramiding reverse-style has you perform your heaviest weight when you’re at your freshest, which, theoretically, should allow you to either use a heavier weight or do more reps with the same weight. As a result, more work is completed for that exercise, with the potential for greater muscle growth.
HOW TO USE IT
On a given exercise, pick a weight for your first set that you can do for only 6–8 reps. Complete that set, then decrease weight for set 2 by 10–20% and complete 8–10 reps. Repeat the weight decrease for sets 3 and 4 so that you're doing 10-12 and 12-15 reps, respectively. Reverse pyramids can be used on virtually any exercise for any muscle group.