See Saw Battle

Try this research-backed training program for huge gains


"DeLorme." "Oxford."

One sounds like the name of that infamous sports car of the '80s that sent Michael J. Fox hurtling through time. And isn't the other a pretentious university in England?

Good guesses, but wrong for our purposes on both counts. In fact, these are both scientifically tested training methods that you can use to tune up your pursuit of more strength and size - no driver's license or college degree necessary. They both center on pyramiding, a technique used by lifters for generations, which involves going up or down in weight from set to set.  Simple enough, but DeLorme and Oxford fast-forward the concept into modern day, getting specific and squeezing more benefits out of pyramiding for you in the process.


There are two sides to pyramid training: up and down, or more technically, ascending and descending. For example, to train up the pyramid for three sets of incline bench presses, the first set might be 135 pounds, the second might be 200 pounds and the third might be 265 pounds. A descending pattern could simply be that three-set pattern in reverse. 

Through scientific research, some specific theories and training protocols have been developed that you can use in the gym. One of the more commonly used ascending pyramid techniques is the DeLorme pyramid method. 

With this ascending pyramid technique, your with about 50% of your 10-rep max (10RM) for a given exercise, but for just 10 reps (although you would obviously be capable of doing more). For the second set, increase the weight to about 75% of your 10RM for that exercise and again stop at 10 reps. For the third set, increase the weight to 100% of your 10RM for that exercise and complete as many reps as you can until reaching failure.

The repetition maximum is not critical, as many powerlifters use this pyramid method with 3RM, 4RM, 5RM and 6RM loads to develop strength. 

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