Phil Heath: Pyramiding Vs. Straight Sets

By Phil Heath Flex

Why Phil Heath prefers sticking with straight sets.




I’ve read that pyramiding my sets is the way to go. But I’ve also noticed that some guys stick with the same weight for all of their sets. Which is more effective?




I prefer to do straight sets in the 10- to 12-rep range. For a pyramid set, you start using a lighter weight and executing many reps. After that set is complete, you move onto the next set, where you use a heavier weight and perform fewer reps. It’s a good way to warm up, especially on your first exercise for a body part. With warmups and techniques like pre-exhaust, I can go into my heaviest set right away. If the weight is too light—and if I can get more than 12 reps, it is—I increase the weight for the subsequent sets. I’m always aiming for at least 10 reps. So I’m not going heavier and doing fewer reps set after set. I’d rather spend energy on my actual work sets.

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