TGU Pyramids?

getterupper

First Post
Has anyone experimented with get-up (weight) pyramids? Something like this:

20-24-28-24-20
or
24-32-40-32-24

If using equal weight jumps, it always comes out to less average work than 5x at the middle weight. For example, 20-24-28-24-20 is 116 kg total compared to 5x24 = 120 kg; and 24-32-40-32-24 is 152 kg total compared to 5x32 = 160 kg. So it's marginally less total work, but it provides a few opportunities in the practice session that you don't get from five equally weighted get-ups:

1. A peak rep at slightly higher weight
2. An opportunity on both ends to dial in form at an easy weight
3. A natural "warmup" on the way up which helps to mitigate the need for prior shoulder work

Anyone tried this as a part of S&S practice? I like to do my TGUs first in the session, so a pyramid or ladder feels like a natural fit.
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
Has anyone experimented with get-up (weight) pyramids? Something like this:

20-24-28-24-20
or
24-32-40-32-24

If using equal weight jumps, it always comes out to less average work than 5x at the middle weight. For example, 20-24-28-24-20 is 116 kg total compared to 5x24 = 120 kg; and 24-32-40-32-24 is 152 kg total compared to 5x32 = 160 kg. So it's marginally less total work, but it provides a few opportunities in the practice session that you don't get from five equally weighted get-ups:

1. A peak rep at slightly higher weight
2. An opportunity on both ends to dial in form at an easy weight
3. A natural "warmup" on the way up which helps to mitigate the need for prior shoulder work

Anyone tried this as a part of S&S practice? I like to do my TGUs first in the session, so a pyramid or ladder feels like a natural fit.
I prefer weight ladders, so going up only. Pavel mentions them in Beyond Bodybuilding.

What's more, one of my favourite ways of training TGUs are "die Kette" ("the chain") ladders, that oldtime strongman Hermann Görner used for presses: You go up in weight with each single rep (not after L+R). I sometimes call them zig-zag-ladders.

For example:
20 L
24 R
28 L

20 R
24 L
28 R

That's 3 reps per side.
This way you have can use the delta-20 principle from rep to rep.
Of course this does not work if you want to do exactly 5 reps. But I use it as part of my own "wavy S&S" version.
But of course, the choice is yours :)

Edit: And welcome to the forum!
 

Essexman

Level 1 Valued Member
Yes I’ve played with a similar pyramid, at first just for fun to use every kettlebell I’ve got.
So 8,12,16,20,24,28,32,28,24,20,16,12,8kg
8 and 12kg were perform bottoms up.
I quickly came to realise that the above pyramid gave a large amount of volume in training.
At the same time I was working on S&S and had just started to introduce the 32kg into my TGUs. I ran with the pyramid once a week for around five weeks. I felt like it helped me gain some strength. But I did require a rest the day after due to the extra volume.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Same here. I've messed with the weight and consecutive reps and pressing at each position and bottoms up. EX.
26-35-53-35-26-35-53-32-26-35-53--etc 1 a side for 25 sets, 50 reps took 24:24
26-35-53,1 a side, 6 rounds then 1 a side for 10 reps with 70, 27:13
1/1 with 53 on the :90 for 10 (6:40 ) rest 1:20 then consecutive aside with a 53, 2-3-4-5, 28 reps, took 9:48
10 a side with 53 on the :45, then same on the :30, then consecutive 3-3-3-3-2-2-2-2, last 20 took 5:29, 60 total, 35:29
Etc.

This am, 5 a side with 26-35-53, 30 total, 12:23, as @getterupper mentioned, light bells make for a nice warm up, especially when body parts are feeling off.
 
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Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Yes, I find that a ladder scheme is a good way to the get-up proficient when they're not part of your regular program. I don't do many get-ups these days, so on a day when I do, I might do alternating R/L with 12, 16, 20, 24, 16 kg or something like that. It's nice to start light when the movement feels a little rusty, but it warms up and get stronger because I'm staying strong doing other training, just not that specifically. And I'm not trying to get a lot of work/volume with them, so it is a good amount of "just enough" weight.
 

Francisco

Level 4 Valued Member
hi! Have been consistently doing TGU for 3 years.
Ladders far better than pyramids. Solid advice there.
Also be careful using 4kg jumps. Better to use 8kg jumps, far more difficult to relax under the weight. Use the heavier bell to find out your movement/ tension deficiencies and the lighter bell to iron them out.
Let’s say you own the 28 and want to work with the 32. I’ve found the easiest approach is to work this way:
24, 32, 24, 32 and so on.
Once you can do easily 3x(24, 32) you may switch to 4x32.
And then latter you would do 5x32
Hope this helps!
 

getterupper

First Post
May I ask why everyone here seems to strongly prefer ladders to pyramids? The only reason I chose a pyramid is because it made more sense for the rep count - 5 is a prime number. If you wanted to do ladders with three different weights, for example, it would require adding a sixth rep to the get-ups in order to finish the progression, or else stopping short on the final ladder.
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
May I ask why everyone here seems to strongly prefer ladders to pyramids? The only reason I chose a pyramid is because it made more sense for the rep count - 5 is a prime number. If you wanted to do ladders with three different weights, for example, it would require adding a sixth rep to the get-ups in order to finish the progression, or else stopping short on the final ladder.
There is a quote from Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel (great book! | highlights mine)

The technique was called ‘a weight ladder’. Salagi, or greenhorns, were specifically instructed not to pyramid like this: 16, 24, 32, 32, 24, 16. A pyramid quickly burned out the muscles whereas a ladder pushed and backed off, thus maximizing anabolic workload: 16, 24, 32; 16, 24, 32; 16, 24, 32; 16, 24, 32; 16, 24, 32… Longer rest periods were usually recommended between each series.

Tsatsouline, Pavel. Beyond Bodybuilding: Muscle and Strength Training Secrets for The Renaissance Man . DD Publications. Kindle-Version.
This might not be as important for a single pyramid with TGUs. Personally, ladders allow me to use less rest between sets and to finish with a strong and heavy set, which I like.
 

DunteH

Level 5 Valued Member
May I ask why everyone here seems to strongly prefer ladders to pyramids? The only reason I chose a pyramid is because it made more sense for the rep count - 5 is a prime number. If you wanted to do ladders with three different weights, for example, it would require adding a sixth rep to the get-ups in order to finish the progression, or else stopping short on the final ladder.
Here's a fresh post of someone talking about the difficulty descending the pyramid with their press on heavy training days. You have to dig in mentally to descend once you're fatigued. I don't have a lot of spare energy as it is; tapping my reserves in training just makes things worse for me.

And @Bauer describes another of my experiences perfectly above: I can take less rest when I ladder. It's a fun psychological experience to finish a heavy set as well as I can, then feel like I get "dessert" with the light weight again. No worry about a sloppy rep at a medium weight, no psych up needed, just good lifting.
 
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