Pyramid Training

Today’s morning workout kicked off with 25 minutes on the elliptical before I headed into the weight room to complete an upper body workout from Tina’s Best Body Boot Camp.

The workout utilized pyramid training which always kicks my butt and makes my muscles burn in the best way. Pyramid training can be progressive or regressive, and today’s workout progressed from light to heavy weight.

Pryamid Training

The first set of the workout began with 15-20 reps at a moderate weight. For the next two sets, the number of reps decreased while the weight I used for the exercise increased.

The breakdown of my bicep concentration curls looked like this:

bicep concentration curls pyramid sets

There are many different ways to do pyramid training and it’s a great way to challenge muscles with some heavier weights! I usually do bicep curls at 15 pounds, so curling 20 pound dumbbells felt challenging but not ridiculous. (It actually made me realize I can and should probably curl heavier weights when I do bicep curls on my own.)

On another note, whenever I do bicep concentration curls at the gym I feel like a total badass. It just seems like the stereotypical exercise you see bodybuilders do or something.

bicep concentration curls.jg


“I want to pump YOU up!”


For breakfast this morning, I made myself a plate of scrambled eggs with shredded cheese and peppers.

peppers and scrambled eggs

Plus a toasted whole wheat English muffin on the side!

scrambled eggs with peppers

Question of the Morning

  • What exercise makes you feel like a badass in the gym?

Burpees make me feel like a badass even though they’re so darn hard. They make me want to roll over and cry.


  1. says

    Haha Julie I know exactly what you mean about feeling badass when you lift weights at the gyms. I’m exactly the same! I kind of feel like doing a ‘grrr’ sound too but always abstain (though it wouldn’t be THAT weird given the noises some guys make when they lift in my gym!). That pyramid workout looks really tough, I’ll try and give it a go next time! Thanks for sharing.


  2. Amber says

    Pullups, even if I do kipping pullups, I still feel badass! I also feel badass when guys at the gym ask me questions or recommendations for them of workouts to try


  3. says

    I love using the barbell at CrossFit. My coach got an awesome picture of me doing a sumo deadlift high pull a few weeks ago and it totally makes me feel like a badass.


  4. Jana says

    Although I understand why you’re doing Best Body Boot Camp, I do miss following your workouts. Finding new and interesting workouts is the main reason I follow your blog, so I would love to see more of them. Otherwise, I love your blog. Just a suggestion.


  5. says

    I would have to say deadlifts. I was totally intimidated by them until my husband taught me how to do them with proper form. Now, they are my favorite! But I hardly ever see other women doing deadlifts, so I always start feeling a bit prideful when I do them!


  6. says

    I always do a pyramid type workout when I do dumbbell routines. I started out where you are and now worked up to 22.5lbs! It’s amazing how much you can lift if you really give it a try. Lifting heavy I see much more of a difference in my body and the intensity of the workout. I can get my heart pumping as if I’m doing cardio simply doing a 45 minute dumbbell workout. It’s pretty great 🙂


  7. missy says

    this may sound like a weird question but here goes….I have been trying to go workout early each morning like you do but about 20-30 minutes into my workout (which is about 45 minutes after i wake up) i have to go to the bathroom (#2) . I know it sounds gross but my body always has to go around that time. its especially embarrassing when Im in the middle of a group exercise class and i have to miss out on 10 or so minutes of the class to go to the bathroom. any suggestions?


  8. kendra @ says

    when i curl i sit in a squat and put my curling elbow on my inner knee if that makes sense. yes i feel like a total badass doing those. pretty much whenever i lift, as girls aren’t typically seen in the weight room there. also renegade (plank) rows and flys do it everytime. i love lifting!


  9. says

    Ack burpees! Those make me want to cry, too!

    Definitely squats and deadlifts make me feel like a badass, or really most strength exercises, since I’ve pushed myself to lift heavier. It’s definitely a mind over matter thing. But being the only lady in a weight room full of dudes has gone from scary to badass! 🙂


  10. says

    I LOVE PYRAMID TRAINING!!!!! I might be a little too excitable this morning after RPM – endorphins are still a’flowin’! My bad ass exercise at the gym is dead lifts or maybe squats – anything that lets me load a ton of weight on the bar. Since most women at my gym tend to stay in light weight high rep territory, I feel like super woman over by the squat rack!


  11. says

    Anytime I do anything with a kettlebell, I always feel like a super BA. Probably because I associate them with CrossFit. I only use a 9 lb. one, but carrying it around makes me feel gangsta.


  12. says

    HAHA! Any concentration curl always makes me feel funny, but because I feel like I probably look like some girl trying to be a bodybuilder but meanwhile I’m just this normal sized girl. Barbels always make me feel like a badass, not sure why, I guess they just seem crazier than dumbbells even though the weight can be the same.


  13. Amanda says

    I feel that I don’t even deserve to answer this question today! As I am checking in for my daily dose of PB fingers and reading about pyramid workouts, I am enjoying a fresh fausnaught with a glass of milk! The irony!! Oh we’ll, it’s ok to treat yourself once in a while, and I’ll make up for it at the gym later!

    My BA move at the gym? I think it would have to be dumbbell presses, curls or rows. I’m rather petite so hoisting dumb bells makes me feel like the Hulk!! Especially if I have my lifting gloves on – now that’s seriously badass! Haha 🙂


    • Janèle says

      For me it’s pull ups. But I’m totally with you on feeling tough when I’m the only girl in the weight section pumping iron. I feel like all the eyes are on me!


  14. Elizabeth says

    When I walk up to the big and buff guys in the gym and say “Are you done using that squat rack/bench press?” The surprised look on their face is usually the best 😀


  15. Jessica says

    In college I picked up rock climbing and used to do it a lot. Being able to do a difficult route was very rewarding and I definitely felt like a bad ass.


  16. says

    Love this idea of pyramid training. I usually do my first two sets at a lower, but manageable weight and then bump it up 5 or 10 pounds for the last set with less reps. I’ll have to try this tonight.

    A good, sweaty HIIT treadmill workout makes me feel like a serious bad ass at the gym :).


  17. says

    great post! I’ve recently found your blog and it’s really inspiring me to step up my workouts. I got off the workout bandwagon for a little while while suffering from BED but i’m back at it now! Blogs like yours actually inspired me to start my own blog documenting my recovery from BED and my journey towards finding a healthy, happy lifestyle. I’ve recently begun weight training again and I feel like a totally bad ass when I do chest presses with the bar that gym. It makes me feel like “I am woman, hear me roar!”


  18. says

    Not in the gym, but running in the rain makes me feel like a badass! The rain is a metaphor for all that want to sabatoge my efforts, and it doesn’t stop me! Instead, I feel powerful!


  19. Jenn F says

    Lifting weights in general make me feel like a badass since that area of my gym is dominated by guys. The best ego booster though, for me, is doing pullups. I feel like a beast afterwards. 🙂


  20. Ruth says

    I was at work one day in the warehouse, and wanted to see if I could…and I DID do a couple pull ups off the shelving crossbar, and one of the guys complimented me….that made me feel super badass proud!!


  21. says

    Using the leg press machine always makes me feel like a “bad ass” for some reason. However, I feel like an even bigger “bad ass” when I get to any machine and have to up the weight. It’s like the voice in my head says, “HA! I’m stronger than the person who last used this machine! Mission accomplished.”

    It’s a totally silly concept but makes me feel good every time.


  22. nicole says

    Jump roping at the gym makes me feel like a bad ass. I’ve got some nasty skills after all those years jumping rope on the play ground! It makes me feel like I should be in a Rocky movie or something, love it!


  23. Sri says

    I recently discovered that I can actually bench press one of those 45 pound barbells and could even add weight…granted they were only 5 pound weights but still, I felt pretty bad ass! 🙂



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