DATA 31/10/2011 – My First Experience with Reverse Pyramid Training

by James Kerrison on October 31, 2011

Workout A – My First Experience with Reverse Pyramid Training

My training in the last 12 months has been the most consistent that it ever has been. Oddly enough my progress and results have been the best during this time as well. Basically I have been doing a hybrid mix of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 with a lot of body weight ‘accessory’ lifts as well. This has served me very well and I’ve pretty much hit a PB every week, if not most sessions. (Personal best that is, not peanut butter, I know a lot of you call these PR’s, personal records, but I’m a PB sorta guy!)

A few trainers that I highly respect have been telling me to use RPT or reverse pyramid training because it delivers the best ‘time for effort’ results out there. Not only that but it can work well for bulking or if you are in a deficit and trying to lose weight. What’s not to like?!?

The theory is simple #win
The results are great #win
It’s time effective #win

Lets see what happens.

I am playing in a basketball roster that starts next week, after a lay-off of about 10 years, so I thought I would get my squats in early this week to see how my legs felt. Normally I will Dealift on a Monday, Dips on Wednesday and Squats on Friday.

To start with I was guessing with the weights. I have been focusing on deadlifts and body weight exercises for the last few months and haven’t done ‘heavy’ back squats for a while.

Squat RPT

8  @ 20kg
5 @ 60kg
8 @ 100kg
10 @ 85kg
12 @ 70kg

RFE Split Squats RPT

8 @ 56kg
10 @ 48kg
12 @ 44kg

Barbell Complex – Deadlift, Rows, Hang Cleans, Overhead Press

30kg, 4 rounds, 10 reps each exercise, 60 seconds rest.


  • Trained at 16hrs Fasted (10g BCAA, 3g Beta Alanine, 5g creatine)
  • Squats felt great. Depth was probably the best I’ve done, hip below knee on all sets. Weight is well below what I can do, but I know they will be sore tomorrow (Update: Epic cramping and soreness. Wow!)
  • My grip failed on the complex. My grip never fails. That’s something new…
  • Apart from not being able to hold the bar, the complex was good, will keep it there for conditioning, heart rate purposes.
  • Easily managed to get 600gms muesli in post workout, will try for 650gms next time!

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