Workout of the Week: New PT Pyramid (Full Body With Weight Options)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

As Winter slowly blends into Spring, you want to mix calisthenics into the weight training program and progressively move from full weight cycle into more running and calisthenics. 

This week, we added some new exercises into the classic PT Pyramid to make it a full body day as well as a mix of weighted options and calisthenics throughout the 19 sets of the 1-10-10 Pyramid.

NEW PT PYRAMID -The PT pyramid is quite the old-school methodology, but it works. Here are some new ideas we tested out today to up your pyramid game.

The PT pyramid 1-10-1 means you go up and down the pyramid from 1 to 10 then back down to 1 for a total of 19 sets. This will give you 100 repetitions of whatever exercise you do (x1). The exercises you double and triple each set (x2) or (x3) will therefore give you 200 and 300 repetitions when you finish.

The PT /. Weight Pyramid

  • Pullups x 1
  • Thrusters x 1 (squat with overhead press combination) (use 50-100lbs)
  • Pushups or bench press x 2 (feel free to mix it up each set)  (weight is up to you)
  • Abs of Choice x 3 (get creative – you can even do plank pose – 1 reps = 1 second - to get the reps)
  • Dips or military press x 2 (weight is up to you)
  • Flight of stairs x 1

PT Pyramid Circuit

So - make a circuit of these exercises so your first set will look like this:

  • 1 pullup
  • 1 thruster
  • 2 pushups or bench press
  • 3 abs of choice
  • 2 dips or military press
  • 1 flight of stairs... (if you do not have a flight of stairs nearby save for later or do steps ups to the pace of 1 flights of stairs per 15-20 seconds)

Increase the second set by 2x the first set. The 3rd set is 3x the first set. ...4th set, 5th set and so on.  Keep going up to 10 - which would be:

  • 10 pullups
  • 10 thruster
  • 20 pushups or bench press
  • 30abs of choice
  • 20 dips or military
  • 10 flights of stairs

THEN Repeat in reverse order... After you are done, your totals will be 100 pull-ups, 100 thrusters, 200 push-ups, 300 abs of choice, 200 dips and 100 flights of stairs. If you have anything left do a cooldown cardio set for 15-20 minutes. Run/jog, bike, elliptical, swim and mix in stretching as you will need it.

Special Consideration:

It is not recommended to try this PT Pyramid in full if you are new to the pyramid training method.  If you want to try it, just go up until you fail at a few of the exercises and repeat in reverse order.  Going up to 6 sets and back down, for instance, on the PT pyramid will still give you 36 pullups/thrusters/ flights of stairs, 72 pushups/dips/military, and 108 abs of choice totals.   This is plenty for the intermediate fitness levels.

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