Lose Fat And Gain Strength With Reverse Pyramid Training

by 3 years ago

Like the lost city of Atlantis, or the fountain of youth, the search for the perfect training program has been going on for years.

Bros everywhere want to know the best way to lose fat, get stronger or build muscle. And while the perfect program may not exist, there are certain ones out there that are going to help your reach your goals a lot faster than others.

And one of those programs is Reverse Pyramid Training.

What is Reverse Pyramid Training (RPT)?

A pyramid training style is one where you start with a lighter weight and more reps, and continuously add weight while dropping reps in order to work up to a max weight in a certain rep range (i.e. 1-3, 3-5, 4-6, etc.).

RPT takes the pyramid concept and flips it on its head…literally. With RPT, instead of your first set being the lightest weight with the most reps, it is the heaviest weight with the fewest reps.

RPT is largely credited to Martin Berkhan, the man responsible for Leangains. With RPT, you only perform 3-5 intense sets per muscle group per week. This may not seem like a lot, but each set is performed at very high intensity and near failure.

This gives RPT an advantage for two reasons:

1). While the volume is relatively low, the intensity of each workout stimulates the muscles enough to increase size and strength. This allows you get a full, effective workout done in less than an hour. Because of the intensity however, it is only recommended you train 3x a week with RPT.

2). As long as you are eating enough, RPT works extremely well when trying to lose fat. The low volume doesn’t burn you out, yet the high intensity allows trainees to maintain all of their strength and even see some strength increases.

The Program

There are a couple of variations of RPT out there, but here is a basic one. Remember, it may not look like a lot but when done correctly it will be plenty.

RPT Rules

  1. Warm-up, working your way up to 80% of your first set load.
  2. Put your heaviest set first
  3. For your second set, drop the weight 10-15% from your first set.
  4. For your third set, drop the weight another 10-15% from your second set.
  5. Rest at least one day in between workouts and at least four days in between deadlifts and squats.


Barbell Deadlift –

Top set: 4-6 reps

Back-Off Set: 6-8 reps

Chin-Up (Weighted) –

Top Set: 6-8 reps

Back-Off Set 1: 8-10 reps

Back-Off Set 2: 10-12 reps

Barbell Row –

2 sets x 5 reps



Barbell Bench Press –

Top Set: 6-8 reps

Back-Off Set 1: 8-10 reps

Back-Off Set 2: 10-12 reps


Barbell Incline Bench Press –

Top Set: 8-10 reps

Back-Off Set: 10-12 reps

Push-Ups –

2 sets x 10-12 reps

(Place feet on a bench or add 2-sec lowering when it gets too easy)



Barbell Back Squat –

Top Set: 6-8 reps

Back-Off Set 1: 8-10 reps

Back-Off Set 2: 10-12 reps


Overhead Press –

Top Set: 6-8 reps

Back-Off Set 1: 8-10 reps

Back-Off Set 2: 10-12 reps


Barbell Romanian Deadlift –

Top Set: 8-10 reps

Back-Off Set: 10-12 reps



  • Rest 2-3 minutes between sets (closer to 3 minutes after your top set, 2 minutes for other sets).
  • For your top set, you should be aiming to increase either reps or weight each week. Continue using the same weight until you hit the top of the rep range. After that, increase the weight 5 pounds and work towards hitting the top of the rep range again.
  • For your back-off sets, follow the same form of progression as you do for your top set; aiming to hit the top of the rep range first before adding weight.
  • Some weeks you may not be able to progress on your top set, but you do on your back-off sets. That’s okay, you are still progressing.
  • Always include a proper warm-up, such as foam rolling, stretching, light cardio, or anything that gets you ready for your activity.

RPT is a great program because its short, efficient, and effective…all the characteristics of an effective workout program. If your training or progress has hit a wall, give RPT a try and enjoy the results!

TAGSExercisefat lossFitnesslifting weightsweightliftingWorking out

Join The Discussion

Comments are closed.