Pyramid training might sound strange, but rest assured, this form of training is simple but effective and will have you feeling stronger before you know it. Simply put, it's a way to structure your workout that decreases the number of reps you're doing while increasing the weight you're lifting.
For example, if you were performing a dumbbell squat, you would do 10 reps with 5-pound dumbbells, then your next set would be 9 reps with 7.5-pound dumbbells. You'd continue until you were doing 1 rep with the heaviest weight you could manage with good form.
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Do: 10 reps of each of the following exercises. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds. Next, increase your weight and perform all exercises for 8 reps, then 6, then 4, then 2. Finish with 2 minutes of jumping rope.
Move 1: Goblet Squat
- Hold a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest with both hands cupping the dumbbell head. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart.
- Push your hips back and lower your butt into a squat until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight, chin forward, and weight tight to the chest.
- Pause, then stand back up to the starting position.
Move 2: Stiff-Leg Deadlift
- Stand up straight with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Hold the dumbbells in front of your body with palms facing away from you.
- Push your hips back and bend forward, keeping your back flat and knees slightly bent, lowering the dumbbells to ankle height.
- Slowly return to the beginning position.
Move 3: Forward Lunge
- Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, holding the dumbbells at your sides.
- Take a big step forward with your right leg. Start to shift your weight forward so your heel hits the floor first.
- Lower your body until the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the right shin is vertical. Both knees should be at 90 degrees.
- Press into the right heel to drive back up to the starting position.
- Do all your reps on one side before switching legs.
Move 4: Basic Deadlift
- Hold the dumbbells at your sides with an overhand grip (palms facing the body).
- Hinge forward at your hips, bending the knees slightly, lowering the dumbbells to the ground without allowing your back to round.
- Brace your core and lift back to the starting position.
Move 5: Front Squat
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out 10 to 30 degrees. Place one end of the dumbbells on your shoulders.
- Keeping your body upright and your upper arms parallel to the floor, brace your abs and lower your body until the crease of the hip drops below the level of the knee by pushing your hips back and bending your knees.
- Pause at the bottom, then drive your heels into the floor to return to the starting position.
Don't let your heels come off the ground — keep them grounded throughout the motion.
Move 6: Reverse Lunge
- Stand up straight with feet hip-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- With your right leg, step backward approximately two feet from your left foot. Lower your body, keeping your torso upright and taking care to keep your balance.
- Drive through your back foot and return to the starting position.
Move 7: Jump Rope
- Start with the rope behind you.
- Swing it up over your head and bring it back down to your feet.
- Jump before it hits your feet and repeat.