Ladders, Pyramids, or GTG—Which Is best?

Ladders, Pyramids, or GTG—Which Is best?

Hey, Guys,

Lately, I've been receiving several PM's about Push-Ups and Pull-Ups. I've even had one young man ask, "Which is better for increasing Pull-Up strength quickly—Ladders, Pyramids, or Greasing The Groove?"

ANSWER: They're all effective as a means for progression with any exercise. BUT, for me personally, G-T-G has proven the best overall. However, many people do not have the luxury of being able to perform G-T-G sets throughout the day. And without being able to perform them throughout the day, it's really hard to do G-T-G. So that brings us to the other two possibilities.

Of the two, Ladders or Pyramids, I have had far better results with Pyramids than I have had with Ladders. The only real difference between the two is that with ladders, you would start at one, then do two, then do three, and so forth until you get to the point that you are within a rep or two of your limit, and then you'd start back at one and begin another Ladder.

With Pyramids it's much the same, except that you would not start at one again. Instead, let’s say that at the top of a Pull-Up Pyramid you performed eight reps. Instead of starting at one, you'd perform seven, and then six, and then five, back down to one.

A Pyramid looks like this: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1=64 reps.

A Ladder looks like this 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8, and then instead of 7 after performing the 8th rep, you would start back at 1 and then 2 and so forth.

I personally have had far better results with Pyramids. But my best all-around results are G-T-G because the muscles are always fresh. Give them a try and discover for yourself.

—John Peterson

PS: I just launched my brand-new website, so be sure to check it out at!

PS 2: If you would like to discuss the content of this newsletter, head over to my thread about this topic in my forum by clicking here.

Bronze Bow Publishing
2600 E. 26th St., Minneapolis, MN 55406
866.724.8200  fax 612.724.8995
Bronze Bow Publishing Copyright © 2009 Bronze Bow Publishing. All Rights Reserved.