As part of my regime to build muscle, develop strength and lose fat, i am progressively loading weights as part of each set.

For example, once sufficiently warmed up, a bench press set looks as follows. Each set encompasses 10 repetitions.

  • 45 pounds/20 kgs
  • 66 pounds/30 kgs
  • 88 pounds/40 kgs
  • 99 pounds/45 kgs
  • 110 pounds/50 kgs

Sometimes when i start hitting 110 pounds/50 kgs, my muscles are tiring however i'll attempt to try and get as may repetitions e.g. 5.

I'll then drop back to 99 pounds/45 kgs and attempt to get an additional 10 repetitions.

How does this affect the goal of building muscle, losing fat and developing strength?

How does it affect muscle recovery?

  • To clarify: are you asking about the effectiveness of doing a heavy set and then dropping the weight and doing a back-off set? And you attempt 10 additional sets? Or did you mean 10 reps?
    – Alex L
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 14:46
  • @Alex L - Yes, the effectiveness of doing a heavy set and then dropping the weight and attempting a single set with 10 repetitions. Apologies. I updated my post.
    – Motivated
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


As far as I've read about this topic, your method (called a triangle) is considered useful for hypertrophy, but your descending pyramid (the second part) should be taken to muscle failure on every set. This way, the ascending pyramid is considered a warmup and then you get to a few sets that do challenge you while letting you perform a decent amount of reps, unlike a fixed weight to-failure sets where you may find yourself reaching failure too early in the set withing a set or two.

As I mentioned, it's good for building muscles, but I don't think that this method affects fat loss in some particular way. Obviously you can add it to a superset or a triset and then things are different.

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