Upper body pyramids and lower body supersets; one for today, one for tomorrow

It’s Tuesday! And that means a new Tuesday Trainer workout is up!

This week, Janetha is hosting and has put together an upper body pyramid workout to shape our arms, chests and backs. You can see my contribution below.

Given that pyramids typically work your muscles to fatigue, tomorrow, by default, will be a ‘leg’ day.

So here’s some quick lower body supersets you can do while your upper body gets a needed day of rest. Remember to choose a weight heavy enough to fatigue your muscles by the end of each set (that means you shouldn’t be able to do another repetition in good form without a break). Going to fatigue is the best way to build muscle, burn fat and see some much appreciated definition.

The workout is of the ‘antagonistic superset’ variety. That means you’ll be working opposing muscle groups, one after the other, with no rest in between.

For example, your first superset will consist of a squat and a deadlift; the squat works your quads (among other things) and the deadlift your hamstrings (primarily). Aim for 8 to 10 reps of each exercise, 3-4 times through each superset before moving on to the next.

Work hard enough on your lower body supersets and you’ll be wishing for some upper body exercises for ‘a break’!

 lower body supersets

As always, if you like the workout, please Pin it to your favourite exercise Pinterest board!

When you weight train, do you work different body parts on different days?

If so, what type of ‘split’ do you like best?



  1. I always do circuit training with minimal rest & go from one body part to the next so I can still use decent amount of weight – for what I am doing right now. I do work certain body parts on certain days but also change it up as needed…. I don’t do a normal split like other people – I do my own thing! 😉
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted…The Swing – Lose the Fat & Get FitMy Profile

    • Tamara says:

      Well Jody, whatever ‘your own thing’ is, it’s certainly working for you!
      I love these Tuesday Trainer segments because they always give me new ideas about putting it all together. Changing it up makes me FEEL it the next day!

  2. I haven’t done a pyramid style in ages. I prefer to split out the body parts. I usually do legs on their own day then I try to change the other splits occasionally to keep things fresh.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted…Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Poblano PeppersMy Profile

    • Tamara says:

      I did this pyramid this morning and I found it difficult to get just the right weights for some of the exercise. However, I did get a great burn and am betting that I’ll feel it tomorrow!

  3. I often work all body parts in the same workout, although intermittently I’ll throw in a day just for legs. No one wants jello thighs. 🙂

    Great supersets–thanks! I used to do a lot of squats and lunges with a heavy barbell, but I started to have neck pain recently. I’ve found that it is related to having the heavy barbell on my shoulders behind my neck. Now I use a barbell less and heavy dumbbells more, and my neck is much better. Coincidence? Maybe, but I hate to rock the boat at this point.
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    • Tamara says:

      Well, I just did a leg workout and I have jello thighs! (Hopefully they just FEEL like jello…).
      I like dumbbells for leg work as well; barbells can sometimes hide left/right muscular imbalances, because the stronger side picks up the slack created by the weaker side. Much more obvious if this is the case with dumbbells!

  4. While I’m doing a split workout at the moment, it’s not the traditional back/bis, etc. It IS an upper body/lower body split, but I’m concentrating on one heavy compound a day with a couple supplemental exercises to work on weak points in that lift.

    Today is the Deadlift: 5 reps at 95#, 3 reps at 105#, and AMTF at 115#. Three minutes rest, then 4 sets of 10 of:

    Lat Pulls, Hanging Leg Lifts, Good Mornings, Bent BB rows, and step ups.

    This is the end of the mesocycle. Depending on the reps I achieve on the last set, I up the 1RM figure recalculate my percentages and start over again next week.
    Deb recently posted…#30 Workout Plan for the Next 3 MonthsMy Profile

    • Tamara says:

      That’s some serious program Deb! Is this what you ended up with after the comments on FB? I like the idea of combining heavy and lighter exercises in the same workout. Way to go!

      • Tamara,
        It’s Wendler’s 5/3/1 program for building strength. I’ve had my eye on it for months, and was waiting for the time after my hip replacement to start implementing it. (I have my first powerlifting comp. in November.) There were days when this kept me going through PT.

        What I like about the plan is that I don’t have to think (NOT a terrible thing for a trainer to say), or decide anything. The percentages and rep range are right in the plan. But it’s so adaptable!
        Deb recently posted…#30 Workout Plan for the Next 3 MonthsMy Profile

        • Tamara says:

          It looks like a great plan.
          I don’t enjoy writing my own programs either. I always end up feeling like I need to add something else and get side-tracked. Much easier (mentally) to follow someone else’s plan!
          I’m looking forward to seeing some progress pics, Deb!

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