Train Your Abs With Pyramid Training

The basic principle is to use each exercise level as a base for a higher category, that's why it's called pyramid training. At the start, on the lowest part of the pyramid, the support point will always be larger.
Train Your Abs With Pyramid Training

Last update: 30 October, 2019

Pyramid training is a great option for getting the body you want. It’s a method that seeks to boost your muscle capacity, starting from the progressive increase in your number of repetitions, intensity or applied strength.

This type of training offers some variants. The first one is the inverted pyramid. As the name suggests, it consists of turning the pyramid upside down to start the exercises on the highest level and gradually decreasing the intensity until you reach the base.

There’s also a double pyramid, which consists of both increasing and decreasing pyramids during a single workout routine.

Girl working her abs with pyramid training

The science behind abs

It’s the muscle group that most people care about when it comes to appearance. But beyond this idea, abs are there to protect an important number of vital organs. And they also supply the strength and balance that allows you to maintain a firm body.

Without a proper diet, working your abs with pyramid training would be completely useless. This area is prone to fat accumulation, therefore, any imbalance or excess will have very noticeable consequences.

Nutritional needs for perfect abs

To tone and shape your abs, you need meat proteins, especially those proteins that are contained in fish. You can also get them from certain legumes, such as lentils.

It’s also important to have a solid fiber reserve because fiber is essential to prevent waste build-up in your body. You can get this abundantly from vegetables, such as asparagus and spinach, as well as fruits such as oranges, kiwis or prunes.

You can’t eliminate fats! It’s a very common mistake for people who start an exercise regimen to believe they’ll be able to cut fats out completely from their diets.

The confusion comes from the erroneous assumption that all fats are harmful. The same thing happens with complex carbohydrates, which are responsible for giving your body the energy it needs to function properly.

Another important detail is to stay properly hydrated. The well-known quote, “water is life” is much more than just rhetoric. What you do need to completely eliminate to achieve, and maintain a perfect set of abs, are: sweets, carbonated drinks, refined flours, and processed foods.

Ab pyramid training: from less to more or vice versa

As we mentioned before, pyramid training consists of progressively increasing the number of repetitions, the intensity or strength, until you reach your maximum level.

Girl working her abs with pyramid training

You can also do that backwards (from more to less), mix it up or do a double pyramid. An example of this workout routine would look something like this (when doing traditional crunches):

  • 6 repetitions
  • 8 repetitions
  • 12 repetitions
  • 15 repetitions
  • 20 repetitions
  • 15 repetitions
  • 12 repetitions
  • 8 repetitions
  • 6 repetitions

In between each repetition, you should take a short break of about 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can start from the “top” of the pyramid. This means that you start with 20 repetitions and progressively decrease the number of repetitions until you get to 8. Then, return to the starting point.


To work your abs with pyramid training, you can combine several exercises, even if they don’t exclusively target the abdominal area. In fact, this technique is becoming more and more popular among body trainers, prescribing activities that involve the highest number of muscles possible, to achieve the best results.

First set

  • Plank: 20 seconds
  • Side knee raises: 6 repetitions
  • Side plank: 20 seconds per side
  • Vertical knee raises: 6 repetitions
  • Leg elevations: 6 repetitions

Second set

  • Plank: 40 seconds
  • Side knee raises: 8 repetitions
  • Side plank: 40 seconds per side
  • Vertical knee raises: 8 repetitions
  • Leg elevations: 8 repetitions

Third set

  • Plank: 60 seconds
  • Side knee raises: 10 repetitions
  • Side plank: 60 seconds per side
  • Vertical knee raises: 10 repetitions
  • Leg elevations: 10 repetitions

Key points

To prevent boredom and according to the level of each person, the ab pyramid training routine can include other exercises such as burpees, scissors or windshield wipers. The possibilities are endless!

It’s always best to make a habit out of training this area exclusively twice a week, rather than doing it every day. Many people who want fast results end up exhausted, frustrated and as a result, they give up. You must be consistent and patient.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.