Reverse Pyramid Training Routine
Reverse pyramid training (RVT) is not for people who have been training or less than twelve months. You need to have the idea of good form drilled into your head so when you reach failure you do so without changing your form. Building muscle and developing strength at the same time is not complicated, it just needs planning.
You can gain muscle without "confusing" the muscle with fancy rep schemes like drop sets, supersets or giant sets and you don't need to train for more than an hour squeezing out 20 plus sets. You simply need to go heavy using compound movement with strict form.
It gets a little complicated when you consider the periodization you going to need to maintain progressive resistance. Periodization works because of the progressive tension overload achieved together with the muscle damaged after reaching cellular fatigue.
RVT would start with a good warm-up after which you would go heavy and hard with the heaviest weight you can lift for 2 or 3 reps using about 90% of your 1RM. You would then move onto higher reps doing 4 to 6 reps and then ending the workout with 8 to 10 reps, as listed below:
Reverse Pyramid Workout
Bench Press 2 X 2 to 3 (90% of 1RM)
Incline Bench Press 3 X 4 to 6 reps (85% of 1RM)
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 X 4 to 6 rep (80% of 1RM)
Dips 2 X 8 to 10 reps (75% of 1RM)
As mentioned above periodization is key to sustain progressive resistance and this means de-loading every 4 to 6 weeks, this is important as there is a fine line between and anabolic (building up) environment in your muscles and a catabolic (breaking down).
Below is a recommended de-load routine that you can use for the affected body-parts doing the heavy compound lifts you've been doing.
De-load Push (upper-body):
Military Press 3 X 8 - 10 reps (50% of 1RM)
Incline Bench Press 3 X (50% of 1RM)
Close-Grip Bench Press 3 X 10 (50% of 1RM)
Dips using bodyweight to failure 2 sets
De-load Pull (upper-body):
Deadlift 3 X 8 to 10 reps (50% of 1RM)
Barbell Rowing 3 X 8 - 10 (50% of 1RM)
One-Arm Dumbbell 3 X 8 - 10 (50% of 1RM)
Pull-ups using bodyweight to failure 2 sets
De-load Legs (lower-body):
Squat 3 X 8 - 10 reps (50% of 1RM)
Front Squat 3 X 8 - 10 reps (50% of 1RM)
Leg Press 3 X 8 - 10 reps (50% of 1RM)
Pistol Squat using bodyweight to failure 2 sets