Brandon ramlal first bench set.

Minimalist Reverse Pyramid Training and How to Keep a Training Log

As you know, I train different from the mainstream.

I follow what I’ve learned from reading Lean Gains.

Here’s the exact routine I follow:

Brandon Ramlal training routine
Taken straight from Martin Berkhan’s site LeanGains

*Refer back to this image when reading this post and save it

We make it so much more complicated than it needs to be and now that you know the truth you can laugh when you see someone
working out stupidly.

An experienced bodybuilder doesn’t get emotional if he loses a bit of muscle or gains a bit of fat because he knows exactly how and how
long it will take to get back to beast mode.
(Unless he’s insecure and has a little dick)

A newbie gets emotional; constantly checking the mirror in
disappointment every week because he isn’t sure of himself. He doesnt know if what he’s doing is right even though,
‘it worked for so many other people’.

Thus, he switches up his routines too often and never makes any
decent gains even though he’s in the gym everyday killing himself.

That was me for a year straight.

When you follow the above routine, you will make continuous
strength gains week after week, after week.

It takes all the guess work out of training. You needn’t worry about
the mirror, nor the scale; your only focus is to increase the numbers
on the sheet of your training log and your body will follow.

It’s called-

Training for performance and not aesthetics.

Ironically, training this way will produce the most symmetrically
beautiful, sexy physique to be admired and respected; and it will
only continue to look better so long as your strength increases.

What about stalls?

The strategically placed two days of rest in-between
training sessions allows you to go into each work-out
absolutely fresh, recovered, and strong which will
eliminate any cause for plateaus.

You have been lied to. More gym time doesn’t necessarily
equal more muscle. In fact, it can mean the opposite.

As a rule of thumb- Never train sore muscles. (Stretch them)

Should you come to a stall on any lift,
(weight hasn’t budged for three weeks)
and you’re positively eating and sleeping enough, cut back on a set.

Yes, less is more. 

However, I strongly believe there will be no need to
cut back any sets or even run into a plateau at all if you
are doing this properly. (I have yet to reach a sticking point)

Ripped brandon ramlal

Day 1 (Bench day)

Set 1- 135x8x10

Set 2- 120x10x10

set 3- 110x12x10

Translation:

Set 1 – 135(lbs on bar) x 8(# of reps) x 10(# of pushups)

Set 2 – 120(10% decrease of set 1) x 10(reps to failure) x (pushups)

Set 3 – 110(10% decrease of set 2) x (reps to failure) x (pushups)

Decreasing the weight on the bar by 10% each set will guarantee
you always hit more reps than the previous set so long as you allow
ample time for rest. (Prevents stalls as well)

Your nervous system needs to recover so take as long as you wish.
I take 3-5 minutes in-between sets, and 10 minutes before starting
the chin-ups where I’ll go back to 3-5 minutes in-between sets.

You must do more reps on the latter sets than the previous ones in order to progress.

Every single set, especially the first, must be taken to absolute
failure.

I train without a spotter so my definition of failure isn’t
failing during a lift (dangerous) but to where I’m positive I won’t be
able to perform another rep. You may use whatever definition you
want, just make sure you’re gasping for breath after each set.
Even the pushups must be taken to failure.

Intensity is what makes this low volume program work. So if you
don’t look like you’re dying in-between sets, you’re not trying hard
enough and you won’t progress.

Each week you will add 5lbs to every set you were able to get
8+ reps. If you only got five, keep the weight the same until you can
do eight. Got it?

Heres what next week might look like:

Set 1- 135x8x10, 140x8x10

Set 2- 120x10x10, 125x10x10

set 3- 110x12x10, 115x12x10

And now you have a decent log going for day 1.
Watch it increase week after week.

Not only is a training log a strong motivational tool,
you will know exactly where you went wrong should a
problem arise.

Now that you have the training on point, you can
focus on diet and then when you have diet on point everything
is on cruise control and you aren’t a slave to the gym, you can live
your life since you train only three times in a 10-day span and only
eat twice daily.

*For chin-ups, basically what you want to do is beat the amount you 
did each week. So if you do

  • 10 for set 1,
  • 10 for set 2, 
  • 5 for set 3, 
    aim to beat those sets (most importantly the first set) each week.

Most of the time I cut this down to only two sets or even just one if 
I get more chin-ups than last week. Not every week will you beat the
chin-ups because most of your energy is going into beating your last 
bench press. Just go to failure and do the best you can. 

Once you can perform 12 chin-ups or pull-ups, you want to add weight to make them harder. There’s no point in doing more than
12 reps for any upper-body lift. I simply put up to 50lbs of plates into a 
backpack and wear it while doing them. 

Day 2+3(Rest day)

Do not lift weights today. 

Use today to stretch out sore muscles and use your
foam roller.

You may play sports if you wish but do not overdo it.

Day 4(Squat day)

20rep weight= 115(weight on bar)

Leg extension weight= 100(weight)x25(reps)

next week,

20rep weight= 115, 120,

Leg extension weight= 100×25, 105×30,

next week, 

20rep weight= 115, 120, 125,

Leg extension weight= 100×25, 105×30, 110×25,

Before going under the bar, force your mind to believe
you WILL 
under any circumstance, perform 20 reps.

You are allowed to rest at the top of the lift, but go back down and
get your 20. Start light so each week you can build momentum and
train your mind to believe you will always get 20 reps each time
you go under the bar.

I have yet to fail, but should you get less than 20 reps, rack up, and try
the weight again next week. You only get one shot at breaking your
record, so get your mind right before attempting the set.

For the squats and leg extensions, add 5lbs each week. I started light
on the leg extensions to ensure I keep increasing weight. One of
these days the weight will get so heavy to where I’m working in the
3-8 rep range but until then I’m making great progress in the 20+
range.

*Doing only 2 sets and going home will feel awkward at first. The
sooner you can get over this, the better. Just laugh at all the others 
spending 2 hours in there while you’re done in 20 minutes yet 
making greater progress than them. 

Day 5+6(Rest day)

Do not lift weights today. 

Use today to stretch out sore muscles and use your
foam roller.

You may play sports if you wish but do not overdo it.

Day 7(Deadlift day)

week 1: 185(10)
week 2: 195(10)
week 3: 205(10)

*Again, just like with the chin-ups on day 1, beat the amount
of pull-ups you do each week and don’t hesitate to cut it a couple 
sets short if you feel accomplished. It will only serve you better the 
following week by giving you more strength through better
recovery.

Start deadlifting at a light weight which allows you to fail at 10 reps.

Each week you will add 5-10lbs. Your strength will increase
each week and you’ll think by adding 10lbs theres no way you
can keep getting 10 reps, but you will if your mind is strong.

Eventually, you won’t be able to keep getting 10 reps and
one day you drop into the 3-5 rep range.
(This is the optimal range for deadlifts)

Deadlifts are your strongest lift. They should be stronger than your
bench press and your squat. The deadlift is my favorite exercise.
Actually, I’ve grown quite fond of benching, squatting, and chinning
as well, but if I could only have one, it would be the deadlift.

I remember it vividly, the first time I ever deadlifted. I was at the gym
(24 hour fitness) doing my stupid isolation exercises when I saw this
big and ripped dude doing chin-ups and deadlifts. I knew he had it all
figured out. He explained to me that I needed to do only compound
movement exercises and eat a lot of food and that’s the secret to
gaining muscle. He was right.

So, I loaded up two 35’s on the bar and couldn’t do it.

I then loaded up 25’s and got maybe 4 reps in.

A year and a half ago, I deadlifted 95lbs 4 times and now
I’ve deadlifted over 3 times as much. If only I had kept
a training log sooner, it wouldn’t have taken me 18 months.
I’d probably be where I’m at now after only eight months.

Fat brandon ramlal

Can I make adjustments to the routine?

You are allowed to cut back 1 set on the bench press / pushups
and up to 2 sets on the chin-ups / pull-ups if you’ve broken
last week’s record and / or feel overworked.

Under no circumstances may you do extra shit. Take each set to
extreme failure and call it a fucking day.

*It goes without saying, you absolutely can not miss any training 
days. This is for the disciplined guys who will do whatever it takes. 
Use the low frequency as motivation to never miss a session. I know
you’ll be dying to get in there anyway since you’re used to
working out 4+ times a week.

If you’re dying to change something, change your grip. Trust me, you
won’t get tired of doing the same stuff or want to do anything
different because with each passing week you will become stronger
physically and mentally. Your athleticism will be enhanced and your
confidence will skyrocket.

But again, if you wish to change something, try different grips first.

If you get bored of flat benching, do incline. I don’t advise changing
your grip here because chances are, it won’t allow you more weight on the bar but benching on an incline or decline might.

If you get bored of squatting in a normal stance, try a wider stance for a while. This will allow you to handle more weight and may
transfer over to your normal squat.

(Squatting to parallel and squatting ‘ass to grass’ is up to you.
I go as low as the weight will allow, but It’s always at least parallel)

If you get bored of deadlifting from the ground, try deadlifting from
knee-level. This is called a rack-pull and will allow you to handle
more weight which will transfer over to your normal deadlift.
Also, for a nice change of pace, you can switch which hand goes
under the bar and which hand goes over the bar when you grip it.
Same deal with chin-ups/pull-ups.

Please don’t add in accessory work and isolation type stuff.
I know it’s temping, just don’t do it. Training this way allows the
trainee who does less to improve the most so long as
he’s training
 with maximum intensity.

Follow this style of training for a minimum of one year.
Then you may
 re-create it into your own liking.

Warning: you may become addicted to this one forever.

– Written by Brandon Ramlal