Build muscle at home with this challenging PYRAMID WORKOUT. This total body dumbbell workout is ALL STRENGTH and naturally low impact – but the challenging pyramid format is sure to get your heart rate up. Build muscle in the glutes, hamstrings, back, biceps, triceps, shoulders and core, all in under 30 minutes using just a set of dumbbells.
This workout is brought to you in partnership with lululemon.
If you want a solid total body strength training workout that also builds endurance, pyramid workouts are for you.
Our previous pyramids are considered some of the most challenging workouts on the blog. The “stack-on” format is a true mental and physical challenge – which is probably why they’re some of your favorites!
Today’s pyramid workout differs from our previous pyramids because it is ALL STRENGTH and under 30 minutes. This is a great format for building muscle if you have limited time or equipment.
There are a few different types of pyramid workouts. In this case, “pyramid workout” refers to the “stack on” structure of the workout, where an additional exercise is added to the working set with each additional set. Pyramid workouts can also be created by counting reps of a single exercise, and decreasing reps (standard pyramid) or increasing reps (reverse pyramid) with each additional set.
Pyramid training is the best way to reach muscle fatigue in a limited period of time. Because the work time increases with each additional set, pyramid workouts increase the “time under tension” or total time the muscle is working, which leads to muscle growth.
Pyramid workouts are extremely effective at building muscle and burning fat. Pyramid workouts build strength while keeping your heart rate high – which results in an intense strength and conditioning workout.
Build muscle and increase cardiovascular endurance with this low impact Pyramid Workout! This workout hits all of the major muscle groups in the lower body AND upper body in under 30 minutes.
A complete total body workout comprised of 5 compound exercises, combined in the challenging and effective pyramid workout format.
Add this full body workout routine to your home workout plan 1-2 days per week to build strength and increase endurance.
Medium Set of Dumbbells.
I recommend between 5-25 lbs depending on your fitness level. We used 10, 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in today’s dumbbell strength workout.
Follow along with the guided Strength Training Pyramid Workout on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren.
Your Workout Looks Like This:
A Pyramid Format Looks Like This:
Continue this stack-on, pyramid format until you complete moves 1 through 5. Then you have the option to go back down the pyramid in reverse order, dropping off move 1, then move 2, then move 3 and so on.
Trainer Tip: Pyramid workouts are challenging tests of endurance. Follow along with the workout modifier for options to scale each move, or decrease the weights as you start to fatigue.
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, hips, quads, core and low back muscles.
Targets: The lower back and upper back (specifically the lats and rhomboids), hamstrings, hips, glutes, core and shoulders.
Targets: Legs, hamstrings hips, glutes, back, shoulders, chest and deep transverse abdomen muscles (core).
Modification: Take out the push up, performing just squat snatches for the timed interval instead.
Targets: Biceps, back, quads, glutes, hips and core.
Targets: Triceps (back of the arm), lower abs, pelvic floor and deep transverse abdominal abs.
Modification: Bend your knees, performing bent leg lowers rather than full leg lowers. If lying on your back isn’t comfortable, perform standing overhead tricep extensions instead.
lululemon makes quality apparel designed to last – through all seasons of life.
Today’s workout features some of our favorite training leggings and tank tops that move with you as we strength train in all planes of motion.
lululemon chargefeel Training Shoes. Good training shoes can make or break your workout. Our team loves these shoes because you can truly use them for any workout: strength training, HIIT, running, group fitness classes – they work for all of the above! You can find our full review here: lululemon chargefeel Training Shoes Try-On and Review.
lululemon Align Biker Shorts (8″). The most flattering and comfortable biker shorts. These are my go-to for low impact workouts as well as everyday wear and running errands. I own both the 6″ and the 8″ length and prefer the 8″ for a little more coverage.
lululemon Love Tank. This super-soft tank is so comfortable and naturally breathable. We love that this tank can be dressed up with jeans as well.
Energy Bra. Our team considers this the MVP of sports bras because of how versatile it is. It offers good compression and support without restricting movement or being too tight. It also comes in a high-support version which is great for high impact sports and bigger bust sizes.
Want more? Check out our top picks from lululemon with a full size guide and review here!
lululemon chargefeel Training Shoes. Our team-favorite cross-training shoes for all types of workouts.
lululemon Align High-Rise Leggings. The most flattering yoga and lounge leggings. These are great for low impact workouts like this one and daily wear. Rachel is 5’8″ and the 25″ length hits right above her ankle.
Wunder Train Bra. The best long-line sports bra that doubles as a crop top! The high neckline adds more security and coverage which we love.
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Hi, Lindsey. I am Ioana, from Romania and it’s been 2 years since I have been doing sports “with” you. I have 3 disk hernias and problems with my knees, from doing sports, not in the correct way. My question is, are no equipment exercises as efficient as those with weights? For example, yesterday I was doing a total body and now my elbow hurts. I love doing weights lifting. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t allow me to do it as often as I would like. So, how many time per week should I do weight trainings, in order to stay also safe? Thank you
Hi Ioana! Bodyweight exercises can be very beneficial — especially large compound movements like push ups, pull ups and bodyweight squats. That said, strength training is important to build and maintain muscle mass. I would suggest strength training 3 times a week if possible. I hope that helps! -Lindsey
Awesome workout! Totally wiped me out. Now gonna go take a nap. haha
Sarah! So glad you loved this workout and I hope you come back for more! -Lindsey