Monkey Bars Pyramid

We are experimenting at the moment with some quick and easy training routines for various races that are going on this year.

I tried out a routine this morning in the gym with the monkey bars which is awesome for building muscular and cardiovascular endurance. I will film this at some point, but for now I thought id jot it down for you all to try it yourselves!

Only 15-20 minutes long

This routine can be completed literally in 15 minutes, or 20 depending how many reps you build up to in your pyramid.

Pyramid Training

It’s called a pyramid because we build intensity by increasing reps from 1 upwards on each set. When we hit failure (as in the point where we cannot complete another rep), we then start reducing reps and so making our way back down the pyramid.

The routine

So this is the routine:

  • Press-up
  • Burpee
  • Squat
  • Monkey Bars (2-3 metre length)

The example below shows a sample pyramid ascending to 6 reps then descending. Feel free to make the pyramid as high as you like!

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Set 6 Set 7 Set 8 Set 9 Set 10 Set 11
Press Up 1 Reps 2 Reps 3 Reps 4 Reps 5 Reps 6 Reps 5 Reps 4 Reps 3 Reps 2 Reps 1 Rep
Burpee 1 Reps 2 Reps 3 Reps 4 Reps 5 Reps 6 Reps 5 Reps 4 Reps 3 Reps 2 Reps 1 Rep
Squat 1 Reps 2 Reps 3 Reps 4 Reps 5 Reps 6 Reps 5 Reps 4 Reps 3 Reps 2 Reps 1 Rep
MonkeyBars 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length 1 Length

Perform 1 rep of each exercise to start with (Monkey Bars will remain constant, always do 1 length of Monkey Bars).

So do a press-up, a burpee, a squat then jump on the bars and do a length of monkey bars.

Then get down and repeat the set but increase the reps to 2 on each of the exercises (press-up, burpee, squat). Do your monkey-bars then go through the set again but increase to 3 reps and so on.

Increase Reps Until Failure

Keep upping the reps on each exercise until you fail to complete a set. When you reach failure you can then begin to descend down the pyramid.

Repeat the routine above but decrease the reps on each set until you complete your last set of just 1 rep of each exercise. Trust me if you’ve gone high enough up the pyramid your muscles will be screaming at this point.

I did this routine this morning and managed to get up to 7 reps after which I came back down the pyramid.

Increase the pyramid each week

This is a great routine to monitor your own progress. Keep a log with the number of reps that you got to at the top of your pyramid and aim to improve it every week.

Once a week/Twice a week?

Up to you how often you repeat this routine. Depending on your goals you may want to try out another routine later in the week.

The beauty of this routine is that it works the whole body, so it can potentially be repeated a few times through the week. Though I would say make sure to get some rest in between to allow the body to recover. Your lactic acid levels will be high after this routine depending on your lactic tolerance, therefore your muscles will appreciate a recovery day somewhere in the week!

More routines on the way

This is one of many more routines we will be devising to help you train for your Obstacle Races.

Written By: Gareth

I'm a full qualified PT with a number of OCR's on my CV including the legendary winter Tough Guy. Also a former Light Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion and Black Belt! You'll usually find me over Roath Rec beasting training the guys to help them overcome their obstacles :D


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