The Pyramids of the Weight Room

Before I get into this post, I have a confession to make.

I don’t like canned pumpkin.

Fresh roasted pumpkin I love. Pumpkin cream cheese muffins make my mouth water. Pumpkin pie is one of my favourites (okay, I like all pies).

But I cannot stand the mushy tastelessness of the canned stuff. I have to add a whole container of pumpkin pie spice to make it edible in anything, and even then it just makes things… mushy.

So there ya go.

While we’re at it, I don’t like Christmas. But I’ll save that for another day :P

You know what I do like though? Waffles!


It’s an addiction, I know. Before these though, I had a stellar weight lifting workout.

I picked up the September issue of Oxygen magazine for the first time after hearing Janetha say good things about it. I always shied away from this magazine because it’s full of scary looking fitness models, but it’s got great weight lifting info for women!

One of the tidbits in there is about pyramid sets. In a regular pyramid, you start off at a low weight with high reps, then increase the weight and reduce the reps with each set. It allows you to overload the muscle gradually. A reverse pyramid is just the opposite, starting with a heavy weight and low reps, decreasing the weight and increasing the reps with each set. This allows you to use the heaviest weight at the beginning while your muscles are still strong.

The heavy weight sets will build strength, the medium ones will build lean muscle and the lighter ones will improve endurance and recovery. Mixing these up will shock your muscles instead of letting them adapt.

So I hit up the gym this morning with this in mind. I decided to go old-school with the exercises, and take my time to really focus on the weights I was using and my form.

15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing the resistance every 2 minutes

Barbell squat:
65 lbs x 8
55 lbs x 12
45 lbs x 15

Wide-grip lat pulldown:
40 lbs x 8
30 lbs x 12
20 lbs x 15

10 lbs x 24 (alternating legs)
15 lbs x 20
20 lbs x 16

Dumbbell shoulder press:
10 lbs (ea) x 15
15 lbs x 12
17.5 lbs x 8

Single-leg Romanian deadlift:
40 lbs x 8 (ea)
30 lbs x 12
20 lbs x 15

Tricep pulldown:
30 lbs x 8
20 lbs x 12
10 lbs x 15

15 minutes on the elliptical, 1 minute sprints, 2 minutes recovery


T’was a good time! I really like switching it up in the weight room. Part of the reason why I’m contemplating not doing another lifting program this winter. I like picking and choosing what I want to focus on :)

Theeeen it was waffle time :)


The usual. Maple cinnamon waffles with almond butter, yogurt and strawberries. I am singing my love for this combo from the mountain tops! :)


And a little protein juice to chase it down, otherwise known as PVL peach whey cooler. Not the prettiest photo – I was thirsty!!

I’ve also been quite vocal in the past about my dislike for wraps/tortillas. I’ve just never been a fan of the chewy denseness of them. Plus, all the full to medium-size ones around here are 200+ calories with little fibre and protein. But I found these in the freezer in the health food section the other day and decided to give them a whirl.


Ezekiel organic sprouted whole grain tortillas. Nutritionals on these are the best I’ve found yet.


For lunch, I packed one of these babies with leftover curry salmon salad, cottage cheese and romaine lettuce. Then I took an exceptionally bad photo at the office.


Sorry! I got busy with work once it was unwrapped. The tortilla was alright. Still dense, but at least not chewy. Very seed-y, and quite thick. I think it would be better grilled, or as a quesadilla.

I just got groceries, so I had way too many options for dinner. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, so I just went with the simplest things possible.


Tempeh burger broiled with a string cheese and dipped in barbecue sauce. A bowl of honeydew melon on the side. Eaten on the couch. Just one of those days!

Except, I’m kinda hungry again. The water in the melon only temporarily filled me up.

Question time!

1. Any popular foods you dislike? I also don’t like rice and pasta. I’m more of a sauce-y gal ;)

2. What’s your favourite holiday? Mine is Halloween. But that’s just because I like dressing up and little bite-sized candies.

Also! I’m going away to Windsor next weekend and I won’t be blogging on my usual schedule. So I’m putting out the call for guest posts! I need 3-4 posts :)

Okay, the boy is here and he keeps staring at me while I blog. I think it’s time I go pay attention to him. Later!

Posted on September 24, 2009, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. 1. Well, I posted about it the other day, but I can’t stand oatmeal. I think I’m the only blogger who doesn’t like it! I also hate ketchup.

    2. Favorite holiday? Gotta disagree here, I hate Halloween. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas!

  2. What about canned “pumpkin pie filling” instead of just canned pumpkin?! Just a thought…

    1) I don’t like Chobani. I don’t like ketchup. I am very picky about Green Monsters. I am not a huge fan of cereal.

    2) Fav holiday is probably Thanksgiving! I hate the commercialization of Christmas. Halloween is just an excuse for young women to get away with dressing like sluts. 4th of July is a good time but Thanksgiving is where the food is at.

  3. Those tortillas are AMAZING grilled. It brings out the flavor.

    1. Yes I hate coconut. Hate it.
    2. I’m sorry but I LOVE Christmas. And Halloween. And 4th of July. And Arbor Day. Just kidding on that last one.

  4. Mmmm I love canned pumpkin! You can just send your share my way, K? :)

    I hate cottage cheese and hummus. I think it’s the consistency more than the flavor.

    I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mostly because I love having the excuse to see my family.

  5. I cannot stand guacamole – or avocados.

    Susan, you must try real pie pumpkin! We got some at the store and cooked it up and I added it to my oatmeal – it is phenomenal! Fresh and pumpkiny without the canned taste.

    My favorite holiday is Christmas. Or really Chrismtas Eve, even though that isn’t the actual holiday. Mardis Gras is a close second :D

  6. Those strawberries look so RED! Love the photos of them. As for holidays – I don’t have a favorite holiday per se, but I love all of the holidays between Halloween and Christmas!

  7. yeah for oxygen! as you know i work out in a pyramid, but my mom has been trying the reverse method like that article said. maybe i should give it a go. i really like those wraps but they are definitely not like any other wrap or tortilla, they are in a category all their own! and as you know I HATE RAISINS but everyone loves them! sad, you dont like christmas.. sigh. i love halloween and new years and the 4th. ok, i like them all! xo

  8. i don’t like sour cream. and i rarely like butter as a condiment….

  9. I’m not into bars. You know, Luna , Lara, etc. I will eat them in a pinch and I do like Clif bars and Lara bars. I would just rather have something else.

  10. Interesting stuff about pyramid weights. It reminds me that I haven’t lifted in FOREVER. Thank you for the reminder.

    Ok, canned pumpking I can kind of see, but I am not sure I can forgive you for not liking Christmas ;) Just kidding. Um, I don’t like raw tomatoes, Well, I hate them. And mayonaise.

    Favorite holiday…well…I’m sure you can gues! Hehe. Either Christmas or Thanksgiving :D

  11. My food confession:
    – I don’t like almond butter (GASP!)
    – I cannot stand raw tomatoes (hurt my tummy)

    My favourite holiday:
    – I *love* Christmas. I just love how excited my son gets when we bring out the decorations and I love all of the family time around the holidays. I also love baking and hosting an annual family cookie exchange and potluck. Love it all!

  12. 1. Fortunately for me, there are very few foods that I don’t like. But, I did find out I’m not a fan of the chocolate flavored LARABARs. I like the others, but the cocoa just didn’t do it fo rme. Actually I am giving away the rest of my stash on my website today! Head over and put in an entry if you like them.

    2. I’m with ya on the Halloween love. It’s great getting to see the imagination that goes into different outfits. I try to make it a point to create a new costume every year. Any ideas on things I should try?

    I’m up for putting in a guest posting.

  13. How dare you not like pumpkin!! Just kidding. I actually used to hate anything pumpkin flavor.. now I can’t get enough!

    Did you do 15lb dumbells on the shoulder press?? That’s insane!!

  14. My trainer had me do pyramids a couple of weeks ago. They were really challenging, but I liked them, and have added them in to my workout sometimes.

    I don’t like most wraps either. I got some new ones at Trader Joe’s that are whole wheat/corn–140 calories, and 5 grams fiber. I really like the taste a lot!

  15. 1. I like most foods. Exceptions are onions that aren’t cooked. I love coconut flavor but hate coconut texture. I’m not crazy about the taste of walnuts but I can eat them. I don’t like ground turkey. Anything more than mildly spicy.

    2. My favorite holiday would probably be Halloween because it’s fun to dress up and I like scary things. I like Thanksgiving and Christmas but since getting married it is juggling between my parents and his divorced parents so it’s way too hectic. Now this year my cousin is getting married the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I’m a bridesmaid so I’ll have to eat 3 dinners and then drive 5 hours so I can be at the rehearsal on Friday!

  16. Yay wraps! I LOVE wraps- the ones I use aren’t doughy/heavy at all. They are lavash flax and oat bran ones and HUGE so definitely got the filling:bread ratio right. I think the problem with wraps is they fall apart with too much filling, so there is more wrap than innards. Have a look for lavash- tastes more like pitta :D

    1. Any popular foods you dislike? Potatoes! They taste like dirt to me. Anything citrus flavoured, anything with ginger and anything with nutmeg. I don’t like capers but that’s pretty common. I also really don’t like crunchy foods- crackers, pretzels, nuts, etc. Most of the foods I don’t eat are more a texture thing than a taste thing.

    2. What’s your favourite holiday? I like 4th July just because I have happy memories of spending it with my best friend in NYC :D

  17. ohhh tempeh burger…i have not seen those. i will wait for that you do not like christmas speech for another day. my interest is piqued.

    i don’t like a lot of “normal” things people like: ketchup, mushrooms (although masked in a dish, they are alright), i used to despise mac n’ cheese (key word: used), i don’t like cake or frosting…

    fave holiday: christmas! haha, its also my birthday around there in my defense.

    have a wonderful friday!

  18. The main common thing I don’t like is cheese. Including cottege cheese and cream cheese (unless in frosting form) or plain cheesecake. That makes me a freak to many people, haha. I also don’t like mushrooms (but a lot of people don’t I think) but other than that I am SO much better about eating varied foods than I used to be. A million times.

    I don’t think I have a favorite holiday actually, but I’m starting to like Thanksgiving more…because I use the long weekend as an excuse to drink lots and lots of wine, which I rarely drink otherwise :-)

  19. haha i love/hate that feeling of having so much food that i just dont know what to eat. then i just want to eat everything all at once!!!

  20. hmm popular foods, well i dont know how popular this is, but we all love nuts and nut butter, i cannot stand pine nuts!! something about them just rubs me the wrong way! there i said it! hehe :)

    fav holiday?? hmmm I do love halloween too, its so festive! also love hanukah because of the presents haha

    those pyramid sets look awesome, oxygen from time to time has some great workouts in there!

  21. 1. caramel… ick. other sweet stuff i totally dig. i used to hate chocolate+ pb, and tofu and onions, and mashed potatoes. oh wait- i still hate mashed potatoes. on and bread. not a fan. i know- weird.

    2. Labor Day. fall is starting, last trip to the beach, no work, no school… :)

  22. I hate ranch dressing. I think it’s disgusting. But people here in Utah eat it like it’s butter. they put it on EVERYTHING. Sick. If you still need peeps to guest post, I would be happy to. It’s be great to get to know you and your blog a little better. Have a great weekend! xoxo

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