A Powerful Symbol

They’re the strongest structure in nature. Triangles show up everywhere in our daily lives: road signs, corn chips, and delicious slices of pizza…and pie.

Ancient cultures like the Egyptians, the Mayans, Indians, Chinese, and Native American tribes used the power of triangles to build massive pyramids of stone and earth.

Some of the strongest and most powerful muscles in the human body form a triangular shape:

If you somehow found this article and DON’T know what The Tri-Force is, please, click the tiny “x” at the top of your browser and return to your lame, uninteresting, and pathetic existence.

For those who stayed, you get an internet high five.

Real life might not be as cool as living in Hyrule. But, like Link, it is possible for you to harness the power of the Tri-Force to increase strength, build more muscle, and look better naked. And the latter is far cooler than having a real life Hookshot (but just barely).

Tri-Force (Pyramid) Training

You have a few options when it comes to Tri-Force training and how to implement it.

The typical setup is to start with high reps and low weight. Then gradually add weight while decreasing the number of reps.

For instance, take the Seated Cable Row:

Your workload might look like this:

100 pounds- 12 reps

120 pounds- 10 reps

140 pounds- 8 reps

160 pounds- 6 reps

180 pounds- 4 reps

You can also flip this and start with low reps and heavyweight, moving up the pyramid by reducing weight and adding the number of reps.

Whether you ascend or descend reps/weight, first and foremost, warm up.

I can’t stress this enough: your muscles are about to turn the volume up to 11 and you don’t want to blow their eardrums by going from 0 to 11.

Speaking of 11, a great warm-up for you to perform is Joe DeFranco’s Limber 11. Check it out below.

Does the above workout seem too easy for you? Do you choose to play Zelda with the least amount of hearts possible?

Awesome. Small tweaks to the rules of Nintendo games is a classic way to make a game with one difficulty setting more challenging. And that’s what makes Pyramind Training Tri-Force Training so freaking awesome: you can make small tweaks to make it harder. I mean more fun.

Song of Time (Train for Time)

Remember the workout I gave you above for Seated Cable Rows? No? Ugh, fine. I’ll copy and paste it here again because I know scrolling up is such a pain in the ass.

100 pounds- 12 reps

120 pounds- 10 reps

140 pounds- 8 reps

160 pounds- 6 reps

180 pounds- 4 reps

Here’s the easiest way to make this more challenging week after week. Complete this workout your first week and record how long it takes you to finish. Then, in your second week, try to beat your time from the previous week.

Did it take you 2 minutes to complete all the reps the first week? Cool. In the second week, try and do it in 1 minute and 45 seconds, or 90 seconds if you’re brave enough. Continue trying to shorten your time each week. And no, you cannot use your Ocarina to travel back or forward in time. That’s cheating.

Having fun and playing with time doesn’t mean you get to use bad form. So don’t load up a megaton of weight. Use something moderate but challenging.

Sheik Training (Alternate Muscle Groups)

In Ocarina of Time, you discover (SPOILER) that Princess Zelda has an alternate personality. Man, I knew she seemed crazy the first time we met.

To escape Ganondorf’s clutches, Zelda disguises herself as Sheik and then shows up randomly to help you on your quest to save her. Which is a little like, “what the fuck? If you can disguise yourself why the hell do I have to save you?”

Anyways. Running with the alter ego theme. You can increase the fun of Tri-Force Training by training alternate muscle groups.

If you want to build a physique that can rival that of any superhero, training alternate muscle groups is the way to go. Not only will you burn a ton of calories but you’ll walk out of the gym feeling like you could take on Ganondorf right now.

Here are a few opposing muscle group exercises you can perform:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press/Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows
  • Push-Ups/Pull-Ups
  • Romanian Deadlifts/Front Squats
  • Leg Extensions/Leg Curls
  • Overhead Press/Face-Pulls
  • Forward Lunges/Reverse Lunges

Tri-Force of Doom

Limited on time? Hey, we all are. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip working out.

Now, you may not have a powerful Ocarina that allows you to go back in time. But, with Metabolic Resistance Training you can turn your metabolism up to levels hotter than The Fire Temple.

And it doesn’t matter which tool you choose for battle. You can crush a ton of calories with bodyweight, kettlebells, dumbbells, or a barbell — it doesn’t matter.

Let’s stick with the triangle theme. Pick your three favorite exercises.

For bodyweight training, you could choose push-ups, lunges, and pull-ups.

If you choose dumbbells as your tool, you could opt for dumbbell squats, shoulder presses, and renegade rows for your workout.

Or, since you’re the hardest of hardcore, why not grab a barbell and perform hang cleans, front squats, and push presses.

Now that you have your exercises determined. Here’re the rules: Choose your beginning rep range anywhere from 5-12 reps is fine. The less conditioned you are, the less you should start with. Now, perform all three exercises with no rest between. Once you’re done with the last exercise, you’ve completed one round. Now you may rest for a period of 30-60 seconds and then start again.

Let’s assume you picked 8 reps for each exercise. Now that you’ve completed one round, you’ll start again with the first exercise but you’ll perform one less rep for each exercise than you did last time. You’ll continue with your rounds, subtracting one rep, until you reach zero.

Or, you could head over and check out my kickass Metabolic Resistance Training program, Rock n Roll Fat Loss.

Reverse Pyramid Training

RPT, or Reverse Pyramid Training, is designed to keep the intensity of your workouts high and volume low(er). When it comes to fat loss for busy people, RPT is one of the best ways to increase strength and burn fat.

Why is RPT so great? Well, it allows you to train at a high intensity without leaving you decimated at the end.

If you find that you’re easily stressed with work or life responsibilities, but still want to train hard and heavy, RPT is the best bang for your rupees.

With RPT, your first working set is always the heaviest weight you’ll move all day. Your next two following sets involve lighter weight, 10-15% each time, with 1-2 additional reps than your previous set.

For instance, your set up for the bench press will look something like this:

1st Set: 5 reps

2nd Set: 6-7 reps (10-15% lighter weight than 1st set)

3rd Set: 7-9 reps  (10-15% lighter weight than 2nd set)

*Rest periods between sets can range anywhere from two to three minutes.*

RPT doesn’t need to be applied to every single lift you do.

Use it for big, multi-joint exercises, i.e. squat, presses, deadlift, rows, chin-ups/pull-ups. Then you can finish your workouts with 2-3 accessory movements in the (more) typical rep schemes.

For example, your chest day might look like this:

RPT Incline Bench Press

1st Set – Heaviest weight you can do for 5 reps

2nd Set – 6-7 reps (minus 10-15% of weight from your first set)

3rd Set – 7-9 reps (minus 10-15% of weight used on your 2nd set)

Dumbbell Flyes – 4 sets of 8 reps

Decline Push-Ups – 3 sets of 10

Face-Pulls  – 3 sets of 12-15

(Hy)Rule the Gym

Symbolically, religions around the ancient world found strength and power in the three-sided polygon. Much like the people of Hyrule.

Today, though, why not take a page from Hyrule and implement pyramid training Tri-Force training on your quest to shed body fat, gain strength, or build muscle.

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