Tactical Fitness with Stew Smith: Peaking in the PT Pyramid

Officer Training School trainees perform sit-ups.
Officer Training School trainees perform sit-ups during an official Air Force physical training test at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, Aug. 8, 2019. (Airman 1st Class Charles Welty/U.S. Air Force photo)

Hi Stew,

What's the best way to increase your PT pyramid score? I've been able to do up to 10 and back down to one. I've also done one up to 15, but I've needed someone to hold my feet after I hit 10. Would it be better to do the pyramid by going up by increments of one every day or two? So on Monday, I'd progress to 10 and come down, then on Wednesday, I'd push to 11.

I have loved the pyramid workout since I first started my PT journey from a football player and powerlifter preparing for SEAL training. It works.  However, you may be ready for a new level of PT workouts. You definitely can get stronger in pull-ups by doing more pull-ups with the PT pyramid, but once you are able to do a 1-10-1 PT pyramid, it is time to mix in other types of workouts like the superset or the max-rep set. 

I still would do your Pyramid PT once a week, but now it is time to start building on the PT foundation you have created. Adding the other workouts in the PT Progression Series is a way to break up the monotony of the pyramid, as well as push new boundaries in your PT endurance and muscle stamina.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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