Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
Pyramiding is not efficient. All you need is to warm up enough and then hit your working sets. Muscle hypertrophy is your muscle's response to a stimulus, well the working up to your max set is not sufficient enough stimulus so why do it?
Do your warmup set to get your elbow and tris ready and then pick three exercises and hit one or two all out sets per exercise at a sufficient enough weight and reps with 100% intensity. That is all you need, anything more is over training and with your bi's or tri's that is too easy to do. After reading how many sets you are doing it is easy to see why your having problems. The most I do is 6 sets for tris, and I don't even have to train them every week. I get enough from indirect stimulation for pressing movements throughout the week. Speaking of which, when do you train them?
^^ i disagree about pyramiding not being sufficient. pyramiding is said to be the best way to bring up the bench press for instance. one does not have to go all out on every set. but i do feel that pyramiding up allows me to gorge my strenght and determine where im at, its injury preventing+ it allows u to work within different rep ranges rather than getting ur body accustomed to just one rep range. imagine ur sleep deprived, u have been eating little etc and u go in to the gym, and u jump right on ur maximum weight after a couple of warmups, now u may not be in shape for that weight that particular day, and thats when injurys occur. imo pyramiding is a safe and efficient way to build muscle
I love it how I've got so may responses to this thread nearly 2 months later.
I've cut my exercises down in a big way and I'm mainly doing heavy weighted dips followed by cable pushdowns at the moment, but I'll be mixing the dips up with cg benches when I start my push/pull routine and dumping the pushdowns. I'm slowly getting some response from my tris so I think its working.
Currently I'm training them once a week with legs but soon I'll be doing them twice with my push/pull but only one exercise per day.
Pyramiding is essentially cummulative fatigue training where you wear yourself out before you get any real work sets done as you aren't lifting anywhere near your best on the +80% of max lifts. While this method can work for size and strength gains you have to push each and every set, if you save any for the last set then you risk having a pointless workout (as you have only done one real work set). It never encourages the same amount of strength gains as other programs.
When you take a couple of warmups and then jump into a work set with +80% of your max you are recruiting more of those higher threshold motor units which in turn get your fast twitch fibres firing for strength and grow. Do many sets at this level and you get enough volume to really have some progress. Lower rep sets for many sets is after all the way most lifters and athletes train.
I do take your point about injury; but your big first exercises that would be causing injury should be prepared for. You can be ready to face heavy work after a handfull of low rep sets. I tend to favour many low rep sets to warmup (2 at double rep range, further 2 at half of rep range of working set) that do not at all tax you. I also think that you need accessory work (not all the time but for most mesocycles) with this style of training for joint health and connective tissue growth promotion.