How To Do Navy SEAL Pyramids

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
August 02, 2012

As a community we are currently working our way through the Navy SEAL 12 Week to BUD/S Training program.

Some of the exercises or routines may be a bit confusing to those that have never heard of them before.

Today, we will be looking at Navy SEAL Pyramids.

What Are Navy SEAL Pyramids?

Navy SEAL Pyramids are a fun and challenging method of developing incredible upper body strength.

This is what the routine looks like. Basically, each level of the pyramid has a number, 1-10.

Each exercise has an associated number as well:

Pull Ups = 1 Rep

Push Ups = 2 Reps

Sit Ups (You can do an ab exercise of choice here.) = 3 Reps




As you are traveling up the pyramid, you will multiple the level you are on by the number of reps you have to do for that exercise. At each level you will perform all three of the exercises. (For future workouts, feel free to change up the exercises. Click here to see a full list of body weight exercises you can do.)

Here’s an example: Say you were starting Level 3. Your first exercise is Pull Ups. Since “1 Rep” is associated with this exercise, you would multiple 1 (# of reps) x 3 (because you are at level 3) and do 3 Pull Ups. After you performed 3 Pull Ups you would do 6 Push Ups (2 is the associated # of reps for “Push Ups” and you are at level 3…. so 2 x 3 = 6). Sit Ups has a 3 associated with it so you would do 9 total sit ups for that level (3 x 3 = 9).

At level 4 you would do: 4 Pull Ups, 8 Push Ups, and 12 Sit Ups

Level 5… 5 Pull Ups, 10 Push Ups, and 15 Sit Ups

Keep going until you reach level 10, then work your way back down the pyramid.

I’m Still Confused… Can You Just Lead Me Through The Workout?

In the above video I will lead you through the exact workout. However, I forgot that there are two level 10s. I simply did just one level for 10s. Regardless, its a pretty good workout.

Quick Note About The Exercises

We will be doing pull ups, pushups, and sit ups. I just have some quick tips on how to perform each exercise below…

Pull Ups – Make sure you do not swing while performing pull ups. It is much better to stay steady and controlled throughout the movement. This will give you a better workout. Also, when you grab the bar keep your thumbs next to your fingers. Many people grip around the bar with their hand. It is much less likely that you will get injured if you keep your thumbs next to your fingers.

Push Ups – Make sure that you are keeping your back straight with this exercise. Although it is one of the most popular exercises many people let their butt fall down or push their butt too high in the air. Also, put your hands at about shoulder width level with your shoulders.

Sit Ups – To perform these properly cross your hands over your chest. Put your knees at about a 45 degree angle. When you sit up your elbows will touch your thighs. When you come down make sure to come down all the way until your shoulder blades touch the ground.

If you have not joined the Iron Body Club yet I highly recommend you do it! To check out the full 12 Weeks to BUD/S Workout Plan that we are working through click the link.

Question For You!

Did you find the Navy SEAL Pyramids easy or challenging? Please post your response in the comment box below. Your answers help me deliver information that is targeted directly to your needs.


Show/Hide Comments (2 comments)
  1. Steven

    Hey brother,

    Thank you for the article and the video and also for your service! I am thinking about setting this routine as a goal, knowing that I certainly cannot complete the pyramid at this stage. Do you have any suggestions for me as I begin to do this (ie take days off etc.). This would be a tremendous feat for me physically as I don’t have much time to “hit the gym”, but would really benefit from a routine that I can do at home. Thank you for your time!


    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Steven,

      I’d actually recommend you follow a strength program. After a couple months, you will be able to climb the pyramid up and down. Check out the beastmode plan:

      Let me know how it goes.

      – Todd

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