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Bodyweight I forgot i loved ladders

TedDK

Level 4 Valued Member
Im just doing basic bw training at Home. Stepups, elevated push-up and body rows. Normally i have done 3x5 rep. But today i felt for something different. So did 2x1,2,3,4,5. So 30set instead of normally 15 and it felt great.

My back have made trouble for many years and if i push too much it hurts again. So ladder feels allmost perfect.
 

McLaren

Level 5 Valued Member
It's not as much that I loved them as much as I loved the feeling of accomplishment after actually completing them with a full 5x5s. They were one of the most difficult things I ever did.
 

McLaren

Level 5 Valued Member
Im not sure i understand
Which part, my first comment or the 5x5?

The first part just means that they are tough as hell to get through, they always left me smoked. But the payoff is worth it.

The 5x5 means that as Pavel described them in Enter the Kettlebell, the goal is to perform 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 reps for one set, and then complete 5 sets. 5x5. This is something that takes time to build up to of course. I am sure there are many many variations, but that's what the 5x5 means in my reply.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I love ladders too. And I agree, 5x(1,2,3,4,5) is no joke.

Some of my best gains came from fighter pull-up program (FPP) style ladders (I was doing pike push-ups though). Some of the most dramatic hypertrophy too, though “dramatic” in my case is relatively little haha
 

TedDK

Level 4 Valued Member
Which part, my first comment or the 5x5?

The first part just means that they are tough as hell to get through, they always left me smoked. But the payoff is worth it.

The 5x5 means that as Pavel described them in Enter the Kettlebell, the goal is to perform 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 reps for one set, and then complete 5 sets. 5x5. This is something that takes time to build up to of course. I am sure there are many many variations, but that's what the 5x5 means in my reply.
Now i understood.

My goal isnt to reach 5 ladders though.
I only train 30min so the goal was just to get more reps without pushing to much.

I like the ladders with All the ‘easy’ sets with 1,2,3 reps and only a few sets thats really hard.
 

TedDK

Level 4 Valued Member
I do bw ladders too. @TedDK: do you do for example all your pushups ladder then row ladders or alternating ladders pushups and rows?
Yesterday i did first my rows and then my pushups. But i will prefer to alternate them. But my rings is hanging from a pullup bar that i also use when i do pushups :)
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Just going to throw this out there:

Another way I like to use ladders is to decide on how many total reps I’d like to do for a given exercise. Then I split it into a number of rounds of different reps that match that total.

For example: for a good while in 2020 I was doing 15 reps of things, so I split the total into 3,5,4,3. For strength I loved this scheme. It starts off with three, which serves kind of like a warmup, then a “harder” set of five, and then the last two sets taper off.

So it can be fun to play with the rungs. They don’t always have to go up or down.
 

TedDK

Level 4 Valued Member
Just going to throw this out there:

Another way I like to use ladders is to decide on how many total reps I’d like to do for a given exercise. Then I split it into a number of rounds of different reps that match that total.

For example: for a good while in 2020 I was doing 15 reps of things, so I split the total into 3,5,4,3. For strength I loved this scheme. It starts off with three, which serves kind of like a warmup, then a “harder” set of five, and then the last two sets taper off.

So it can be fun to play with the rungs. They don’t always have to go up or down.
It was a little like this i tried yesterday.
I normally did 15 reps in around 7-10min.
I then decided to do ladders in the same time and it ends with 2x ladders 1-5 = 30 reps.

So i lifted my fat bud more times :)
 

3letterslong

Level 5 Valued Member
I love ladders and plan to do a modified ROP exclusively for the next year.

I should add that, in my experience, you don't want to do high volumes of exercises that demand balance (airborne lunges, in my case) because little imperfections in form add up with each rep and some joint will suffer (right knee, in my case). It's better to balance yourself with your hand when your form starts to get iffy and do the rest of the workout strictly challenging your strength.

I don't think step-ups really require that much balance, but it's something to keep an eye on if you start getting aches.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Just going to throw this out there:

Another way I like to use ladders is to decide on how many total reps I’d like to do for a given exercise. Then I split it into a number of rounds of different reps that match that total.

For example: for a good while in 2020 I was doing 15 reps of things, so I split the total into 3,5,4,3. For strength I loved this scheme. It starts off with three, which serves kind of like a warmup, then a “harder” set of five, and then the last two sets taper off.

So it can be fun to play with the rungs. They don’t always have to go up or down.
I don't think I'd call 3, 5, 4, 3 a ladder, though. It's a fine rep scheme - great that you don't do the same number of reps twice in a row.

-S-
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I don't think I'd call 3, 5, 4, 3 a ladder, though. It's a fine rep scheme - great that you don't do the same number of reps twice in a row.

-S-
I can understand why. It’s non linear. It comes out the idea of taking a rep range and then rearranging the increments. Sort of like a “waved ladder” or something. Its even better when the rungs are more spread out (e.g. 2,10,4,8,2 or something).

I took the idea from an article Chad Waterbury wrote for Onnit a little while back.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@bluejeff, quoting the great Bard, what's in a name? For me, I only call it a ladder if I'm increasing the number of reps per rung. Otherwise, it just several sets.

From the article you cite, "By holding back and doing fewer reps than you’re capable of each set, you can actually do more work overall ..." Well, yes, the idea of varying the reps and not having every set be near maximal is inherent in the structure of the ladder, but the increasing ladder has performing the final rung in a somewhat fatigued state built in, too. When the reps go down, I think of those as backoff sets - again, a fine thing and one I use in my own training at times. And if the rungs ascend and then descend, I call that a pyramid, or a ladder + backoff sets.

It's all good.

-S-
 

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
I split the total into 3,5,4,3. For strength I loved this scheme. It starts off with three, which serves kind of like a warmup, then a “harder” set of five, and then the last two sets taper off.
One of the first real programs I followed, Johnny Parker's Ultimate Weight Training Program (Johnny Parker was the strength coach of the New York Giants football team when they won two Super Bowls under Bill Parcells in 1986 and 1990, and the author of the recent book, The System) used a similar pattern, although if I recall correctly it was for the weight used, not the reps.

I called it the 1321 pattern because the first and last sets were the lowest weight (1), the second set was the highest (3), the third set was in between (2), and the last set was the same as the first (1), although the numbers are not necessarily proportional to the actual weights or reps used, which can be anything. It's basically a descending ladder, but with an extra bottom rung at the beginning to provide a bit of warm up or momentum.

I've since used it for reps as well. Another variation I use that is also ladder-like is to start with the highest rung, but then drop back down to the beginning of the next ladder and build up from there. So with 2, 3, 5 ladders it might look like 5, 2, 3, 5, 2, 3, 5. It just gives you one extra top set that you do while fresh, or you can leave off the last top rung and consider the first fresh top set to substitute for a final fatigued top set.
 
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Kev

Level 6 Valued Member
They are deceptive things. The first time I got 1000 push-ups it was a ladder and despite knowing I still engaged in the deception of “well it’s really just a wee warmup for the first 4-5 rungs but by then you’ll be warm and ready to keep going”. Aye, hellish but they did deliver. Even when it’s kettlebell lifts I still play this daft mental game with myself and they still kill me. I’m not denying they are great but they definitely mess with my head.
 
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