Ladder program for pushups?

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
Is there a ladder program for pushups? I was thinking the ROP programming might work if your pushup variation happens to be an 8ish rep max. Could you modify that for a 10 or 12 or 16 rep max exercise? Are there specific guidelines for ladders based on your rep max of an exercise?
 

Pavel Macek

> 3k Posts
Master Certified Instructor
Is there a ladder program for pushups? I was thinking the ROP programming might work if your pushup variation happens to be an 8ish rep max. Could you modify that for a 10 or 12 or 16 rep max exercise? Are there specific guidelines for ladders based on your rep max of an exercise?
What I usually do with my students are ladders based on RM:

- 10RM - ladders of 1, 2, 3...
- between 10 to 20RM - ladders of 2, 4, 6...
- between 20 to 30RM - ladders of 3, 6, 9...

- as for ladders/rungs, always up to comfortable max (with still at least one rung in the bank), and then again from the lowest rung
- 3 times a week - hard day - "sort of max" (100% for the respective week), medium day about 75% volume of hard day, light day about 50% volume of the hard day.
- 10-15 mins/pushup session
- Hardstyle pushups, textbook technique and using all our SFB principles
- vary the grip a bit
- Fast & Loose between the rungs and ladders - don't chase the clock, don't look for the pump and burn, practice
- always stop the set when you start to slow down - or even better BEFORE you start to slow down
- not for long (to avoid any e.g. elbow troubles) - 1-2 months, then switch to SFB 1APU progressions and programs
- do something else as well (pulls, hanging... )
 

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
Thanks!

Just to clarify a little, how many ladders would you do in a workout? Say you top out at the 8th rung in a ladder, then would you repeat it one or more times?
 

Bro Mo

> 1k Posts
I've become fond of treating push-ups like ROP ladders using 5x the reps (i.e., 1 press = 5 push-ups, 5 press = 25 push-ups).

I like doing 3 ratchet ladders (1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-5) adding weight with a vest to keep 25 reps the max. If unable to do them all, just stop where you stop and try to add a rep or more each time you try or just don't ratchet the reps each ladder and keep the rungs static. When confident with hitting 25 reps each time, add some weight.

I do this 2-3 times per week when I do it. I try to keep all reps perfect but sometimes I'm just so close to finishing that rung that I sacrifice a crappy rep.
 

Arryn Grogan

Triple-Digit Post Count
Elite Certified Instructor
I really like what @Pavel Macek wrote above.

I'm currently running my push-up practice like the Fighter Pull-Up program: I started pretty conservatively at 13, 11, 9, 7, 5. Next session was 13, 11, 9, 7, 7. Then 13, 11, 9, 9, 7. You get the idea.

While under 20 reps, I descended by 2 reps per set. Now that I'm above 20, I descend by 3 reps per set. And I'll eventually descend by 5 reps per set. I only only train push-ups twice per week.
 

Bro Mo

> 1k Posts
For FPP with pushups I've also found the number to reduce reps by to be max reps divided by 10 then round up. 20-29 would be reduced by 3, 30-39 would be reduced by 4, etc.

However, I dont find I can stay on FPP with pushups for very long, <4 weeks.
 

Pavel Macek

> 3k Posts
Master Certified Instructor
@Pavel Macek what is a "textbook technique"?
The one we teach at SFB Bodyweight Courses and Certs.

Please check out sneak preview in a great article by @Karen Smith , StrongFirst Master Certified Instructor and our bodyweight strength specialist:

 

mikhael

> 1k Posts
The one we teach at SFB Bodyweight Courses and Certs.

Please check out sneak preview in a great article by @Karen Smith , StrongFirst Master Certified Instructor and our bodyweight strength specialist:

Got it. One more question, how to perform "sort of max" with Push-ups?
 

Steve Rogers

More than 300 posts
I find it interesting that you guys only train pushups two or three times a week instead of everyday or Monday-Friday. If you are only going until you slow down, and keep it comfortable/fresh - why would it be a bad idea to train this everyday? Wouldn't that produce the same gains as an S&S program (i.e everyday)?

I do my pushup ladders perfectly. I rest about 10-30 seconds on all fours before the next rep. I do them perfectly and somewhat slowly. I stop as soon as it starts getting difficult, hard, or I'm slowing down. I feel like I can keep this up consistently everyday - even/especially after a VERY hard day of construction where I carry about 100lbs up and downstairs all day. I find these to be almost gentle strength training for me. Because this feels easy for me (and I need the numbers to move up eventually) I do these everyday I can. Is that a good idea or bad idea?
 

Bro Mo

> 1k Posts
I find it interesting that you guys only train pushups two or three times a week instead of everyday or Monday-Friday. If you are only going until you slow down, and keep it comfortable/fresh - why would it be a bad idea to train this everyday?
I only do it a couple times a week when I do the ratchet method because I am training other things on the other days. When I do FPP, it's every day. I'll do FPP for only a few weeks to peak for something and the ratchet ladder method for 6-8 weeks as a more moderate peaking method. I really only do either thing in preparation for a PFT and choose which method based on how many weeks notice I have.
 

Steve Rogers

More than 300 posts
I only do it a couple times a week when I do the ratchet method because I am training other things on the other days. When I do FPP, it's every day. I'll do FPP for only a few weeks to peak for something and the ratchet ladder method for 6-8 weeks as a more moderate peaking method. I really only do either thing in preparation for a PFT and choose which method based on how many weeks notice I have.
Which method would you say works the fastest?
 

s f

Double-Digit Post Count
Are any of you performing pushup ladders doing any pulling work for balance-- if so,what type?
 

mikhael

> 1k Posts
@Bro Mo I like your approach, first FPP than the ratchet method. My RM is around 40 and need to be at 80. I have 5-6 month, so I think I will try your strategy and @Steve Rogers 's daily Push-up ladders.
 

Bro Mo

> 1k Posts
My RM is around 40 and need to be at 80. I have 5-6 month
If I had 5-6 months, i would be doing 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps of incline dumbbell press 3 times per week.
No, rather daily Push-up for a couple of weeks, than FPP for some time, and in the end the ratchet method.
When I do either, I only do one OR the other depending on how many weeks notice I have, not both consecutively. I would personally do the incline dumbbell presses and then switch to ratchet ladders about 6 weeks out given how much time you have.

If the exact date isn't quite known I would probably keep up with the incline dumbbell pressing twice per week and do one day of ratchet ladders once you think you're within two months of the date and once you know the exact date, hammer on FPP for 1-3 weeks depending on how much notice you get and take the three days prior to the test off completely.
 
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