Ladders for Powerlifts?

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I'd like to know more about people using ladders for training the powerlifts and other large, compound lifts. Links to threads here would be helpful if this has been discussed, articles, and whatever else.

E.g., do you follow the Rite of Passage concept but limit the rungs in a ladder or the number of ladders or both? Do you find it works for some lifts but not others? Do you use ladders once a week and other schemes on other days? Has anyone ever tried 5 x 5 but used 1-2-3 ladders instead?

Thanks in advance, folks.

-S-
 

Papa Georgio

Level 5 Valued Member
Has anyone ever tried 5 x 5 but used 1-2-3 ladders instead?
Steve, My instructor has me on a plan doing 5 x 5, 3 times a week for both double kettlebell cleans and double kettlebell squats. Totaling 75 reps a week. This is not a humongous load, but with the other parts of the program, I would frequently run out of time and energy for the cleans & squats, and I'd start skipping sets. I switched over to ladders spread over 5 days, and I've been able to get all my reps in.

I'm using whatever you wanna call them, Z-ladders, ladder sandwich ladder, etc. My format is (5 cleans/1 squat), (4 cleans/2 squats), (3 cleans/3 squats), (2 cleans,/4 squats), (1 clean/5 squats). That's 15 reps for each exercise, So once through, and I'm done for the day. And doing this 5 days a week isn't very daunting.

For me, ladders are a great mental trick to fool your body and mind to put in volume easier. My instructor approves as long as I get my weekly volume in.
 

Alan Mackey

Level 6 Valued Member
I'd like to know more about people using ladders for training the powerlifts and other large, compound lifts. Links to threads here would be helpful if this has been discussed, articles, and whatever else.

E.g., do you follow the Rite of Passage concept but limit the rungs in a ladder or the number of ladders or both? Do you find it works for some lifts but not others? Do you use ladders once a week and other schemes on other days? Has anyone ever tried 5 x 5 but used 1-2-3 ladders instead?

Thanks in advance, folks.

-S-
I've used, consistently, 3x1,2,3 ladders for barbell lifts (as recommended by Steve Shafley).

I wouldn't do higher rungs and I wouldn't do more than five ladders.

It works quite well.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor

Mark Limbaga

Level 6 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
@Mark Limbaga, how many ladders of this type (1-2 or 1-3), would you use in a single session, and how did you structure sessions in a week?

@Bauer, thank you. @Papa Georgio, thank you.

@Steve W, is the article, "How to add pounds..." from Beyond Bodybuilding? This article was quoted by you in the other thread, PTTP ladders: when exactly to start them? Clarification needed.

@Alan Mackey, so ladders to 3, and up to 5 of them? A static weight or changing and, if the latter, how?

-S-
Anywhere from 2-4 total ladders.. Depending on trainingoaf, I would do them 2-3x a week.

This worked great as this was how I practiced my other lifts to prep for the SFL
 

Alan Mackey

Level 6 Valued Member
@Alan Mackey, so ladders to 3, and up to 5 of them? A static weight or changing and, if the latter, how?
I generally did my cycles using the same load and waving the rung/rep scheme: doing a lot of low volume sessions interspersed with some high volume ones. I mostly skipped medium sessions because the recovery cost was way too high past certain poundages.

Let me illustrate:

This was a typical RoP training week:

Mon (heavy day): 3x1,2,3
Wed (light day): 1x1,2,3
Fri (medium day): 2x1,2,3

This was a typical barbell training week:
Mon (light day): 1x1,2,3,4,5
Wed (heavy day): 5x1,2,3
Fri (light day): 5x1,2
 
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Blake Nelson

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I have a client doing ladders in powerlifts right now! Here is the background:
She is a runner, taking time off due to plantar fasciitis. In addition to some endurance specific cross-training, she came to me so she could add in some strength training twice per week. She is strong and moves very well but has no experience with strength training so I want her to keep things moderate intensity, move slowly and give her a lot of practice with the lifts. Her goal is to get strong enough to keep doing her sport (trail running) and take advantage of her time away to learn new skills.

She lifts 2x/week Deadlifting Tuesday, Back Squating Thursday ladders of 1, 2, 3. Afterward, she does presses, swings and carries both days.
Week 1: 2 ladders
Week 2: 3 ladders
Week 3: 4 ladders
Week 4: 2 ladders
All with the same moderate weight. She will add weight next month and repeat it. I will update as results come in, but so far it feels right for the situation

Blake Nelson
 

Deleted member 5559

Guest
I've done them a bit and revisit somewhat regularly. I've settled on only doing 2-4 ladders and almost exclusively only 3 rungs. Squat and deadlift usually 3x1-2-3, bench 3x2-3-5 or 3x3-5-8 (never twice the same week at 3x3-5-8 though), press 3x3-5-8.

I really like ratchet ladders adding weight (~5%) each ladder coming to a RPE >9 on the last rung of the last ladder. Getting 4 ladders means I started too light, not getting all 3 means I started too heavy.

I train strength twice per week so I feel they give me good volume while managing fatigue from conditioning training the other 3-5 days of the week.
 

kiwipete

Level 6 Valued Member
I've used, consistently, 3x1,2,3 ladders for barbell lifts (as recommended by Steve Shafley).

I wouldn't do higher rungs and I wouldn't do more than five ladders.

It works quite well.
Curious to know...How much rest do you take b/t reps (1<>2<>3) and ladders (1,2,3 <> 1,2,3) to maximise strength without spending all day in the gym?

Thank you!
 
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