Kettlebell [RoP] What if you finish the 5x5 ladder and can't progress?

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Ramon Nogueras

Level 5 Valued Member
Hello, everyone.

I am currently digging the Rite of Passage, and I am in my 5th week. Today I finished 5 4-rung ladders with 24 kgs (also doing inverted rows as I still can't do pullups), and everything seems to be going well. This Saturday is my heavy day, and I should try to finish 5 5-rung ladders. So, if I am successful, and I feel I will be, the next week I should move up to the 32 kgs.

My question is: what should I do if, after finishing 5 5-rung ladders with 24, I am not yet able to strictly press 32? What would be the best course of action?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 7 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Don't worry about it.. I personally did not get the 32kg press even after hitting 5 ladders 5 rungs.. It means you may need a different approach
 

Frank_IT

Level 4 Valued Member
Also, depending on your recovery, you might want to cycle something in, something that won't put so much stress on you as what is to me the heavyest of grinds (the overhead press).

Don't worry if you won't press the 32 kg. There is no guaranteed 8 kg step in any kettlebell program, let alone a pressing one.

If your next heavy bell for 5RM is the 28 kg, than you've made a really good progression.

Hope it helps.
 

John Grahill

Level 7 Valued Member
My first couple of rounds through the ROP ... As an example ... When I did the 24, I did it again with less rest between rungs and ladders. Then did the 28 kg, then 32, etc. eventually getting the beast press for my half body weight.

Another point to consider, since the ROP uses ladders and volume as one way of getting better and stronger, maybe try 2,3,5 ladders and work up to 10 or 12 of them on a "heavy" day.
 

Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member
Another point to consider, since the ROP uses ladders and volume as one way of getting better and stronger, maybe try 2,3,5 ladders and work up to 10 or 12 of them on a "heavy" day.
I read this in RotK and thought it was intriguing for just this situation in RoP: 5 ladders to 5 does not yield the minimum 7-10 reps with the +8kg bell, and you don't have access to the +4kg bell. You get some more volume by going from 75 reps (5 ladders to 5) to 100 reps in 10 ladders of 2,3,5.

If you can get 3 reps with 32kg that way (or another way), Soju & Tuba may get you to 5+ RM with 32kg so you can use that as your next working bell for RoP ladders.
 

Marcus Aurelius

Level 5 Valued Member
Enter the Kettlebell has test days in the RoP for this very reason. So you get a periodic checkup on how much stronger you're getting and if you'll have to tweak something to get ready for the next bell. These are often ignored.

I would recommend going back through the RoP with the 24 but start introduce the 32kg by doing loaded cleans, Turkish Get ups, swings and maybe some loaded carries. This would get the nervous system accustomed to the new weight. It's almost like giving your brain a warning.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
@Ramon Nogueras There are two PDFs available online by Pavel entitled Enter The Kettlebell: Special Report 1 and 2, the first of which contains a lot of tips and intermediate drills to help with the Rite Of Passage. You should be able to find these on Google* or, if you have any trouble, PM me with your email address and I can send them to you directly.

*Other search engines are available
 

Sauli

Level 8 Valued Member
Maybe you can do some push presses or jerks with slow negative. This is very effective way to gain strenght.. and when you can press it once, do gtg pressing until you can hit sets of 3-4. After that you can start another Rop cycle. If that is what you desire. :)

I would be pretty strong guy, If I followed my own instructions, but because I don’t. Well, I’m not.
We have this saying in Finland: ”those who cannot do, those teach”.. :D
 
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Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
Hello, everyone.

I am currently digging the Rite of Passage, and I am in my 5th week. Today I finished 5 4-rung ladders with 24 kgs (also doing inverted rows as I still can't do pullups), and everything seems to be going well. This Saturday is my heavy day, and I should try to finish 5 5-rung ladders. So, if I am successful, and I feel I will be, the next week I should move up to the 32 kgs.

My question is: what should I do if, after finishing 5 5-rung ladders with 24, I am not yet able to strictly press 32? What would be the best course of action?

Thanks in advance for your help.

It sounds like you are racing through the progression. It may be beneficial to work through it a little more deliberately, especially when you can't currently press the next bell up from your working bell.

You are now at 5 x 1-4. That does not mean you should necessarily do 5 x 1-5 on your next heavy day. You could just do 1 x 1-5 and 4 x 1-4. This is actually a significant step up in weekly volume since your medium day will now reset to 5 x 1-4. Then add one top set of 5 on heavy day each week. So the following week heavy day will be 2 x 1-5 and 3 x 1-4, then the week after that will be 3 x 1-5 and 2 x 1-4, etc.

You don't even HAVE to add any volume from week to week. Just because you aren't adding reps doesn't mean you aren't getting stronger. You can just repeat the same volume until it feels relatively easy and you don't have to rest as long between sets, THEN add volume. You can do the same when you get to the full 5 x 1-5. Just repeat it until it feels easy and you really own it. If you still can't press the next bell up after that, then you can think about different ways to cook the ladders (like 10 x 2, 3, 5 or 5 x 3, 5, 7) and other tricks to bridge the gap.
 
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JZB

Level 3 Valued Member
Just doing 5 ladders to 5 with the 24 doesn't mean you're done with the 24. Spend some time with it. Does another week for the RoP and then test the 32 again.
 

Ramon Nogueras

Level 5 Valued Member
Thank you all. As usual, you've been very helpful.

I will add some detail. I already have the 32 kg KB, and don't plan on buying intermediate one because money and space reasons (we live in a flat, not a house, and KBs are convenient but you can't have as many as you would like). Also, I reached the Simple goal of Simple & Sinister on December last year.

I am using Pavel's Special Reports on my variety days. More concretely, I've been doing this month 5x2 long push presses with the 32, and they've gone well. I am able to push press the 32 anytime, also. It's the strict press what worries me a bit.

Doing more cycles with the 24 sounds like the more sensible approach, certainly.

Enter the Kettlebell has test days in the RoP for this very reason. So you get a periodic checkup on how much stronger you're getting and if you'll have to tweak something to get ready for the next bell. These are often ignored.

I would recommend going back through the RoP with the 24 but start introduce the 32kg by doing loaded cleans, Turkish Get ups, swings and maybe some loaded carries. This would get the nervous system accustomed to the new weight. It's almost like giving your brain a warning.

I did a test day at the end of December, and that's when I started using the 24 (I started the program with the 16 kgs to ensure learning good form). Swings and TGUs with the 32 have already been achieved, but they sound like a good idea and is an exercise I love, anyway. Also, thanks for the loaded carries suggestion. And by the way, Marcus is my favorite philosopher in the world :)

Maybe you can do some push presses or jerks with slow negative. This is very effective way to gain strenght.. and when you can press it once, do gtg pressing until you can hit sets of 3-4. After that you can start another Rop cycle. If that is what you desire. :)

I would be pretty strong guy, If I followed my own instructions, but because I don’t. Well, I’m not.
We have this saying in Finland: ”those who cannot do, those teach”.. :D
Working on slow negatives is something I could try. When I push press the 32, it goes down a bit fast though I think I catch it well I tense my whole body, no rebound, knees locked).

I am using GTG to try and ace my pullups. I set a pullup bar on my kitchen door for that purpose.

It sounds like you are racing through the progression. It may be beneficial to work through it a little more deliberately, especially when you can't currently press the next bell up from your working bell.

You are now at 5 x 1-4. That does not mean you should necessarily do 5 x 1-5 on your next heavy day. You could just do 1 x 1-5 and 4 x 1-4. This is actually a significant step up in weekly volume since your medium day will now reset to 5 x 1-4. Then add one top set of 5 on heavy day each week. So the following week heavy day will be 2 x 1-5 and 3 x 1-4, then the week after that will be 3 x 1-5 and 2 x 1-4, etc.

You don't even HAVE to add any volume from week to week. Just because you aren't adding reps doesn't mean you aren't getting stronger. You can just repeat the same volume until it feels relatively easy and you don't have to rest as long between sets, THEN add volume. You can do the same when you get to the full 5 x 1-5. Just repeat it until it feels easy and you really own it. If you still can't press the next bell up after that, then you can think about different ways to cook the ladders (like 10 x 2, 3, 5 or 5 x 3, 5, 7) and other tricks to bridge the gap.
Steve, this suggestions is gold. Haven't though of that. Actually, my medium day was hard, not too hard (I was not near failure), but definitely more effortful than the previous week.

You have been great. Many thanks for your help!
 

Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member
Sounds like you started where I did (Simple achieved, started RoP with 16), but didn’t spend more time letting the volume do the work. Don’t go right from 5 x ladders to 4 one week, to 5 x ladders to 5 the next week. Take 5 weeks to get there, adding a rung to the top of successive ladders only on the Heavy day. The medium and light days give you ~75% and ~50% of the Heavy day volume boost - total weekly volume goes up gradually. And ultimately, increasing tonnage gradually is the way to get stronger!

Keep up those “long push press” drills with the 32, and emphasize the negative.
 

rickyw

Level 7 Valued Member
Yes, as @Steve W. alluded to, the RoP is a 13 week press cycle. IMO, it’s the cumulative effect of high volume pressing(if you’re a hard gainer in the press like I am) over the course of the last five weeks that prepares you to press the next bell size up.

The first time I went through the RoP with 24kg, I did it wrong and went through it in five weeks. I could not press 32kg after that. I did a little GTG and managed a shaky 32kg press if I remember correctly. Then I figured out my RoP mistake and went through the whole thing again for 13 weeks with 24kg and was able to press 32kg much more easily. I thought I would then try more low volume pressing to get to 36kg, but it was not successful for me. Pressing has never come as easily to me as it seems to for others.

I repeated the whole RoP again with 28kg and was able to press 36kg at the end. The program generally works well.
 
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Suggy3001

Level 1 Valued Member
Just to reiterate what others have said, the jump from 5x4 ladder to 5x5 ladder is huge and in my opinion the critical phase to being able to jump up. You are effectively going from 50-75 reps which is huge in terms of volume and therefore capacity to handle the weight. It was only when I had done 5x5 for a few weeks (cycling up and down) that I was able to jump to 5x3 ladders at the next weight up. In between this I had a few play days where I would just see what I could do with the higher weight, even if that was a couple of doubles, singles, push presses etc. - worth graduating in even if not in a 'formal' way.
 

Deleted member 5559

Guest
Something to get even more volume would do it. Take a week off, then a couple weeks of GTG push-ups or GTG with your 24kg if you have access all day followed by a week off and try again. GTG is the only way to get the volume necessary in some cases.
 

Ramon Nogueras

Level 5 Valued Member
Yes, as @Steve W. alluded to, the RoP is a 13 week press cycle. IMO, it’s the cumulative effect of high volume pressing(if you’re a hard gainer in the press like I am) over the course of the last five weeks that prepares you to press the next bell size up.

The first time I went through the RoP with 24kg, I did it wrong and went through it in five weeks. I could not press 32kg after that. Then I figured out my mistake and went through the whole thing again for 13 weeks with 24kg and was able to press 32kg at the end.

After failing some lower volume press programs, I repeated the whole RoP again with 28kg and was able to press 36kg at the end. The program generally works well.
To be honest, I never thought of it as a 13 week cycle. It's very interesting to see it in tha light.
 

rickyw

Level 7 Valued Member
To be honest, I never thought of it as a 13 week cycle. It's very interesting to see it in tha light.
It can be sped up some depending on how many ladders you can add a rung to on heavy day, as I understand it (someone correct me if I’m wrong). It’s 13 weeks if every heavy day you only add 1 rung to 1 ladder total, which is often plenty when you consider the total weekly press volume. I have sped it up a bit by sometimes managing to add a rung to two ladders on heavy day, which put me a week ahead.
 
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