Up The Ladder And Back Down The Ladder

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Have I got a treat for you and your workout this week. My triceps and armpits are still recovering from Sunday’s beating. The idea is called ladders. I tried this a couple times during a Crossfit WOD. Usually they threw ladders in with a barbell lift like deadlifts and a bodyweight exercise like squats. I decided to get creative and do a workout of just ladders without all the extra stuff.

It started out simple enough but by the end I had little beads of sweat from concentration and effort. The concept is this. Pick two exercises – a push and a pull. For example, chest and back, biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings. Set a timer for 7.5 minutes. If you’re wondering how I chose this number, it’s because I wanted to do about 30 minutes of exercise. Two exercises for 2 rounds for 30 minutes equals 7.5 minutes per exercise.

See, it makes sense! OK, back to the timer. Set it for 7.5 minutes and go. Start with 1 rep of the exercise, then rest for the time of 1 rep. Then do 2 reps and rest for the time of 2 reps. Then 3 reps, rest for 3 reps. Keep adding 1 until you can’t do more reps without failing. Then count backwards the same way until you are back to 1 rep.

Here’s an example, say you get to 4 total reps on the way up and know you can’t rest and get to 5 reps. It will look like this. 1 rep, rest, 2 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, 4 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, 2 reps, rest. 1 rep, rest. The shortest rest period will be with 1 and the longest with 4. If you finish one ladder and still have time left in the 7.5 minutes, start another ladder until you run out of time. Here are my results for my first try:


To track my progress, I’m totalling the number of reps that I did each round. Hopefully the next time I do this workout, I’ll get more reps done in the same amount of time. I focused on chest and back for my workout and did push ups and reverse rows. I did slow and controlled reps at the pace of one second down, pause, one second up. My muscles were screaming by the end and sore the next couple days.

It’s interesting how something that starts out pretty easy quickly turns into work. I had to do girl pushups by the end in order to keep going and some of my rest periods stretched out a bit. Bicep curls and triceps dips are next in my mind for my ladder workout trial.

Have you tried ladders or even heard of them?

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