Climbing the Ladder Part 2: Fun Workout Tools
The window is clean. In fact, I’ve stepped out of that small room out into the sunshine again! (Big cheesy grin.) I’m excited for this week! I have a new recipe and another Girl Hero (always my favorite posts) lined up.
Today, I want to continue my series on program design tools, a fancy way to say, ideas for building dynamic kick azz workouts! Last week, we talked about rep ladders. This week it’s weight ladders and time ladders. Next week, will be reverse ladders, combination ladders, and pyramids. Then we’ll finish up with drop sets, super sets, timed sets, and using active recovery.
In a rep ladder the weight stays the same and the reps climb with each rung. In weight ladders, like the name implies ;-), the reps stay the same but the weight climbs with each rung.
Squat Weight Ladder
5 x 25lbs
5 x 35 lbs
5 x 45 lbs
Kettlbell Swing Weight Ladder
10 x 8kg (18lbs)
10 x 12kg (26lbs)
10 x 16kg (35lbs)
As you can probably tell weight ladders can be used with any exercise that uses weight other than your body. Bodyweight exercises won’t work unless you weight them like hang a kettlebell (or a small child) from your foot during pull ups.
Guess what variable changes in time ladders? You’re right…the time! High five!!!
Plank Time Ladder
Jump Squat Time Ladder
Repetition, weight, and time ladders each have their own benefits. Adding reps (rungs) will increase your muscle endurance (ability to preform repeated contractions or hold static contractions). Adding weight will increase your muscle strength (amount of actual weight you can lift in a single all out effort). Adding time will increase your endurance or adding more reps per timed block will increase speed and explosiveness.
Why do I use ladders? I’ll be honest, my main reason is to add variety. I workout to improve and maintain my general health (and for vanity) so for me the biggest benefit of ladders is variety. In other words, ladders keep my workouts interesting. Which keeps me working out. Which improves my energy, mood, and keeps me mentally sane. Which improves my relationships. Which is what life is mostly about. (And as a bonus, I get to look decent in a bikini.)
Hugs and High Fives,
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