A Primer on Ladders

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Postby Luke » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:21 pm

ev1bl wrote:Cool thread..

How would one go about using ladders for squat and deadlift at the same time? If I train squat three times and deadlift once a week.


What seems to be working for me is if you're squatting 3 times a week. Try 2-3 ladders per session. If you deadlift once, try 5 or more ladders in the session. If I can only squat twice a week I'll try and get 6-8 ladders total done over the 2 sessions amongst my other lifts.

They take awhile to complete if you're taking reasonable breaks so allow for as much time as you can.
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Postby BLOBERT » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:44 pm

I was much younder when Steve and I did this program, but I did both in the same session.
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Postby jordanz » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:56 pm

I think ladders are excellent for bringing up a lagging bodyparts/movemets. Right now I'm using high reps (~10)on squats, Medium reps on pulls , and the low rep ladders to bring up my pressing. So far so good. It's really amazing and has me excited to get to the gym again. I'm 40, but I swear I haven't progressed like this in over 10 years.

I'm actively resisting the urge to try them for every movement, because they do seem to have that "too good to be true" feel about them.
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Postby duane hansen » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:10 pm

Ladders are a good way to train the squat and the deadlift. I would suggest doing the squat on one day and deadlifting the next. After your important lifts, of course.
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Postby Luke » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:36 pm

T-Nation does ladders...now with Anaconda Protocol included!

http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=4752136
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Postby Laconic Lifter » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:27 am

because I'm lazy and don't want to have to look for this again for a while
.......................................
reminded me that i had done this a while back -
http://zacheven-esh.com/dan-john-inspired-workout/
but...sigh...skipped 8 and 10 and just did 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5
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Postby Shoot fighter » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:58 am

Larry Platt wrote:because I'm lazy and don't want to have to look for this again for a while
.......................................
reminded me that i had done this a while back -
http://zacheven-esh.com/dan-john-inspired-workout/
but...sigh...skipped 8 and 10 and just did 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5
Works for me, I was looking for it too, started ladders for the bench a few weeks ago , dropped alot of stuff to help recoup, benching ladders2-3 times a week, sqt once a week with ladders, no dead, a few odd lifts here and their and some bench assistance, pretty much specializing on the Bench a few months with cardio a few times a week nothing layed out just haphazard with no set program, I rarely have done that but kinda like it. so far ladders are going well, no grinders just going for volume and quality and see how the volume works for me.
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Postby Luke » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:12 am

Larry Platt wrote:because I'm lazy and don't want to have to look for this again for a while
.......................................
reminded me that i had done this a while back -
http://zacheven-esh.com/dan-john-inspired-workout/
but...sigh...skipped 8 and 10 and just did 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5


I wouldn't sweat it. I did work up to 8s and 10s earlier this year and didn't notice it really doing much. The 1,2,3s work a treat and seem to bear most of my gains. Recently Shaf has put me on to 2,3,5 which I think would be cool on days where it's all feeling a bit heavy.
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Postby stevein7 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:56 am

2 3 5 2 3 5 1 2 3

Easier last bit when you're tired....
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Postby Fafnir » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:58 am

ladders were the final missing piece to make daily lifting work for me. I use them for weighted dips and deadlifts up to three reps, three to five ladders per lift per day, five to seven days per week. works like a charm.
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Postby Shoot fighter » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:22 am

Still doing the ladders for my bench and going great, Thanks Shaf, I need to quit the grinding I am getting a little overzealous on adding weight so I have been pushing all three ladders of 123, cut bench down to 2 a week but may go back up to 3 since I will quit grinding, been adding about 5-10 pounds a week, I cut back evrything else , squats once a week no deadlift and a few other lifts, sandbag walks, a few bodybuilding moves, neck , grip etc with cardio, bench really going up.
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Postby Shaf » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:45 pm

Nice to hear. Thanks for all the props, fellas.
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Postby MightyLouse » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:14 pm

It's a great thread filled with useable info but you still stink.
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Postby lifter99 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:10 am

Ladders cured my cancer.
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Postby ev1bl » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:15 am

Fafnir wrote:ladders were the final missing piece to make daily lifting work for me. I use them for weighted dips and deadlifts up to three reps, three to five ladders per lift per day, five to seven days per week. works like a charm.


Dang, thats some solid work five to seven times a week.
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Postby Fafnir » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:35 am

ev1bl wrote:
Fafnir wrote:ladders were the final missing piece to make daily lifting work for me. I use them for weighted dips and deadlifts up to three reps, three to five ladders per lift per day, five to seven days per week. works like a charm.


Dang, thats some solid work five to seven times a week.


I worked up to that volume through the course of six months, starting with daily push ups and bodyweight single leg 'speedskater' squats, then bw dips and daily tarp bar singles, to finally the above setup. also, my original post is a bit imprecise, I don't necessarily both deadlift and dip in the same workout. but most importantly, I don't believe in 'work your weakness' crap, I am built to deadlift, so i do it. if I tried to apply the same frequency to squats and presses, I'd crumble to dust.

on another note, I might now have to name my firstborn 'shaf ladder' (regardless of gender).
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Postby Ilyusha » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:14 am

A couple of questions to the Ladder-meister or anyone who might want to chime in, if I may...

(1) Supersetting each ladder with a very doable set of rows or chins (activating opposing muscles and all that shit; plus forcing yourself to take slightly longer breaks). Good idea? Bad idea?

(2) Alternating a session of 1,2,3 ladders with a session of 2,3,5 (obviously with a lighter weight). Basically running two ladder sequences in parallel. Sort of an extra anti-overtraining measure: aka light session / heavy session. Good idea? Bad idea?

(3) Just a general question. Obviously they won't work forever. :)) How do I know when to stop flogging the dead hourse?
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Postby Ilyusha » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:17 am

Oh yeah, and last one. I need to get from a 142.5 bench to 150 bench in 3 months. Don't give a fuck about any other lifts and after three months my life as I know it ends. So just one goal, but I really-really want to make it.

Would ladders be the recomened "most likley to lead to success" approach or is there some other magic benching routine that I should take up?
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Postby Luke » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:01 am

Ilyusha wrote:(2) Alternating a session of 1,2,3 ladders with a session of 2,3,5 (obviously with a lighter weight). Basically running two ladder sequences in parallel. Sort of an extra anti-overtraining measure: aka light session / heavy session. Good idea? Bad idea?

(3) Just a general question. Obviously they won't work forever. :)) How do I know when to stop flogging the dead hourse?


Are you doing anything else training wise?

2 - I worked exclusively with 1,2,3 most of last year. I didn't get around to giving the 2,3,5 a proper run but Shaf has suggested that protocol to me. 1,2,3 worked great. If you want to stay true to it, heavy and light days aren't really what it's all about. It's about what you're about on that day. If I wasn't feeling a session, I'd go 2,3,5 with something more manageable. I did try it almost linearly for awhile, but it's only been very recently I've realised how off I was.

The emphasis Shaf put on not making the lifts grindy is something I probably could have paid better attention to. Perhaps not making everything as heavy so often and worked more volume. Although I got stronger in every lift I tried them for so something worked.

3 - I was told "it stops working when it stops working". I don't think it's stopped working for me but I just went on different tangents after several months. Whatever you do, if you're half creative - you can do a lot of cool shit with them. I'm using them in a slightly different permutation now and have started much, much lighter.

Whether they work for you or not I believe hinges on whether you can be autonomous and "buy in" as Paul says. There aren't percentages and things like that guiding you and one or two people I've seen wig out after awhile and realise they need that. Some people also can't bring themselves to lift only modest weights if they were hauling a tonne the day before. Personally, it seems a lot more natural and applicable to me than a pre-planned bench program. Some days I thought the opposite would be good for me, but I always came back to this and the RTS stuff.
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Postby Shoot fighter » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:29 pm

Ilyusha wrote:A couple of questions to the Ladder-meister or anyone who might want to chime in, if I may...

(1) Supersetting each ladder with a very doable set of rows or chins (activating opposing muscles and all that shit; plus forcing yourself to take slightly longer breaks). Good idea? Bad idea?

(2) Alternating a session of 1,2,3 ladders with a session of 2,3,5 (obviously with a lighter weight). Basically running two ladder sequences in parallel. Sort of an extra anti-overtraining measure: aka light session / heavy session. Good idea? Bad idea?

(3) Just a general question. Obviously they won't work forever. :)) How do I know when to stop flogging the dead hourse?
If the protocol works for you then it is a good idea, I like the heavy/lighter idea and might try that, I ran ladders for my bench exclusivly and my bench went up about 15 pounds, really good for an advanced lifter, took me about 2 months, many strong lifters do a push/ pull system and it has worked for ages, thanks for the ideas will try that, when it quit working I did something differant and went lighter and went back to ladders like I am doing now and once I go back to ladders they will probably be back up again.
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Postby Shoot fighter » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:31 pm

Ilyusha wrote:Oh yeah, and last one. I need to get from a 142.5 bench to 150 bench in 3 months. Don't give a fuck about any other lifts and after three months my life as I know it ends. So just one goal, but I really-really want to make it.

Would ladders be the recomened "most likley to lead to success" approach or is there some other magic benching routine that I should take up?
If you cut back on the other lifts, that really should be doable.
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Postby Shoot fighter » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:32 pm

Luke, you said you worked 1,2,3 most of last year ,what kind of gains did you get? like was said ,I too need to lighten up a bit, I grinded too many and had to rest, to be more conservative and not get greedy.
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Postby Luke » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:20 pm

I didn't really take a proper max much at all last year, and wasnt training nearly as often as I should have been. However, my bench rose 20kg, if Tucherer's 1RM calculator is to be believed at times my log told me I glanced 30kg but I never tested it and how accurate is that? I put about 50kg on my squat - and could have doubled the max I hit that night.

My 4 board max became my 1 board max with some in the tank.

I didn't deadlift much at all so it's hard to say what could have been, I got better repping heavier weights I know that - and my power clean jumped indirectly.

That was from May/June - October/November

For benching, after awhile there was a max effort day on Shaf's recommendation and I rotated those exercises. I hit the daily max, then dropped it down 80-90% to do ladders.

By years end, I was doing a comfortable 6 x 3 with a weight I couldn't hit for a single at the start of the year too. A lot had to do with form but that was a pretty stark example to me.
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.

Postby Ilyusha » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:25 am

Thank you for your advice gentlemen.
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Postby Shoot fighter » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:11 pm

That is good progress Luke, ladders work well for me but again I need to lighten it up a bit and go for quality, I might try rotating lifts too on the bench more often with those that are similar, works for me.
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Postby The Natural » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:16 pm

How many of my P&B writings have you translated into Russian? For a nation with such a greed for domination in strength sports, I would assume you have translated the entire corpus.
[quote="Fanny Baws"]Spirits are detrimental to my training though and I may spend time coming to terms with my actions rather than lifting anything.[/quote]
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Postby The Natural » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:29 pm

Ilion wrote:The Natural

Well, strength sport is just my hobby, and I`m not a professional translator.
That`s why I`ve translated all P&B only twice. And it was just a warm-up...


If you have indeed translated all of P&B even once, my heart bleeds for you. Translating even one thread in the Rant would be enough to cause madness.
[quote="Fanny Baws"]Spirits are detrimental to my training though and I may spend time coming to terms with my actions rather than lifting anything.[/quote]
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Postby Luke » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:10 pm

Shoot fighter wrote:That is good progress Luke, ladders work well for me but again I need to lighten it up a bit and go for quality, I might try rotating lifts too on the bench more often with those that are similar, works for me.


How about you try Dan John's 40 Day thing? I'm using it to get back into training, as after my layoff, I have little idea of where everything's at. Because I have been training on and off over the past couple of months, and being full of youthful exuberance, when I'm up to it on some days I'm tacking ladders onto the ends of workouts. 1 per lift. Because they don't hit you like a regular set, it's a quick and sneaky way of getting more volume in.

After 4 days (with 1-2 training days in the week left), I had more waaay more volume than an entire week before things got derailed in feb. Interested to see where this'll go.
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Postby Papa_Pauly » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:18 am

The Natural wrote:
Ilion wrote:The Natural

Well, strength sport is just my hobby, and I`m not a professional translator.
That`s why I`ve translated all P&B only twice. And it was just a warm-up...


If you have indeed translated all of P&B even once, my heart bleeds for you. Translating even one thread in the Rant would be enough to cause madness.


As if simply reading P&B wouldn't already do the trick.
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Postby Shoot fighter » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:09 am

Ilion wrote:A topic for discussion.
What do you think about some kind of progress checkpoints integration in ladders concept?
I think it may be useful for those who plan to use ladders for a long time without movements rotation.
Idea is simple - it`s necessary to find some way of rep or reps max estimation and then determine a working weight for ladders.
As Shaf said each reps of ladders should be crisp, whithout grinding. But if you use ladders for a long time once weight will become too heavy. Now you should change a movement or, I think it`s possible, to reset weight using some critria. And for this progress checkpoints may be used.
There are some options I see:

Option 1. You can find out maximum number of reps with some weight (may be in ~5-10 reps zone), then estimate your 1RM using any formula you prefer, take a 80% from this weight and continue doing ladders starting from 80% of estimated 1RM. Disadvantage - after working for a long time with low reps far from failure one HITish set may become a problem.

Option 2. Find out your 3RM @8.5-9 RPE (like Tusherer`s daily max). Then reduce this weight by 10-15% and continue doing ladders with this weight. Now you have 2 targets:
1) to do 3x(1;2;3)@8RPE with weight you "stalled" before
2) to do 3x(1;2;3)@8RPE with previously estimated 3RM

So, now we have wave-style cycles without predetermined length, with progress checkpoints between, two "targets" for next cycle and ladders prescribed autoregulation inside each cycle.

Example:
Start: 8RMx3x(1;2;3) -> progression -> started grinding, weight too heavy, close to wall -> progress checkpoint: 3RM @8.5-9RPE tested (you`ve got X kg/lbs) -> continue from (X - 10-15%)x3x(1;2;3) -> progression -> 3x(1;2;3) with weight you`ve "stalled" before -> ... -> 3x(1;2;3) with your previous 3RM -> e.t.c using progress checkpoints when necessary.

P.S. Excuse me for my English, my native language is Russian.
P.P.S. We have also translated in Russian almost everythigh about ladders, we had found on powerandbulk, IGx and some other forums. And some lifters started using them. You may find our translation at: http://indians.umsn.ru/ph0rume/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=80
I am not smart enough to understand what you are saying but yes, ladders work well and when they quit working take off 10% and work back up, KISS for me.
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Postby Shoot fighter » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:13 am

Luke wrote:
Shoot fighter wrote:That is good progress Luke, ladders work well for me but again I need to lighten it up a bit and go for quality, I might try rotating lifts too on the bench more often with those that are similar, works for me.


How about you try Dan John's 40 Day thing? I'm using it to get back into training, as after my layoff, I have little idea of where everything's at. Because I have been training on and off over the past couple of months, and being full of youthful exuberance, when I'm up to it on some days I'm tacking ladders onto the ends of workouts. 1 per lift. Because they don't hit you like a regular set, it's a quick and sneaky way of getting more volume in.

After 4 days (with 1-2 training days in the week left), I had more waaay more volume than an entire week before things got derailed in feb. Interested to see where this'll go.
Read a bit on the 40 day protocal before but the velocity diet thing turned me off, (I hate nothing but protien powder and water) but Dan John has some good , simple stuff.
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Postby Newguy1 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:02 am

Shaf et al.

Anyone utilise any form of taper before testing the single i.e. throwing in a set/RPE cap to keep the final week lighter? Or just take a couple days off and blow it up?
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Postby Ilyusha » Tue May 08, 2012 2:33 am

Ilyusha wrote:Oh yeah, and last one. I need to get from a 142.5 bench to 150 bench in 3 months. Don't give a fuck about any other lifts and after three months my life as I know it ends. So just one goal, but I really-really want to make it.

Would ladders be the recomened "most likley to lead to success" approach or is there some other magic benching routine that I should take up?


Just in case another "testimony" was needed - got 150 kg yesterday. Took about 5-6 weeks.

Didn't do the whole supersetting thing, just followed benching with a few sets of pull-ups or rows or tarp-bar deads. Alternated 1,2,3 days with 2,3,5 days. Lifted every other day (work/life permitting)
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Postby Luke » Wed May 09, 2012 6:35 am

Ilyusha wrote:
Just in case another "testimony" was needed - got 150 kg yesterday. Took about 5-6 weeks.

Didn't do the whole supersetting thing, just followed benching with a few sets of pull-ups or rows or tarp-bar deads. Alternated 1,2,3 days with 2,3,5 days. Lifted every other day (work/life permitting)


Nice! What was your intensity like on the 2,3,5 days compared to the 1,2,3?
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Postby Ilyusha » Wed May 09, 2012 1:34 pm

My last full set of three ladders was on 132.5kg for the 1,2,3 day and on 125kg for the 2,3,5 day.

And I was clearly heading for te wall there. Those numbers would not have gone higher without backing off first.
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Postby Shoot fighter » Tue May 15, 2012 6:34 am

Ilyusha wrote:My last full set of three ladders was on 132.5kg for the 1,2,3 day and on 125kg for the 2,3,5 day.

And I was clearly heading for te wall there. Those numbers would not have gone higher without backing off first.
Good to hear you hit a peak, backing off is always good after then going for it again good if warranted.
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Postby Papa_Pauly » Wed May 16, 2012 7:26 am

Been doing 3(1,2,3) with the bench for 2 months now.
I dropped two weight classes in PL in one year and now the bench is almost back up to my previous max.
Starting to do the same for squat and deadlift with the routine-

Day 1 - Bench
Day 2 - Squat
Day 3 - Bench
Day 4 - Deadlift

(repeat)
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