Deconstructing Ladder Training

Happy 4th of July to all my American Friends!

I hope you enjoy a great day with your friends and families taking a break, eating delicious BBQ grilled food and sipping the beverage of your choice.

I think I may have caused some confusion with the ETKB ladder workout that I posted in my previous blog posts.

Click HERE for the orignal post on Pressing Ladders.

One of the things that I forgot to mention is how to cycle your intensity so that you're not burning out.

For example, if you are doing 5 ladders of 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 reps, well that's 75 total reps per arm of cleans & presses.  If you did that 3 times per week for the next 5 weeks with a kettlebell that you could press 8-10 times, I'd pretty much guarantee that you'll burn yourself out or worse, GET INJURED.

So how do we structure our week so that so that we're not doing a maximum number of reps per workout, 3 times per week?

Well, we decrease the volume.

In your pressing workout, you'll need to have HIGH, Medium and low intensity days built within your week.  Ideally, Monday would be a Medium intensity day, Wednesday or Thursday would be a HIGH (or heavy) day and Friday or Saturday would be a Low (or light) intensity day.

For example, my current training week looks like this:

Monday – Medium Intensity
Tuesday – Variety Day
Wednesday – OFF
Thursday – Heavy Day
Friday – Light Day
Saturday – OFF
Sunday – Variety Day

Everything that you do throughout the week should be based off of your HEAVY DAY.  So, if you're doing  5 ladders of 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 reps on your heavy day, then – based on the schedule above – your week should look like this:

Monday – Medium Intensity – 5 ladders of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 50 total reps
Tuesday – Variety Day
Wednesday – OFF
Thursday – Heavy Day – 5 ladders of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 75 total reps
Friday – Light Day – 5 ladders of 1, 2, 3 or 30 total reps
Saturday – OFF
Sunday – Variety Day

So if you take a look at the above schedule, you're making sure that you're only working at your max intensity ONE DAY PER WEEK.  In fact, the heavy day is always scheduled on Wednesday or Thursday because – according to Russian training journals – that is the average person's strongest day.

A schedule like this will keep your fresh and ready to go both mentally and physically.  I don't know about you, but when I cycle the intensity of my workouts like the schedule above, I'm roaring to go on the Heavy Day and never feel burnt out or unmotivated (a sure sign of overtraining) to do my workout.

A few reminders…

1. Take days OFF.  There are 2 strict OFF days in this schedule because the training that's done is intense.  Reward yourself on the OFF days and relax.  You can do something active like go for a bike ride or a hike or play with your kids or something.  But do yourself a favor and DON'T TRAIN.

2. Variety days are there for practice.  In my schedule, I play soccer on Sundays so I use that as my Variety Day.  It's another relatively intense activity that I enjoy (and am definitely sore afterwards).  For the record, I am going into my 4th soccer game EVER.  I have never played soccer (even as a kid), and so this was a lesson to show my kids that even Daddy isn't afraid to get out of his comfort zone.

In my next post, I'll give you a specific workout that I've been doing on my Tuesday Variety Day to help with my current training.

Until then, Happy 4th of July!

Chris Lopez, RKC

P.S. All of the above information and more can be found in Pavel's book, Enter the Kettlebell and the workout outlined above is the Rite of Passage Workout.


1 Comment

  • Reply July 4, 2012

    jerry baxley

    chris, need video’s on doing these workouts th right way! thanks,jerry 972-854-4984

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