In this video, TRX Professor Chris Frankel introduces us to the Ladder. Ladder training is an excellent tool for increasing overall training volume, which can be applied to pretty much any exercise and provides a great way of performing a much higher volume of work than would normally be possible training in a more traditional way. Ladder training looks like this:
Set 1=2 reps
Set 2=4 reps
Set 3=8 reps
Set 4=2 reps
Set 5=4 reps
Set 6=8 reps
In the video, Carlos performs two reps of the TRX Atomic Push-up while Steve rests. As soon as Carlos finishes, Steve performs two reps of the TRX Atomic Push-up while Carlos rests. They continue in this “I go, you go” fashion, doubling the reps each set, until they’ve done three sets, and then the ladder starts over again.
The suggested number of reps we've listed is just that, a suggestion. You can do as many (or as few) as you like, but remember, the goal here is volume! If you and your partner perform just one round (three sets), you’ll each have done 14 reps of the TRX Atomic Push-up. Not bad. Do two rounds, and that’s when your muscles will really start speaking to you; you’ll have done 28 reps of one of our toughest exercises. I’m sure there are those of you out there who will be able to climb the ladder for a while and build some serious muscular strength and endurance.
This method of repeated reps to improve specific exercise performance is called "greasing the groove". A phrase coined by Kettlebell Master Pavel Tsatsouline, greasing the groove is achieved by "practicing" lower repetition sets, about half the number of reps capable of, with longer recovery periods. Practice means perfecting the skill of the movement, using strict form without going to fatigue.
By applying the Ladder to your workouts, you will be doing more volume and therefore more reps, and you’ll soon be on your way to improving your numbers to a level which was previously just a dream. We've got one more partner drill on the TRX next week, so stay tuned!
For more on Pavel Tsatsouline, check out our latest DVD, TRX Kettlebell: Iron Circuit Conditioning.