02 Sep The Kettlebell Ladder for Variety, Progression, and Performance

LadderGot your kettlebell fundamentals down and looking for more workout challenges?

If not, be sure to save this article for another day then, but if you do, you’ll get a lot out of this workout.

So, you want more workout variety, progression, and performance (VPP)?

Kettlebell ladders are a great way to turn up your training. Let me explain how this works so you reap the benefits of this effective training protocol.

First, realize that one of the most effective ways to dial up your strength training, overall program intensity, and total body conditioning is by incorporating “ladders” into your program.

You can do rep ladders, which I’ll explain here.  And, there’s also a “weight ladder” workout that I’m testing out right now and will provide more feedback on that in the future.

For now, let’s look at the rep ladders.

Here’s how it would work.  You pick up a kettlebell you can comfortably press in the 5 to 8 rep range.  Let’s assume this is a 24 kg kettlebell for this example.

You pick it up, clean and press it once, switch hands, and do the other arm.  Take a short rest, pick it up, clean and press it twice each arm, rest, then go for three reps each arm, and rest.   That is one ladder, 12 reps in all.  Each “rung” is a set of reps (1, 2, or 3 in this case).

Now, repeat another ladder for 2 more sets.  So, you have 6 reps per arm (1, then 2, then 3) times the 3 ladders or sets for 18 reps per arm total work, right?  That’s a rep ladder, working up in reps each time, 1 then 2, the 3.  3 sets of 6 reps is your 18 reps per side.

The next week’s progression, you could add a ladder working up to 5 ladders or 30 reps of work (6 reps x 5 ladders of 1, 2, & 3). Are you with me?

The next progression with the rep ladder is to take it up to 4 reps.  So, 1 rep each side, then 2, then 3, then 4.  Now, you’re doing 10 reps (as opposed to 6), per ladder, per arm.  Work up your strength each week until you can go 5 ladders in this manner with quality performance.  Work up gradually.

Guess what’s next?  Now, you’re working up to 5 rep ladders.  Working up to 5 ladders of 5 reps.  Remember, it’s a progression.  For more detailed information on pressing ladders, see Enter the Kettlebell, by Pavel Tsatsouline.

How often do you do this workout?  Depends on your goals and your current training schedule, but a good schedule for strength training purposes would be to do this workout three times per week.  For the official protocol, check out the “right of passage” protocol in Enter the Kettlebell.

Ladders are hard, just to let you know.  But, they are a great to build strength, power, and progress with your training.

You can do clean and press (C&P) ladders or military press (MP) ladders.

If you’ve got the your cleans and presses down and want to take your strength and performance to new levels, add ladders to your program.  It’s all about the workout Variety, Progression, and Performance (VPP).

Another fast, efficient, and highly effective workout.

Kettlebell rep ladders are a great way to address the VPP. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

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