Using a rep ladder is a great way to get some volume in while maintaining your intensity levels. A rep ladder is where you “step up” the reps during several mini-sets. Here is a great workout using this concept-
Exercise 1 – Deadlift
Exercise 2 – Chin Ups
Strength Ladder – 1/2/3 X 10 minutes
For this reps ladder you do 1 rep of the deadlifts, rest for a second, do 2 reps of the deadlift, rest for a second and then do 3 reps of deadlift. Rest for 30-60 seconds and then follow the same pattern with the chin ups(1 rep/ 2 reps/ 3 reps). Alternate back and forth between these two exercises for 10 minutes.
Exercise 1 – Shoulder Press
Exercise 2 – Swings
Metabolic Ladder – 2/3/5/10 X 10 minutes
For this ladder you will do 2 reps of the shoulder press, rest for a second, do 3 reps, rest for a second, do 5 reps, rest for a second and then finally do 10 reps (put the weight down on the floor while you rest). Rest 30-60 seconds and repeat that pattern on the swing. Alternate back and forth for 10 minutes.
Using rep ladders you are able to get more reps in with a heavier weight. For example, the Strength Rep Ladder adds up to 6 total reps (1+2+3=6). If you just did 6 straight reps you would not be able to use as much weight as you did using the rep ladder. You’ve effectively exposed you body to more reps at a higher load than you get with straight reps.
This is a great way to spice up your training and get some great strength endurance benefits as well, making it a valuable mountain bike strength training tool.