Rep Ladders

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-

Circuit 1

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.

Circuit 2

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.

-James Wilson-

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WordPress Comments:

  1. Dave says:

    That looks to be a great way to vary the mix James and easily incorporated into nay program.

    Reply • February 13 at 11:39 pm
  2. Simon says:

    Looks cool James, but is a rest of 1 second really enough to turn it from a set of 6 reps into 3 sets?? Feel like I’m missing something. Are you supposed to put the weight down for 1 second? Why do it as 1-2-3? Couldn’t you get the same result with 2 doubles? or 6 singles for that matter?

    Reply • February 14 at 2:56 pm
    • bikejames says:

      I guess I should have been more clear on the instructions – I was exagerating a bit with the “rest a second” statement. I meant that you can rest as little or as much as you feel you need to . It could only be a couple of seconds or 30+ seconds but you don’t want to wait too long or the weight was too heavy. I would say that if you have to wait more than 60 seconds between 2 or more “steps” in the rep ladder the weight was too heavy.

      And 3 doubles and 6 singles have a different effect on the body. The rep laddders are something that most have never tried and therefore will give you a different training effect than straight sets. They are all just different tools in the same tool box.

      James Wilson

      Reply • February 14 at 6:00 pm

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