What the heck is a Fat Burning Ladder workout?
A Ladder Workout is a training technique that I often use, especially with bodyweight / calisthenics workouts. It’s also one of the training methods I will be introducing in my upcoming ebook/ video program, Bodyweight MASS Builder. It’s a high-intensity, high-volume super-set workout that will build muscle, increase muscular endurance, and burn fat. It’s a simple but challenging form of antagonist supersetting that you can apply to almost any exercises, but which I find particularly well suited to body weight exercises.
Here’s how you perform this workout protocol: choose two exercises, typically one pushing movement and one pulling movement (antagonist muscle groups), OR a lower body exercise paired up with an upper body exercise, and you super-set these two exercises, moving back and forth between them with minimal rest. But here’s where the ‘ladder’ technique gets interesting: you begin with only ONE repetition on one exercise and gradually increase reps on every set, and you start with a high number of reps on the other exercise and gradually decrease reps on each set. One exercise moves up the ladder in reps and the other one moves down.
Here’s an example, starting with 1 to 10 repetitions, which should be suitable for most beginners: Continue reading
A recent study suggested that even fit women can’t do pull ups (or chin ups), and it went on to explain why. Although it’s obviously more challenging for women to perform pull ups than it is for men (due to differences in muscle mass and leverage), I do have some concerns with how this poorly designed study was conducted. First of all, according to the New York Times, here is the basic outline of the study:
“The Dayton researchers recruited 17 women of normal weight who were unable to perform a single pull-up. They then trained them for three months, prescribing exercises to strengthen their upper bodies, improve their aerobic fitness and lower their body fat.
All that training produced results: the women’s upper-body strength increased by 36 per cent and their body fat was reduced by 2 per cent. But they failed to produce the main result researchers were looking for: only four of the 17 women were able to perform a pull-up.”
Click the link above to learn more about how they performed the study.
Do you remember those old TV commercials for that home safety product called “LifeCall”, where an older lady is lying on the floor beside her walker shouting “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”? I know that line has been spoofed uncountable times, but the thought of not being able to move or lift your own body weight is kinda scary. That’s sort of how I feel about body weight strength training… it’s great to be strong in the gym, but if you can’t lift, push, or pull your own body weight, then that strength may have less functional carry-over to your daily life.
I’ve known for years that exercises that involve moving your own body have a high degree of nervous system and muscular activation, and I’ve always included exercises such as dips, pushups, and chin ups in my strength training routine. However, lately I’ve decided to take this style of training to the next level, by setting myself the goal of being able to perform single leg squats, handstand pushups, and muscle-ups.
Muscle-Ups are a challenging progression of chin ups and pull ups, involving pulling yourself up to an overhead bar (or gymnastics rings) and then transitioning into a full dip, pressing yourself up on the bar until your arms are fully extended.