Ladder Workouts for Bootcamps
What is a Ladder Workout?
A ladder workout can be a superset or circuit (or a mixture) where you start with a specific amount of reps (8 for example) and you complete 8 reps of all exercises, then complete 7 reps, etc., etc., until you complete 1 rep of each exercise. Depending on the program length, difficulty, etc., etc., you can actually go back up as well. So, after you complete 1 rep of each exercise, you would then start working your way back up to the starting point. So your next round would be to complete 2 reps and so on and so on
I like to use ladders in a bootcamps every once in a while because it will challenge your campers. The idea is to rest only when you need to. I even like to use them in my own workouts, too.
So, let’s do a ladder style bootcamp workout:
Warm-up(perform the following circuit twice, resting for 1 minute between circuits)
Jumping Jacks (20 secs)
Prisoner Squat (20 secs) <== this is when you perform a bodyweight squat while keeping your hands behind your head and squeezing your shoulder blades together
Pushups (20 secs)
Leg Swings (20 secs/side)
Plank (20 secs)
Ladder Circuit 1 – Do the following circuit, resting only when needed. Have your campers simply jump back in when they can after they catch their breath. In the first circuit, you will perform 8 reps. In the next circuit, you will perform 7 reps. Continue in this fashion until you complete 1 rep of each exercise. Then rest 2 minutes, followed by circuit 2
1A) Bodyweight Split Squat (8/leg, 7/leg, etc., etc. down to 1/leg)
1B) Bodyweight Strap Row or Band Row (8, 7, etc., etc. down to 1)
1C) Close-Grip Pushups (8, 7, etc., etc. down to 1)
Ladder Ab Circuit 2 – Same way as the above circuit
2A) Spiderman Climb (8/side, 7/side, etc., etc. down to 1/side)
2B) Total Body Extension (8, 7, etc., etc. down to 1)
2C) X-Body Mountain Climber (8/side, 7/side, etc., etc. down to 1/side)
Metabolic Finisher Ladder
Do the following finisher, resting only when needed (just keep it going – your campers can jump back in when they catch their breath). In the first circuit, you will perform 5 reps, in the next circuit, you will perform 4 reps. Continue in this fashion until you complete 1 rep of each exercise. Awesome. You’re halfway. Now work your way back up. Your next circuit will then be 2 reps of each exercise, etc., etc. until you complete 5 reps of each exercise.
3A) Lunge Jumps (starting with 5/side)
3B) Pushups (starting with 5)
3C) KB or DB Swings (starting with 5)
That was ridiculous. Awesome, but ridiculous.
Now your entire workout doesn’t have to be ladders, either. You can actually incorporate ladders along with your normal type of routines. For example, you can use just one ladder like this:
You could also use a ladder as just a finisher. In other words, you could do your normal bootcamp workout and end it with a finisher using the ladder technique.
I’ve used the ladder technique before with the burpee/chin-up combo and pushups. That’s good times (no, not really).
So gather around in a big circle kids – what did we learn today?
1) How to use just 2 moves for an effective workout and they are great for “homework assignments” for bootcampers because there isn’t much to remember. They also get to lose fat even when they are on vacation or can’t make it to all your bootcamp sessions.
2) Ladders can bring a whole new challenge and fun approach to your bootcamp workouts. Just be sure to thoroughly warm up before such a daunting task (ha-ha, I said “daunting”. I never say that word)
3) You can use a ladder as a unique way to finish off your bootcamp workouts (your clients will “dig” them).
Keeping yout bootcamp workouts drenched in awesome sauce,
Mike Whitfield, CTT
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