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More Training Info > Ladder Training to Increase Pullups

Ladder Training to Increase Pullups

Q: What do you mean by "ladder training" and how can I apply that to my pullup workout?

A: Ah, one of my very favorite exercises for increasing pullup endurance! This is something I read about in one of Pavel Tsatsouline's articles in the December, 2000 issue of Milo. It's a simple concept, and something you can do quite easily with or without a training partner. You can do ladders for pullups, squats, pushups, or any other desired compound exercise. It's a perfect thing to try if you're pressed for time.

One caveat, however: if you're going to try them for pullups, you need to be able to do at least 4 or 5 in a row. If you can't, you can use the Gravitron on a near-maximum setting, or do them with floor assisted pullups Here's how it works:

Do 1 pullup, hop off the bar, and let your partner do one (or, if you train alone like I do, take a few seconds break and imagine someone else taking the time to complete their repetition.) Then hop back up and do 2, and drop down so your partner can do 2, then 3 rest 3, try 4 rest 4 and so on until you find a number that you cannot complete.  Drop back down and start again with 1, ramping back up until you reach fatigue. Someone who can do 5 pullups in a row but who wants to increase endurance might do a ladder like this: 1 2 3 1 2 1 for 10 repetitions in a set, double their current level. Once they can make it to 4, the ladder might be 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 1 2 1 for 20 repetitions, 4 times starting point.  You can immediately see how this will increase finger, forearm, lat and core endurance and translate to the endurance needed on a climbing wall where sometimes you can link together a series of moves, and other times you stop to rest.

Happy pulling! Share your success stories with us!



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