T Nation

Canadian Ascending/Descending Ladder


Since Christian mentioned this before, and I have no clue what it is, I'd like to hear what this "Canadian Ascending/Descending Ladder" is?

Is it a pyramid and reverse pyramind rep scheme? Also, what applications does it typically have?


do a search...


Panda - It is a routine designed to build power. It has nothing to do with "ladders" - that's a different training technique altogether.

I searched T-mag and the Internet as a whole and came up with the following:

From a post by CT and others, includes sample routines both for lower and upper body:


From an article on the Internet:


Interestingly, the intensities in the article are higher than the ones in the post. I'll let CT clarify as to why that is.

CT - Glad to have you back, even if it's only for a week.


The intensities of the CAD program vary depending on the training phase, just like any other periodized approach. From my upcoming book:

"Basic principles of the CAD system

As I mentioned, the CAD system?s most beautiful characteristic is its simplicity. It is really quite easy to understand. Obviously as you get into the more advanced variations (which will be presented in this book obviously) it can get a bit more complex, but nothing compared to other so-called scientific programs.

The basic premise of the CAD system is that you use a succession of various exercises working the same group of muscles but using different types of strengths (slow-speed strength, strength-speed, speed-strength, ballistic strength) as a result the nervous system and muscles get a maximal stimulation. Furthermore, the gains are much more transferable to sporting actions! Basically we could say that the CAD system is a complete strength spectrum system. Something that very few, if any programs can claim (especially not while being as simple as CAD training).

A basic CAD training workout will include 4 exercises:

a) A slow-speed strength exercise
b) A strength-speed exercise
c) A ballistic exercise
d) A shock exercise

As well as some remedial exercises (optional).

The second property of the CAD system is that you have two workouts for each group of muscles/movement (either a lower body/upper body split or push/pull/lower body split). The first workout is an ascending workout (starting with the quickest but lightest exercise) and the second workout is a descending workout (starting with the slowest but heaviest exercise).

I should mention at this point that the sets are not staggered: you do all the sets of an exercise before moving on to the next. You do not perform one set of each and restart a cycle.

The last principle of the CAD system is a reliance on ?money? exercises, or exercises involving a large group of muscles. Isolation exercises do not have their place in CAD training!"