Q.for Joel Marion on ladders.
I started my first mini set today and it went like this:- 1 10 secs, 2 10 secs, 3 10 secs, 1 10 secs, 2 10 secs, 1 . finish.
Have i got this right? Do i have a longer rest between mini sets? On the second mini set i new i would not get 3 so i started back at 1. When i go to the gymn on Wednesday do i start at one with the same weight? If i get 4 on my first mini set, do i start at 1 again? Do i go through the 2 weeks with the same weight and try to beat each mini set? What if by Monday of the second week i can do 6 reps?etc
Do you get my point?
Dave Freeman

You seem to have a good understanding of the protocol. Yes, you use the same weight and the object is to increase the reps (and you will). The rest intervals remain at 10 seconds; this is a little different than doing pullups with a partner (where the rest interval increases with the volume), but in light of the big picture, a few seconds isn’t going to make a significant difference.

I'm going to bump a thread up in which I tried to clear up some ambiguity in the ladder's title is "Increasing Your Bench."

Thanks for putting me right joel.I’ll let you know how i get on in 2 months.By the way my stats are 52 yrs old 77kgs. I bench 105kgs drugfree, squat 120kgs and d/lift 145kgs. I am only trying to up my bench at this moment.I was also hoping to use Myostatin only during the ladders but even though i thought i ordered in good time i have not yet received it.
Dave Freeman

If you are referring to the original ladder regarding increasing your bench, I looked it up, poster recommended 1 minute between rungs of the ladder, 3-5 minutes between ladders. Except for body weight chins, rest is the time it takes to complete rep, ideally with a buddy, you do a rep, he or she does a rep, you do two, they do 2, you cant get anoter rep> start over at 1
another cool progression is from Ehtan Reeve’s, wake forrest coach. To get more reps in a body weight exercise like chins, get max, use as base or set goal at 20. take whatever total you want of those and double it. initially, sets of 2, start every minute, say 20 chins is your goal. target reps is then 40. do 20 sets of 2, takes 20 minutes. when that gets easy, do 13 sets of three in 13 minutes, easy? 10 sets of 4 in 10 minutes, etc. (8 x5, 7x6) max weight is different, too long to explain here. will post if ya want. He has reported excellent results with his trainees. I like it as a drill sarge approach to charles stayley’s EDT, you know when to go exactly

This is not the protocol that David was referring to.

was offering only another way to skin a cat. If he was referring to the protocol that Jason Brice used and detailed in the dragondoor forum, he later, after introducing the the protocol, elaborated that he did indeed wait one minute between rungs of the ladder, 3-5 minutes between ladders. Tried to find it, but their forum search is weak, I locked it up looking, spent 45 minutes. I will continue looking, and try to get confirm, but this may indeed be a wholly different protocol. I like the idea of 10 secs rest too. Hell, any measuring with the goal of continued improvement is good. There are so many out there. Pavel ladder, yours, Jason’s, Charles Staley’s, Ethan Reeves. Tough to not get involved and be a CRC, chronic routine changer. Thanks for your continued contributions Joel!

Joel, I am confused. He said that he got 1-2-3-1-2-1 on the ladders part. I thought you said that after the 3 rep part, even if you could not get 4 reps, you should still attempt it anyway, so you might come up with 1-2-3-2-1-2.

Also, how many sets of ladders are you meant to do for each exercise? Just one?

At the start when you’re adding 5 pounds each day trying to hit your 5RM, what if you hit your 5RM for one exercise (eg bench) and not for the others? (squat, deadlift).

Thanks buddy. If you could find the actual Brice post, that would be interesting. Also, I know a number of people who have used the 10 second protocol and have done well. I’m on the ladder portion of the bench program as we speak, I’m actually thinking of upping it to Mon-Fri as oppose to every other day (one set). I’ll get back to the other poster later…I need to study…2 more finals!


Good luck on your finals. I used a lower rest period and it didn’t work for me. I stumbled across his later post after calling it a failure for me. Trouble is, Dragondoors site is real tough to search. I did go back 99 posts at a time, but as I was getting nearer, my machine locked up. Memory and speed wasn’t the prob, p4 1.7 gig with 256 ram on a lan, and I hear others complaining of it as well. I’ll try to look again, but this third time will have to be the last.


If you just push up the last rep of a mini-set, go ahead and start back at one; however, if the rep went up relatively easy, go ahead and attempt the next mini-set even if though you may not get the desired amount of reps.

You will hit your 5RM on the bench first. Go ahead and start ladders and stick to the 1x5's for squats and deads. With the shorter rest periods and only one set of ladders per workout, I think it is OK to up the frequency to Mon-Fri.

On the linear cycle Mon-Fri. I only have to do 3sets per workout [1xsquat 1xbench 1xdeadlift ] or 5x5 of each exercises?Sorry i just need to clear this up :slight_smile:

3 sets per workout (1 dead, 1 squat, 1 bench)

I found Jason Brices response, The ladders are done with your 5RM. You also need longer rest when you train for strength than you do when training for size or endurance. Rest times should be 2-5 min. Do 1 rep with your 5RM, rest 2-5 min., 2 reps and rest 2-5 min., then 3 reps and rest 2-5 min., then start over at 1 rep, ect. Repeat until your form gets “shaky”.

Jason Brice
it is a thread under meassage 68652
So I don’t know how I am going to approach this. I am thinking of cycling the three lifts, one doing 5 rep sets, one going to a timed appraoch, using a 5 rep max and doing 1 rep a minute for 10, then switching to 5 sets of 2 reps, every minute, then 3x3, while the third using this ladder approach. I don’t like squats, so hmmmmmmm. hell I don’t know. Gotta work chins in or rows. Too much planning, not enough lifting. going to the gym, gonna try to get a 5rm with 315, estab that as a ladder start point

So he never actually did more than 3 reps? I’m having a good time with the 10 second protocol trying to increase the “total” reps.

Now I’m really confused. Jay, you said the original Brice protocol consisted of 2-5 min rest periods between each ‘rung’ of the ladder. Once and for all, which is better for increasing maximum strength (not more reps)? short rest times (10 sec) or 2-5 mins? also with the 2-5 mins rest times, it seems like you will be able to get far more reps than if you only took short rests (so for example, you might get 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-2-1-2-1 or something long like that), so would you need more recovery between days? (instead of mon to fri)

your 10 seconds is good, but maybe as the pounds go up, the need for more rest just to keep up the intensity is needed? who knows. The advantage that your 10seconds rest is that it is planned and reproducable. with a wide range listed, it leaves a lot to uncertainty. I like planned, to the letter training. What do you think about taking the 1 set of 5 per day M-F or whatever, down to 3 or 4 reps as a target date approaches?? not much lower i imagine, but maybe to 3. Like to hear your thoughts as well.

I’m sticking with the 10 secs rest.Wed was my second go and went:- 1-10 secs, 2-10 secs,3-hard, new i wouln’t get 4 so 10 secs rest 1- 10 secs 2-10 secs , 2 finish. this is 1 more than Monday! Stay tuned.
David Freeman

congrats on your “body transformation”. Obviously you put in effort and time. My questions is how did you have your body composition measured in order to come up with a figure of +22.5 LBM gained in 12 weeks, DEXA? hydrostatic weighing? K40? or unreliable calipers or BIA?

whats best? I have mulled on that for a while. I defintately don’t like ambiguous resting 3-5 between rungs AND ladders. I am going to go with starting on the minute. I have a timer that I use, bought it for EDT, and am going to start each rung on the :00, be it 10 seconds for the 3 reps or 4 for 1 or whatever. I will start each rung at the start of the minute, resting 3-5 minutes between rungs, aiming for 3 ladders, 3x/week. Its a compromise between the :10 that Joel proposed and the 3-5 minutes that Jason Brice proposed. what I think, just a guess here, is that should there be a low strength endurance, say you get a round about 1 rep max, and you can only get 2 or three with 90% of that, my guess is that the longer rests would be better than a person that can bang out 4-5+ with the same 90%. I haven’t read or can’t recall how long a strength cycle should last. My guess is that 2 weeks or so of m-f of 1 set 5reps, followed by two weeks of ladders on m-f, 4 week cycle, shouldn’t be repeated for more than say 4 cycles, maybe only three. (3 is 3months) too long a cycle yeilds diminished T levels. I am trying to make an assault on 405 in the bench, hit 4 good with 315 only using the standard 5 reps, so I am going to use the 1 minute for a go. hell, come up with something and give it a whack.