Ladders are one of the most underutilized tools when it comes to programming for building strength, size, and especially fat loss. They’re a fantastic way to get in a ton of overall volume, while also taxing you to the point of utter physical exhaustion.
The problem with most ladder workouts is that guys forget they’re actually men and do them with cheap bodyweight exercises like squats or push-ups. And sure, that’s alright if you just want to get your heart rate up.
But if you want to make actual real changes in your body, the kind of changes that leave people staring at you wondering how the hell you got to look so freaking awesome, then you need to use a combination of exercises that isn’t for the faint of heart.
Luckily that’s exactly what we’ve got here today.
Pull-ups and front squats. Two of the best overall lifts you could do for building total body strength and size. The pull-up is by far and away one of the best cure all movements someone could do for building a wide back, big arms, and great shoulders.
The front squat on the other hand also does a great job of building a strong back, but it taxes the abs and shoulders as well. Oh, and the legs. You can’t forget about the legs. But something tells me you won’t, because they’ll be screaming.
When paired together in a superset they create a feeling of self-hatred so intense that it should probably be outlawed. The beautiful thing is that pairing the two of them together in a ladder means that you’re not going to be lifting for more than 20-30 minutes, but I can promise you, that’s all you need.
The combo of these two works like nothing else I’ve seen when it comes to building size, strength, and stripping away body fat.
Here’s how you do it.
Set up a barbell to front squat with your body weight, and then do 10 reps. Follow that with 1 rep of pull-ups. And then work your way down and up.
So this particular workout would look like:
- Front squat x10 – Pull-up x1
- Front squat x9 – Pull-up x2
- Front squat x8 – Pull-up x3
- Front squat x7 – Pull-up x4
- Front squat x6 – Pull-up x5
- Front squat x5 – Pull-up x6
- Front squat x4 – Pull-up x7
- Front squat x3 – Pull-up x8
- Front squat x2 – Pull-up x9
- Front squat x1 – Pull-up x10
Try to rest no more than about 60 seconds between each set, and if you’re an absolute monster, cap your rest periods at 45 seconds. You’ll hate life, but you’ll look better because of it.
This is the type of workout that you can’t do all the time though, so keep that in mind. It’s best to give an intense ladder workout like this a try no more than 1x per week, and on a day that would typically be your conditioning day.
Give it a try bros. I think you’ll enjoy it.