Jacobs Ladder for Interval Training, from a World Class Trainer

peakWe’re grateful to post here Joe Dowdell’s favorite ways to use the Jacob’s Ladder for intervals.  Joe is founder and CEO of Peak Performance in NYC.  It was Joe that first put us on the map with The Biggest Loser.  He is not only considered one of the country’s top Personal Trainers, he owns one of the top PT training gyms in the country.  [Note:  Here is a link for those of you wanting to know more about the term “RPE”.]

Favorite ways to use the Jacobs Ladder is for intervals.

For beginners, I like to use 60 seconds of work (RPE of 6-7) followed by 2 minute recovery. Start with 5 work intervals and work up to 8 of them over the course of 4-6 weeks. Perform the interval workout 2-3 times per week either immediately following your strength training session or on the days in between sessions. On days where the client is just doing the Ladder workout, I like to have them perform a light dynamic warm up prior to the session. As far as the progression goes, a good rule of thumb is to try to add one additional round of intervals each week (or every two weeks) depending on the clients current fitness level.

For intermediate/advanced clients, I like to use a few different options depending on their goal as well as the current fitness level.

Option #1: 30 seconds of work (RPE of 8-9) followed by 60 seconds of rest. Start with 10 intervals and work up to 15 of them over the course of 4-6 weeks. Perform the interval workout 2-3 times per week either immediately following your strength training session or on the days in between sessions. On days where the client is just doing the Ladder workout, I like to have them perform a light dynamic warm up prior to the session. As far as the progression goes, a good rule of thumb is to try to add 1 additional round of intervals each week.

Option #2: 60 seconds of work (RPE of 8-9) followed by 60 seconds of rest. Start with 6 intervals and work up to 10 of them over the course of 4-6 weeks. Perform the interval workout 2-3 times per week either immediately following your strength training session or on the days in between sessions. On days where the client is just doing the Ladder workout, I like to have them perform a light dynamic warm up prior to the session. As far as the progression goes, a good rule of thumb is to try to add 1 additional round of intervals each week.

Option #3: 120 seconds of work (RPE of 7-8) followed by 60 seconds of recovery. Start with 4 intervals and work up to 8 of them over the course of 4-6 weeks. For the work interval, use an RPE of 8-9. Perform the interval workout 2-3 times per week either immediately following your strength training session or on the days in between sessions. On days where the client is just doing the Ladder workout, I like to have them perform a light dynamic warm up. As far as the progression, a good rule of thumb is to try to add 1 additional round of intervals each week.

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