Friday, August 20, 2010

The Queen of Ladders

Although I am the self proclaimed Queen of Swing, my second kingdom would be that of "Ladders"! Anyone who has trained with me, or by me, knows this to be true.

When I design a workout I never know where the starting point is going to be, but I know it's going to get progressively harder set, by set, by set. The key word here is progressively. I'm all about building up the intensity of my workouts, brick, by brick. Or easing up on the intensity by simply turning around and going in the opposite direction.

"Ladders", or "ladder combinations" are infinite, and therefore never boring. I won't get into all of the variables in this blogpost, because I may need to make my next DVD about this subject.

For instance the workout written below ladders up the weight of the bell for the first 2 rotations (16kg - 40kg), but then it ladders down the length of each rotation by, again, laddering down the number of sets in each rotation, progressively.....laddering down the intensity by removing the last, hardest, or heaviest KB. You can also do the same exact workout in REVERSE! Or how about this? Do it twice, once in each direction....laddering up, and then laddering down....or, do it twice in reverse!

You see, I just gave you multiple workouts. Same weights...but oops, there's more..... If you double the workout, you just laddered up your workout time!

Here's a picture of the bells I used to end my Thursday dbl KB workout....the main workout, loaded with heavy dbl presses, swings and cleans, just wasn't enough, but I only had about 15 minutes before my next class.

All sets were 10 reps, 15 sec work/rest)

16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, 32kg, 40kg
16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, 32kg, 40kg
16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, 32kg,
16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 28kg,
16kg, 20kg, 24kg,
16kg, 20kg,

14 minutes 280 swings

Of course this was not preplanned, and as I've mentioned before my OCD would have made it into an even 15 minutes of swings....don't worry, the new and improved "Swing / Weight Ladder" will make another apperance!

PS Equinox didn't have a 36kg available so I was forced to use the 40kg. Dang! After all of those heavy presses I really felt those heavy bells in my upper back, but never in my grip.


Tina said...

Hi Tracy,

I have a question about the new dvd. I was thinking of getting a second copy as a gift for a friend. She has never used kettlebells before but she was really inspired by your story and wants to learn. In addition to teaching your methods with the swing, do you teach the actual swing in the dvd? She needs to learn how to swing. She doesn't have the money to see an RKC right now so I was hoping the dvd would help in that area.


Tracy Reifkind said...


Unfortunately the DVD does not teach the swing.

What area are you (she) in? Maybe I can offer some suggestions.

Tina said...

Hi Tracy,

We are both in the nyc area. I will just let her borrow one of my instructional dvds and then maybe for xmas get her a session with an RKC. Thanks.


Tracy Reifkind said...


You have a lucky friend!

I wanted to let you know.....I have a new student in my "Learn to Swing" class that had attended my workshop without ever having done a KB swing prior....

3 months have gone by....

he was totally motivated to keep swinging, with no further RKC instruction, just a few bells at the local gym. He showed up for class last week, and let me tell you....I was amazed at his improvement.

I asked him in class today (his 2nd class) if he learned enough from the workshop to continue on his own. He obviously did, AND he was motivated by the experience! Smart man!

Good luck to your friend. Let her know she can email anytime with questions or concerns.

Tina said...

Thanks Tracy!

Diana said...

You know what I fan I am of any ladder!
I came up with another new one the other day! The options, truly, ARE endless!
Definitely a great way to use bigger bells when just starting with them.