Developed by Steve Nichols, (a former Western New York fitness champion), the Jacobs Ladder exercise provides a total body workout in a very short amount of time.
To use the Jacob’s Ladder exercise, the user is required to climb a revolving-endless ladder.
Exercise, or torture?
Well, maybe a little bit of both. It is definitely worth the effort, but their is a lot of effort involved! The Jacobs Ladder Machine is an excellent simulation for many real-life tasks, and is suitable cardiovascular training for nearly all athletes.
Check out this video of me performing a set on the Jacob’s Ladder while wearing an elevation training mask and a weight vest:
You Should Use the Jacob’s Ladder Exercise More Often – Here’s Why!
Training with the Jacobs Ladder provides you with an incredible bang-for-your-buck workout, because of its unique anaerobic-aerobic capabilities. The Jacob’s Ladder has large benefits when used for anaerobic workouts, as it will increase your heart rate faster than almost any other cardio “machine.”
As a result, the ladder will increase your V02Max Levels, and help you become in better condition for athletic competition.
Anaerobic workouts are far superior to aerobic workouts for those who are looking to build a shredded physique. The easiest way to compare the efficacy of anaerobic and aerobic workouts is to compare the bodies of a sprinter, and a marathon runner.
According to a study on the effects of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise (anaerobic training) compared to Steady-State Exercise (aerobic training) that was published in the International Journal of Obesity,
“HIIE three times per week for 15 weeks compared to the same frequency of SSE exercise was associated with significant reductions in total body fat, subcutaneous leg and trunk fat, and insulin resistance in young women.”
Both of these people are generally considered to be great athletes, but the sprinter has the more often desired body.
Anaerobic workouts have consistently been proven to increase fat burning, while also building and strengthening muscles.
Jogging on the treadmill for 30 minutes will help you burn some calories for the time being, but that’s about it! If you want to get in shape and develop an aesthetic body that measures up to your fitness idols, you need to work for it in a more intense way!
The Jacobs Ladder exercise is an incredible tool for this, as it will tax numerous different muscles in your body at the same time, and allow you all the benefits of a fantastic anaerobic workout!
The Jacob’s Ladder can serve as a High Intensity Interval Training machine because the speed of the user, determines the speed of the ladder itself.
A HIIT workout on the ladder can be achieved by utilizing 1-3 minute intervals, at 85 to 90% maximum heart rate. Similar to stair climbing, or sprinting, the Jacob’s Ladder will work your body to exhaustion, but with the advantage of less stress on your joints.
Features of the Jacob’s Ladder Machine
Familiarization with the machine is quite simple; as the most difficult task is generally to keep your coordination, and control your bodies movement in a steady rhythm while learning to climb.
This is also a very important feature of the machine itself, as the Jacob’s Ladder builds overall coordination through this mechanism. Working on the Jacob’s Ladder will help you become more in control of your body, and more efficient at other exercise you want to perform.
After mastering this, other features of the Jacob’s Ladder are:
- A user defined feature that ensures your safety. If your foot slips, the ladder will slow down until you regain your balance and can ride the ladder to the ground.
- You are provided additional safety with a waist strap, which also controls how quickly you can move.
- It is easy to change your speed, as you simply move your legs more or less powerfully to your desired speed.
Benefits of the Jacobs Ladder Exercise
Overall, the Jacobs Ladder exercise has numerous benefits which makes it viable for nearly everyone, including:
Freedom to Choose Your Own Intensity
The Jacob’s Ladder provides you with the freedom to choose your own pace, as you can increase or reduce your pace without any special button. The pace reduces as you slow down, and increases when you increase your pace.
Whether you want to go for 50 feet per minute, or 300 feet per minute, everyone can accomplish their goals on the same piece of equipment!
The position of the machine puts you at a 40-degree angle, providing a climbing position for you which is intense enough to build many functions of the body.
This is a safe position in which you can push your own intensity, without worrying.
Minimal Stress on Joints and Tendons
The Jacobs Ladder exercise is able to engage your muscles with minimal stress on the joints, as there is no strenuous impact at all.
I first became acclimated to the Jacob’s Ladder exercise when I was rehabbing an ankle injury, and even the ERG Rowing Machine was bothering my ankle! The Jacob’s Ladder is very easy on the joints of your body, making it an ideal choice for athletes who are recovering from injuries!
Along with this, as a result of the low impact it has on your joints, the Jacobs Ladder is safe for a majority of people at all fitness levels.
Can Be Used for Aerobic and Anaerobic Fitness
The Jacobs Ladder can be utilized both anaerobically and aerobically, allowing for longer-durations as well as High Intensity Interval Training.
If you want a more aerobic workout, go slow and steady!
If you want to work your anaerobic threshold, push yourself for 45 seconds to 1 minute and then take a breather!
Either way, your body will thank you!
Works Your Entire Body at One Time
You might think the Jacobs Ladder is only a lower-body workout, but it is an extremely compound movement. Overall, it is working nearly every part of both your upper and lower body!
You will not believe the burn in your shoulders and triceps from doing a few sets on the ladder to finish your workout. Along with this, your chest will even get some definition from contracting to hold your body on the rungs!
Intense compound exercises such as the Jacob’s Ladder burn an enormous amount of calories, both during and after performing the exercise. This one exercise will greatly increase your metabolism, and burn fat from your body.
Conditioning For Combat and Other Intense Sports
The Jacob’s Ladder Machine is one of the only pieces of exercise equipment which can help to condition a boxer, fighter, basketball player, football player, or athlete who competes in highly intense exercise.
The treadmill or elliptical can work well for people who want to lose some weight or improve their general health, but this will not do much for professional athletes or people who aspire to be professional athletes.
The Jacobs Ladder is perfect for athletes who compete at a higher level because it puts minimal additional stress on your joints, but it also fatigues and conditions your body in a sport specific way!
These intense sports can easily have your heart rate near 200 beats per minute for extended periods of time, and your conditioning needs to reflect this.
Using the Jacobs Ladder year round is an excellent way to get this done!
My Personal Jacob’s Ladder Workout
Personally, I usually keep my Jacob’s Ladder usage to shorter-sprints, maximizing the anaerobic benefits of the exercise.
My favorite workout with the Jacob’s Ladder is 3-5 sets of 150 feet, for time!
In between each set I will usually walk on the treadmill, or ride the stationary bike for 3-5 minutes as well.
This way, I can fit a wide range of conditioning aspects in to 20-25 minutes of work.
This can be performed either before, or after you train, but I prefer after myself.
Different than most conditioning styles, this training protocol can be used as a warm-up as well though! Since the Jacob’s Ladder is low-stress on your joints, yet is stimulating for your Central Nervous System, it effectively primes your entire body for training!
Many of us know, some days it can be difficult to perform an extremely intense exercise at the beginning of your workout because you body is not yet warm, or it is fatigued.
The Jacobs Ladder is a perfect solution for this!
Intense exercises have been proven to stimulate your Central Nervous System more than easier ones, and performing a few sets of Jacobs Ladder sprints will prime your body to attack a difficult workout like you could never have imagined!
Concluding Thoughts – Using the Jacob’s Ladder Exercise
Along with all of the information listed above, the Jacob’s Ladder is superior to more traditional conditioning methods because it is a movement we are usually unfamiliar with.
Your body will burn far more calories because unique muscles are being worked, due to this.
Sure, you have used all of these muscles before.
However, this will be in a very different way!
By training in a way in which you are not normally “good,” you will benefit more and see greater results! I.e. “muscle confusion.”
Muscle confusion became a unique concept 5 or so years ago, but, it is simply just training in a way that you normally don’t. For this reason alone, give the Jacob’s Ladder a try!
The Jacobs Ladder is an excellent way to enhance your aerobic endurance and anaerobic fitness; being able to challenge your body in new and unique ways!