Up & Down the Ladder, here is a technique that I LOVE! Now, I will preface this by saying this is not for the faint of heart. And, truth be told, I only use them for Side Lateral Raises (for shoulders). You can try them for other exercises or even body parts, but get ready kiddo. These are no joke. They are “Up & Down the Ladder.”
Sure, they may sound like a children’s board game, but they are most certainly not a game. Using Side Lateral Raises as an example, you would essentially take a lighter-than-normal set of dumbbells (DBs) and start performing a set. Once you hit a designated number of reps, grab the next pair of DBs and start another set. And so on…and so on. That, my friends is UP the Ladder. You can continue this mayhem by going back DOWN the Ladder once you’ve done this 3-4 times on the UP swing. Don't be alarmed by the intense slow burn you're working up to. Just continue to drop weight each set as you go and keep moving down the ladder until you reach your last set. I use it for side laterals but you can apply the same method to front raises or any lift with the same type of raise motion.
The good news is that there are no rules here. You can go for as many sets up as you want. Same applies for going back down. What I usually do is start at a heavier-than-normal set of DBs and work my way down. Next time you do Side Laterals, give Up & Down the Ladder Lifting a try. I usually start with 45s. Once you get down to the 15s, you may look like a wuss using those DBs, but I promise you they will feel like 100s!