Pull-ups...

#2
The bane of my workout existence. I have never done them well and hence, avoided them. I am trying to rectify that at the half century mark. The most frustrating exercise of all for me.
 

Matt

Regular Member
Staff member
Network Support I
#5
Do several sets of 3-5 of these throughout the day.

The secret to improving pullups is getting the volume in, especially at first.
Solid advice here. Pull-ups are not something I do all the time, but when I need to get my 20 once a year this is how I go about it. Get one of those bars you can mount in a door way and put it in the room you spend most of your time in. Every time you enter the room, you have to pay a toll. The toll is a 1/2 max set. Do a max set once a week to check your progress. I usually start out doing 8-10 as my toll because I want my max set to be 20. In about a month I'll go from starting out at a 16 or 17 rep max after not having done pull-ups all year to a 25 rep max set by the end of he same month.

If you are struggling to complete more than 1 or 2 pull-ups, I suggest doing a shit load of push-ups until you can do more pull ups.
 

MattJames

Certified Derpologist
Moderator
#8
Just like pushups and running... you don't get better at them by not doing them. And no there really isn't any secret save getting the volume in.

Taken me a few years, but I can do sets of 15-20 fairly easily. Another tip I wish I had known awhile ago: don't use the thumb over bar grip, grip it like you would a base ball bat. Your more stabile through the whole workout, helps engage your forearms to give them some love, and works grip strength.
 
#9
http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http...8ze8bNyokwP66u7FPkOgq39eW_Vyu-ca5YmButIYY&s=1

From Kyle Defoor.

Not much to add to the advice above,. The bands are a great way to get started, if you need max help getting over the bar, put one foot in the band, as you progress, just use a knee inside the band. If you are struggling to get one pull-up, flexed arm hangs will help. Random acts of pull-ups or flexed arm hangs throughout the day are excellent.


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Chris Taylor

Random Factor of the K Power
Moderator
#10
I would add that incorporating weighted pullups are an excellent way to increase your strength and output.
After you've established a baseline, absolutely. For someone just starting out, or starting again, maybe not so much. Pullups are hard on the shoulders, specifically the rotator cuff (ask me how I know), so jumping in with weights may not be the best idea.

Once someone has their base, or has hit a plateau, judicious addition of weights can be beneficial.

I'm sure you know this, just trying to keep others from over-doing it and injuring themselves, like certain unnamed posters may or may not have done in the recent past.
 

Bourneshooter

Blue Line Sheepdog
Moderator
#11
I love to do weighted pullups, but try to stagger them about every 3rd week. Same with Plate Carrier runs, only those I try to do every other week -1 to 2 miles.
 
#12
Pretty much all the above advice is good. If you are really struggling on pullups, and don't mind taking the time needed to progress, check out Convict Conditioning (it's a book) for their method of pullup improvement. It will take you from "I can't do one", all the way to "I can knock out 10 one armed pullups in my sleep". It's another method to try if you don't like any of the above advice.

Besides that, one of the better tips I can give is to maintain a healthy body weight, and train your entire body. I see people fall into the trap of "well I'll do weights for upper body and then run for lower." Some of the biggest upper body gains I've had always came from training legs and core.
 

Runcible

Runcible Works
Staff member
Moderator
Vendor
#13
Regularly doing small amounts of pullups was how I got mine up (while AD was 13-16 depending on the year, max during my org's training program was 18-19, max-ever was 26, currently can do 17-18 on demand).

For most, it seems that the hard part is getting to about 5-10 consecutive pullups; after that, they have sufficient ability to condition themselves past that plateau, particularly through circuit routines with a reduction of their max-possible per set.

When I was in my org's training program, I had a pullup bar hung on the bathroom doorframe, and each morning went something like:

Wakeup.
Do 1 pullup.
Piss.
Do 2 pullups.
Drink half the nalgene of water.
Do 3 pullups.
Shave.
Do 4 pullups.
Brush teeth.
Do 5 pullups.
Shower.
Do 4 pullups.
Towel off.
Do 3 pullups.
Socks + boots on.
Do 2 pullups.
Clothes on.
Do 1 pullup.
Gear on, drink the other half of the nalgene, top it off, and leave.
 

Bourneshooter

Blue Line Sheepdog
Moderator
#14
Rob Shaul of Military Athlete just had something about a Pull Up improvement study in his latest email. Just an FYI if you want to find it.
 
#17
I recently got a pullup bar and I've been trying to do them, but I still can't even do one. I've been focusing on pushups so that I could get strong enough to do them eventually, hopefully I'll get there one day.
 

Runcible

Runcible Works
Staff member
Moderator
Vendor
#18
Replying in brief - negatives like the gent mentioned above; if really allocating some time towards it, identify the transition points (when different muscle groups are getting involved\uninvolved, when leverage is changing) and work those in isolation. You may need a stool or such to stand on, so that you're starting from just before that transition point and ending just afterwards.