Advice on pull-ups
- 06-30-2008, 04:41 PM
Advice on pull-ups
Hey guys, I have a question and hopefully someone can help me out. It's tough for me to do a single pull-up.
I'm a fairly strong, well-built person. I weight 211lbs, 35-inch waist, 5'11. I can do 170lbs lat pull downs so far, but it's just very hard, nearly impossible to do a pullup. I've been exercising for a while, but it's always hard for me to meet that mark of being able to pull myself up. I respond very good to exercise and eating, and am able to gain muscle fairly fast. So it seems as I put on more weight, it becomes harder as my strength doesn't catch up. I have a well-built back too, and I wonder if I just hit some sort of plateau.
Can anyone advice me on what I should do in this situation? Do you recommend I do more reps with less weight to increase strength? Thanks.
- 06-30-2008, 06:02 PM
Try kicking your feet a bit to help get yourself up until you are strong enough to do one with 'bodybuilding' form.
Checkout the "Kipping" pullup (can be found at crossfit.com).
06-30-2008, 06:14 PM
have0someone spot ur feet, but barely until u work ur way to 8, also u could try them jason wojo style out of a squat rack(google it). less weight with more reps does jack for strength. the amount of lat pulls never equates to pull ups. u can also change pull up grip to help until u develop more strength...there r many other ways to improve it...I love pullups-started with barely 6 no plates, but now I get 15 with plates. my taper thanks me.
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06-30-2008, 06:22 PM
Just keep doing them. I'm 5'10 210 and I can do plenty. You just have to work at it. Stop doing pull downs and do pullups.
06-30-2008, 06:54 PM
do close grips, then widen your grip as you get better at it. also, since you do lat pulldowns with 170, you might just want to try getting them up to 200 first, to make sure you can do pullups.
06-30-2008, 07:01 PM
06-30-2008, 07:17 PM
do them in private til you can get it down, give it all you've got. Improvement is improvement, every fraction of an inch counts, progress is progress. You can do them and you will.
06-30-2008, 07:24 PM
Thanks guys, some really useful advice. I will definitely stop doing pulldowns as Rugger1 suggested and just focus on pullups! Btw Shakesallday I will try that too, I've never thought of or seen that motion before.
06-30-2008, 08:21 PM
Stand on a chair and put your chin over the bar, kick the chair out of the way, then lower yourself at the slowest pace that you can. Do that 6 to 10 times until youre completely spent. Try it a few times a week for a couple weeks.
06-30-2008, 08:49 PM
Pull-ups are as much movement learning as they are strength too; this is something to keep in mind. As your body adjusts to doing a somewhat awkward movement, your technique and subsequently rep amount should improve. You could expedite the improvement a little by using assisted machines until you acclimate yourself to that pulling technique.
06-30-2008, 11:16 PM
I'm a high school track coach, and have tried a few different ways to develop pull-ups. Assisted pull-ups with jump stretch bands didn't increase strength very well. The assist machine feels similar to a lat-pull, but is easier to cheat with. Lat-pulls will develop the needed muscle mass, but are not similar enough to pull-ups for a high amount of carry-over. They are great for those too weak to hang from the bar. Single arm pull-downs are decent, higher difficulty, good way to check for balanced strength.
The best two options:
1) flexed arm hang, if yo can get 10-15 secs you should be able to do one pull-up
2) sets of negatives, the lowering should take 5-6 secs, get to the bar however you can
Its perfectly fine to add lat-pulls after for additional volume, but the simply aren't as good.
Chin-ups should be easier than pull-ups (they use more muscles).
Pull-ups are a must for healthy shoulders.
07-01-2008, 12:00 AM
Do you not have the 'assisted' pullup rig at your gym?
Another tip is to use supinated grip for a while and then go to pronated once you've got some strength built up.
07-01-2008, 01:42 AM
Rugger, I do have an assisted pullup machine at my gym, but as Squires mentioned, I always feel like I cheat on it the few times I've done it, but I will give it my best and try all this great advice all you dudes have given me.Originally Posted by Rugger1
I will also scratch out the pulldowns and just do a bunch of deadlifts. I am determined to get enough strength to be able to do many pullups soon!
Thanks again for the feedback, I really do appreciate it guys.
07-01-2008, 02:01 AM
I don't think deadlifts will help you do pull ups. It might a tad, but you'd be better off spending your time doing other things. I started deadlifting way before I started doing pullups. I could deadlift 500 lbs but couldn't do 8 pullsups. I had to actually work on pullups to be able to do them.
07-01-2008, 09:56 PM
i'd go with the negative chins. when i was heavier in the winter and couldn't do quite as many, i'd hop back to the top and just do a few negatives.
07-08-2008, 07:22 PM
This man speaks the truth. I was deading 475 x 10, and found 15 pulls ups with my own body weight (240) equally challenging. Work on them each week, progress may come slow, but just fight every week for that extra rep, that extra bit of progress, and over time it will add up to you being able to do a set of 20reps :-)
07-08-2008, 08:08 PM
I used to struggle doing pull ups, yet I could do tons of reverse grip chins no problem. I just used the assisted machine with like 30 lbs of help then kept working til I could do them without assistance, it doesnt take long and will help you with good form.
07-11-2008, 10:44 AM
Negatives until utter failure should do the trick.
Also change from close to wide on your negatives and go palm out and palm in.
07-11-2008, 01:48 PM
07-11-2008, 01:49 PM
Tips for pull-ups:
- Grease the go - meaning do pull-ups everytime you pass by a bar. even if that means hanging one in the bathroom doorway.
- Do a couple sets of pull-ups as a warm up to every workout. Do sets of ten or so for warm up sets. If you can't do that do a number you can and try to add one each time.
- At least once a week do a serious max out set
- Go hard, go fast. grip is often what holds people back from doing more. You can only hold on for so long.
- Along with the above, make sure your wrists are good and loosened up.
- When you can do sets of 10 or so start doing pull-ups with weights
- Change your grip up every now and then
- Learn the kipping pull-up as well - visit crossfit.com (trust me and ignore anyone who cries that you don't always do dead hangs. You won't care what they think when your doing 20-40 or so and they can't)
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