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RedMaster
03-27-2008, 10:15 AM
I started hitting the gym hard again about 6 months ago after many years off. My strength is returning although not as fast as I would like. I have no problem with deads, I can hit 3 sets of 10 with 405, and my rows are working out well also. My problem is that My pull-ups just plain suck. My first set of unweighted pull-ups I am good for between 10-12 and than I can only hit about 6 on sets after that. When I was younger, and lighter, I could do weighted pull-ups until the cows came home.

I am hitting back once a week and so I am doing pull-ups only 1 once per week. I will hit 3-4 sets of pull-ups followed by the pull-up assist machine 3 sets followed by lat pulldowns 3 sets. Any suggestions to aid me in my quest to re-develop my wings is greatly appreciated.

GreenWave1
03-27-2008, 10:21 AM
The best way to get good a pullups is to do pullups. Keep at it. Maybe do some slow negatives? The fact that you are doing the assist machine and lat pulldowns shows that you have it covered. You're doing it right, it may just take time.

You may not go up fast in pullups as you are 245. That's a lot to pullup. The fact that you are doing 10-12 on the first set is pretty impressive.

Keep on pumping!

Bmburton34
03-27-2008, 10:24 AM
definitly assisted chins will help with the wings and of course low body fat

RedMaster
03-27-2008, 10:31 AM
When I was younger early 20's, and developing my pull-up strength I would have my training partner spot me from my feet to pop out extra reps. Using this technique my pull-up strength came quickly. I also weighed only 225. I now have no training partner and the assisted machine does not seem to be helping me increase reps like a spotter.

Gunn27
03-27-2008, 10:35 AM
A 50% drop in reps from the first set sounds normal to me, so there nothing unusual in that. As KM said, you are pulling 245 so even adding a rep here or there is good progress. Once you reach the point you cannot do any more full reps, try doing negatives or partial (X) reps to finish off your lats, I have found that to be very effective.

bodyhard
03-27-2008, 11:39 AM
I started hitting the gym hard again about 6 months ago after many years off. My strength is returning although not as fast as I would like. I have no problem with deads, I can hit 3 sets of 10 with 405, and my rows are working out well also. My problem is that My pull-ups just plain suck. My first set of unweighted pull-ups I am good for between 10-12 and than I can only hit about 6 on sets after that. When I was younger, and lighter, I could do weighted pull-ups until the cows came home.

I am hitting back once a week and so I am doing pull-ups only 1 once per week. I will hit 3-4 sets of pull-ups followed by the pull-up assist machine 3 sets followed by lat pulldowns 3 sets. Any suggestions to aid me in my quest to re-develop my wings is greatly appreciated.

If you could do 12 reps on your first set, don't since your arms are fatiguing. Rather do 5 sets of 5 reps and up the reps per set till you are doing 5 sets of 10.

asmolenski
03-27-2008, 12:22 PM
You can pull 245 Lbs for 12 reps - that's pretty good in my opinion! I weigh 50 Lbs less than you and I am about the same in terms of reps for bodyweight. Arnold said in his Encyclopedia to do as many sets as it takes to get 50 reps total and when that gets too easy then its time to add weight. I go super strict and dont swing my body up like most guys do and after my last rep I pull myself up as far as I can and hold it there for 5-10 sec for an isolateral burn - after my last set I hang from the bar as long as I can to stretch. Arnold also believed in stretching the lats every day to help pull out the scapula which will widen the lat spread. Good luck!

Cgb6810
03-27-2008, 12:45 PM
I started hitting the gym hard again about 6 months ago after many years off. My strength is returning although not as fast as I would like. I have no problem with deads, I can hit 3 sets of 10 with 405, and my rows are working out well also. My problem is that My pull-ups just plain suck. My first set of unweighted pull-ups I am good for between 10-12 and than I can only hit about 6 on sets after that. When I was younger, and lighter, I could do weighted pull-ups until the cows came home.

I am hitting back once a week and so I am doing pull-ups only 1 once per week. I will hit 3-4 sets of pull-ups followed by the pull-up assist machine 3 sets followed by lat pulldowns 3 sets. Any suggestions to aid me in my quest to re-develop my wings is greatly appreciated.

When I was in High School I could do 40 pull ups in one set. But I weighed about 140lbs then. Even though Im a lot stronger now, I cant pull up that extra 100 lbs very easy. And, its been hurting my shoulders lately.

I focus on heavy wide grip pull downs for my meat and potatos lat exercise, and then do a few assisted chins for a little extra. I also do a few sets of narrow grip pull downs for the lower lats.

Works for me with no pain.

GreenWave1
03-27-2008, 02:21 PM
If you could do 12 reps on your first set, don't since your arms are fatiguing. Rather do 5 sets of 5 reps and up the reps per set till you are doing 5 sets of 10.

^^
There you go.

RedMaster
03-27-2008, 02:31 PM
If you could do 12 reps on your first set, don't since your arms are fatiguing. Rather do 5 sets of 5 reps and up the reps per set till you are doing 5 sets of 10.

Very sound advice and greatly appreciated. Sometimes it amazes me how the simplest answer to a problem never occurs to me and I need someone else, obviously smarter than me, to turn the light on. I will initiate this training on my next back day. Thanks.

wulf88
03-27-2008, 03:04 PM
you can also try the following.......on a smith machine, place the bar about waist level. Place a bench 2-3 feet away from the bar. Grab the bar with an overhand, wider than shoulder width grip and place you feet on the bench. Make sure your body resembles an "L". The trick is pull yourself up, maintining the "L" position and really contracting your back at the top. I mean squeeze until it hurts. Hold for 2-3 seconds then lower and repeat. Once you can do 10 good reps of this, add weight to your lap. It will build your strength up wuite a bit.

bodyhard
03-27-2008, 03:29 PM
Very sound advice and greatly appreciated. Sometimes it amazes me how the simplest answer to a problem never occurs to me and I need someone else, obviously smarter than me, to turn the light on. I will initiate this training on my next back day. Thanks.


Yeah two heads are better than one :D

ntrllftr
03-27-2008, 04:01 PM
Straps helped me get a few more reps.

chodan9
03-27-2008, 07:22 PM
If you could do 12 reps on your first set, don't since your arms are fatiguing. Rather do 5 sets of 5 reps and up the reps per set till you are doing 5 sets of 10.

that sounds like some awesome advice!
gonna start on that this week!
I have worked up to a 12/10/10 but the last few kill me!

I have always thought pullups were a strange thing, I brought this up on a thread a while back.
How is it that someone who can deadlift so much more than me, "my max is 315 for 2 reps on my final set while he can do 405 for 3 full sets" yet I can do 3 full sets of pullups?
I dont see how body weght could be a factor, since he only out weighs me by 55 pounds, yes before you mention it I can try putting that weigh on a belt and doing some, but that misses the point, he is waaay stronger than me, how does body weight make more of a difference than barbell weight in other lifts? is due to body mechanics or something?

beachstoyboy
03-28-2008, 12:41 AM
How is it that someone who can deadlift so much more than me, "my max is 315 for 2 reps on my final set while he can do 405 for 3 full sets" yet I can do 3 full sets of pullups?
I dont see how body weght could be a factor, since he only out weighs me by 55 pounds, yes before you mention it I can try putting that weigh on a belt and doing some, but that misses the point, he is waaay stronger than me, how does body weight make more of a difference than barbell weight in other lifts? is due to body mechanics or something?

I would guess body mechanics. I feel that long arms make deads easier, as you do not have to squat as much. Do long arms make pullups easier or harder?

jocularric
03-28-2008, 04:33 AM
The best way to get good a pullups is to do pullups. Keep at it. Maybe do some slow negatives?


If you could do 12 reps on your first set, don't since your arms are fatiguing. Rather do 5 sets of 5 reps and up the reps per set till you are doing 5 sets of 10.
Ditto. Sound advice on both accounts!

timberwolf
03-28-2008, 05:03 AM
If you could do 12 reps on your first set, don't since your arms are fatiguing. Rather do 5 sets of 5 reps and up the reps per set till you are doing 5 sets of 10.

Agree 100% with BH here.
Read 'Greasing the Groove' by Pavel.

Here's Pavel's ladders...

http://cbass.com/Pavel'sLadders.htm


In "A Small Experiment with Chin-ups" (article No. 49), I related how Pavel Tsatsouline?s "grease the groove" technique allowed me to do the most chin-ups I?d done since high school. By doing multiple sets of chin-ups spread out over the course of the day, several days a week, I was able to work up to 20 full-range chin-ups. The theory is called synaptic facilitation, which simply means doing frequent, non-exhaustive sets of a specific exercise to strengthen the nerve pathway. Bulgarian and Russian Olympic weightlifters have been using the method for years to beat the pants off the rest of the world. The problem is scheduling time to do many sets of an exercise throughout the day. It?s just not practical for most people.

That?s why I was excited to find an article by Pavel in the December 2000 issue of Milo magazine explaining "how to grease the groove on a tight schedule." He says it?s a method used by the Soviet Special Forces to meet the Spetsnaz requirement of 18 dead hang pull-ups wearing a 10-kilo (22 pound) bullet-proof vest. I tried it and it seems to work ? with much less training time. It allowed me to reduce my chin-up sessions to one or two a day, and more then double my reps, while still staying fresh.

Here?s how Pavel describes the technique used by special forces personnel to work pull-ups into their busy classroom and training schedule: "We would file out to the pull-up bars and perform what we called ladders. I do a pull-up, you do one. I do two, you match me, etc. until one of us cannot keep up. Then, if we still had time, we started over. One rep, 2 reps, 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10... 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,... 1,2,3,4,5. We totaled hundreds of pull-ups almost daily without burning out, and the extreme PT tests of our service were a breeze."

If you train alone, you can simply time your breaks by estimating how long it would take a partner to match your reps. That?s what I do, and it works fine. In fact, Pavel says it?s better that way, because "your odds of burning out are lower." To maximize volume without overtraining, you should stop each ladder one or two reps short of your limit. In other words, if you can work up to 10 reps at the top of the ladder, it?s best to stop at about 8, and then begin at 1 again. The non-competitive approach allows you to stop at a preset number that suits your capacity, not that of your partner.

The beauty of the technique is that you get a break each time you return to the bottom rung, which allows you to do more total reps. If you tried to do repeated limit sets or used the pyramid approach (1,2,3,4,5, 6,7,8,9,10, 9,8,7,6,5...), for example, fatigue would build much faster and volume would be compromised. As Pavel says, "The ladder, on the other hand, enables the strong man to grease the groove of his chosen feat with extraordinary volume."

I?ve found that to be true. During the experiment described in my earlier article, I generally did sets of 12 or 13, for about 50 total reps a day. Using the ladder technique, I can easily do 150 chin-ups in two sessions lasting a little over 15 minutes each, or occasionally in one session of about 35 minutes. ( I generally do chin-ups only two days a week, because I don?t want to interfere with my regular training sessions.) Ladders are obviously a more efficient use of one?s time, and they give your synapses plenty of work. As Pavel says, they allow more volume, without burnout, than any other structure.

I haven?t tried for a new PR, but if Pavel?s "high-volume plus specificity minus burnout" principle works as well as he says, it shouldn?t be long before I am doing more than 20 chin-ups or, better yet, working my way up to the Spetsnaz requirement of 18 chin-ups with a 10-kilo plate attached.

Give it a try, and let me know what happens. You?ll have fun, and you may be surprised at what you can accomplish.

Thanks to Pavel and his commandoes for the tip.

farsscf
03-28-2008, 05:09 AM
Yeah two heads are better than one :D

If you use both simultaneously

boathead
03-28-2008, 05:23 AM
If you use both simultaneously

and if one of them is not mine.

good stuff so far.