Calorie Counter

You are currently viewing the message boards in:

From zero to twenty pull-ups - No experience necessary!

mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
This challenge is for anyone who would like to increase their pull ups number over the course of six - eight weeks.

We will be following a training schedule off of the excellent free website twentypullups.com which is an adaptation of the 100 pushups schema. If you can't do one pull up, the goal is to do negatives until you can do 3 pull-ups. No matter your current level, this challenge and discussion group is for you.

This challenge is open ended so don't think of it as 6-8 weeks, but 6-8 steps or challenges to pass and if you need to redo a step, no biggie. Just do honest work for yourself, be supportive of others, and post where you are at. Stick to the schedule. What can you do in 24 workouts?

Replies

  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    Well I did a pull up test and, since its been well over a year, not surprisingly, I could not do even one. So my week starts as (-2) and I will be following workout with a day of rest in between each day.

    There you have it. If you were wondering if joining a discussion about pull-ups is for you when you can't (today) do any, you're in good company.

    Day 1
    Rest 120 seconds between each set

    Set 1 1 negative
    Set 2 1 negative
    Set 3 1 negative
    Set 4 1 negative
    Set 5 1 negative

    Day 2
    Rest 90 seconds between each set

    Set 1 1 negative
    Set 2 1 negative
    Set 3 1 negative
    Set 4 1 negative
    Set 5 1 negative

    Day 3
    Rest 120 seconds between each set

    Set 1 1 negative
    Set 2 1 negative
    Set 3 1 negative
    Set 4 1 negative
    Set 5 1
  • runningjen74runningjen74 Posts: 301Member Member Posts: 301Member Member
    Good for you. I'd join you (but I've a few other things on and don't want to add another in the mix). I didn't know about the web site twenty pull ups, I've ear marked it for later this year/early next year. I do have a pull up bar which I used to do active hangs off when I went past it - I might re-enstate that rule for starters :)
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    @runningjen74 -
    Thanks for the support - I know you are pretty busy with your Deadlift, Bench, Squats program right now and adding something new can make those plans suffer. (esp. with the loss goals as well) -
    I'm pretty new to MFP but do plan to be around at the start of the year so keep in touch!
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    Worked out day 1 of week [-2] today -
    Plan was to have first day be 28 Sep but got sidelined by a flu which has not made for a stellar start to a new routine, but here I go.

    With each negative, I started above the bar and held for 5 seconds, followed by a 5 count down and then a five count pull at the bottom -

    I've used this method years ago when I did a similar program (armstrong) to increase my pull up numbers. My best during that program was 12 in a row so that's my first goal with this challenge.
  • MarcyMavinMarcyMavin Posts: 39Member Member Posts: 39Member Member
    What if you can’t even do one negative ? For real.
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    If you have access to a bar and a chair or stool to get the bar to chest level, then it first is a matter of trying to make a flexed arm bar hang - Even if you can only do 1 to 2 seconds at start, trying to control to rate of your sinking is doing the negative. So long as you descend slow enough to not be falling at the acceleration of gravity, your arms and back will get worked.

    Most people are able to hang longer in a chin up position (palms facing you) so although pull ups are more effective and should ultimately be switched over to, its a pretty solid plan to use chin ups at first to get your arms used to working and then switch over to pull ups once you are able to control your negatives better. And hey if you want to do the whole program using chin-ups, that's cool too.

    Good Luck
  • MarcyMavinMarcyMavin Posts: 39Member Member Posts: 39Member Member
    Thanks ! My life goal is to get ONE pull up, if that can happen anything can. I can do a double straight arm hang for ten seconds. But flexed I drop right down like a sack of potatoes. I’ll work on it.
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    @MarcyMavin

    One Pull-up is an amazing goal if you have never done a pull up before. I love the simplicity of the pull up for what it is (literally pulling your own mass up) but also that it engages 13 muscles in order to perform. The pull up is an excellent goal as it is a measure for strength/mass.

    So you can straight arm hang for 10 seconds? Awesome. You have your first baseline measurement. Start your negatives at the top (with a stool) and then lower yourself (no count) into your ten second hold. Start with six (one minute of total hang with 2 minutes+ in between each hang) and try to add one more neg+10 second straight hang each session- Maybe until you are hanging two minutes total (12 negs with rest) - .

    The reason you can hang for 10 seconds at the bottom but not at the top is not grip strength or even probably arm strength but your nervous system. Its the same reason grip fails for people starting to deadlift when the weight is actually less than their body weight. (they can flex arm hang and its not their legs or back, but their grip fails)

    Hanging flex armed is a weird thing for your body and takes getting used to. This is why you will want to get your reps up per session so that your body is used to the feeling while also working on grip endurance. Start trying to make a 3-5 sec count as you lower yourself when you feel comfortable - Maybe once you have increased to doing the 12 negs+10 sec hang (so after 6 sessions?) . I think you will surprise yourself with how quickly your flexed hangtime will increase while you work on the straight hang time this way.

    Here's what I have used as a guideline in the past when I worked with others to get to 1 pull up (years ago) Start above the bar and hold for 5 seconds, followed by a 5 count down, then a five count pull at the bottom(squeezing your shoulder blades together) and rep 5 of these without rest in between. If you can do 3 sets of these in a day, (as much rest in between as needed) you can EXPECT to do one pull up-

    Also speaking from experience, negatives can be rough so do make sure you give yourself a full rest day in between work days. The elbows can get really achy otherwise.

    Keep your determination- You can make it.


  • MarcyMavinMarcyMavin Posts: 39Member Member Posts: 39Member Member
    @mthwbrwn

    Wow!!! Thank you for taking the time to reply!! I will definitely give this a try, very excited to work on these!
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    Okay first week [-2] down - Here is the plan for week [-1] I felt good enough on today's negatives that I ended up doing another set of 5 (after several hours)

    Day 1
    Rest 120 seconds between each set

    Set 1 1
    Set 2 1 negative
    Set 3 1 negative
    Set 4 1 negative
    Set 5 1 negative

    Day 2
    Rest 90 seconds between each set

    Set 1 1
    Set 2 1 negative
    Set 3 1
    Set 4 1 negative
    Set 5 1 negative

    Day 3
    Rest 120 seconds between each set

    Set 1 1
    Set 2 1 negative
    Set 3 1
    Set 4 1 negative
    Set 5 max
  • MarcyMavinMarcyMavin Posts: 39Member Member Posts: 39Member Member
    I tried to lower myself into my hang. Not so good, pulled a muscle immediately. Soooo, you think I should just work on the straight arms without the lowering for now? When I increase time/ rounds then try again?
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    I would say hold off for two days if you feel like you pulled a muscle. It could be a muscle ache or it could be a tendon. Its hard to say without being there in person.

    Also, I am neither a trainer nor a doctor. :)

    That said, anyone can tell you that rest, ice, compression, elevation is the way to go with feelings of soreness or pain. I have a ice ball mold (for making round whisky ice) that works absolutely amazing for icing sore muscles. I wont put a link here but you can find one using "silicone ice ball mold" in your browser.

    Give yourself some time but don't give up. Honestly , I would cautiously try again in two days with the lowering but even if you are unable to lower yourself make sure to work on the straight arm hang. This is a skill even elite climbers work on.

    Be mindful of discomfort and until you build a better knowledge of what is pain and what is soreness err to the side of caution. If it is too painful to lower yourself, I would hold off on the straight arm hang until you have healed.

    Good luck


  • MarcyMavinMarcyMavin Posts: 39Member Member Posts: 39Member Member
    Thanks. I am determined to keep working on it, I won’t give up. It’s feels okay now, but I felt a riiiiiiiip on the outside of my bicep? On the way down. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    Ok - Finished my second workout for week [-1] with no problems - This means that after the day 3 workout, I will take 2 days off and then do a test to see how many pull ups I can do -- Now if I can do three, I am ready to start week 1. If not, I restart week [-2], but this time on a different column depending on if I can do 0,1,or 2 pull ups.
  • mattbell007mattbell007 Posts: 28Member, Premium Member Posts: 28Member, Premium Member
    I'm a cyclist. That means my legs are good, but my upper body is weak. Core is OK. I've just started weightlifting for the winter season, but the weight is still (empty bar) light. I think I'm going to add pull ups as a supplement to my weight training. I'm sure I will have to start with negative pull ups.... [-something more than one].
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    Awesome - Welcome to the challenge. I am a cyclist also, so I hear you on the strong legs and weak arms...

    Just grab a bar and test yourself. Even if you can't do any (like me) I think you'll quickly find that your strength increases. I was able to do one after 4 workouts -

    I really like the progressions on twentypullups.com. It seems like there was a lot of thought that went into setting up the progressions, and I wanted a program that was something more than "do as many max reps sets as possible"
    edited October 11
  • mattbell007mattbell007 Posts: 28Member, Premium Member Posts: 28Member, Premium Member
    Yeah. The twentypullups.com program makes me dream that it could be possible. I'm starting on Monday at week -2.

    On a bicycle, I can ride 630 miles in 3 days, no sweat. One pull up? Impossible!
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    Wow 630 miles is a crap tone of saddle time! I've ridden down to Portland from Seattle in one day (not during the STP - but same route) - After that ride, I wasn't looking to do another 200 and such miles!

    It certainly is possible to get to 20 pullups, but I doubt anyone truly could get there in the 8 weeks printed (twenty pullups knows it too)
    What is great about the course is that you can look at it as a three week sprint (or two weeks for -2 and -1) If you can't do any, your first goal should be to get to the next column (1 pullup) rather than for 'fail' if you cant bang out 3 to get to week 1 - Similarly, after weeks 1-3, your goal should be to get to 6 pullups instead of the 9 it takes to get to week 4 - If you set the goals reasonably, you can always over deliver. That's better than feeling down by not growing arbitrarily fast.

    Anyway, do the work, then come back here to report your progress!
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Posts: 30Member Member Posts: 30Member Member
    So I tested today by trying to do the maximum pull ups possible...
    Well, I got 1 good one, about 90% of a 2 and maybe 40% of a 3, so... 1. It means that I begin again on week -2 but this time I am working off of the 2nd column -
    I am going to try over the next two weeks to get in multiple rounds to increase the volume of reps completed in a day. I really want to get to week 1 after the next two weeks!
Sign In or Register to comment.