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Posted: 10/12/2003 6:07:19 PM EDT
I borke my previous personal best yester day. It was a record which had stood for years. In fifth grade I did one pullup durring the yearly PE test. Yesterday I did two just seeing if I could do one while stretching at the end of my workout. I cant believe that I am in good enough shape to do them again.

I will report back after my next back workout to tell you how many I got when not exausted after a workout. I will be ridin high on this all week.
Link Posted: 10/15/2003 5:34:14 PM EDT
Well, it would seem as though I have reached a bit of an impass at 2 pullups. However this was at the end of my back workout. I have been making great strides in 03' as far as my phisique goes, back included.

Any tips for improving the pull up numer would be appreciated. I already do pull downs, bent rows, and a host of other back excersises. Is it harder for me to do them being 6'6" even though I only weigh 230? I know the height seems to be a problem in other lifts.

Link Posted: 10/17/2003 9:09:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/19/2003 4:52:36 PM EDT
I will give it a try. This whole pullup business has got me quite excited.
Link Posted: 10/22/2003 6:27:05 PM EDT
Like you in elementary and middle school I could only do one pull up.  But then in highschool I joined the swim team and that really helped alot.  I was able to do 8 after the season ended.  I find that swimming freestyle really helps to work the lats, bicepts and forearms that are essential to doing copious amounts of pullups.  Now that I am in college I actually trained with the Marines for a year and on their PFT (Physical fitness test) there is a pull up event, 20 pull ups to max the event (I don't remember the min).  I was 5'6 and 190 pounds at the time and I was doing about 18 - 19 pullups at the time and I am pretty unathletic so there is hope for us all! I found that isolating individual muscles, i.e. curls, bent over rows, upright rows, reverse curls, exercises like these are very usefull.  ladders/pyramids 1-10, and back down (reduced weight if necessary) are really good also.  And when you get really advanced start doing weighted pullups!! those are great, adding a couple pounds (5 - 45+) and doing pull ups really shock the muscles.  Also I am currently doing a pull up work out out of a book by a former SEAL stewart smith where you do 150 pullups in a single 1 - 1 1/2 hour workout!!  now my max is approx 20+, pull ups are awesome!! one of my favorite, and most usefull excercises out there.  Good luck!! and enjoy
Link Posted: 10/26/2003 5:18:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ColdZero33:  ladders/pyramids 1-10, and back down (reduced weight if necessary) are really good also.  And when you get really advanced start doing weighted pullups!! those are great, adding a couple pounds (5 - 45+) and doing pull ups really shock the muscles.  

Yeah, I see a guy in the gym that does weighted pullups with about 70lbs. hanging from the belt. Some day, oh some day.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 5:39:16 PM EDT
Here's some inspiration and instruction for ya'.


I'm just getting back in the game after a shoulder injury. Don't think I'll ever catch Jeff.

I've been working the negatives to get back up to speed.
Link Posted: 11/8/2003 11:14:09 PM EDT
i am another one that couldn't do much with pull-ups back in school but ever since i gotten over my dislocated shoulder i have isolated my shoulders and arms to do pull-ups. if possible its possible for you(dunno if ya tried it or not) but if you can, I have found that push ups with feet are up on a wall helps get the muscle ready for pull-ups. now i can do hand stands and push ups without the assistance of a wall.
another type of push up is good too, its chinese push ups. take your feet and place them together then bend down put your thumb on your toe and spread you hand out place your other hand with thumb touchin your middle finger, that is two hand lengths, and count off fifth hand lengths from your toe place your hand that is closest to you next to your other hand forming a diamond with your thumb and forefinger. Putting your nose in the diamond and back up is that push up... i warn you now i have only heard about ppl who can do it. my father taught me that push up and he has only seen three ppl do it me, a woman and another man. but i gurantee it will work your shoulders better then any other pushup. if you see your gonna fall best bet is to fall to the side and not bust your nose seen a few who broke there nose trying it
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 6:45:31 AM EDT
As an active duty Marine, pull-ups are a kind of "hallowed ground."  Total worth is sometimes judged by one's ability to do a respectable number (15+) of dead-hang pull-ups on the semi-annual physical fitness test.

During my career I've found that the best way to increase the number of pull-ups is to just do them.  Religiously.  Get out there every other day and do 'em.  Try a pyramid method.  Or try Recon Ron's method.  Check out www.GetFitNow.com for help.  But whatever method you use, the number 1 tip is JUST DO IT!

Good luck.  Ken  
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 5:26:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2003 5:38:39 PM EDT by WSmac]
Here's what we used to do on a firecrew for folks who were struggling.
While doing your pull-ups, bend you legs with your feet pointing backwards.
Have a partner support your ankles and "GENTLY" assist you by pushing up a bit while you are attempting your exercise.
It's important that you don't let your partner actually lift you or take too much weight from you during your chin-up.
That way you work the muscle through the entire range of motion for more than one or two completions.

wanted to add:
you could do a "modified" pull-up, sorta like what I call "modified" push-ups.
Instead of lifting your entire body weight, you work with part of it until you build up strength.

Get yourself a pull-up bar for the doorway.
One that you can remove is what you need.
Mount it so that either sitting on the floor, or in a chair, you can just barely latch on to the bar.
Have your feet supported with your legs straight out, and start doing your pull-ups.

Again, you will be doing "easier" pull-ups until you gain muscle strength and can do hanging pull-ups.

I feel it's important to be able to do more than just one or two or even three pull-ups with less strain, in order to work out the muscles and not strain them by trying to force out a pull-up and only going up an inch or so.

Okay, Okay! I'm only going to add one more thing...I promise!

If you have access to a hanging rope, i.e. a rope that is hanging...not a rope for hanging!, climb the rope to help develop the muscles you need for pull-ups.

If you can't find a gym (private, high school, etc.) with a climbing rope, see if you can put one up yourself. Make sure it's a thick rope. Not like climbing rope.
Another option is to make a rope with an attachment that you can securely attach to the back of a set of bleachers. I used to find the large cement bleachers for the "home"team at football fields, and rappel off them. You might have this option also.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 3:36:48 PM EDT
I would like to thank everyone for the replies and suggestions. I the past month and a half I have seen great progress in my back using some of the tips outlined in this thread. I think I am finding things that really work for my back, and it shows!

Thanks again.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:36:52 PM EDT
Glad to hear you're doing better!
To keep my back from tweaking out on me, I try to do my exercises on a regular basis.
The ones that do me the most good are where I have my body horizontal to the floor, face-down, and I'm raising my legs and arms.
In one version, you can be on all fours and start by raising just one leg or arm at a time. You are actually extending the limb out to a horizontal plane.
The other versions have you laying on your stomach and raising a leg or arm or combination of these.
If you're back is strong enough, you can do what some folks call the "superman".
Laying on your stomach, you raise both arms and legs at the same time and hold for a few seconds before lowering to the floor.

Recently I found out that I've been working my lower "abs" too much.  There is a muscle called the iliopsoas that is giving me trouble.  All my life I've loved to hang by my arms and raise my legs in front of me, raising my feet overhead. At 40+, I can still raise my legs over my head, between my arms and behind me, then reverse it to come back to starting position.
The reason I'm telling this is because I've strained my back muscles too often from bad body mechanics and never really strengthened the back muscles, so they have been my weak-link.
Since my lower abdomen muscles and leg muscles are fairly strong, and my back muscles aren't, this has caused an imbalance in my hip area that results in a bit of sway-back in the lumbar area.

The lesson here is to make your workout complementary.  Work out opposing muscle groups so that your body is balanced strength-wise.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:10:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2003 5:31:35 AM EDT by cookie]
Pull-ups are an integral part of my workouts, and I found the following method to work (for me) to increase them:

I set a number, let's say 30.  I will then vow do 30 pull-ups at the beginning of every workout, no matter what.  If it takes me two  sets, great.  If it takes five sets, that's fine too - but I reach the target number NO MATTER WHAT.  This has worked for me for a long time, and though I'm over 40, I like to think I'm in decent shape.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 2:05:19 AM EDT
cookie, thats what i do when im doing pyramids... i know how many reps of how many of each exercise im doing, and i do them no matter what...

its amazing how quickly you progress with a pyramid, just working out every other day and bumping up reps (or weight) each week...

all i do are push ups, inclined situps, pull ups, and dips... im very pleased with the results... i do my alternate my sets of push ups and sit ups first, and once ive knocked them out, do the same with pull ups and dips... out of all of them, though, i like pull ups the best...

an added bonus it that pull ups help me focus on the muscles i need to hump myself and about 30lbs of gear up the first set of cheater pegs on telephone poles... before i started doing pull ups, i had to use a step ladder... now i just jump up and pull...
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 1:31:37 AM EDT
18yrs ago I was able to bench 300lbs and do 1 pullup.
Now I can't do either.

I'm making it my goal to both by July 4th 2004.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 9:04:53 PM EDT
i have no idea how much i bench, but i doubt its anywhere near 300!!!

that probably would explain my disdain for pushups...
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