View Full Version : Am I Cheating on PUs?

Mike Gray
12-18-2007, 03:10 AM
Hi guys!

Recently, it seems like my PU numbers have gone through the roof - which would be nice, only I have this weird feeling that a guy who puts himself through a near death experience to complete Fran in 13 minutes probably shouldn't be able to do as many (kipping) PUs as quickly as I am these days. (The problem with Fran is those %&+?! thrusters.)

So ... after showering and cleaning up post-Fran today, I jogged out and made a vid of me doing 10 kipps (that ought to be enough to give a fair look). I'm now looking forward to finding out why it really *is* too good to be true.

Family & Work Safe:


In particular: I do my PUs overhand on a very thick bar that is quite high up. (I can't hold on underhand.) Is that combination making it too easy to put up big numbers? In particuar, I notice that keeping my palm in the exact right position on the bar makes it quite easy to hold on. (On my sixth PU, 17seconds, you can see me a make a little adjustment to get more traction.)

Also, is height OK? I think I'm getting my chin over the bar every time, but maybe I'm fooling myself. Or am I kipping too wildly, cutting any other corners or - maybe this is the most important question of all! - doing things that are bad for my shoulders?

Thanks for any help!

Alex Rosch
12-18-2007, 03:27 AM
Mike: Looks good...nice straight arms at the bottom, chin over bar...looks like a legal (kipping) Pull Up.
Also, points for the thick bar!


Mike Gray
12-18-2007, 04:27 AM
Hey - thanks for the encouragement!

So ... I don't lose points for that bar? Maybe it's because my bar is so rough that it gives extra traction, but I have this weird feeling that it's making things easier, not more difficult. However, I can't seem to find a slim, more polished bar to compare!

Anyway, it's nice to hear that I'm not doing something completey, outrageously wrong! Perhaps, believe it or not, CF is just bearing some fruit ...

Brandon Oto
12-18-2007, 04:43 AM
Looks absolutely fine. Your kip has a kind of hitch in it, which is probably not super efficient, but that only makes it harder if anything.

Andy Shirley
12-18-2007, 04:45 AM
Thick bars are usually considered more difficult. Looks good.

David Aguasca
12-18-2007, 06:29 AM
yeah, def. looking good! maybe you're just a pull-up monster in the making.

one thing, you could come through ot the bottom portion of the swing, it looks like you're cutting yourself short. i used to do that too....it makes your cycle time faster but makes your kip less efficient. push away the bar HARD at the top of the pullup, and as you arc back-down-forward into that C shape, feel like you're being pulled through by a string attached to your sternum.

as for "cheating"....if you go from straight arms to chin above bar, and you were not assisted, there's no cheating.

Jeremy Stecker
12-18-2007, 07:43 AM
Nice work buddy. We have a swingset like that nearby and I can't get near as many pullups than with my thinner bar at home. Your kip looks great to me.

Mike Gray
12-18-2007, 01:13 PM
Thanks for all the encouragement, guys!

And thanks for the tip David - I'll try completing that swing next time.

I don't think the neighbors need to worry too much about being attacked by dangerous "pullup monsters" just yet, but it's nice to know I'm making some real progress. I knocked off 30 in a row last weekend and was so surprised I hardly knew what to think! (Peanuts for you guys, but nothing short of amazing for me.)

I happen to play bass, guitar and violin - I wonder if I'm benfitting from a bit of strength transfer on the big bar. That and being skinny ... ;-)

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-18-2007, 01:18 PM
that's awesome. Good work. I'm personally not a fan of kipping pull ups (I'm a cow and it's not wise for a cow to kip :yikes:), but you're doing them perfectly. The fact that you're doing them on a thick bar is even more impressive.

All the best,

Chris Spealler
12-18-2007, 01:58 PM
Mike, stick with the thick bar if you can. I used one in a gym I used to work out in and it actually makes it easier to hold on to the thinner bars when you get to them. I used the same grip that you are talking about at it helps to hold onto those bigger bars. Keep up the solid work! Looks good to me!

George Mounce
12-18-2007, 02:16 PM
Your kip is good, I'd say push away from the bar more once you get to the top. You tend to drop straight down. That is if you really want the full momentum thing going on of course, otherwise you are perfectly fine.

Brandon Oto
12-18-2007, 02:22 PM
Try waiting a little longer into your arc to start pulling, too. You're "cutting across" the "swing" of the motion.

Mike Gray
12-22-2007, 09:56 AM

And here I was gloating about being quite the PU stud when I saw today's (frontpage) WOD: all in all, 120 L PUs.

Sigh. 120 PUs would have been the perfect challenge. 120 Ls, otoh, was the perfect way of bringing me back down to size!

Still, I got 21 sort-of Ls (kipping at the bottom but bringing my legs up and holding them till I got down) and another 42 PUs with my legs crossed "indian style." After that there was just a lot kipping, grunting, falling and yammering. Until, just as I was starting the very last set, I got a nice, fat rip.

I suppose I have come a long way - but there's a long way to go!!


P.S. Still: I know enough now to stop immediately, go upstairs, wash vigorously (while cursing loudly), disinfect and glue the flap back on. The nasty thing with rips is that you don't feel them at the time and can usually finish a WOD. But by then, the flap is shredded, and sissies like me will be off the bar for a good week. Knowing that is progress, too, I guess!

Steven Low
12-24-2007, 08:22 PM
Peh, if you wanna make kipping pullups hard add a weight vest. They look good as is as everyone has said.

As for rips, I would recommend ripping/scissoring/cutting them off (well, we do that in gymnastics) and then you can soak your hand in salt water or something to make it heal faster. Make sure you get friction on it the next few days to start toughening it up again. I don't know about the efficacy of putting them back on with glue but it sure won't lend to faster healing.

Nick Cummings
12-24-2007, 09:04 PM
To add to the callous care aspect a product called New Skin is great. You cut off all the dead skin you can and then apply this over the raw area and it is as good as the next day.

Alex Rosch
12-24-2007, 09:11 PM
If I have a tear or injury to my hand that's in a spot that makes the WOD a PITA, I'll Dermabond it shut. Dermabond is surgical crazy glue...gotta watch it if you glue anything...risk of infection...