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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-10-2003, 10:44 AM   #1
ART
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The WOD for this past Monday was great for me but I counldn't crank out the 15 pull-ups. I liked that variation. The squats went fine. But I maxed out at 5 pullups the first two sets, then 3, then 2, then 1, then struggled for 1. I did a site search for pullup tips and got some tips from everybody. Has anyone had success with the different pullup training they have tried. Ex. I read that Barry does 50 pullups if no pullups are in the WOD, I read someone else did the Armstrong pullup program, have these efforts succeeded in increasing your ability to do the pullups for WOD's. I looked at the Armstrong pullup program and it looks quite specific but aren't we trying to use variation in our workouts? Or should I just do the WOD's the best I can and then my strength will increase where I can do them? Sorry for all the questions. Any advice will be helpful. Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:06 AM   #2
Barry Cooper
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Art,

I've been a weenie the last few weeks in that respect, and have not seen any major increase in pull-ups. What does seem to be increasing is my follow-ups sets, so that I can do a set of 12 and then a set of 10 fairly shortly thereafter, which is something Armstrong talks about as a stage on the way to higher totals.

My best set ever was 13, and that was following a two week hiatus when I focussed on throwing for the Highland Games.

I think the main thing with the WOD is that you keep doing the pullups one at a time until you complete the set. On these workouts where you do 75-100 pull-ups, I do most of them one at a time. I do one, hop down, rest a second, climb up (my pullup bar is in a squat cage), do another one, etc. Often I alternate over and under grip.
There's nothing wrong with taking them one at a time. It just screws your time up. It's worth keeping in mind, though, that you are competing with some of the fittest people in the country, so being off a bit isn't that bad.

If you can pull it off (pun sort of intended), probably the best idea is to do pullups throughout the day, never to the point of major muscle burn. This allows a high volume, and if you don't push too hard, you don't need much recovery. You'll see this pattern called Greasing the Groove, which is what Pavel Tsatsouline calls it.

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Old 12-10-2003, 11:27 AM   #3
Ryan Atkins
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Art,

I have to agree with Barry (specifically his last paragraph). Although I did have good success from doing Armstrong and Crossfit together (raising my max from 8 to 15 in a couple of months), I feel that, once a certain level is reached, Armstrong will take you to failure (through max sets, pyramiding as much as possible, etc.) more often than is necessary for progress. After several months of adopting more of 'Grease the groove' approach, where I included pull-ups in my warm-up and did some sets sporadically throughout the day, my max has recently increased to 28. It should be noted that this last increase occurred shortly after a trio of workouts where Coach hammered us with 200 pull-ups/day (9/28/03-9/30/03). I'm guessing all-out efforts are sometimes required to reach new heights, but that performing them on a weekly basis (ala Armstrong) will eventually result in diminishing returns.

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 12-10-2003, 08:24 PM   #4
ART
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Thanks for the advice fellas. I will heed it and try them throughout the day. I used to pullups every Mon, Wed, and Fri. That's when I was following some Navy SEAL training program I seen on the web where you add about 1 set per workout, five pullups per set every week for six weeks where eventually your doing hundred pullups,pushups, and situps every other day. I bought the station (for pushups,pullups, and dips) for that program that I use still. I know that can improve my ability to do the pullups I was just wondering if that goes against the Crossfit "philosophy." Doing the same exercises every Mon-Wed-Fri.
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Old 12-11-2003, 09:22 AM   #5
Robert Wolf
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Art-
When you are working to get your numbers up on a particular lift you can work it quite frequently. I would recomend however a variety of stimuli. Say one day ladders, another day just singles working on maximum acceleration, and another with a bit of volume. Avoid fatigue in these exercises so you can increase volume and proficiency in the movement.
Robb
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Old 12-11-2003, 12:48 PM   #6
ART
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Thanks for the tip. So an example would be: Mon-10 pullups as fast as possible, Tue-3sets of 5 pullups, Wed-slow pullups, etc.? I ask because my pullups fatigue level is reached relatively quickly. I can probably hit 10 or so in the first set but after that I decline dramatically.
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