CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Fitness
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-01-2012, 07:40 PM   #1
Charles Applin
Member Charles Applin is offline
 
Charles Applin's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Yokosuka 横須賀  Kanagawa 神&#2
Posts: 437
Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

I am and have in the past trained pull-ups like a strength exercise. This was simple using the SS method since stringing BW pull-ups were not an issue, so all I did was add weight. Recently, I've using Westside or 5-3-1 type methods with chest to bar being the mark of a good lift.

Anyway, for pull-up warm-ups, training percentages and now muscle-ups I can't use my bodyweight as the minimum weight (too dangerous with MUs). To compensate, I've been using either cable pull-downs for muscle-ups or pull-up simulation or the graviton for the pull-ups. Not the most ideal solution, but it seems to be working in the short term.

I'm interested in people's experience with approaching MUs and PUs as a strength exercise and trained as such. However, I'm not interested in lots of opinions on whether machines are evil and one should only do bodyweight at the minimum with regards to pull-ups and muscle-ups training. For the most part I'd agree with it. But it won't help in determine other's experience with strength training. Besides, I think demanding one use BW for pull-ups and muscle-up training is like demanding using BW on the bar for bench-press training. You're going to scale the weight on the bench, why not scale the weight on the PU and MU based on what you're capable.

Yes, I'm aware graviton, harness counter balance systems and bands would work, but not everyone has the gym equipment access that others have. Cable systems are very common on the other hand. Please try to consider that with responses.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
Chris Mason
Banned Chris Mason is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Charlottesville  VA
Posts: 4,708
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

Ok, so to be clear, you want to use those exercises to build your general strength capacity, correct? In other words, use the MU in lieu of say benching and the pull-ups instead of rows or the like?
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 10:29 PM   #3
Charles Applin
Member Charles Applin is offline
 
Charles Applin's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Yokosuka 横須賀  Kanagawa 神&#2
Posts: 437
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
Ok, so to be clear, you want to use those exercises to build your general strength capacity, correct? In other words, use the MU in lieu of say benching and the pull-ups instead of rows or the like?
Thanks for the response.

I use pull-ups for general strength as they're used very often in CF workouts. It's not replacing anything, just being trained like I would train deadlift or benchpress. In fact, I don't kip it as that'll be like trying to improve my standing press by doing push jerks if that makes sense.

Recently, I've also been wanting to build up strength in the Muscle-up, again as they're CF staples. Now, to me, a MU kind of like a clean and jerk. Should I improve the MU with equivalent training that'd improve a clean and jerk? At the moment though, I'm treating it like pull-ups and bench ie I got a 1rm of 134 pounds (67 in each hand) so I would use that as a basis for the method I choose.

More to the point, I'd like to approach both as if my BW is not part of the equation. Strength and power training using an actual weight number instead of gymnastic training where it's all body weight, kipping and lots of reps.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #4
Aushion Chatman
Affiliate Aushion Chatman is offline
 
Aushion Chatman's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Diego  CA
Posts: 3,342
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

The main way to increase strength in bodyweight exercises is to decrease the leverage/mechanical advantage.

Cable pull-downs? I'm guessing would be to grab the cable by some sort of handle overhead, then pull-it down to your sternum then do a tricep push-down, which sort of is like a MU??

Still if your goal is to get stronger in the muscle up, just realize you are now doing assistance work as your primary work and not doing any primary work at all. Of course if you do not have access to rings then this may be all you have for now.

What do you mean a MU is like a C&J?

I've used weights to train for gymnastic skills, but you really want the weight training to mimic the skill as much as possible. As long as you keep in mind it is assistance work I think you're okay. And just remember if assistance work impedes your primary work your programming is out of whack. UNLESS again of course doing primary work is out of the question given current equipment limitations.
__________________
My Youtube Channel
CFSD Yelp
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 12:20 AM   #5
Charles Applin
Member Charles Applin is offline
 
Charles Applin's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Yokosuka 横須賀  Kanagawa 神&#2
Posts: 437
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aushion Chatman View Post
The main way to increase strength in bodyweight exercises is to decrease the leverage/mechanical advantage.

Cable pull-downs? I'm guessing would be to grab the cable by some sort of handle overhead, then pull-it down to your sternum then do a tricep push-down, which sort of is like a MU??
Thanks for the comments Aushion,

Yes, at the moment it's two seperate cable pulleys which I'm able to adjust so they're about shoulder width apart. I have to be on my knees, but I get a full range of motion from overhead to dip. In addition, if I can make a strap that'll connect, I can use my actual rings on this device vice the rubber handle grips that's normally used on the machine.

Quote:
Still if your goal is to get stronger in the muscle up, just realize you are now doing assistance work as your primary work and not doing any primary work at all. Of course if you do not have access to rings then this may be all you have for now.
I have access to rings. In addition, the flee gym has a TRX thing on the fifth floor though it is not that high (about 7' on the low bar). Plus, I'll be replacing the pull-up bar that broke in our office which I normally hung my rings. So, if it comes to trying the real thing or even doing chest to ring pull-ups and chest to ring dips subs, that's possible.

Not sure what you mean by primary and assistance. If you mean having my weight reduced (via gravitron) or using low weights (via the cable system), I'm being realistic here. My weight is about 235 lbs. Just using the cable pulldowns, I could only do a 135 lb MU simulation. Trying to do MUs via kips or even scaled with my feet seems dangerous, especially without trained spotters or coaches. Makes sense to me to build up strength in a controlled way till I can handle bodyweight.

Quote:
What do you mean a MU is like a C&J?

I've used weights to train for gymnastic skills, but you really want the weight training to mimic the skill as much as possible. As long as you keep in mind it is assistance work I think you're okay. And just remember if assistance work impedes your primary work your programming is out of whack. UNLESS again of course doing primary work is out of the question given current equipment limitations.
By clean and jerk, from what I gather, you're ballistically getting the weight to the shoulders, then using a jerk to get the weight over head. With MUs, it's a kipping pull up to get to the dip position, then another kip for the lock out. Momentum and hip drive are necessary to reduce the impact of weight on either. Both however can be done with pure strength. Not kipping the MU which requires enormous strength at BW and doing a hanging clean without the hip drive followed with a standing press (again, enormous strength required to get impressive weight).

Again, though, you'll have to clarify primary and assistance. I'm assuming now it's more about the 5-3-1 where assistance exercises are prescribed after the primary lift is done for the day?
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
Mauricio Leal
Affiliate Mauricio Leal is offline
 
Mauricio Leal's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oakland  CA
Posts: 839
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

Quote:
Anyway, for pull-up warm-ups, training percentages and now muscle-ups I can't use my bodyweight as the minimum weight (too dangerous with MUs). To compensate, I've been using either cable pull-downs for muscle-ups or pull-up simulation or the graviton for the pull-ups. Not the most ideal solution, but it seems to be working in the short term.
This doesn't make sense to me. Gymnastics strength is definitely not centered on kipping and lots of reps. I think you're saying you can't do a strict MU yet, or
more than a few? Either way, the answer with gymnastics is always simple in principle, though it varies in practice: scale the movement, either via load, leverage, or breaking up the movement into its constituent parts (pull-ups and dips) and working on those. The answer is not to find analog machine-based movements. It won't work. The simplest approach is probably to increase your strict C2B pull-up and Dip 1/3/5RMs until you can overpower the MU and essentially fly through the transition (where most struggle due to a lack of surplus strength), still without kipping. You can even use many traditional Barbell Strength programming percentages (531, etc.) with simply BW+External Load as the baseline metric (e.g. 150# BW + 20# on a dip belt = 170# 1RM).

I'd recommend shooting for at least BW+25-40% external load 1RM C2B Pull-up and Dip before giving the strict MU a go (Dip should probably be higher, but you get the idea). Work on the false grip and transition skills as an accessory with feet on the ground and/or with a band (there are several good progressions out there, check out GWOD). This doesn't have to be complicated, don't try to reinvent the wheel. Good luck.
__________________
CrossFit Cypher
www.crossfitcypher.com

Last edited by Mauricio Leal : 05-02-2012 at 12:27 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 08:04 AM   #7
Brendan McNamar
Affiliate Brendan McNamar is offline
 
Brendan McNamar's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Glendale  AZ
Posts: 2,216
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

I think I understand.

Pull-ups are easy. You can treat them like any barbell exercise. You will need two sets of 10 to 12 strict body weight pull-ups then you can begin to add weight. Use whatever progression you prefer with the equipment available. We use them in my gym in this order:

1) Assisted
2) Get first at body weight
3) Build at body weight until 2 sets of 10+ strict are possible
4) Use dip belt to begin adding weight. Looking for 2 sets of around 6 to 10 reps.

Muscle-ups are a little different. Because of the dynamic movement and the possibility of shoulder injury if things get out of line adding weight down the road is probably not a great idea.

You can train weighted pull ups and weighted dips to achieve the same basic results with much less risk to the shoulder. This is probably more valuable then cables because the movements are closer to the real thing. I see no problem using cables to build to dips. There are many good muscle up progressions on the different gymnastics and CrossFit web sites.

The three body weight "lifts" we do with weight are pull-ups, chin-ups and dips. All very valuable in building over all strength.

Hope this helps answer your question.
__________________
Nomadic CrossFit Coach
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
Dimitri Dziabenko
Banned Dimitri Dziabenko is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Toronto  ON
Posts: 1,080
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

I didn't read all of the responses, they are quite extensive, but here's my take:

I am 195lb and can do a 75lb weighted pull up without ever having done anything super-smart (like varying percentages). That said

195+75 = 270 and 195/270 = 72%, so really if you wanted to do percentages, you could. I don't really see the point in dipping towards 50% and doing speed sets, whatever that would mean for a pull up.

In my personal opinion, I find that weighted pull ups are really helpful in bringing up regular pull ups, to the point where if you are at 5 nice, strict pull ups, I'd mess with adding 5-10lb just because of how helpful weighted pull ups were for me for getting to 15 pull ups (I don't think I can quite do 20 yet, but maybe in a few weeks).

Machines are phenomenal for any kind of glycogen depletion stuff or super-duper high rep work. But as far as maximal strength, lets be real here, pull ups are a better choice.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
William Miller
Member William Miller is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oklahoma City  OK
Posts: 103
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

Is the pull of a muscle up more like a pullup or a chinup? It seems like the hands and arms are more rotated like a chinup with the false grip. Would it be more beneficial to train (palms away) or chinups (palms toward) in building strength for a muscle up?
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
Jeff Stanek
Member Jeff Stanek is offline
 
Jeff Stanek's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Thornton  CO
Posts: 208
Re: Training Pull-ups and Muscle-ups as a Strength Exercise

William, neither. The grip is neutral and only truly resembles a row.

If you want to practice MU strength on a bar, focus on false-grip pullups. It will crush your forearms, but have a great transfer.
__________________
Owner, CrossFit Thornton
Intern, The BIZ: Raise Your Game
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kipping--Pull-ups/Muscle-ups Mark Porter Exercises 3 01-06-2009 05:51 AM
How many ring pull ups and ring dips to sub for muscle ups Antun Karlovac Exercises 4 11-16-2008 02:19 PM
Muscle ups converted into pull ups/dips? Chris von Wilpert Starting 4 10-08-2008 04:46 PM
Ring pull ups versus fixed bar pull ups Chris Fitzgerald Exercises 10 10-02-2006 12:01 AM
I can do almost as many muscle-ups as pull-ups. Huh? Neal Winkler Exercises 20 01-22-2006 12:07 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.