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Old 09-30-2004, 12:43 PM   #1
jonathan rivers
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I have been lurking around the message boards for a couple of weeks without posting. There is a lot of good advice, and information. I have been doing the WODs for 2 weeks now and I am addicted. Today I caught myself praying during the workout to help me finish. That is the sign of a good workout. I am very excited to be a part of this message board and way of life. Now since I am a newbie here is the question: What is the best way to do pullups if I cannot do one? What exercises should I be doing to get me to where I can do pullups? I did lat pulldowns today with as much weight as I could with strict form to simulate a pullup. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 09-30-2004, 01:34 PM   #2
Larry Lindenman
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Welcome Jonathan. Dump the lat pulldowns. There are numerous ways to help with pullups. A training partner could spot you and lift some of your weight, you could use a jump stretch band and tye it to the bar (kind of like a bow, your the arrow), you could start by putting both feet in the band (or rubber tube) then one foot, then BW pullup, you could pull a bench or chair next to the pullup bar and step up to the "up" position and slowely lower yourself to the start position, or use any combo of the above tips. WOrk this during warmups and as often as you can throughout the day. Good luck.
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Old 09-30-2004, 01:37 PM   #3
Mike Yukish
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Don't forget to kip. Think full body dry heave, or salmon swimming up the rapids.
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Old 10-01-2004, 08:26 AM   #4
David Wood
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I'm a big fan of the "negatives only" way to get to doing pullups.

Jump up, use a chair, whatever, to get to the top of the pullup position. Lower yourself as slowly as you can. When you can make the descent last 10 seconds or more, you'll be able to do a real honest-to-God pullup (from the bottom).

This is how I first got a pullup, many (many) years ago.

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Old 10-01-2004, 08:55 AM   #5
Larry Cook
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On the main page you'll see a picture of woman doing "ring rows" (Oct. 5, rest day). Others (including me) call these body pulls and they are great for progressing to pull-ups. You can do them with rings, or a bar across the backs of two chairs works very well. The suggestions from Larry, Mike and Dave are all excellent as well.

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Old 10-01-2004, 08:10 PM   #6
Pat Janes
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I still can't do that many consecutive pullups, but I also cannot remember never being able to do one.

However, in building up to being able to complete a 100+ pullup WOD, I used lots of negatives when I could no longer continue to do them. I'd 2nd David's suggestion for working negatives.

I think the concensus of opinion generally seems to be to work as many different methods that approximate the movement as you can. Negatives, assisted pullups, ring rows... pretty much what Larry L. was saying now I re-read it.
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Old 10-06-2004, 01:04 PM   #7
jonathan rivers
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Thank you for the advice I have been trying negatives and the ring row. It is interesting trying to get back into shape I never thought I would be at the stage where I could not do a pullup but that is what gaining weight and losing strength will do. I think I will be able to do a pullup fairly soon. Since I have been dieting and working out I am cutting fat quickly. The crossfit methods are absolutely amazing.
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Old 10-06-2004, 02:28 PM   #8
Ron Nelson
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Great advice already posted, I can mostly concur. I will say I just used stretch bands with our jr. high girls with great success. As they tried their pull ups, I asked if they had ever seen the top of the pull up bar before. Most said no and the smiles on their faces proved they loved the view. I would suggest getting a pair (Ironwoody is cheap and a good product) and do what has been suggested. To get those numbers up, do the negatives. You'll love what they do for your arms and upper back!!!
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Old 10-07-2004, 02:28 AM   #9
James R. Climer
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Way back in the 1970's in the summer between 8th & 9th grade a new Nautilus Fitness center opened about 12 miles from my house and offered football teams in the area a package discount for 3 mos. I participated, which is to set up the story that our 8th grade basketball coach tried to make us climb the rope in the gym to the ceiling as part of 'power drill' conditioning. To his disgust most of the whole team could barely make it up with leg assist.

Fast forward to track practice in 9th grade, where we used to race up the rope to the ceiling arms only for pole vault conditioning, and for a short while I held the school record time. The vast majority of the improvement I credit to one superset to failure consisting of Nautilus pullover 12 reps followed immediately by the close grip, palms facing you pulldown 12 reps three times a week. This superset was brutally hard and was closely scrutinized by the trained staff who loved nothing more than to catch someone trying to glide thru a workout. So I have to say that the pulldown can be a good assist exercise.

Another exercise that doesn't seem to get mentioned in questions regarding pull up development is the pushup. I just read the Armstrong method, and he began each and every day with 3 sets of maximum pushups in the morning with good recovery rest time between each set. If you've ever tried Hindu pushups, I think you might find them helpful in building up the shoulders as well.
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