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Old 01-18-2005, 05:59 PM   #1
Toby Shell
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Here is the Recon Ron pullup program:

Over the Top on ‘Dead Hang’ Pull-ups
By LtCol. Stanley J. Pasieka, Jr., USMC (Ret)

After fifteen years in the Marine Corps I am finally able to “max” the pull/chin-up event on the physical fitness test. You can too if you follow this schedule. Before you know it you will be able to accomplish what the Marine Corps has set for a perfect test score.
Although everybody knows that the only way to increase your ability to do pull-ups is to do them over and over, I was never able to make this sound advice work for me. A few years ago, I received a “guaranteed to work” schedule from one of my former platoon commanders. He assured me that in merely six months I would easily be able to complete twenty pull-ups. In just 23 weeks on the “Recon Ron Pull-up Program,” I completed 21 chin-ups. If this program worked for me, there’s a good chance it can work for many other Marines, if they are willing to give it a try.
The program is based on performing a manageable number of pull-ups each day, and gradually increasing the number. The total number of pull-ups done each day is completed in five sets. Each step is repeated daily for two weeks before progressing to the next step. Time is not a factor, but each workout can complete in less than ten minutes.
As an example, when I started this program, I struggled to reach nine pull-ups. Thus, I selected what I reasoned to be manageable number-26 pull-ups in ten minutes (step 13). Surprisingly, I was able to accomplish the workout with little difficult in five and a half minutes. It seemed to me that this initial success was far better than straining and possibly quitting the program before giving it a proper chance. After doing a set, I would walk around and generally finish all five sets in less than eight minutes. But, as I progressed to the steps with fifty and more total repetitions in each workout the time required became secondary, and it was good to just finish.
I can verify, as an experiment of one, that this plan will enable you to max the pull-up event on the physical fitness test. Set your goal and begin by adjusting the schedule to suit your particular fitness level.
Step 1:1,1,1,1,1 Step 16:9,7,6,5,5
Step 2:2,2,1,1,1 Step 17:10,7,6,6,5
Step 3:3,2,2,1,1 Step 18:10,8,6,6,6
Step 4:3,2,2,2,1 Step 19:10,8,7,6,6
Step 5:4,2,2,2,2 Step 20:11,8,7,7,6
Step 6:4,3,2,2,2 Step 21:12,9,7,7,7
Step 7:4,4,2,2,2 Step 22:13,9,8,7,7
Step 8:5,4,3,2,2 Step 23:14,9,8,8,7
Step 9:5,4,3,3,3 Step 24:14,10,8,8,8
Step 10:6,4,4,3,3 Step 25:15,10,9,8,8
Step 11:6,5,4,4,3 Step 26:16,10,9,9,8
Step 12:7,5,4,4,4 Step 27:16,11,9,9,9
Step 13:7,6,5,4,4 Step 28:17,11,10,9,9
Step 14:8,6,5,5,4 Step 29:18,11,10,10,9
Step 15:8,7,5,5,5 Step 30:18,12,10,10,10

Each step is done two weeks before advancing.

A workout consists of approaching the bar five times to do the specified number of repetitions in each set of pull-ups.

Set a comfortable and reasonable time to complete the workout.

Select one day each week to omit the workout and do one-third the total repetitions for the day.

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Old 01-19-2005, 06:07 AM   #2
Chris Forbis
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Out of curiosity, how many is it to max the Marine Corps pullups? The story aludes that it might be 20, but it doesn't clearly state. And can I assume that they are deadhangs?

I've been doing 3 sets of 8 reps (as part of the Crossfit warmup- deadhangs) every day. Getting decent at that, so I'll soon be moving to 9. Once I get to 15, I'll purchase some rings so I can work my way towards the mighty muscle-up.

Now my only problem is that when pullups come up in the WOD, I like to kip 'em (they're easier!), and my grip gives out before anything else does. Kipping taxes the grip a lot more than deadhangs.
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:53 PM   #3
Troy Archie
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My pulls suck so I think I’ll give this a shot and be a guinea pig.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:25 PM   #4
Scott Kustes
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I'm working on it too Troy. Just started two days ago and haven't missed a day yet. :wink:
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:45 PM   #5
Steven Stackpole
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Thanks for the pull-up program Toby
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:12 AM   #6
Lawrence N. Ragsdale
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You have to do 20 deadhang pullups to get maximum points.
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:58 AM   #7
Carrie Klumpar
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Hey Chris,

Why wait on the rings? Go for it now! It's not, like, a law or something that you need to be able to do 15 consecutive pull-ups before the muscle-up will come. :wink: You never know--you might be ready now! Worth a try anyway...
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:08 PM   #8
Ross Greenberg
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I just got my first ring muscle up a few days ago. Prior to that I was unable to do any pullups and most other upper body exercises for a month due a wrist injury from wrestling. I did two regular ring workouts before the workout in which I did the muscleup, and my max dips were 7 and max pullups were 13. 15/15 or 20/20 is definitely not necessary for a muscleup.
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:04 PM   #9
Pat Janes
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I'm much the same, Ross. I got my 1st muscle-up a month or two ago. I am struggling to get 15 dead-hang pullups (maybe on a good day) and I'd definitely struggle with 15 consecutive full ROM ring dips.

You do obviously need to have a certain amount of strength to perform a muscle-up; you certainly need to be able to perform a full ROM pullup and dip and at least a few reps of each I would think.

After working muscle-ups for a while (trying to introduce less kip), I'm finding that determination (this is extremeley under-rated) and skill are far more important than strength.
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