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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 08-03-2006, 07:49 AM   #21
Adam Rooke
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GTG worked for me, I must have been churning out about 150 pulls a day, just in small, numerous sets. This was before I started doing CF and haven't tried a max for a while now - but my pull-ups have definitely got a lot better since following the WOD. When you are doing them in the last round of Fran, doing them fresh seems to easy to be true
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:54 AM   #22
Aushion Chatman
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I could see going from 2 to 10 pretty quickly as your body learns the actual movement of the pull-up. 2-20 in a month seems like a croc to me, but I won't say it's impossible...

I started at 1 pull-up in middle school,... started lifting weights for a few years, came back and I could do 12 by college...started crossfitting for a year, came back and could do 20+. I think I could crank out a good 25 or so go beyond that I think I'd have to start specializing in pull-up training.
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:46 AM   #23
Jeremy Jones
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4 - 20 in a month seems a bit extreme, I would want more info about that (like someone who was already very strong, just didn't have the propper motor pathways developed for efficient DH pullups).

One thing that many people don't realize is how taxing pull ups are on your metabolic pathway when you get into the higher rep range (over 15). 20 DH pull ups will take most people close to a minute to perform.

Kipping pullups will allow a person to do much more work required preparing your arms for the 20 DH. The balistic nature of kipping will also strengthen your grip and work your pull up muscles harder. Weighted pull ups will provide more absolute strength, making the first reps easier.

I would make sure that you GTG everyday with DH and kipping pull ups (never going to failure right?), and then throwing some weighted pull ups a couple times a week (5x5 would be good). Try it for two weeks and then take a day off to test (no weighted pull ups for two days before, and no GTG work that day).

I got up to doing about 150-200 kipping pull ups or more a day doing 3 sets, doing something similar (my max single set was 53 in a row). I haven't attempted a max DH in a while so I can't tell you where I am at with them (closest thing I can think of is 12 'L' pull ups in a row I think), but I can also do one rep with 100lbs added.

(Message edited by jjones on August 03, 2006)
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:13 AM   #24
Keith Wittenstein
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Tim, I think you've come to the right place. From the evidence on these boards, you'll find that adopting CrossFit will help your pullups tremendouslly. However, if you really wanted to make the gains you say, you have to drink the KoolAid.

First, learn to kip. Do lots of kipping pullups. In fact, if I were you, I would forget about deadhangs for 1 month and just kip for a month and then retest yourself.

Two, get on the Zone diet...NOW! Everybody who dials in the Zone improves their performance...especially in the area of pullups. I don't know why, but if you want to add more reps, then do it.

Finally, Do the WODs. Do the CrossFit Warmup, do the WODs and Grease the Groove with submax pullups throughout the day. Variance is key: do every pullup variation you can think of.

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Old 08-03-2006, 04:14 PM   #25
Luis Munoz
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Just taking a quick look at the schedules for the months of July and June shows that the WODs featured pullups 9 times in July and 11 times in June. We're generally doing anywhere from 40-45 to 100 pullups during these workouts and doing them in a wide varieties of styles (jumping, weighted, kipping, etc.). Assuming you are doing the CFWU on the days that the WOD does not include pullups you are still doing anywhere from 30-45 pullups. That's a lot of pullups. The workouts seem to be purposely pullup heavy because it's a taxing movement (and thus a prominent weakness for many people). If you are doing the WODs and the CFWU then it doesn't seem that you really need to do a whole lot more as these workouts are already designed to improve on this movement.

As far as people improving from 2 to 20 pullups in one month... I would have a much easier time believing they did it if they had previously been able to do 20 pullups, had taken some time off from training and allowed themselves to become somewhat out-of-shape, and had basically re-trained themselves to perform 20 pullups. I found myself in a similar situation when I began crossfit in February. I went from about 8 to 25 kipping pullups in about 6 weeks but had been capable of doing about 25 dead hang pullups several years before. Although I'm not back to 25 deadhangs yet (20 right now), I'm closing in on it using only the WODs.

Regardless, 15 deadhang pullups is quite good. Be proud of that accomplishment and, as many people on this website preach, learn to celebrate small improvements.
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:28 PM   #26
Tim Walsh
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Thanks, Luis. Certainly, I have come a long way. Everytime I test myself and add a rep, I'm absolutely thrilled. That's what keeps me going.

To everyone reccomending that I "drink the KoolAid" and just start doing WOD and the Zone diet, I will say this: I respect what you guys do and I know you work hard. Many of you are in tremendous shape. But I'm not ready to buy into everything just yet.

This summer has been a HUGE turning point for me. I sat down back in May and took a hard look at every area of my training, and overhauled the whole thing. In the last 60 days I've run more mileage than I did over the 5 months before that, and I'm finally succeeding as a distance runner. I started paying attention to my diet for the first time, following the principles of John Berardi, and I reduced my bodyfat from about 15% to 9% so I can see my abs for the first time in my life. Now, I've just finished my first cycle of Dan John's OLAD program, and I'm convinced that if I back it up with the right nutrition I'll see the best gains of my life in strength and lean body mass if I stick with it. Right now I just want to ride this out for as long as I can. In another 6-12 months, if I am not making any more improvements to my performance or body composition, I'll take a trip to CrossFit Boston and see what they can do for me.

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Old 08-03-2006, 08:19 PM   #27
Jason Lopez-Ota
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i think in 6-12 months you're going to be saying "why didn't i start sooner?" :lol: good luck!
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:56 PM   #28
Steven Low
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Here's something I wrote a while back that will ease your mind as to why GTG works:

The bodybuilding community in general has promoted the stereotype of "go heavy and hard on a muscle one or two times a week and don't touch it otherwise it could lead to overtraining."

This is generally true; however, there are a few concepts behind this that you need to know to know how to use different methods of training. Let's take a lot of olympic caliber athletes. For example, track sprinters, gymnasts, olympic lifters and many other athletes perform and practice for their specific events 5-6 times a week. These athletes are obviously not overtraining; rather, they are getting stronger, more powerful, more efficient, etc. Why? These few concepts have to be taken into account:

Frequency - how often one exercises
Intensity - how intense an exercise is.. mainly base on amount of sets
Load - how much resistance an exercise has
Repetitions - obviously how many times you do it in a set

For example, if you do really fast pushups for high reps for say 10 sets... will you get sore? Yes, initially, but after maybe 5 or so workouts it won't make you sore anymore. Why? It has high repetitions, low load and low-medium intensity. Thus, the frequency can be medium to high.

Let's look at another example. Say we have a bodybuilder doing triceps and chest. Bench press, incline press, decline press, dips, flys, cable crossovers all 3x8 with as heavy weight as possible. Will you get sore? Probably. Medium reps (hypertrophy range), high load, high intensity. That usually means that you need a lower frequency to prevent overtraining.. thus only 1-2x a week you would do this.

BTW, the reason I am using soreness is because it is a good indicator of how conditioned one is to a particular exercise or workout program. A very good conditioned athlete will be able to perform several high intensity 100m sprints without significant drops in performance or being winded while your average joe could probably only do one before his performance goes down significantly and will be really winded afterwards.

Basically what I am trying to get at is that doing this multiple times throughout the day will not lead to overtraining. There is no way. The repetitions are pretty low which means you're mainly in the strength building range, the load is medium because you can't do the exercise that well, and the intensity is low because you are not doing that many sets. Thus, you can keep the frequency pretty high without significantly taxing your central nervous system into overtraining.

In any case, the better conditioned you are, the more you can do before you overtrain. Your load or intensity or frequency can be higher.. like my example with the sprinter or gymnasts working out for 6+ hours a day. The main thing to remember is that there is not just one system of how to train. If I do a lot of 1 RM maxes in say a bench press in maybe 2-3 sets throughout a day for 5 times a day I probably won't overtrain (as total reps = 15). Conversely, it will probably stimulate my muscles very heavily and increase muscle growth and enhance my CNS and my muscular recruitment patterns and whatnot thus increasing my strength and giving some size. Heck, potentially it can increase my strength more than doing 3x8 sets of bench pressing which si 24 reps. The load and reps and intensity is different, so they have different effects on the body.

Thus, there are various benefits to training differently:

1. training an exercise frequently -- usually increases in strength via CNS and muscle/motor recruitment
2. going hard and heavy but less frequently -- mainly more hypertrophy in nature -- which is what bodybuilders focus on
3. going with high reps -- increasing muscular endurance
4. going with low reps -- training strength
5. increasing the intensity -- increases metabolism and caloric turnover (helps lose weight)

and the list goes on.... It really depends on what your goals are. This is why mixing and matching reps, load, intensity and frequency produce different effects on the body.. as you now realize.


Here's the thread it came from:

I haven't heard from him since, but his last update (right after my post) he increased his amount of reps by ~4 from 8 to 12 in 2 weeks. :-)

Also, I'm suprised that a lot of people here don't know why kipping pullups will serve to increase one's ability to do deadhang pullups. The reason is pretty much under your nose -- since they are nearly working the same muscles, the increased amount of reps you can do with kipping pullups serves to enhance your CNS connections and help to enhance fiber recruitment. These are the same principles along the grease the groove method. And there you have it. :proud:
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:33 PM   #29
Tim Walsh
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Steven, in that case where do you think I have gone wrong in the past when trying this method?

In my latest attempt, I tried jumping into the Recon Ron program at week 7 (figuring that I'm not a beginner and I can already do 13-15 solid deadhangs). I would do sets of 10/8/6/6/6 reps 6 days/week, with a 2 minute rest period between sets. A week and a half later, doing 11/8/7/6/6, I could barely do the first set of 11 and had to stop halfway through the workout.

Last summer I had a similar experience, despite exercising the patience to work my up from week 1 (which was very easy). I failed again once I got to week 8. And that time I was using much longer rest periods between sets.

By the way, if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can see the Recon Ron progression chart here:

Where have I gone wrong and what do you propose is the most practical way to use this method? Do I just forget the Recon Ron progression and do more sets of fewer reps, like 20 sets of 3 or 4 throughout the day?

What bothers me most is what I asked earlier... why should I train my pull-ups any different from my deadlift or my military press. You wouldn't train those everyday, would you? WOD doesn't even have you do that.

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Old 08-05-2006, 01:31 PM   #30
Allan Fisher
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Tim, that's not "greasing the groove." The GTG idea is to spread out your sets over the day, typically at 1/2 your max reps, so you are always fresh and never approach failure.
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