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Old 11-09-2007, 05:47 PM   #1
John Umbach
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Pull up advice

Ok. I started back in July with a concerted effort to become a pull up master like so many here at crossfit(and yes, I know this takes a LONG time). However, I don't feel like I'm making much progress. In July, I was able to do 6 rounds of cindy w/ 5 pullups each round. Today, I was able to do 9 rounds! That IS progress. The interesting thing is I can't seem to do more than 5 or 6 at a time. My endurance has improved but the # per set has not.

Am I just still to low on the strength curve and need to be patient or could I do something different? BTW, I've only be crossing it for about 3 weeks. I wonder if I should stop trying to do the crossfit warmup w/ the pullups before every workout. Maybe I'm not giving my back enough recovery. Someone give me some helpful thoughts. And, thanks in advance for your time.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:52 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Pull up advice

Are you sore all the time or tired/exhausted which is limiting your pullups? If so, you may just need a rest break to dissipate fatigue usually about 3-7 days. If you've been going constantly for 2-3 months it probably needs to be a week of active recovery. Otherwise, it's generally diet or sleep schedule that throw people off.

How many pullups are you getting in the warmups in a row? The warmup is mainly to get the blood flowing, build up a light sweat, etc. so if it's taking away significantly from the workout you need to scale it.

Usually CF has the tendency to allow you to increase your pullups beyond 15-20 pretty easily. Oh yes, last question.. how is your kipping?
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:03 PM   #3
John Umbach
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Re: Pull up advice

I'm not sore all the time but my lats do feel tired. Like they just can't pull me very well. In my warm up I'm doing a round of 5 pullups then pushups, situps, etc... and repeat for 3 rounds. I am nowhere near 15-20 pull ups at one time. After several days of no exercise related to my lats, I may get 6 or 7 at one time. Kipping.....my kipping stinks. I'm doing just straight dead hang pull ups.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:09 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Pull up advice

I'd advise taking some time off to see if that helps.

Work on the kipping.

If you really want to add strength quick, then start doing weighted pullups for triples.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:39 PM   #5
Paul Findley
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Re: Pull up advice

This is our home made "gravitron". Some climbing gear + home depot + weight.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:01 PM   #6
John Umbach
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Re: Pull up advice

thanks again. Think I may take the pullups out of the warm up routine and only do them when prescribed as part of the WOD. See where that gets me. Also, Paul, I have been using resistance bands from bar to feet to really go beyond failure at times. That seems to get my reps up to the 10 range.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:27 PM   #7
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Pull up advice

That's awesome Paul... I wish I had a garage!

John, I'm not a pro or anything, but I had a similar situation when I started. I could do about 5 consecutive, rest for a short bit, then do 5 more. But 5-6 was about the most I could ever do at once.

My personal experience was to leave them in the warmups and do CFWU x 3 before every WOD with 10 pullups. It didn't matter if I did them all at once or not, just as long as I did them.

Get a good diet and ample rest and I think you'll start to see the numbers going up. I'd try resting for a week maybe and seeing if that helps, but if continued rest doesn't improve your numbers, it doesn't sound like fatigue is really your problem.

I'd say keep them in the warmups. Don't try to max out, just make sure you're doing all of them. Then in a month or so see if you can increase it from 10 to 15, and slowly build up your max consecutive reps.

That's just personal experience though, everyone else is different. I got my pullups up to 15 consecutive dead-hang within about 2.5 months, where I've been stuck ever since (hoping to hit 20 one of these days). I had a door-gym pull-up bar, which made kipping difficult, so my dead-hangs improved rapidly.

The only down side is that most crossfit WODs cater to the kipping pull-up, and with nothing but dead-hang practice under my belt, by the time I actually needed to throw some serious pull-up numbers on the board (via kipping), I was severely limited.

Long story short, I tend to mix up my warmups. I do CFWU x 3 still. The first set I do 15 dead-hang. The second I do 15 kipping. And the 3rd I mix up or do whatever I feel like. Getting your kip improved is about as important, if not more important than boosting your max consecutive dead-hangs, as far as CrossFit goes.

That concludes my very long $0.02 ... good luck
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:30 AM   #8
Kris Freeman
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Re: Pull up advice

My experience, it helped to break the plateau doing different kinds of "pulling."
Learn the kipping pull-up, there's an excellent video by Eva T demonstrating how to learn the kp most effectively. The explosiveness and ability to integrate your hips and core more are crucial!

Good luck,
Kris
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:00 AM   #9
John Umbach
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Re: Pull up advice

I appreciate all the help. Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:24 AM   #10
John A. Martinez
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Re: Pull up advice

John,

I am having the same problem. I can not do pull ups, because I am 278 ibs and I have never used pull ups as part of my work out routine. I am still using jumping pull ups, those are geting easier for me to do and I am not as sore. Just keep asking for help, and the answer will come to you.

I would try different types of pull ups, wide grip, closed grip, etc, to see how that works

John
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