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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-28-2004, 05:00 PM   #21
Brian Mulvaney
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Ben:

Are you channelling the spirit of Mel Siff? In the best tradition of the dearly departed Dr. Siff, you are marvelously prolix in debunking fad fitness without ever really getting down to the business of detailing your own presciption. Plus you both seem a bit prickly... Siff is sorely missed not only for his ability to call b.s. on everybody, but for his genuine concern and compassion for fitness practitioners. We'd miss you if you left this board. No need to come back under a new, less bothersome, identity. As far as I'm concerned, there really isn't a need to post your pullup program, either. I like the mysterious nature of it. I expect that as I hit various plateaus in my own pull up quest I will be comforted by the knowledge that there is a special, non-public, program out there that I may be able to resort to (with your kind assistance of course) if I really need it.

Here's my program for March:

18 dead hang pullups at start.

Three part pull up training program:

1/3 strict adherence to the WOTD with max intensity.
1/3 visualization and positive affirmation.
1/3 wishful thinking and blithe ignorance.

Set new PR on April 1st and ask Lynne to update her spreadsheet. Based on the outcome, I may repeat the March program in April.

-Brian
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Old 02-28-2004, 05:35 PM   #22
Ben Gimball
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Brian,

You have a friendly spirit-You may E-mail me anytime! Barring any unforseen circumstances that are beyond my control, I will have you up to 30 Pull-ups at such a fast rate your compatriots will cry foul!

I could go on about how most men, using the inferior programs that are bandied about, have a sticking point somewhere between the 18 and 22 mark, but I do not want to place that thought in your head. :wink:
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Old 02-28-2004, 06:35 PM   #23
Kris Freeman
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For my eventual pull-up goal of 30 I'm going to:

Follow WOD
Do pull-up in usual warmup starting at 10 and add 1 rep every two weeks.
When I complete the fabrication of my rings work on pullups on those for some change, possibly carryover.
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Old 02-28-2004, 07:46 PM   #24
Ben Gimball
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Kris,

Why have you decided to "add one rep every two weeks"? Is this an arbitrary number, or based upon a certain calculation? What will you do if you are not able to add this extra rep every two weeks?

I like the idea of change by using the rings. Burnout is a factor in any sort of training. However, how will you use the rings? What is your specific goal in using the rings relative to dead hang Pull-ups?

You began your post by stating your goal was 30 Pull-ups. How many continuous dead hang Pull-ups are you currently able to do?
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:25 AM   #25
Mike Yukish
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Ben, I am currently doing the WOD, plus I'll throw in density training a couple of evenings each week.

In the density training, I'll open with a max set of reps, then follow with 5 reps on the minute until I can't , then 4 reps on the minute until they get sloppy, and then 3 until I get to 120 reps (or am told to come to dinner).

I find that the density training is good at training for getting one more rep out, as I essentially am doing max sets for 30 minutes. Plus they're fun to do, and functional to climbing, where you only do one rep at a time, but do them spread out all day.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:39 AM   #26
Kris Freeman
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Ben,
I'm currently at 15-16 range for pull-ups and have been stuck there for about 2 months. My thoughts are that I was focusing on Pull-ups to heavily (Stew Smith pyramids centered). I believe that this led to some overtraining on my part and got me into a plateau or something. Then again I've heard it can be subtle problems in your form that can break the branch between the mid teens to 20 reps.

As far as the adding on rep every two weeks to my warmup: I've been reading at Dragondoor where a lot of people have had success w/ "Practice Sets". The whole reasoning behind this (I believe you might disagree with) is to perform practice sets and increase the reps gradually. With this philosophy you can build up to sets of 15-16 easy and then make it possible to perform a relatively easy set of 20 deadhangs.

If there is a better aproach I can mix into Crossfit, by all means share. This just seemed something interesting to test combined easily witht the wod.
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:43 AM   #27
Kris Freeman
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Ben,
As far as the use of the rings goes, I simply want to get a different feel for pullups, and work on dip work. On crossfit it has been said that once you achieve a range of around 15 pullups and dips you can start working on the Muscle Up. That is exactly what I plan to do. Being that the muscle up is a great upper body workout I'm thinking that there will be carryover into the same muscles you use for deadhang pullups. Sometimes all you need is a change in medium to break barriers previously thought impossible.
-Kris
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:29 PM   #28
Ben Gimball
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Mike,

My main problem with "Density training" is not that it does not work! It works, the problem is it works for the purposes of cranking out more reps over a period of time. People usually like Density training because doing x amount of reps every one minute is simply fun, for many reasons.

Mik, I will tell you a little secret. One little piece of advice that will make a huge difference in your one rep maximum. If you want to stick with Density training (which I do not recommend!), instead of doing 4 reps every minute, perform 3 reps every :30. Prrior to performing your fist set of 3 reps I would like you to first do one set of 80%-85% of your max effort. For example if you are able to perform 10 dead hang Pull-ups (to failure), just do 8 for your first set. Now wait :30 and begin with 3 reps as suggested.

Firstly, you will be surprised at how much you recuperate in the first :30, as opposed to waiting an additional :30. Secondly, You will not be able to go the full 30 minutes, which is good because I don't want you to!

Again, I am giving you training advice to raise your one set max reps in the dead hang Pull-up. I am not giving you training advice specifically for climbing.

E-mail me and let me know how you are doing-
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:44 PM   #29
Ben Gimball
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Kris,

The first rule of training: when in doubt, repeat what works until it no longer works! You apparently achieved some success with GTG (grease the groove) training, as many new trainees do. Again, this is because virtually any program will raise your level of fitness (or Pull-up reps) when you are new. It has nothing to do with GTG, as that is an inferior program for the purposes of raising your one rep max in dead hang Pull-ups!

You are stuck at 15 to 16 reps for two months because you are working with an inferior system. If the system that you heard so much about worked then it would most likely work for you! You commented that you might be "overtraining." Now why would you think that running to the Pull-up bar three (or four) times per day five or six days per week would lead to overtraining? This is exactly what is recommended, and is at the heart of the GTG program! And only one of the reasons (there are many) that it does not work long term!

Stay away from the Dragon Door website and message board if you are going to be so easily swayed. Plenty of times when you read about "a lot of people having success" it is nothing more than hype! You have one of the best forums for training right here at CrossFit! I would also like to add that there is less hype on this board than on any forum that I have ever been associated with. In other words, the information here is real and the numbers are real!

I will give you one piece of advice in technique that will send you to 20 reps very, very quickly! E-mail me.
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Old 02-29-2004, 03:15 PM   #30
Barry Cooper
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I've been gone a couple of days, and during that period have developed what I believe is a workable program based on the principles outlined above.

The program needs some combination of Maximal Strength, Dynamic Strength, and Repetition. I'm not an expert, but it looks like Westside is about 50% Maximal, 30-40% Dynamic, with Repetition being done to finish out workouts, or about 10-20%. That's not necessarily reps, but the relative importance of each type of training.

For pullups, I think the percentages should be about 70% Repetition, 20% Dynamic, and 10% Maximal Strength. If you do 100 reps in a week, do 70 pullups using GTG, Density Training, WOD, 15 maximal sets on the minute, or whatever you like. Just do the reps. Do 20 Jumping Pullups, in two workouts, or at the very beginning of Repetition workouts. I've been experimenting with 8 sets of 3 reps. Each rep I grunt and pull as hard as I can, and get my hands off the bar. I do one rep, rest a couple seconds, do another, rest, then another, then take about 45 seconds rest. Take as much as you need, but make sure you get very explosive reps. (As an aside, I've thought about why gymnasts are so strong doing only bodyweight exercises, and the obvious answer popped in my head that they are lifting dynamically, so they are lifting a multiple of their bodyweight).

Finally, I think one Maximal Strength session would be called for. The rep scheme doesn't work as well here, so I would just suggest a 5-4-3-2-1 progression, where you bump the weight up every set, and keep doing max singles until you can tell you're going to miss the next rep. Do this exercise if you like with Weighted Pull-ups, but I would also think Bicep Curls (and there are a bunch of versions of those), Rows (again, a number of versions), Lat Pulldowns, and probably something else I'm forgetting.

On top of this basic program you layer a progression in the number of reps it's based on. Week One you base it on 200 reps (or whatever seems right to you), Week Two 250 reps, Week Three 300 reps, and Week Four zero or 100 reps (some sort of rest). This would mean that the week you do 200 reps you do 140 pullups in whatever form you like--15 max sets on the minute, 5 every time Jack Bauer scowls, whatever--40 Dynamic reps, and one Weighted workout. For the Weighted workout keep to one exercise for at least three weeks, then rotate it.

There is obviously room in here for tweaking the number of reps, and--if you like--the percentages.

I think this is a decent program. I could be wrong, but at least I'm clear.

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