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Originally Posted by mainbrotha View Post
25 BW pull ups? I would die. I did 7 today and felt good about myself.

Yeah that was definitely my max and I was full of energy that day, grip was pretty wide too. If I tried right now I could probably do 20 and be done. Then again I used to weigh 185 and when I did pull ups last I was 150lbs so that probably has something to do with it.
Old 07-20-2011, 06:30 PM Artesial is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
Yeah, I'm just under 200 now, and they definitely do get a little easier if you drop weight. A lot easier if you drop substantial weight.

As far getting better at pull ups, the biggest things are consistency and frequency. If you're still struggling with them and can't do 5, your best bet is to bust out as many pull ups as you can, as often as you can. I thought I had addressed this earlier in the thread, but some of my methods for getting better at pull ups was just to shoot for a number (30 is good if you're a beginner, as is 20-25, depending on how many you can do in a set).

Do as many sets to failure as it takes to get to that number. I think that with pull ups, they're one of those exercises where training to failure actually promotes progress, as opposed to other movements.
Old 07-20-2011, 06:48 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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Okay cool - I feel like I could do more than 4 without added weight, in the past 8 (on a very rare day, 9) was my max unweighted. I just want to be able to do my 3 sets of 4 with weight in the evening when I workout, so what would be a reasonable number to choose to do in the morning that would help me increase my overall capacity? 15? 20?

I would estimate I could do 5, maybe 6 unweighted right now in one set. And if I were to do this I would stop greasing the groove with random sets of 2 throughout the day, of course.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:46 PM fapling is offline  
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I'd say shoot for 25 and go from there depending on how much you're failing/succeeding.
Old 07-20-2011, 08:28 PM Artesial is offline  
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Well went for 25 this morning. Started off with 2 sets of 7, not bad, then after a set of 5 my forearms were like "Hello, we hate you. Love, your arms." Anyways, finished it up with 2x3, I'll let you guys know how tonight's workout goes!
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:26 PM fapling is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
Forearms can definitely be a limiting factor. I feel it helps to put your thumb over the bar. I've never tried hook grip with pull ups, however...
Old 07-21-2011, 01:31 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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Forearms can definitely be a limiting factor. I feel it helps to put your thumb over the bar. I've never tried hook grip with pull ups, however...

I didn't think about it until you mentioned it because that's just how I've always done pull-ups but I tried thumbs wrapped around bar and it was more difficult than "thumbless" gripping the bar.
Old 07-21-2011, 02:22 PM Artesial is offline  
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Cool, well when I work out tonight if I can't make my 3x4 with weight, I'll switch to a hook grip. But I think I'll keep the full grip for my morning 25. Thanks!

Edit: How is it exactly that the thumbless grip takes stress off the forearms, where does that stress go?
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:28 PM fapling is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
Good question. It doesn't take all of the stress off, because you still have to squeeze the bar to hold on. But I think when your thumb is opposing, it requires more muscles in your forearms to hold on. Simply holding my forearm with my arm while moving my thumb to the appropriate locations for either grip, I can feel the muscles moving around in my arm. I don't really know specifically if it takes the load off, but I know it sure feels like it.

I use the same grip for all of my pressing motions. Knock on wood, I haven't lost grip of the bar doing bench, yet.
Old 07-21-2011, 07:15 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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The same reason for barbell back squats it's better to use a thumbless grip. As Rippetoe mentions in Starting Strength (A book I highly recommend to read before starting a strength program) it keeps the wrist straight and in the case of pull ups, it's easier since you're not using muscle to wrap the thumb around the bar, you're letting it go where it wants to go naturally.
With squats it will actually straighten your back more because it prevents your wrist from bending which in turn pushes force against your back.
Old 07-21-2011, 07:48 PM Artesial is offline  
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Cool, thanks for the explanations. Well I got all of 'em except the last #4 on the last set!

So safe to say the 25 in the morning probably doesn't hurt me too much with an evening workout. Tried the hook grip to do the last pullup but honestly my arms were fried at that point. We'll see how tomorrow goes!
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:19 AM fapling is offline  
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Been a little while since I updated so here goes. Week 10 went pretty well, I failed last week on bench so did the same numbers this week and hit 4 instead of 3 for reps on bench at 210lbs. Squats @ 255lbs felt like feather so I did 5 instead of 3 reps and my deadlifts @ 305lbs went OK too. I've decided to go to a sumo style for deadlift as I feel more comfortable lifting heavier weight with it. I just need to get some damn soccer socks or something since the knurling of the bar fucks my shins up to the point they bleed; it's not really the pain or bleeding but I don't feel comfortable getting my DNA on a public bar.

Overall I'm still hitting numbers pretty strong and finished week 10, two more weeks to go until I hit my goal but I may continue it or not; I've been reading 20 rep squat program and it looks intense but awesome, anybody have experience with that?

Basically it looks like you take your 5 rep max which for me would be 255 subtract 90lbs from it and do 20 reps of that weight increasing 5lbs each work out. When 6 weeks is done (the length of the program) you'll have hit your 5 rep max for 20 reps. I think it could be interesting to try but I'll probably stick with MadCow until I start seeing failures more often.

Still eating a ton and drinking my half a gallon of milk a day. Haven't weighed myself yet since I'm not near a scale but when I get home I'll weigh myself and post an update.
Old 07-23-2011, 05:21 PM Artesial is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
I never stuck it out with 20 rep squats long enough to see the results I wanted (visually speaking, I guess). You will get stronger though. It's very much a cardio routine and it's a huge mental game, because by the time you hit your 8th to 10th rep, you're saying to yourself in your head (shit I still have another 10-12 left?) It turns into a vicious set of singles towards the end. When you try it, don't be surprised if you're hanging off of the bar, once you rack it, panting, trying to catch your breath for the next minute or so. You can also find yourself grunting a lot whether you mean to or not towards the later reps, which in itself is kind of cool (except if you're a Planet Fatness type person)

If you're concerned about getting your dna all over the bar, if the gym has paper towels and spray hanging around, spray down the bar after you use it and wipe it off. You said they have chalk all over the place anyways, so people shouldn't have a problem with it. This is actually how I used to clean off the bar when I used chalk at a place that didn't appreciate chalk too much. Fortunately, one of the guys was like "just don't make a mess and clean up the bar afterwards. I'm cool with it if you're not a dickhead."
Old 07-23-2011, 05:39 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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Artesial
 
Yeah I hear a set of 20 reps can last 3 minutes because you don't do them as quick as you would a normal 5 - 7 rep set.

I think I'll give 20 rep squat a chance when I start seeing MadCow fail, it will be a good challenge and if I can finish it, just one more challenge I would have met
Old 07-23-2011, 09:19 PM Artesial is offline  
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I think I'll give 20 rep squat a chance when I start seeing MadCow fail, it will be a good challenge and if I can finish it, just one more challenge I would have met
That's a really good way to think about it, just one more challenge.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:42 PM fapling is offline  
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