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Upping Your Pull Ups

By admin | In Uncategorized | on November 25, 2011


Mike Guadango just posted a great article on T-Nation about the importance of pull ups in strength and fitness and many progressions for attaining, increasing, and strengthening this movement. This is how strongly he feels about pull ups:

The pull-up is one of the best measures of both overall health and physical strength. I say ‘health’ because we all know fat guys who can bench press houses yet can’t bang out a single, solitary pull-up without resembling an obese chimpanzee having a seizure. I don’t care how big your bench or squat is, that’s not fitness – it’s weakness.

We coaches have had the great pleasure of seeing some of you grow from the days of banded to full fledged pull ups over the months (Anna, Holley, Stephanie, Xuan, Michelle, Aaron, AJ, Mike J., Scott, Alia, Viv, and more). The bands are a fantastic progression, but if you truly want to ditch the bands, you have to take matters into your own hands and invest some time before/after class or outside the gym to improve.

Mike posted different progressions for three different levels:

Beginner (trying to get first pull up):

Barbell inverted rows
Ring rows
Barbell/ring rows with weighted vest/chains
Single-arm ring rows
Pull-ups

Intermediate (trying to get more pull ups):

Example: Max Pull-ups: 10

Week 1 – 4 x 60%
60% x 10 reps = 6 reps, so perform 4 sets of 6 reps.
Week 2 – 5 x 60%
Week 3 – 6 x 60%
Week 4 – 4 x 70%
Week 5 – 5 x 70%
Week 6 – 6 x 70%
Week 7 – 4 x 80%
Week 8 – 5 x 80%
Week 9 – 6 x 80%
Week 10 – Max

Advanced:
Do weighted pull ups.


WOD 11.25.11

Revenge of the Turkey
100 Double Unders
90 Squats
80 Kayaks
70 Lunges
60 Sit Ups
50 Kettlebell Snatches (sub KBS)
40 Wall Ball Shots
30 Burpees
20 Push Jerks
10 Bear Crawls

10 Comments to "Upping Your Pull Ups"

  • Brian says:

    November 25, 2011 at 10:17 AM -

    While pullups are a very important topic (and a great post), there is a MORE important topic to be discussed today as today is a very special day.

    Today is our Mom’s birthday! Who very sneakily… (sneakily?.. eh I’ll go with it) forgot to mention it. But her humility is one of the many reasons why she is so loved by her kids… and stepkid. You personify so many aspects of “mom” its incredible. A caring and encouraging voice mixed with a stern drill sergeant when needed. You find an almost personalized way to motivate each member, and take pride in our success in and out of the gym. Very happy to throw you under the bus and let everyone know your secret today (as you know… at CFI you’re either on the bus or under it!). Have a very happy 3…er… 29th birthday!!!

    Have a great time snowboarding! Don’t get hurt and mess up your promising rowing career (even if its for the Chinese national team)… under the bus you go.

    1. ruth says:

      November 25, 2011 at 3:55 PM -

      Thanks everyone for the bithday wishes, and for throwing me under the bus Brian! This year I have so so much to be thankful for. Thank you Intrepids for making it possible for us to live our dream every day and for making it so worth it!

      @Jason, I’m not even spell checking it since I figured I can get a bye on bad grammar today!

  • Stephanie says:

    November 25, 2011 at 11:22 AM -

    Happy Happy Birthday Ruth!!
    You are one amazing woman. Mike and I were talking the other day about how inspiring it has been to watch your dreams become reality. As you would say, “with hard work and determination . . .” Your courage and fearlessness to move towards your goals is the reason we are a family today. Whether you like it or not we will forever be the children you never wanted.
    Happy Birthday Mom!

  • Jason Beattie says:

    November 25, 2011 at 2:48 PM -

    Happy Birthday, Ruth! You have an incredible mix of passion, enthusiasm, empathy and understanding that make each day fun at Intrepid. Even though you like the genre of music that has fantastic names like Merle Haggard(and who among us doesn’t, right?) you are still a very cool in my book.

    Hope you and Sean have a great birthday weekend!

  • Jason Beattie says:

    November 25, 2011 at 2:52 PM -

    Okay, just read my post and noticed I made a number of grammar mistakes which was unintentional but can be construed as an honor for Ruth’s B-Day!

  • Michael H says:

    November 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM -

    Happy bday momma rodgers. Hope you guys are having a blast out there. As a bday present i promise no pranks this weekend.

  • Amanda says:

    November 25, 2011 at 8:38 PM -

    Happy birthday Ruth. Brian, great job – seeing as all is fir in birthday wishes. Ruth, I hope you have had a wonderful and blessed birthday.

  • Nick says:

    November 25, 2011 at 8:42 PM -

    Happy Birthday Mom!

    Can’t wait to see you on the rowing team!

  • Troy says:

    November 27, 2011 at 9:22 AM -

    Happy belated birthday ruth!

  • Sara says:

    November 27, 2011 at 10:13 AM -

    Happy birthday Ruth! : D

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