I recently bought this: Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar because pull ups have always been a weakness of mine. Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions on how I can maximize my workout so I can get the most out of this?

Tags: exercise, pull, ups, workout

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Replies to This Discussion

I have the same thing. I'm not sure what you're really asking. Do pullups and any variations you like. I also do pushups and pike pushups with it because it allows me to go deeper.
Tyler-

We did an article about this a while ago: http://artofmanliness.com/2008/07/08/pull-ups-fitness-routine/

Another suggestion is to just keep your pull up bar in the door and every time your walk through the door, just do as many pull ups as you can.
@Karmazon: Yea, I'm not sure what I'm asking that's why I threw the question out there. What are pike push ups?
@Brett: Sweet - thanks for the link. I've bookmarked it so I can get back to it easily. I do leave the pull up bar in the doorway (it's right outside the bedroom) so I'll have to do some every time I walk by.
Pike pushups hit the shoulders more than the chest. They're kind of the forerunners to handstand pushups. Standard width on the hands, feet close together and on your toes. Bring your feet in close enough that your butt goes into the air and you form an upside-down "V" shape. When you go down, touch the crown of your head to the floor, then push up.
If you're looking to improve the number of pull ups you can do, try doing a sub-maximal set every hour during the day (say you can do 6 reps, do 3 or 4 each time). A lot like what Brett suggests.

Another great way is "ladders". Start by doing a single rep. Wait 30-40 seconds and then, do two reps. Take another break and then do three. Keep going up until the last rep is a tough one. Then, take a longer break and start over at one.

These are routines popularised by Pavel Tsatsouline.
Chris McCracken said:
Another great way is "ladders". Start by doing a single rep. Wait 30-40 seconds and then, do two reps. Take another break and then do three. Keep going up until the last rep is a tough one. Then, take a longer break and start over at one.

That's what got me from 1 or 2 pullups max to around 14 max. I've slacked off since then, but it really works.
Try variations in hand positions (palm out, palm in), width of grip, and pace.

As you fatigue, you can also hop up into the bar, then try your best to lower as slow as possible. This way you can get the full fatigue and get that V shape you're looking for...
Don't be afraid to use a chair for some assistance, especially in the beginning. Put one foot on a chair, with the other leg hanging straight down (to catch you in case your grip fails). As you pull up, give yourself a little boost with the foot on the chair. Eventually, you'll need less boost, and soon you'll be cranking out full pullups. Also, experiment with range of motion. The shorter the range, the easier it is. Work towards almost but not quite totally straightening out your arms at the bottom. I find it's important not to straighten out entirely, as that can "disengage" my back and arms and put all the strain on my shoulders, which doesn't feel good.

Chinups are easier than pullups because you use your biceps more. I would hit the pullups first while you're still fresh, then move on to chinups later when you need the extra help from your arms.
Guide to pull-ups
Great article, great site overall.
If you're really set on a good plan, peruse the Marine Corps' Armstrong Workout.

Never lose sight of the fact that the key is not in the plan, or the diet, or the innumerable other variables you can get caught up with. The key here, like all self-improvement, is hard work. Choose your way and put in the effort.

How do you like this new workout bar of yours?
If you are struggling then try to use a chair to assist you...gradually ween out the chair.
http://artofmanliness.com/2008/07/08/pull-ups-fitness-routine/

If you currently can only do one pull-up, start out by doing 12 sets of 1 pull-up with a 45 second break between sets two times a week.

Once you can do two pull-ups, begin this routine:
Week 1: 6 sets of 2 reps. 45 second break in between sets. Twice a week.
Week 2: 5 sets of 3 reps. Twice a week.
Week 3: 4 Sets of 4 reps. Twice a week.
Week 4: 3 Sets of 6 reps. Twice a week.


When you get to the point that you’re able to do more than 12 reps, it’s time to start adding weight to your pull-up routine.

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