View Full Version : Big Boy Muscle-up

Júlíus G. Magnússon
10-12-2008, 08:06 PM
Who here has a deadhang muscle-up?

I don't. But I really want one and I'd like to dedicate the next month or so to achieving one. (Long term goal being a deadhang muscle-up + 10kg, but that might take a year or two.)

I'm at a body weight of 70-75kg (my scale's been broken for months). My max number of consecutive kipping muscle-ups is four, and has been stuck at that number for pretty long now. The deadhang muscle-up still seems some way off.

What I'm currently doing is 3x5 weighted deadhang chin-ups (supinated grip, chest to bar) once a week. Up to bw+20kg, 3x5 or bw+21,25kg, 1x5, 2x4. A couple of days later, I've been weighted false-grip chin-ups in singles, doubles and triples (chest touches rings), up to a triple with 20kg.

I'm also considering adding some strict pull-up (chest to bar) to my routine, as well, making it look something like this:

Mon: Weighted deadhang chin-ups: 3x5 across
Thu: Bodyweight strict pull-up: 3x(Max reps)
Fri: Weighted false-grip ring chin-ups: 3-3-3-3-3 or 2-2-2-2-2 or 1-1-1-1-1

I'm not really worried about the dip portion of the muscle-up, I'm pretty sure I have that covered, so that probably doesn't need specific work.

How does this look? I'd like some input. If I should change something, add something, remove something, et cetera.

Note: I'm unable to work out on Wednesdays. All other days are free. Rest days usually being Wednesdays and Saturdays or just Wednesdays.

So yeah... bring on the comments/suggestions/flames/hatemail/threats.

Jeff Yan
10-12-2008, 10:23 PM
Here are my ideas. I have no clue as to its efficacy as nobody I've suggested it to has actually bothered trying it.

idea #1
Lower your rings, and place a plyo box (or any stable elevated platform) in front of them. Set up the rings and box so that you can hang in your false grip and have your heels resting on the box in front of you. Do some muscle ups.

You should still be able to kip a bit by thrusting your hips up and forward, but the momentum will probably be muted compared to your regular kip. This will allow you to practice the pull up-to-dip transition phase, which of course is the trickiest part of the MU to train.

I would actually try this method out for someone who has never gotten a MU, as a way to introduce them to kipping. However, here I'm thinking that perhaps you can try to work backwards and use this as a way to wean yourself off the kip by gradually using less and less kipping force.

idea #2
Place the box slightly behind you and bend your knees so that the tips of your toes are resting on the box. Do some muscle ups.

This way, you won't be able to kip, but you'll still get some bodyweight relief assistance.

Please ask questions if this isn't clear, and let me know if this helps at all.

Derek Maffett
10-12-2008, 10:37 PM
I did 100 muscle-ups in one set the other day. Would you believe it? One set.

Anyhow, I don't think you need all those pull-ups. Your problem is in the transition.

Box assists like Jeff mentioned are good as well as pretty much any other assist that lets you truly "muscle" the transition but with less resistance. Box is probably the easiest, but you could probably rig up something with bands or some such. Someone even made a complete pulley/harness system once (forget who).

Jeff Yan
10-12-2008, 11:07 PM
Here's a video showing a progression:
courtesy of Leonid.

It also shows band-assisted MUs. The band setup seems fairly effective, but IMO it's a bit messy as you might need assistance to get in and out of it.

I think there might be a few more such videos showing the band setup.

Blair Lowe
10-12-2008, 11:13 PM
Damn, that is insane, Derek. No idea you had gotten to that point.

I like both of Jeff's ideas but lately I have really digged the videos of L MU supported in a weight band more so. I used to do this way, but lately I've been doing a lot of them with my feet in a bike tube or calves on it.

Both of these are really good solutions for self-spotted muscle-ups. Very often, as a coach I would just go send the boys to do them on their own with a similar setup. There was just too many boys for me to dedicate time to spotting too many of them by myself. I didn't really like them doing jumping muscle-ups and having them spot each other didn't work out due to their little bickering or poor spotting each other ability. If I did it again, I would have had them do it in a band as I believe that's best.

Right now, I have just enough work capacity to do a few or half dozen after getting my shoulders loosened up for the pull and dip through the transition. More so, it's usually the dip transition that I'm weak on and have to use the self assist or spotting tools to get through it.

Derek Maffett
10-13-2008, 02:23 AM
Did I just make an overly obscure joke again? I hope not...

Derek Simonds
10-13-2008, 06:03 AM
Did I just make an overly obscure joke again? I hope not...

I am going to say that you did. I have read and re-read trying to get your obscure joke but still can't. Inquiring minds want to know, please share.

Steven Low
10-13-2008, 06:21 AM
I want to see your current muscle up. Take a video and get it up and you will get the critique you need to make it. You pretty much easily have the strength to do it; mostly technique now.


And I think the joke was that Derek didn't actually do 100 MUs in one SET...?

Allen Yeh
10-13-2008, 06:53 AM
This is a question that has been at the back of my mind back to early this year. This was one of my goals as well but the whole arm thing put it on the back burner. At the time I was having a very rough time even trying to hang completely dead hang with a false grip.

I was working the transition and the dip and the pullup with not much problem but a dead-hang false grip pullup seemed impossible at the time.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
10-13-2008, 07:21 AM
Jeff Yan:
That makes a lot of sense. I don't have any bands but I will definitely be doing the box ones.

Derek Maffet:
I wouldn't even have believed you if you said you had gotten 100 pull-ups, much less muscle-ups. :P
It makes sense, though, to cut down on some of that volume so I don't feel too fatigued during the transition work.

Blair Lowe:
I'm pretty sure Derek was kidding about that. :P
I don't have any bands available, though... so I'll have to just go for the box thing Derek (the other Derek, that is) suggested.

Steven Low:
Do you want to see my kipping muscle-up or my deadhang muscle-up attempts?
I'll probably just take a video of both. Might be a couple of days, though, but it would be awesome to get some comments on my form from you.

I'll update this thread once I take the videos and if I make any progress.

Derek Maffett
10-13-2008, 12:12 PM
Get Smart... Don Adams... you're all making me feel like I'm old or something.

Garrett Smith
10-13-2008, 12:33 PM
If I was fresh, I could only do about 4 kipping muscle-ups in a row. That being said, I can do a pretty slow deadhang muscle-up, I do still pike a small bit in my hips on the way up (right before the transition). I'm working on that.

I really concentrate on keeping the rings super-tight against my chest for almost the whole transition. Being strong at the very bottom range of a ring dip would be the best bet, I think. Most people do their dips way too short and miss that range--it is very important for this particular move, being that it is a dead start dip from the very bottom. Rarely do I see people go deep enough on their dips--the front of the shoulder should at least get to the level of the top of the ring, preferably slightly lower.

Get that down and I'm sure you'll have no problem.

Leo Soubbotine
10-13-2008, 12:38 PM
I can do a big boy's mu @ 230+ lbs

Craig Loizides
10-13-2008, 01:19 PM
Try doing a couple slow muscle-up negatives a few times a week.

Blair Lowe
10-13-2008, 01:59 PM
You skinny little bastard, Derek. I dislike being fooled...I dislike less reading things when fully fresh. grr

Julius, I've been using a flat bicycle tube per a suggestion on a thread at Sommer's forum. It kind of works. I hang it roughly off the dip bars on my pullup-dip tower as the rings are hung around that height. I couldn't get the tube to work while trying to hold it somehow though.

Garrett, perhaps I will have to re-examine how low I dip when I train dips. I typically train them deep but I'm sure if my shoulders aren't loose I can't get super low. I'll need to remember stretching them out in the WU at the bottom of the dip.

Steven Low
10-13-2008, 06:02 PM
I want to see both kipping and deadhang attempts.

Garrett Smith
10-14-2008, 06:01 AM
Just a thought, the stretching you wish to try in your WU might be best done on the P-bars, simply due to the fact that the "instability" of the rings may inhibit your stretching fully.

Arden Cogar Jr.
10-14-2008, 01:36 PM
Man, I read this thread and read about Derek et. al (Leo you big bugger) and go home and look at my rings and just laugh. :o

I'm not freakin worthy. I'm simply happy to do dips, pullups and the like on my rings.

Awesome work everyone.

All the best,

Blair Lowe
10-15-2008, 07:03 PM
My bad, Garrett. My pullup tower is the same over at Beastskills.com. I can stretch the bottom of the dip on the PB/dip bars and do chicken wings/upper arm shrugs besides hanging in all grips including the ulnar PB grip. That's what I did the other day.

I really don't have stability problems on rings unless I'm feeling weak or ultra fatigued. Deep turned out dips are a matter of strength for me. I have been thinking about trying dip swings on rings to see if they are faster/easier than regular dips in workouts.

Daniel Labuz
10-16-2008, 06:40 PM
muscle-ups are tricky, especially for me. a month ago I tried to do them for about an hour straight and did 4 deadhangs. tried again in 3 days and could barely get near the transition point. I haven't tried them in a while but every time I tried to do them after that day I couldn't come close. really made me wonder how the hell I did 4 that one time a month ago.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
10-21-2008, 03:19 PM
I've had the videos for a few days now... Just looks like the bluetooth in my phone is busted. I've tried using different computers, so that's not it... and it was working just fine a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I guess I'll try to borrow a camera that can take videos.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
10-21-2008, 11:06 PM
Disregard that.

Here we go:

Kipping muscle-up (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhFf3_2p2B4)
Failed deadhang muscle-up (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p_zr3GrlCY)

Space is kinda cramped, so...

Anyway, with the deadhang attempt, up to the sticking point, it's cake. After that, it's like I just don't have any strength at all through that range of motion to complete the movement.

Comments very much appreciated.

Don't know why it's so choppy on YouTube... It's pretty smooth on my computer and on my phone.

Steven Low
10-22-2008, 08:27 AM
Kipping looks absolutely fine. You might want to try reducing your kip (kinda like if you're fatigued) and still seeing basically "how much" kip you need to make it right now.

1. ELBOWS ARE COMING OUT. Big no no. They should always be in front of you or glued to your side.

2. Need to pull higher. Rings should come to the bottom of the sternum/nipple height. Focus on depressing your scapulae to help increase height you can pull up.

3. Turn over (lean forward, elbows BACK -- not out -- directly when the rings reach the nippes/sternum bottom. You aren't at this point yet.. so it's moot but that's what you're going to do for the transition.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
10-22-2008, 10:27 AM
Thanks, Steven.

I wasn't even thinking about the elbows, I'll definitely be concentrating on that.

I'm not sure I follow you on the scapulae thing... Could you explain how I'm supposed to depress my scapulae?

Should I not lean forward until the rings reach nipples/sternum?

Steven Low
10-22-2008, 08:26 PM
Elevate scapulae = push hands far up above your head as possible, shoulders into your ears. OR in dip position letting your shoulders shrug up to your ears.

Depress scapulae = pull them down as far as possible (shoulders at shoulder height). OR in dip position pushing tall so that you're not shrugging.

So when the rings are basically at your sternum PULL your scapulae down and retract them as hard as possible.

As for the lean forward... it won't really work otherwise unless you pull low enough so it's a moot point. Don't focus on that until you can pull that high though.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
10-23-2008, 12:22 AM
Thanks, Steven. That makes sense.