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-   -   I suck at curl/pull-ups (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4973)

Patrick McIntosh 12-30-2009 09:21 PM

I suck at curl/pull-ups
I'm 6', 205lbs, lean. On a really good day I can do 13 curl-ups or 12 pull-ups.

2 years ago I worked out hard and fairly smart. I did and still do curl-ups 90% of the time because I like utilizing my biceps. At that time I would do something like 5x5, 6x6, 4x8, or less volume with weight. I only did the exercise twice a week - MAYBE 3 times.

I'm working out again and I'm still maxed at 13 curl/12 pull. At the moment, per week I do something like this:

A. 1st day: 3xFailure curls
3rd day: 3x10 or 3x15 inverted body rows


B. 1st day: something a bit below max that doesn't exhaust me like 10 then 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
3rd day: 3x10 or 3x15 inverted body rows

So basically now I'm mixing up working to failure and what I believe is called hypertrophy. Should I stick with this and see where it gets me? Am I right in using inverted rows for lighter days? What sort of work could I be doing to compliment a curl/pull-up? Dips, HSPU, push-ups, and inverted rows basically make up the rest of my upper body push/pull workout. My sister told me my dad used to do 20 pull-ups along with 1 arm pull-ups when he was in the Marine Corp., and, having his genetics, I think it's ridiculous I can't even pull off 15 reps.

p.s., I'm doing dead hang curl/pull-ups. And I got one of those all in one dip/pull-up stations so I can't kip.

Steven Low 12-30-2009 10:20 PM

There's very little difference in activation of biceps in chins vs pulls. It's pretty much what you're used to that you do the best with.

Since the biceps is a bit short (slightly) in chinups it makes it a bit easier through the first ~90 deg of ROM which makes it feel easier, but that's just because in pullups you're getting a little more brachialis involvement. Both are elbow flexors so no big difference honestly.

If you're looking to up the numbers I would alternative endurance days (X sets to failure, pyramids, ladders, etc) with max effort 3-5 reps of ~3 sets weighted pullups.

Patrick McIntosh 12-31-2009 06:47 AM

Should I be working to failure or using weight more than once a week?

Mike ODonnell 12-31-2009 08:07 AM


Originally Posted by Patrick McIntosh (Post 68312)
Should I be working to failure or using weight more than once a week?

What is your real goal here? To get better at pullups? If so, stay away from failure...and up the frequency. Look up "Grease the Groove" as that will help get your numbers up.

Craig Brown 12-31-2009 08:49 AM

What MOD said. Either grease the groove or straight up density training, WELL below failure will get you there.

Steven Low 12-31-2009 08:55 AM

Yeah,w hat I meant was near failure if you want to do it that way.

I advocate GTG as well.

Patrick McIntosh 12-31-2009 11:24 AM

I want to be able to perform 20 dead hang pull-ups. Thanks, I'll check GTG out.

Patrick McIntosh 01-02-2010 09:38 PM

I looked up GTG a bit but I don't understand how many sets I should be working, and how many days a week I should performing the exercise. I think I share a common problem with a lot of people where I want to incorporate too many exercises into my workout so I'm a bit concerned about over training.

I realize this not in line with GTG, but I'm curious how something like this may work:

Day 1 - heavy
Curl-up 5 x well below failure

Day 2 - moderate
upright rows (upside down on my bar) 5 x near failure

Day 3 - light
inverted body rows (underneath my bar, feet propped on ladder) 5 x failure

Day 4 - rest

This would allow for well rounded pulling strength, and I would think each exercise would compliment the other, therefore upping my curl-up rep max.

Steven Low 01-02-2010 11:25 PM

GTG is basically many sets of submaximal exercise throughout the day. Generally about 50-70% of max.. can be done anywhere from 4-12 sets per day or whatever works.

Uhhh... I'm not sure what to make of your routine. It's good to have all planes of movement, but you're not going to progress well on certain stuff if you do that.

I would generally put 2 different types of pulling exercise into a single workout.

Blair Lowe 01-02-2010 11:31 PM

Look into the Armstrong or Ranger Recon Pullup program. If your programming doesn't fit either of those, then do GTG PU.

Use 50% of your max for 5-10 sets a day.

According to this http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/sh...94&postcount=2 you might want to do 100 pullups throughout the day.

10x10 isn't gonna happen by 15x7 or 20x5 sound maybe doable.

After waking up, before sleeping, after breakfast, after dinner, when getting home, midmorning, afternoon, evening, before dinner, 2x while at work and school. You may have to do 2-3 sets per occasion.

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