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Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
Hi, all.

I've never been able to do a pull up of any type, so that's one of my goals for P90X. I have both the P90X chin-up bar and the chin-up max that attaches to it to make them assisted. I've been making progress (more reps to failure) and am now in week 6, but I can still only get about 3/4th of a pull up on my own (started at not being able to budge at all).

So although I feel like I'm headed in the right direction, I'm wondering what the best way to maximize the progress is. For example, do I keep the chin-up max at its current tension and just try to increase reps, or do I lengthen the the cord periodically to make it harder. If so, how many reps should I be at before I make the assisted pull ups more difficult?

Thanks in advance!
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RE: Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
2/20/13 12:39 PM as a reply to MichaelHassinger.
Hi Michael, have you thought about using a chair underneath so you can push yourself up. It seems like cheating but it will help you get the range you're looking for.
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RE: Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
2/23/13 10:53 AM as a reply to MichaelHassinger.
Hey Michael.


First, great choice with P90X. It was my first program (along with my wives) and it did amazing things for our pullups.

As far as the pull up max, use it to make it possibly to do a complete pull up.... from the bottom to the top. Meaning, from your arms being completely straight, to being able to pull your chin over the bar. Keep it like that for a week, doing as many as you can. The next week, move it down by a 1/2 inch.... then keep progressing.

The chair also works too, if you haven't gotten to the point where the max can be used to its full potential.

My wife could do 1/4 of a pull up when she started. At the end, she did 5. Just keep pushing yourself, use the chair and pull up max, and you will get there. At first it will be slow, but all of a sudden you will start popping them out.

Reach out if you have any other questions, but keep pushing play!

Coach Marc
Team Phoenix
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RE: Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
3/4/13 11:30 AM as a reply to MichaelHassinger.
I started out using a chair. The a Pull Up Assit with bands. I did not like either. I thought I was cheating too much with the chair and the Pull Up gave too much help at the bottom and not enough at the top. So, I built this contraption. It uses a couple of pulleys and static weight at the other end. I can adjust the weight down as I increase my reps. Started with 30 lbs of assistance. then stepped down as I got to 10 reps.

Since it is mounted in a basement under the stairs, it really does not get in the way of other things.


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RE: Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
3/4/13 11:56 AM as a reply to MichaelHassinger.
Hey Michael I would recommend working your way using the chair I started pulling the chair further and eventually got it by myself. I love the design of the basement contraption awesome. I just dont have a basement so my wife would kill me if i did that. But for money and time reasons I would use a "Sturdy" chair. You will be doing pull ups in no time.

Mark
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RE: Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
3/4/13 12:20 PM as a reply to Marksman06.
In the same boat as you. Also week 6.

6 months or so before I started p90x I tried to do some pull ups and could do 2 clean full ones and 1 iffy one. I weighed about 185 at the time. When I sarted p90x I weighed 195, same muscle mass, couldnt do any pull ups. Now in week 2 of Phase 2, and can get maybe 1 pull up in, barely. I still weigh 195, though my BF has dropped 3-4%.

I usually crank out 12-16 reps chair assisted on every pull-up excercise. I too am trying to figure out a way to transition between chair assisted and not assisted at all. Seems like a huge jump. I think losing weight would help a lot, just from personal experience. Im trying to ignore the scale while on p90X, as my BF% is dropping and my measurements keep getting better, but man if I could drop 5-10lbs I know it would make a lot of the body weight excercises much easier/possible.
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RE: Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
3/4/13 12:56 PM as a reply to MichaelHassinger.
The real advantage of the chair is that you can detect which point in the pullup is your weakest moment, and add the help exactly when you need it. There is no control better than that chair. I recommend using a chair until you can overcome your weak spot.
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RE: Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
3/4/13 12:57 PM as a reply to TwoMSixer.
Tony says on the video that if you decide to use a chair to assist you with your pull-ups, that moving the chair away from you make it harder to perform the pullups.

This is true. If the chair is close, you can use more leg strength to get the pull up, but when moving the chair further away from you, if you use too much leg force, the chair will fall over. In other words, you just can't use the same amount of leg force without having the chair fall.

You can use "some" leg force to assist in the pull-up but you will find that the more you move the chair away from you, the more you can accomplish unassisted pull-ups. The other nice thing is that you can play with the chair distances and see your improvements as you move the chair out.
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RE: Advice for building to unassisted pull ups
3/6/13 1:27 AM as a reply to kenboatman.
When I started my first round of P90X, I could do one, maybe two on a good day. I tried the bands looped over the bar. Nah. I tried the chair, but it felt too much like cheating. Then I stumbled onto "Australian" pull ups. I would max out on normal pull ups (1 or 2) and then jump right into Australian pull-ups, and max out.

By the end of Round 1, I was cranking 10 normal pull ups. Worth a shot.

This dude gives some examples, starting at waist-level.

[Edited by CSBB 5]
Good luck!
Brian
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