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  • Let's do some weighted pullups

    Seriously, put that weight vest (or weighted backpack) on, grab the bar, and show us what you've got.

    What's that? You've already done this? Ok, then tell us about it. How much weight in the vest, how much do you weigh, how many reps did you do, etc.? Did you find that your weighted pullups helped you increase the number of bodyweight pullups you could do?

    I'll start. For about a month I've been progressively adding weight to a backpack and following the SimpleFit plan. My backpack weighed 17lbs to start with, and on my first day I did 33 rounds of a pullup/pushup/squat circuit (1, 2, and 3 reps per round, respectively) in 20 minutes. My numbers for the weeks following were:

    Week 2, +24lbs: 31 rounds
    Week 3, +31lbs: 33 rounds
    Week 4, +39lbs: 26 rounds
    Week 5, +46lbs: 24 rounds

    I'm not doing reps-to-failure (or near failure) very often, but when I have it's looked like this:

    17lbs: 10 reps x 2 sets
    39lbs: 5 reps (could have eked out 1 or possibly 2 more)

    Except for the 2nd half of today's circuit with 46lbs in the backpack, my reps have had excellent form: slow, controlled ascent and descent, dead-hang at the bottom, and pulling my chin well above the bar. I started to run out of gas today and lifted my knees up a bit to help with some of my reps.

    The best part came after my workout when I decided to see how many bodyweight chinups I could do. Even though I was gassed, my bodyweight felt ridiculously light, and and I managed 15 chins -- just 2 short of my PR.

    So, that's the best I have to offer so far. I'm pleased with how things are going, and I feel I'm getting stronger a lot faster than I was with bodyweight alone + endless reps.

    Oh, and I weight 150lbs.

  • #2
    Hey, that's good to hear man. Keep it up.

    I am still working towards being able to complete my first, regular pull up, but you give me inspiration for when I am at the point of adding weight.

    Hopefully in a few months.

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    • #3
      I've been using a weight vest once a week for about six weeks. I weigh 185 lbs have had 22.5 lbs in the vest since I started with it. I'm doing five sets each of pullups shooting for ten but only get eight on the 5th set (last few reps are with a kick, not dead hang), 25 push-ups, 25 squats alternating with lunges every other set, then a minute of planks and two minutes of jumping rope.
      Body weight effort seems much easier since having introduced the weight vest; doing the same routine I get 15 pullups, 35 to 40 push-ups, and 50 or so squats. I need to start adding weight to the vest, but I have been too lazy to do that thus far. Also need to start mixing up my routine.
      I tried the ab roller with the vest and that was challenging for sure.
      It has definitely helped me gain strength and would recommend trying it out.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dado View Post
        Hey, that's good to hear man. Keep it up.

        I am still working towards being able to complete my first, regular pull up, but you give me inspiration for when I am at the point of adding weight.
        Keep plugging away! It's going to feel awesome when you get that first real pullup under your belt, and with hard work you could be setting PRs every week or so after that.

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        • #5
          I did weighted chinups for a while because I have an elbow injury keeping me from pullups. Haven't attempted them since I had a back-off week.

          I'm female at 120lbs, and did 2x3 chins w/40lbs (20kg) followed by 3x3 w/33lbs (15kg). Dipping 5-6 times w/40lbs too

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          • #6
            Originally posted by fishin-frog View Post
            I've been using a weight vest once a week for about six weeks. I weigh 185 lbs have had 22.5 lbs in the vest since I started with it. I'm doing five sets each of pullups shooting for ten but only get eight on the 5th set (last few reps are with a kick, not dead hang), 25 push-ups, 25 squats alternating with lunges every other set, then a minute of planks and two minutes of jumping rope.
            Good stuff, fishin-frog. I'm very curious to see how much of an effect it has on your rep count when using a heavier weight. I was surprised to see how much harder pullups became when going from 31lbs to 46lbs. I haven't tried for a max-rep set with 46lbs (30% of my bodyweight) yet, but I can't imagine I'll be able to do more than 3-4. Since our bodyweight rep PRs are very similar, I'd like to know how many reps you could do with 30% of your weight in the vest.

            Body weight effort seems much easier since having introduced the weight vest; doing the same routine I get 15 pullups, 35 to 40 push-ups, and 50 or so squats.
            Isn't that cool? I could hardly believe how easy the pullups felt after taking off that 46lb backpack!

            It has definitely helped me gain strength and would recommend trying it out.
            I can't say definitively yet whether lowish reps of weighted pullups are going to automatically give me an edge with my bodyweight reps, but I strongly suspect it will. More importantly for me though, the added weight has livened up my routine and breathed new life into my it's-starting-to-get-boring SimpleFit routine.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bissen View Post
              I'm female at 120lbs, and did 2x3 chins w/40lbs (20kg) followed by 3x3 w/33lbs (15kg). Dipping 5-6 times w/40lbs too
              Those are impressive numbers, and even more impressive for a 120lb female. Well done!

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              • #8
                How much weight can you add to a vest? Dip belts are about $20.

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                • #9
                  It’s been two weeks or so since I did a weighted workout, and I almost always work it in a reverse pyramid style, my best numbers, on average, are…

                  BW + 70lbs 3 reps
                  BW + 50lbs 6-8 reps
                  BW + 30lbs 8-10 reps
                  BW only 10-12 since I’m usually pretty fatigued at this point I don’t push it too hard.

                  Fresh I can get 15-20 reps without extra weight.

                  I weigh 150lbs.

                  I love training pull ups with heavy weight, but though it certainly makes your bodyweight alone feel much lighter, this doesn’t automatically translate to more reps OR more explosiveness.

                  I found that the hard way, in my quest for a muscle-up (which so far I can only do on a split bar, you can see me doing that here: YouTube - first MUs but not on a straight bar) I thought that if I was able to pull more weight, that would mean that pulling my bodyweight past the bar would be simple… but at least with me that’s not the case. I reckon that if you only train to pull to a certain point (chin above bar) then that’s all the range of motion you’re going to get good or strong at.

                  Don’t get me wrong, I CAN pull past my chin, but I can’t pull as low as I thought weighted pull ups would get me. I thought that if I could pull BW + 70lbs then I should be able to fly off the bar, but alas I can’t pull to my belly button yet, on chin up grip I can pull lower than on pull up grip… which doesn’t help me much because pull up grip is needed for muscle ups.

                  So, to recap, make sure you’re getting explosive training in (weighted or not) and muscle endurance work in (also, weighted or not)

                  My pyramid training doesn’t fully address these, it’s more focused on a mixture of strength and endurance work (start with heavy weight for low reps and as weight decreases the reps increase thus moving more to endurance) so now I try to do more explosive and higher rep work some days as well. There are many people (gymnasts in particular) that never train with added resistance yet achieve muscle ups and other things that some people say you NEED weighted work in order to achieve. It might be a faster road weighted, but necessarily. Sorry to deviate from the thread but in case somebody was wondering…

                  Remember also to mix up grips, and to practice static holds, slow reps, negatives, etc… love pull ups !!

                  EDIT: for what it's worth, I made my own dip belt and I use plates for resistance.
                  Last edited by iniQuity; 04-20-2011, 08:20 AM. Reason: extra info...
                  I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RezH View Post
                    How much weight can you add to a vest? Dip belts are about $20.
                    Depends on the vest. 40-50lbs is typical, and I've seen some with an 80lb capacity. I can fit about 50 pounds of sand in my backpack/poor-man's weight vest.

                    Dip belts will work great for weighted pullups too. If that's what you have, and/or you prefer that to a vest/backpack, more power to you.

                    I tend to do my weighted exercises (pullup, pushup, squat) in a circuit, and a dip belt isn't very useful for that. I also don't have a weight set, so a dip belt on its own wouldn't do me much good. I already had a backpack, and it only cost me about $5 worth of sand, ziploc bags, and duct-tape to rig up a 50lb backpack. Works for me.

                    So...are you going to post your dip-weighted pullup numbers or what?

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                    • #11
                      Dead hang pull up - full ROM - 85# weight vest - I weigh 190#
                      ad astra per aspera

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                      • #12
                        I also do simplefit with my 30lbs weight vest. L6D1 and L6D2 usually. Great/quick workouts for before class in the morning.

                        I also do 1 heavy lift session per week which includes pull-ups with dip belt, so I tend to skip D3 (judgement day)


                        Deadhang pull-ups w/o weight: 22
                        Deadhangs pull-ups w/ 45 lbs on dip belt: 10


                        I weigh 140 lbs

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                          BW + 70lbs 3 reps
                          BW + 50lbs 6-8 reps
                          BW + 30lbs 8-10 reps
                          BW only 10-12 since I’m usually pretty fatigued at this point I don’t push it too hard.
                          Fantastic numbers. We're pretty close on bodyweight reps (17 is my highest) and bodyweight, so now I have a new target to chase.

                          I love training pull ups with heavy weight, but though it certainly makes your bodyweight alone feel much lighter, this doesn’t automatically translate to more reps OR more explosiveness.
                          Interesting to hear. I'm not surprised that low reps with heavy weight doesn't do much for explosiveness. But I bet you there's some carryover effect on bodyweight reps depending on the weight involved. If you're maxing out on 3-5 pullups with a heavy weight, I doubt that would do much or anything to increase your bodyweight count. But if you work up your 20-30lb weighted pullups to 15 solid reps, I bet you'd be able to hit 20+ with bodyweight.

                          Remember also to mix up grips, and to practice static holds, slow reps, negatives, etc… love pull ups !!
                          You said it, man. Pull ups are awesome.

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                          • #14
                            I mostly do chins, although I do mini workouts during the day where I do 12-15 BW pullups with other grips.

                            Currently doing the fighter pullup program, where you add a rep each session, working up to a total of 39 reps. Did 7, 6, 5, 4, 4 yesterday with 158lb BW + 53lb kettlebell.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TheFastCat View Post
                              Dead hang pull up - full ROM - 85# weight vest - I weigh 190#
                              85lbs! I think I'd have a bit of trouble even maneuvering myself into an 85lb vest.

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