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  • Pull ups as stand alone

    When I was younger, my upper body strength workout was one set of 20 pull ups three times a week.

    If I build up to the same level, wouldn't that be sufficient upper body strength exercise?

  • #2
    You would want to add some pushups as well to balance the muscles front and back. For me I would want to add some kind of overhead press as well. There are a lot of good body weight resources out there so have fun.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
    PS
    Don't forget to play!

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    • #3
      If you have trouble with a regular exercise routine, but you CAN do 20 pullups 3X week--then do it! The best exercise is one you can continue doing week in and week out.

      You will find after a while of Primal eating, that 20 pullups 3X week is childs play! I do 100-150 pullups and/or chinups 5X week. Also do 100-200 pushups 3-4X a week, and weighted (sandbag) squats once or twice a week. I have not set foot in a gym in 10 years and people ask me all the time if I am a body builder!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by otzi View Post
        If you have trouble with a regular exercise routine, but you CAN do 20 pullups 3X week--then do it! The best exercise is one you can continue doing week in and week out.

        You will find after a while of Primal eating, that 20 pullups 3X week is childs play! I do 100-150 pullups and/or chinups 5X week. Also do 100-200 pushups 3-4X a week, and weighted (sandbag) squats once or twice a week. I have not set foot in a gym in 10 years and people ask me all the time if I am a body builder!
        +1 awesomness

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        • #5
          otzi,
          Impressive on those pull ups and press ups. Are they done in sets? If so how many do you do per set and how much rest do you have between each? Is it a fairly close rest or are they spread throughout the day?

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          • #6
            otzi, You the man!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by otzi View Post
              If you have trouble with a regular exercise routine, but you CAN do 20 pullups 3X week--then do it! The best exercise is one you can continue doing week in and week out.

              You will find after a while of Primal eating, that 20 pullups 3X week is childs play! I do 100-150 pullups and/or chinups 5X week. Also do 100-200 pushups 3-4X a week, and weighted (sandbag) squats once or twice a week. I have not set foot in a gym in 10 years and people ask me all the time if I am a body builder!
              You need to tell me your secret. Installed a pull-up bar 2 weeks ago. I'm loving it except I can barely do 3 negatives in a row, let alone a proper chin-up. I have noticed that just attempting to du pull-ups, is firming me up. I'm getting toned very fast!! Can't wait to one day get to half your level. I can do 7 push-ups now. In Sep I could do zero.

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              • #8
                Last year I couldn't do 1 pullup. After going Primal, I felt I should be able to do at least 1 pullup to be considered a man. ha.

                I started out standing on a 5 gal bucket, grabbing a bar and hanging as long as I could and doing negatives. After a couple weeks, I could do 1 or 2, but the second was pretty sloppy. I focused on doing them in perfect form. After a month or so, I could do 4 or 5, then got up to 10. I spent a lot of effort going to failure, but then learned about 'reverse pyramids'. Now, once a week or every other week, I will see how many I can do to failure. Yesterday it was 22 before I lost the perfect form.

                I work in a hospital and have access to the mechanical areas. There are pipes, beams, girders every where. Whenever I get a break, usually 9 am, lunch, and 3pm, I take 15 minutes and do pullups. I do them like this:
                10-8-6-4-2 (with 1-2 minutes between sets) That's 30 pullups in under 15 minutes!

                At lunch, I knock out 40 (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-2) Then in the afternoon, another 30.

                Sometimes, when I am walking to and from work sites, I will bang out 5-10 pullups just for the hell of it. Some days I get an extra 50 that way.

                I usually follow up the pullups with 30-40 pushups, varying hand position and incline each time.

                My wife only ever sees me getting on the treadmill and walking 30 minutes every night--she can't figure out how my arms and back are getting so huge. She tells everyone I started this crazy diet and turned into the Hulk! I'm 46 and have lost 50lbs this year (Thanks, Mark!)

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                • #9
                  otzi,
                  Thanks for the detailed response, it's an approach I would consider using if I had to cancel my gym membership.....( either that or Pavel's Grease the Groove...which you have informally adopted with your ad hoc sets....or his Ladders approach ). It's impressive to see that it has given you some great progress. What are your ultimate goals? Where do you plan to take it?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by UK Guy View Post
                    otzi,
                    Thanks for the detailed response, it's an approach I would consider using if I had to cancel my gym membership.....( either that or Pavel's Grease the Groove...which you have informally adopted with your ad hoc sets....or his Ladders approach ). It's impressive to see that it has given you some great progress. What are your ultimate goals? Where do you plan to take it?
                    No goals. Just having fun and increasing reps to where time is the biggest factor. I don't want to get stuck going to a gym, too much going on in my life for that!

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                    • #11
                      otzi,
                      Well good luck with that. Please keep us posted with any further success you have with this approach.

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                      • #12
                        The GTG or ladder progressions work very well for calisthenics,or any exercise really.IMO,even though I use things like kettlebells,indian clubs,and barbells,you can get an amazing full body workout just with calisthenics and build ridiculous muscle strength and endurance.Pull ups,push ups,bridges,leg raises,and BW squats are all safe and very effective calisthenic exercises and you can build a great routine just using those.If you want to build maximal strength it's important to change up the exercise to one that offers more resistance once you become adapted to one version.If you get good at standard push ups move on to close hand push ups and so on.The book convict conditioning has an excellent layout for calisthenics progression,just don't let all the convict marketing stuff turn you off from it.
                        Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own experience.

                        In the mind of the beginner, there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert, there are few.


                        I've shaken hands with a raccoon and lived to tell the tale

                        SW: 220- 225 pounds at the beginning of January
                        CW: 180 pounds

                        Goals for 2012: Lose a bit more fat and start a serious muscle and strength routine

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Glamorama View Post
                          You need to tell me your secret. Installed a pull-up bar 2 weeks ago. I'm loving it except I can barely do 3 negatives in a row, let alone a proper chin-up. I have noticed that just attempting to du pull-ups, is firming me up. I'm getting toned very fast!! Can't wait to one day get to half your level. I can do 7 push-ups now. In Sep I could do zero.
                          Hey Glamorama,

                          I agree with Otzi on doing negatives and long hangs (great for your grip and fore arm strength, which is what lets a lot of people down on pull/chin ups. You'll often hear people say that they had more in them, but just couldn't keep hold of the bar) to build up to doing a full pull up. Some people like machine / rubber band assisted pull ups as a progression, but I've always found they hinder more than they help. Doing http://buy.conexa.com/eprofile/WebDr...T=Login&EID=15 can help too as they build arm and back strength (and a plug for Al never hurts ;-) ).

                          I'm trying something at the moment that may help you as well. Start with one exercise a day (negatives at the moment if that's what you can do), do 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day, 4 the next & so on.

                          I've been doing this for the past couple of weeks with pull ups, lunges and push ups. I could already do 10 pull ups (dead hang, straight arms) and with rest in between could pump probably 2, maybe 3, sets before I'd start having to break down the sets into smaller numbers, so I started at 10 and added one per day from there.

                          As of yesterday I'm up to 27 of each exercise and I pulled 19 smooth pullups before I fell off of the bar, and then straight back on bar to finish the rest in another one or 2 sets without rest.

                          I'm aiming to get to 60, by which point I'm guessing that I'll have had to break them back into sets done either as a workout (3 x 20) or spread throughout the day.
                          Last edited by Misabi; 01-26-2012, 05:01 PM.
                          If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                          Originally posted by tfarny
                          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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                          • #14
                            Another good trick when starting pullups; when you are doing negatives or just hanging, put your legs straight out and hold--this will get your abs in shape for the real thing. I'm totally amazed at what pullups do for your abs!
                            Last edited by otzi; 01-26-2012, 06:20 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Vertical leg raises as well.I alternate doing a couple pull ups with a couple leg raises when I'm hanging and it's a hell of a workout.
                              Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own experience.

                              In the mind of the beginner, there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert, there are few.


                              I've shaken hands with a raccoon and lived to tell the tale

                              SW: 220- 225 pounds at the beginning of January
                              CW: 180 pounds

                              Goals for 2012: Lose a bit more fat and start a serious muscle and strength routine

                              Comment

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