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  • preparation for pullups

    Hi

    I'm just starting on the Primal Blueprint - eating and exercise-wise!

    I'm following Mark's recommendations for the bodyweight exercises and am doing quite well building up the number of wall push ups, squats and (at the moment, very wobbly!) planks that I can do. Where pull ups are concerned, it's a non starter. I tried to do one yesterday and couldn't even get my feet off the ground!

    I should mention at this point that i'm pretty overweight, pretty unfit and have very little upper body strength! My husband always thinks it's funny how weak my arms are - much to my annoyance!

    So if anyone has any suggestions for what to do to build up my strength so that I can one day attempt a pull up, I'd be very grateful!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    The shortest path to a pull up for you would be to lose weight. As a woman who is overweight you have two marks against your efforts (pull ups for women are considerably harder to achieve than for a man); being overweight just magnifies this disparity. 6 months ago when I did 23 strict pull ups unbroken while weighing 195#, I was only able to do a few with 50# added onto me (as a weighted pull up). So if you are a woman with 50# to lose you can imagine how hard it would be to do one...

    Really you can do other exercises to strengthen yourself (ring rows, pendelay rows) while you lose the weight but until you are very close to a slim, healthy weight for your size, it won't really matter.

    Your shortest path to a pull up is fast, efficient weight loss.
    ad astra per aspera

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TheFastCat View Post
      .... if you are a woman with 50# to lose you can imagine how hard it would be to do one...

      Your shortest path to a pull up is fast, efficient weight loss.
      Thanks FastCat - I had a feeling someone would tell me that! Well with more like 80-100lbs to lose, I guess I have some way to go before a pull up will be achievable, but hopefully the Primal Blueprint will help me take care of that! Onwards and downwards (weight loss- wise that is!).

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      • #4
        there are plenty of progressions that you can work on to help you get to full pull ups, which will make you stronger, and speed up that fat loss.

        this guy has some good ones
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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        • #5
          You could try assisted pull-ups, using a chair. Any chair, folding etc. will work, where you can move it easily. At teh pull-up bar, put the chair a few feet behind you, so your legs can rest on it. You use your legs to push your body up, while your arms can pull your body up. Your legs may be sore after this, but it might be a way to get your arms and back muscles a little stronger.

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          • #6
            Agree with FastCat. Abs and good pull-up numbers (to a point) are made in the kitchen.
            The Champagne of Beards

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            • #7
              I don't even have 50# to lose and I still can't do any pullups. I can bench press 70lbs and overhead press 52lbs. I can do lat pulls with a pullup grip at 95lbs and dumbbell rows at 45lbs but I can't do any pullups. It's going to take a long time, I think. The upper body strength is slow to build and I get heavier the stronger I get.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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              • #8
                I worked up to pullups over the course of two years. I started with assisted pullups on a chair, then assisted pullups on a band, then jumping negatives, and then finally a pullup. However, the hard truth of losing weight was very much in play for me. I could jerk 120lb, strict press 85lb, but still couldn't do a pullup; I lost 15lbs and suddenly I could do one, then two, then three. They build up pretty quick once you've got them.

                Starting with a progression and steadily building strength is great, because once you've lost the weight, the groundwork will already be done!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                  I don't even have 50# to lose and I still can't do any pullups. I can bench press 70lbs and overhead press 52lbs. I can do lat pulls with a pullup grip at 95lbs and dumbbell rows at 45lbs but I can't do any pullups. It's going to take a long time, I think. The upper body strength is slow to build and I get heavier the stronger I get.
                  can you do assisted pull ups?
                  i found that when i was originally building up to pull ups i could do assisted, reverse, horizontal pulls, etc. using a grease the groove fashion to get me where i wanted to be.
                  nothing beats a space at home for this, though. i could bang out 10x1 on these movements while dinner was cooking.
                  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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                  • #10
                    2 years ago I was 50lbs overweight and could do zero pullups.

                    I started by putting an upturned 5 gallon bucket under a pullup bar, getting into the full up position, and lifting my feet off the bucket and lowering myself down. I did this several times in a row, several times a day. Eventually, I was able to not use the bucket, but pull myself up.

                    2 years later and 50 pounds lighter, I can do about 30 pullups, perfect form, before failure.

                    Some tips:
                    - change up the grip; overhand, underhand, one hand over/one hand under
                    - At first, pay just as much attention to the 'let down' as the 'pull up'
                    - Do fake pullups with just a little tension, your muscles need to learn the movements
                    - When you can finally do 1 unassisted pullup, hold in the up position as long as you can and slooowwwly come down.

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                    • #11
                      nothing beats a space at home for this, though. i could bang out 10x1 on these movements while dinner was cooking.
                      Agreed, having a pullup bar at home and doing a couple of whatever progression I was in every time I walked through the door was the silver bullet.

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                      • #12
                        Aaaahhh, pull ups are so hard but such a great core workout. It took me years to figure these out. Start with assisted pull ups and change up your grip. I found having my plams facing me made things easier.

                        After assisted pull ups, switch to slow negatives. Stand on a chair to put yourself in the finished up position then slowly lower yourself to a full hang. Begin with a five second count and progress to eight to twelve secs. Nothing else I ever tried worked until I used the negatives.
                        Good luck!

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                        • #13
                          The best way to start doing a pull-up is to do assisted pull-ups. It's not only about losing weight, it's about developing your upper body strength, particularly the lats. Doing the pull-up movement with assistance will help with that. Also doing negatives will help (jumping up, holding on to the bar, then slowly lowering yourself down).

                          I do pullups with resistance bands to assist me at my crossfit gym, and though I do not have a real pull-up yet and I'm a ways away from getting one, my upper body strength has grown in leaps and bounds from where I started. So, sure, losing weight will of course make a pull-up easier for you, but that's not the entire picture

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                          • #14
                            I never had much success starting out using a chair but works for some. I couldn't get the right angle I guess. Progressed much faster using a heavy band to start with super slow negatives.

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                            • #15
                              I just went primal at the New Year and last weekend tried my first Lift Heavy Things day. I am not at all fit and was starting at level 1 for the 4 essential movements.

                              I still have 80 pounds to lose (already lost 20+) and am currently at 289 and I was trying chair assisted pull ups and I think almost all my upward movement was being driven by my legs. This thread is making me feel better about what I was not able to accomplish. I will keep on trying just to get my muscles used to the movements for a pull up but I won't expect much improvement until my weight loss progresses much further.

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