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  • Assisted Pull-up Machine

    Hi everyone,

    I had a quick question on pull-ups. I don't have a pull-up bar at my house yet (saving up for a free-standing one), and I'm too short to reach the ones in the weight room at the gym. My gym does have an "assisted" pull-up and dip machine, where they have a little platform to put your knees on and you can adjust the weight you lift accordingly.

    Would this be ok for me to start working on pull-ups with? I can't even come close to doing one yet, but I'd like to start somewhere. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    Restart Date After 3 Years Gone: 6/29/16

    New Starting Weight: 210.0
    Current Weight: 206.0
    First Goal Weight: 200.0

    Total Pounds Lost: 4.0lbs

    "You must do the things you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

  • #2
    Originally posted by maurapprimal View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I had a quick question on pull-ups. I don't have a pull-up bar at my house yet (saving up for a free-standing one), and I'm too short to reach the ones in the weight room at the gym. My gym does have an "assisted" pull-up and dip machine, where they have a little platform to put your knees on and you can adjust the weight you lift accordingly.

    Would this be ok for me to start working on pull-ups with? I can't even come close to doing one yet, but I'd like to start somewhere. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    My personal opinion is that assistance bands will do a better job of training the correct musculature that you'll need to do unassisted pull-ups than the assisted pull-up machine.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      Everybody says the machine doesn't help at all. But I am like you. I can't reach the others. I have been using it. I know it is not the same as a real pull-up. I'm not willing to purchase the bands. I think the machine does something. Whether or not that is getting me to a pull-up is another story. I'm okay with it. I'm also wondering if there's a way to use it for negatives since it does help me get up there. Negatives are supposed to be a good step toward a pull-up.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
        Everybody says the machine doesn't help at all. But I am like you. I can't reach the others. I have been using it. I know it is not the same as a real pull-up. I'm not willing to purchase the bands. I think the machine does something. Whether or not that is getting me to a pull-up is another story. I'm okay with it. I'm also wondering if there's a way to use it for negatives since it does help me get up there. Negatives are supposed to be a good step toward a pull-up.
        Negatives are good. Use a regular pullup bar without the assist and stack some of those silly 1980's aerobics steppers high enough that you can reach the bars. Get over the bar, move your legs out of the way of the stepper and descend slowly. Repeat.
        The Champagne of Beards

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
          Negatives are good. Use a regular pullup bar without the assist and stack some of those silly 1980's aerobics steppers high enough that you can reach the bars. Get over the bar, move your legs out of the way of the stepper and descend slowly. Repeat.
          What he says. I've been working on Pull Ups by doing inverted rows. Been doing them with gymnastics rings and now I'm moving on to Negative repetitions and Rows on the other days to keep improving form/strength. Originally I was too weak to do one proper negative but now I can manage about 5 second descents. I can do about 1 half pull up currently at 310lbs of bodyweight.(I'm a big guy)

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          • #6
            One thing that helped me (before I shelled out of the pullup assist kit) was to stack blocks under the bar so I could pull up from 1-1/2" intervals. Eventually I got to the point where I could pull myself up the whole way starting about 2" above a full hang. I need the assist to pull up the whole way.

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            • #7
              I once put the highest box jump thing under there but it was in my way to being able to hang. So I moved it out of the way and then I sort of had to reach awkwardly to reach the bar and ended up putting my foot on the mirrors as I swung around. I was afraid I might break the mirrors so I jettisoned this idea.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                I once put the highest box jump thing under there but it was in my way to being able to hang. So I moved it out of the way and then I sort of had to reach awkwardly to reach the bar and ended up putting my foot on the mirrors as I swung around. I was afraid I might break the mirrors so I jettisoned this idea.
                When you have a firm grip of the bar, bend your knees 90 degrees so your feet point straight backwards. Slowly lower yourself down and swing your feet back to the stepper at the last second. Repeat.
                "It's true, you are a good woman. Then again, you may be the antichrist."

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                • #9
                  have a friend grab your legs when they are bent behind you (while you're hanging from the bar) and have them help propel you up over the bar. my friend and i do that quite often and i felt a soreness in my lats i've never felt before. just doing that on a few different workout days helped me be able to do an extra two pullups on my own!(:

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