A friend and I set some weight lifting goals for each other. One of the goals he set for me was for pullups/chinups because I'm not that great at them.
The goal is to do 4 sets of 10. Today I did 5 sets and the reps went like this: 10, 6, 4, 4, 2. taking about 1:30 rest between sets. I think longer rest would help increase the reps but I didn't have time for that today.
Would I be better off sticking to body weight or adding extra weight at some point. What would help me get to 4x10 faster?
I'm currently using a grip with palms facing each other because it feels best on my shoulders, the goal doesn't specify a grip or a rest period between sets.
I would mix it up, doing the 5 sets when 4 is the goal is good and adding some weight would help too - mix it up.
From what I have heard, the greasing the groove method is very effective for increasing your max reps. Basically, you take half of your max reps and do that number of pullups throught the day. So say your max is 10, you do 5 reps many times throughout the day. Robb Wolf gave a good explanation in a recent podcast:
[url=http://robbwolf.com/2012/08/07/dna-dictating-training-episode-144/]DNA Dictating Training - Episode 144[/url]
In response to the last question about circus training.
I thought I started this thread in the fitness forum. Sorry to clutter up the wrong board.
+1 for the greasing the groove method. Just like you I have tried to do multiple sets back to back and the numbers look similar to yours.
4 sets of ten is actually a tough goal if done with proper form. The grip will also make a huge difference:
Overhand grip (a chin-up) is the most difficult by some way; underhand grip (a pull-up) is the easiest; neutral grip (what you are currently doing) is somewhere in-between, although many, myself included find it similar in difficulty to a pull-up. Essentially an overhand grip uses less bicep strength and relies more on the lats, an underhand grip allows more bicep use to help out.
A great way to train is to start the sets with an overhand grip until you can't do more, then switch to neutral, and then underhand. e.g. aiming for the full 4 x 10 you sets may look like:
6 X Over, 4 X Neutral
5 X Over, 5 X Neutral
4 X Over, 4 X Neutral, 2 X Under
2 X Over, 5 X Neutral, 3 X Under
Attempt to complete the full set even if you need to rest for 5-10 seconds between reps (your last set may be 3,2,2,2,1 reps with various grips)
Essentially given the goal is to do 4 X 10 with any grip, you can test how close you are by just using your best grip e.g. underhand. Once you have achieved that goal try to complete the sets with a tougher grip. If you can complete the sets with a wide overhand grip, using good form (controlled movement up and down, with chest and face pointing upwards and getting your chin above the bar for each rep) you can be extremely proud (I certainly can't do that yet!). The only way from there is to add extra weight or experiment with muscle-ups (the top of that movement involves straight arms above the bar...)