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Thread: HIIT and Improved Pull-ups -- Coincidence? page

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    Sanctus Real's Avatar
    Sanctus Real is offline Senior Member
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    HIIT and Improved Pull-ups -- Coincidence?

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    I've been struggling to get to unassisted pull-ups for a time, but it's been slooow, hard work. No criticism about this; it will be a wasted of time. I know how many of you feel about using machines. I don't see any difference between using machines and using bands or using a chair and my leg, so that's what I've been doing.

    About two weeks ago, I made the decision to drop 15 pounds of assistance. And oh, how I have struggled! I just couldn't get past doing a couple at a time, with probably 5 minutes rest between intervals. Then I started doing some thinking. Somewhere in the far recesses of my head, I seem to recall either Mark S. or Robb Wolf or someone mentioning that HIIT releases some sort of hormone that helps build muscle. And I decided on a little experiment.

    I'm doing my normal workouts/rest days, but I've added 8 HIIT intervals to the end of every training session. I've been at this for about a week now, and I really surprised myself with my pull-ups today. I was doing the same workout I've been struggling with, but today I managed to do 15 assisted pull-ups, then did my squats and overhead presses, came back and did 15 assisted chin-ups.

    So, opinions on whether I'm imagining that the HIIT is helping, or was today just a quirk?
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  2. #2
    Sensy's Avatar
    Sensy is offline Junior Member
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    Well there are a few possibilities:

    1. The HIIT made you lose weight, be it fat, water or a combination of both, which reduced the weight you had to lift (when I lost 10 lbs the amount of pull ups I could do doubled!)
    2. Placebo effect - you thought the HIIT would make you stronger, so it did
    3. You were just having a good day - I have days where I just feel like a badass and can bang out pull ups super easily, then I have other days where I feel like a weak blob. Maybe that's just me though.
    4. You were actually right and HIIT made you build more muscle/strength!
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  3. #3
    jakey's Avatar
    jakey is offline Senior Member
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    i don't know too much about HIIT, and how you're doing it in particular...

    but i want to say that the assisted pull-up machine deserves to be thought of differently than most machines. it's very worthwhile, if you're unable to do actual pull-ups or chin-ups! very worthwhile. and compared to lat pull down machines, where the bar is attached to a high cable, they win - hands down! so don't stress it. and congrats!

  4. #4
    morganpmiller's Avatar
    morganpmiller is offline Senior Member
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    HIIT increases the production of both growth hormone, and, I believe testosterone as well. So yes, it would make sense that it might have improved your pull up performance.
    Last edited by morganpmiller; 04-19-2012 at 10:26 PM.

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