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    sbhikes's Avatar
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    To failure

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    When you do things like pull-ups to failure do you count the reps and keep track like you would for barbell weights? Or do you just do them to failure without concern about progress. No concern that last time you did 8 and this time only 5 or whatever.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

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    When I do them unweighted, I don't go to true momentary muscle failure, but I decide on a total number of reps (say 50) and then break it down into manageable increments (Might look something like 10,10,9,7,7,7).

    When I add weight, I do end up failing most of the time, because I usually only increase the weight when I can hit 3 sets of 3. So I hit 3 x 3 with 85# after failing a few times (for instance, 2,2,2; then 3,2,2; then 3,3,3), then I began failing at 90# (2,2,2) and hope the same progression will ensue. I'm not sure if I explained that well, let me know if it doesn't make any sense.

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    I was mostly concerned with whether these things are programmed as rigorously as barbells or a little more informally. Or even done purely for some other training effect like sprints are. It sounds like you progress them but not with as much precision as barbells, correct?
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

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    I would say more precision than most of my other accessory work, but not the precision of the main lifts. Kind of an in-between thing for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    I was mostly concerned with whether these things are programmed as rigorously as barbells or a little more informally. Or even done purely for some other training effect like sprints are. It sounds like you progress them but not with as much precision as barbells, correct?
    Your goal should always be to progress so for sure it is important you keep track of how many you do. Bodyweight exercises are still resistance exercises, the only difference being obviously that your body provides the weight and not a barbell.
    In my opinion once you can do 10 steady reps in perfect form you should look at adding some extra resistance.

    Slightly off topic but unless you are a competitive weightlifter nobody should be thinking of lifting weights per se but instead view it as contracting against resistance. Whether you are using BW, Bands, Weights, Machines or Pulleys the aim is provide resistance to slow down the contraction of the muscle in the hope of stimulating adaptation.

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    For me, I count. Say im doing max pullups for 10minutes, ill max out (15), then ill rest only a few seconds and do one or two more reps, adding to my total (17). Ill continue taking very brief rests, and continue adding to the total.

    This allows two things..
    1.) I can note the gains in my max pullup reps unbroken.
    2.) I can note the max value of pullups I can perform in 10min.

    Thus, mark down your first set max, and your total workout reps.

    Taking the very brief rests increases intensity, and makes it easier to count, because I dont get bored of excessive, low intensity reps.

    Hope this helps.

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    I like to start any workout with a superset of either chin-ups or push-ups, that's the only counting I really do. Otherwise I just go until I can't go, then rest, and repeat or do something else. But, I'm not a progress junkie, I'm a feel-good junkie. So it's all in your preferences. I'm perfectly happy being at 20 chin-ups in a set, knowing I'll probably add one more next year. Remembering a day when I could only do like three chin-ups, this is already victory. But, yes, to exhaustion, usually not remembering my counts.


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    Depends. If its part of my HIT workout then yes I always count and always shoot for improvement over the last time. If I'm outside with my kids showing off.... then I just do them with as much flare as I can muster . Heheh, we have a pullup bar set up in the doorway with a swing on it for the kids (and me). I probably do 5-10 pullups on my way to or from the bathroom several times a week in a "grease the groove" fashion.

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    Well, so far I've been rather informal about it, noting progress when it happens, not doing them regularly, not pushing myself to always do more. I think I want to add dips, pushups and pullups more regularly. I'm not sure how rigorous I want to be in making progress, whether I should approach it with as much of a deliberate effort as I have with the barbells or if I just want to keep doing it sort of informally. I get a little hung up and angsty when I do less than the last time and sometimes end up pushing myself too hard, I think.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  10. #10
    OldSchhool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Well, so far I've been rather informal about it, noting progress when it happens, not doing them regularly, not pushing myself to always do more. I think I want to add dips, pushups and pullups more regularly. I'm not sure how rigorous I want to be in making progress, whether I should approach it with as much of a deliberate effort as I have with the barbells or if I just want to keep doing it sort of informally. I get a little hung up and angsty when I do less than the last time and sometimes end up pushing myself too hard, I think.
    It's impossible to push yourself too hard, just go nice and steady keep the form strict and stop when you can't quite make a full rep. Just do the one set and don't beat yourself up if you do less reps than the last time, if you pushed to failure then you can't give anymore than that.

    I really do admire you for even attempting these, they are a tough exercise and many people dismiss them in favor of easier options such as Pull downs.
    Last edited by OldSchhool; 09-10-2013 at 06:04 PM.

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