Getting to 20 Pull Ups

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    Getting to 20 Pull Ups

    I think one of the best body weight exercises demonstrating upper body strength is the pull up. I am very impressed with the Bee's that have a 20 pull up badge. With that said, I've been stuck at about 14 in one go for 3 months and cant squeak out any more than that. For those Bee's that can do 20... how did you get there? Any suggestions for breaking through a plateau? THANKS!

    #2
    HI Makatozi , a real classic: The Armstrong Pullup Program, its varied, so it does not get boring. Just a tip: Concern yourself with form rather than numbers.
    Good luck
    Andi

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      #3
      Thanks Andi64 for the tip and the link to the Armstrong Pullup Program, I think i'll give it a try, using it as my upper body workout and continue with the Darebee lower body workouts I have been doing. And, yes, I have tried to remain conscious of maintaining good form.

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        #4
        No problem and if You do the pulling, don't forget the pushing. Pullups and Pushups go together well as an upper body routine.

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          #5
          That was my plan. Maximum effort sets (or to failure) often intimidate me when starting the set but I always feel rewarded with the totally wiped out feeling after the effort. I think this program will help overcome some of the obstacles I've had. Who knows, maybe I'll get to 50 pushups in one go after I reach my 20 pullup goal. Thanks again!

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            #6
            I've used different variations (weighted pull ups, to failure, high volume, time under tension,...). At the end of the day it's pushing your muscles to the limit consistently and going for high reps repeatedly, no matter what variation you choose to do.

            But here's something to try if you want to switch it up:

            [2 minute pull up]
            It's an experiment I did a couple years ago with great results. You can read about my experiences and results [here]

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              #7
              http://www.50pullups.com

              I used this routine, but TheRaven is right, variation are the best you can do.
              With pullups I always need to say, take good care of your rest days, your elbows will like that.

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                #8
                Originally posted by TheRaven View Post
                I've used different variations (weighted pull ups, to failure, high volume, time under tension,...). At the end of the day it's pushing your muscles to the limit consistently and going for high reps repeatedly, no matter what variation you choose to do.

                But here's something to try if you want to switch it up:

                [2 minute pull up]
                It's an experiment I did a couple years ago with great results. You can read about my experiences and results [here]
                Thanks TheRaven and HellYeah for the input, very much appreciated! Your SST trial was very cool. Have you seen your strength gains stay with? If so, do you need to redo the SST occasionally to maintain gains? I'm going to try the Armstrong program that Andi64 suggested first and see if it helps me get to 20, plan to start on Monday. I will try the SST after I work the Armstrong program.

                I do wonder about the 5 consecutive days of training then two rest days that the Armstrong method employs, if that is not allowing for enough rest and recovery as HellYeah pointed out its importance? It does fit good into a weekly schedule.

                I would like to start rock climbing with my sons next summer and upper body and hand strength is very important for that sport, therefor the pullup goal.

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                  #9
                  It really depends on what you're going for and what you like better (and what style of training suits you).

                  Having enough rest days (and enough nutrition) will allow your muscles to grow back stronger and bigger.

                  Not having sufficient rest will force your body to adapt. And it will do so by improving its ability to recover in a very short time (recovery time). But since you're not giving your muscles enough time they will not grow back bigger (in volume) but denser and stronger. So instead of building new muscles (which requires time and nutrition) your body will make the ones you already have stronger.
                  Soldiers and dancers are known for their rigorous training routines with almost no rest time at all and they are arguably among the strongest (in functional strength), yet leanest athletes.

                  So there is no right or wrong way, there are just different ways and methods that bring different results.

                  Side note: not giving your body enough recovery time will put your body under way more strain and will make it more prone to injuries. So if your body can't handle that, maybe it's not the right method for you.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Makatozi View Post
                    I would like to start rock climbing with my sons next summer and upper body and hand strength is very important for that sport, therefor the pullup goal.
                    Do you have any experience in climbing? 14 pullups are more than enough to start rock climbing. It is much more important to work with your lower body/ feet position and with body tension.

                    Nonetheless, 20 pullups are a nice goal to achieve! Good luck with it, and as TheRaven wrote, if you have any issues with forearms or elbows, choose the way where you rest more between sessions.

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                      #11
                      Did a little climbing in the '90's, so its been a while. Our state parks offer some instruction that would be a good introduction for my sons and a great refresher for me. I do think I am fit enough for climbing, but getting to 20 pullups by then will give me a goal to shoot for. Not as young as I was then and want to make sure to be prepared as possible and be less injury prone. I think the SST TheRaven discussed would actually be good for climbing, as I recall, I often found myself holding with one hand/arm while searching/reaching for the next hand hold.

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