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 Post subject: Pull-up Challenge, 2012
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:26 am 
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It's that time you've all been looking forward to all year long! It's the Annual ExRx Forum Pull-Up Challenge! (Well, I think we've had the challenge 2 out of the past 3 years, but this year will transform it into a genuine tradition!)

I know, you're just tingling with excitement, but try to calm down and put some thought into this important and oft-neglected exercise. What we've done in the past, is that near the end of January you do a max test on some variation of the pull-up. It needs to be something quantifiable. The challenge is to make a 10% improvement during the month of February.

So, here are some ideas.

A single set to failure (either body-weight or added weight). Count the reps, and increase by 10% rounding to the most convenient integer. This could be either pull-ups, chin-ups, neutral grip pull-ups, wide-grip, whatever.

A fixed set with added weight, and increase the weight by 10%. Not this gets tricky, cause most of us would consider that it should be 10% of the total of your body weight and the added weight. Say you weigh 180, and your best set of 5 is with 45 pounds of added weight. That's a total of 225, so a 10% increase would be 22.5 pounds--that could be a big challenge if you've been doing weighted chins for a while. Again, pick a grip or variation.

Maybe there is another variation, but I can't think of any more right now. I've been out saving lives and stamping out disease into the night, and I'm a bit off my usual razor-sharp game. Anyway, test yourself, and set a goal that's about 10% higher, then train the snot out of the noble pull-up in the month of February. By Feb 1, you complete your test and declare a goal on this thread. I'll post a list of the names of those participating, their current max and their goal. I'll repost it from time to time as more people get on board. Then as you make your goal, you'll report it on the thread, and I'll update and repost the summary.

OK, who's in?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:17 am 
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I'm in. I've been working on my wide grip on the lat pulldown lately. I can do 3 reps at 180 so my goal will be 3 at 200. That would also put me at about 5 body weight pullups since I weight 190.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:37 am 
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I'm in. Just picked up a band from elitefts. Hoping I can increase my 2 reps to 5.

Now that I'm going to do these on back day, need to figure out when in the routine I should do them to be fresh.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:43 am 
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I'm in also. Atleast with the simple goal of increasing my max reps with bodyweight. With atleast 1 or 2.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:25 pm 
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I'm in too. My max currently is 11 bodyweight, sooooo....12 would be nice. I found ladders got me from 10 to 11, so will use the same approach again.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:18 pm 
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1 would be nice.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Oscar_Actuary wrote:
1 would be nice.

Now's your chance then mate.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:10 pm 
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The sticky thread on "Training Pull-Ups" was started last year for the challenge. It has a lot of good stuff to help you with training. Please feel free to add more information, like links to articles or videos that you find helpful

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Oscar_Actuary wrote:
1 would be nice.

1 would be very nice indeed. I remember my first pull-up, and it felt wonderful.

Some of the articles in the stickies have tips on progressing to get your first one. The best tip (I think) is to use bands for assistance, but all the other techniques are useful (jumping, eccentric-only, pull-downs, partials, etc.) The bands allow you to progress volume much better than the others. Body weight effects pull-ups a lot. I can see a big difference in mine with seemingly-minor fluctuation in my weight. As you continue to lose weight, the pull-ups will get easier.

You could do a max set using a particular band, then your goal would be to increase the reps using that band, or to graduate to one band lighter, or something.

I'm taking your reply to mean that you are in, with a goal of 1 BW pull-up.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:21 pm 
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February is still 2 weeks away. Maybe I should have waited until closer to the time to post about the challenge. Obviously, there is nothing here that is defined as cheating, since many of us are training pull-ups all along, but try to make your max test somewhat close to the beginning of February, so we can talk about how much we improve in a month.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:39 pm 
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hmm, well obviously I'm in, but I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to work it. I do mine between sets of presses which always makes me lose a couple of reps compared to if I just do them on their own.

I was good for 5x8 before xmas so I'll try and go for a 10% increase in total reps. So I need 44 total reps in five sets, which I have actually done before, but not when I superset them. Hmm.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Jungledoc wrote:
February is still 2 weeks away. Maybe I should have waited until closer to the time to post about the challenge.


you love a good pull up challenge don't ya Andy? Maybe we could start doing it twice a year


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:13 am 
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I'm in. Not sure what i'm going to do yet, but i'll have figured out before the 1st Feb.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:26 pm 
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I'm in. I've been doing pull ups after dl and t-bar rows, getting a set of 8 then fewer each following set. I'll do them first to determine my goal come Feb.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:19 pm 
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I'm in.

Hopefully, get the current max bodyweight chin ups from 8 up to 9, or 10! (it is very doable)
using grip variation
will try the bands
have recently started adding extra weight


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