PR BELL IS HERE!
Have you seen the new PR (personal record) bell? When you kick butt and break a record be sure to ring it so the world knows you are a bad ass!
Long note: if you are struggling with getting your first pull up or want more ways to perfect them, please read this!
– A Guide to Your First Pull Up –
The elusive pull up is a goal for many athletes. In this article we will dive into the reasons why people might be struggling to get their first pull up and go over an action plan on how to get one!
There are usually a few reasons why a pull up feels like finding the end of a rainbow…is it really there? Strength, Consistency, and Strength to Body Weight Ratio are usually the big culprits of the elusive pull up.
STRENGTH- If you do not have the strength in your lats, bi’s and back to pull yourself up to the bar, that is not something that happens overnight. It takes work and a solid plan to develop that strength.
CONSISTENCY- you can not practice pull ups every other week on Tuesdays for 5 minutes post workout. You need to get a consistent plan and stick with it.
STRENGTH to BODY WEIGHT RATIO- if you workout like beast but enjoy donuts, cupcakes and beer a little too much you are going to be fighting an uphill battle. A pull up is a gymnastics movement. You are pulling your body weight up and above the bar, if you have not put some TLC into your nutrition then it will be hard to achieve a strict pull up. We all know you can not out work a bad diet, but people still try! If you struggle to control your weight then that is one of the first things we need to work on.
We often scale a pull up with a banded pull up at The Cove. This is a great substitution if you do not have pull ups but remember it is not a progression, it is a substitution. When you want to tackle a movement that is skill based it is important to go through progressions to help develop the skill of the movement as well as strength in different positions. Usually these things require you to set your ego down and perform things that look “easy” or “basic.” It is hard to put the band down and use a box to jump up to the top of the pull up bar and hold yourself there for 3 seconds. It takes effort, time and looks easy, but it is not! It is easy to stay on the blue band for 42 weeks. Step one, will always involve going back to the basics.
The band becomes attached to certain athletes like a 2 year old and their pacifier. Seriously, loose the binky already! As I eluded to in the paragraph before, the band is a great training tool. Although some gyms forbid the band, I think it has helped a ton of athletes at The Cove. If your goal is fitness and you could care less about a strict pull up, it is great to throw on a green band and string together multiple pull ups. It builds strength, helps improve work capacity and ultimately makes you more fit. However, it can be a long road to getting your first strict pull up because people tend to get dependent on the band. The rule is you should be able to perform a strict pull up before ATTEMPTING a kipping pull up. When kipping on the band it shortens your kip and gives you assistance, which makes it safer. However, if you can not do a strict pull up with the band you are using, you should not be kipping with it. If you use a band you should be focusing on strict pull ups. Get a little more resistance next class, eliminate all hip movement and go through the workout strict. Again, hard to do because it will be more challenging, and dammit you will be slower which means you will not have that amazing WODify time to take a screen shot of, post to Instragm, use funny hashtags and hope you get over 11 likes, but that is OK. You can show them your gainz pic in a few weeks…
If you fall into the category of strength or I use the band too much, I am going to lay out an action plan to help you get your fist strict pull up. Just pick 3 of the six exercises below and hit them for 3 weeks then rotate to other three. The seventh exercise (hollow rocks and super mans) should be done after every session.
Strict Pull up Progression
-Chin over the Bar Holds
Jump to the top of the pull up bar and hold your chin over the bar for 5-10 seconds. Do this for 5-7 times and add 5 seconds each week.
Challenge yourself to keep a tight hollow body position. Do max reps in 30 seconds or 7-10 challenging reps, 5 sets.
-Ring Rows with a 5 second Pause at the top
Adjust your feet so you can pull the rings all the way into your chest hold them there confidently for 5-10 seconds. 3 reps for 5 sets.
-Negative Pull up
-Jump so your chin is over the bar and lower yourself as slowly as possible. Keep a tight hollow position on the way down. Boring, but super effective! 10-15 reps.
-Box Pull ups
Sit a box in front of the pull up bar so you are in an L-sit position. This will eliminate about half of your body weight. Then pull your chin above the bar. 5 sets of 5 reps.
-Barbell Row, KB Row or Dumbbell Row
-Hinge over at your waist and work sets of 10-20 at a load that you can control. Play with the speed of the movement, the load and pausing at the top. All of them will help you get your first one.
-Hollow rocks and Supermans
-These should be done before and after each session. They are easy and require no equipment.
**Save the band work for workouts, do them strict in all the WODs with whatever band you might need. Save the progression work for days that we do not do pull ups in the workout**
If you need any help or advice on this grab a coach and lets make a plan!
5-10 Strict Pull ups/Ring Rows/Or Negatives (If doing negatives keep it under 5 reps)
Max in 30 Seconds GHD Sit ups
21 Calorie Row
21 Hand Release Push Ups (No peeling!)
1 Rope Climb
The Sunday Crew doing Murph. And special thanks to Julie Jones for coming in to climb some ropes and cheer us on…