What is one exercise, that every gym rat wants to be able of doing? Pull ups!
You can’t imagine how much time I’ve spent dreaming for the day when I will go to the gym, I will approach the bar, people will be staring at me, I will jump, grab the bar and pull myself up!
The problem is that I spent way too much time dreaming of it, but I always find an excuse. As you know I had a lot of problems with my shoulders, I’ve dislocated them 5 times, I’ve torn tendons,ligaments, the capsule and so on…
I remember the time when I started lifting weights and how everybody used to ask me how many pull ups I can do. It was tearing my heart to admit I couldn’t do a single pull up. I remember how I even used to dream at night how I am doing pull ups, and then I woke up disappointed that it was just a dream, but not a reality!
I had accepted the fact that every single attempt to pull myself up would end up the same way- I would grab the bar, everybody will be staring at me, I will give my best effort to at least pull myself up a little bit and at the end I will be hanging from the bar, like a t-shirt hanging from the wash-line and everybody would feel sorry for me!
The problem with accepting that limitations exist is that you never manage to reach your full potential. That’s why one day I decided to give it a try. No matter how long it could take me, I was determined to try!
Today a year later I am doing pull ups all the time. No matter if I am walking in the park, with a dress, jeans or sweat pants, if I spot a pull up bar, I never miss the chance to do a couple pull ups and feel proud of what I’ve accomplished with a lot of hard work!
That is why today I will give you a couple advices, how you could start doing pull ups. This is for sure not the only way to start doing pull-ups but it was certainly MY WAY!
As you know I am pretty tall (6’2’’), so that means I am heavier. This made pulling up even harder. That is why I took a lot of time to work on my back muscles and I did a combination of pulling movements in horizontal and vertical plane! If you follow my blog, you’ve probably read my post about how to structure your workouts! This is the way I work out. As pulling up, obviously is a pulling exercise, when structuring my workout program I used different types of pulling movements and I rotated movements in vertical and horizontal plane.
Here are the pulling movements I used:
2.Bent Dumbbell Rows
3.Lat Pull Downs
5.Band Assisted Pull Ups
I used to do 5 sets of 5 reps( when you have a movements with dumbbells do 5 with each hand( 10 all together )). When I could manage to do 3 sets of 5 reps with the same weight, I added more weights on the next workout!
As I work out three times a week in the gym, I did three of the pulling exercises a week. One week I used two in horizontal plane and one in vertical, and the next week I switched them!
Of course my whole workout routine, together with the pushing movements and everything else, contributed a lot for my progress, but these 5 movements were the key to my success!
Truth is that if today you can’t do a single pull up, that doesn’t mean you will never be able to do them. You just need to work hard, have patience and work out! If you can’t pull yourself up, my guess is that your back muscles are weak! So work in that direction- make them stronger!
If you are like me and you do not want to hang from the bar, like a T-shirt from the wash-line to the end of your life, then try this way of working out and I guarantee you that you will have progress!
Here are three samples of what a workout of mine looks like:
5х5 Pull ups ( if you can’t perform pull ups use bands. If you are the opposite and you are way too good, use additional weight)
5х5 Back Squat
3х5 military Press
3х5 pistols + 5 box jumps on 14 bumpers after each set
5х5 Push ups ( if push ups aren’t a problem for you, use additional weights)
3х5 dumbbell rows(each hand)
3х5 Lunges(each leg)
Different plank variations
5х5 Front Squat
5х5 Lat Pull downs
3х10 swings with a heavy kettlebell
3х5 Side Press
3х10 Hang Leg Raises with a weight between my feet
See? That’s how I workout. I just wrote you a whole workout. Try it yourself. Rotate different exercises and you will see that success will be present!
Well, ae you going to put up with hanging from the pull up bar, like a T-shirt from the wash-line or are you gonna bust your ass off and do a real pull up?
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