T Nation

Arm Failure Pull-Ups/Dips


#1

Is it normal for your arms to fail first, or basically your arms being more tired?

I did my pull-ups/dips today for ABBHI (with assistance machine, heh), and after two sets, I had to start adding weight to help me, because my arms were starting to fail.

Is this normal? I mean, I'm thinking of my back during pull-ups, I'm thinking of my arms as merely hooks and trying to pull through my back (I think CW suggested this, I may be wrong), but my arms start to fail first. Same with dips. After the muy fucking grueling workout, my chest and back felt fine, but my arms were very much dead.

Oh, also, while on the subject of pull-ups, can someone explain the muscular differences between the pull-up, chin-up, and semi-supinated pull-up? I know chin-ups are shoulder-width or narrower supinated grip (uh, supinated is facing you, right?), pull-ups are wide grip pronated (is there a close-grip pronated?), and semi-supinated is palms facing you, but I don't know which one works which muscle differently.

Thanks a shit!
Dan.


#2

I'd say its always my arms that fail first during dips. With chins, I'm not actually quite sure, I think it is my back that goes first.


#3

Well I noticed several times that after doing dips my arms were tired, but the next day it was my pecs that were sore. Same thing with pullups, arms were tired but lats sore the next day.


#4

John K, I was doing wide-grip pronated pull-ups. Is it the same for chins and pull-ups for you, your back failing first? I can't even really FEEL anything in my back muscles, they're so gigantic, I can't even feel them being worked.


#5

make sure your doing pullups with your palms facing away and wide grip to emphasize back more.

for dips, lean forward to put tension on the chest


#6

It's normal for the weak-link to fail first. This could be grip, arms, or probably a host of other muscle groups. This isn't a problem, it's more of an "opportunity" - at least you know which part to focus on to make improvements. :slightly_smiling:

I didn't read the whole thread, so someone else may have answered. But I'll have a crack anyway.

Pull-up - palms facing away
chin-up - palms facing you ("supinated" grip)
semi-supinated - you grip handles that are perpendicular to your face as opposed to being parallel to your face. Also called a neutral grip.

They all work the entire upper back, shoulder muscles and arms. Some use biceps more or less than others and change the emphasis of shoulder muscles to some degree. I personally can't tell you which does which. I do know pull-ups are hardest, and chin-ups / neutral-grip pull-ups are easier. Most would probably say do all three if you can, and vary the width of grip too - justkeep mixing it up. :slightly_smiling:

Well you lost me there for a bit, sorry. I think your definitions are different from mine. To quote Dire Straits: "when two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong!". I don't know who's wrong, but I'll keep with my understanding of supinated/semi-supinated etc. for now until something better comes along. :slightly_smiling:

I believe width of grip is not related to supination. Generally speaking, the wider the grip, the greater the workload is shifted away from your arms to your shoulders and/or back. Many will say that wide grip can cause shoulder joints to be stressed to the point where problems may occur (I am one of the many). I use a narrow-to-1.5 x shoulder-width grip most of the time, especially when I do weighted pull-ups. If I do wide grip pull-ups (1.5 - 2 x shoulder-width), I usually use body weight only to keep the risk of injury down.

WiZlon


#7

If I remember correctly for ABBHI you should be using a supinated grip.


#8

I agree. I feel that dips hit the triceps better than chins or pull-ups hit the biceps. But a lot of it is still grip. A more upright posture and narrower grip with elbows tucked in will hit the tris more than the standard compound dip. And a narrow grip for chins hits the bis a lot more. Make sure you following CW's grip recommendations.


#9

That is correct.


#10

Yeah, he does say chins, but I need serious upper back development and pull-ups hit it much harder. Plus, I can do something like 20 bodyweight chins wheras maybe 5 bodyweight pull-ups...

So, as I take it, pull-ups hit upper back more, chin-ups hit biceps more, semi-supinated chin-ups hit ??, and the wider your grip, the more it fucks up your shoulders?


#11

I think your chins might be good cause you train DB Curls a lot? Just a guess.

chins and pullups both hit biceps just different angle, its like hammers curls and db curls. and really neither target the upper back, its more the lats, those things on the side of your back under your armpit. do bent over rows or shrugs if you wanna build your upper back.

can I also assume you are relatively new to lifting? im guessing about 6 months of experience? I say this because these rep/set schemes used by CW in ABBH are more for advanced trainees. You would respond better to higher reps with less sets.


#12

Heh, I read a lot of T-Nation in my early lifting, I think I did curls in db or barbell form for about a week and a half, never hit curls since then.

I've been lifting for a bit over a month. For the first 3-4 weeks, I was doing bench, lat pulldown, upright rows, seated rows, and squats, two sets of 8-12, stopping one rep short of failure each time. After about a month of that, when I really got into T-Nation, I decided to do ABBHI, since a lot of ppl, including CW himself, said that it is an OK program for beginners. And I mean, it's nothing too fancy. I do only the most basic of exercises (bench, bent-over row, pull-ups, dips, squat, deadlift, calf presses, and ab work), and the rep schemes are pretty straightforward.

Sry for confusion too, by upper back I mean lats as well heh. I always thought upper back was traps, rhomboids, and lats, lower back was erector spinae.

Thanks for the pull-up vs. chin-up info.


#13

[quote]danmaftei wrote:
Is it normal for your arms to fail first, or basically your arms being more tired?

I did my pull-ups/dips today for ABBHI (with assistance machine, heh), and after two sets, I had to start adding weight to help me, because my arms were starting to fail.

Is this normal? I mean, I'm thinking of my back during pull-ups, I'm thinking of my arms as merely hooks and trying to pull through my back (I think CW suggested this, I may be wrong), but my arms start to fail first. Same with dips.

This reinforces the statment we read here all the time that compound movements hit the arms and you don't need to do isolation work on them...


#14

Dan,

I won't comment on the arm issue, but I will say this: If pullups aren't hitting your back, start doing front levers.

Google "front lever" for instructions.

The first listing offers a solid progression. I personally would start at (I); if it's too difficult, boost yourself up and do them eccentrically.

DI


#15

http://www.trainingforclimbing.com/html2/johngill-interview.shtml

I ran into this while looking up front lever instructions. Fascinating interview.

DI