Dead Stop Pull ups and Other Pulling Exercises

Hello everyone.
First of all, again many thanks for the answers in past threads, they’ve been really useful. With good food and some heavy finishers I managed to get back to a quite low body fat percentage and am quite happy, because my weight has remained the same, so no lean mass loss.

I’m recovering from knee surgery, so I’ve got plenty of time to think. In the last month before the operation, I had experienced a performance peak in almost every aspect of my training, that is specifically aimed at climbing. Despite having less time, I managed to sneak in short, super intense sessions, also trying to focus on excercises that involved as many muscles as possible.
So I set ne PB’s, in terms of climbing projects on my home wall, and in terms of pure training, for one armers and finger strength.

In particular, I managed to gain one pull up and half when testing dead stop one armers. As a climber, and a boulderer especially, pulling power is very important. And is an obsession of mine.

Besides bouldering, the only training that I do for pulling power is:

  • front lever pulls (grab the bar with straight arms over the head, then with arms and body as straight as possible get into a front lever position); still with dead stop sets, 2kg weightbelt at the ankles.
  • dead stop one armers.
    I do the front lever pulls more often, but would like to do more of the dead stop one armers.

When I do them, I can do no more than two, maybe three maximal sets, because they leave completely spent.
So, after all this talking, here are the questions:

  • how often should I train dead stop one armers? Once every two weeks? Considering all the other training that I do.
  • has anyone experienced big gains by training pulling power with straight arms, as I read on T-Nation some time ago on an article about gymnasts’ training, that involves straight leverages?

Many thanks.

It’s been several years since I did it, but I had good results training frequently, and not to failure. By frequently, I mean, I’d work on it a couple times a day, since I just used some pipe hanging from the ceiling of the dorms in college.

I started working with eccentrics… pull up with both arms, lower slow and controlled with one for a few reps. And then once I was able to finally get a single rep, just did one rep a few times day.

Then I moved to the “ladder” approach. Pretend you’re training with two people. Do a rep. Wait for them to do a rep. Do two reps. Wait for them to do two reps. Increase and repeat. When you can’t increase, start back over at 1 rep. A ladder can be: “1”, “1, 2”, “1, 2, 3”, “1, 2, 3, 4”, etc.

So, first week, you might go from: “1, 1, 1” to “1, 1, 1, 1, 1” (these are all small sets of 1)
Second week, you might get to: “1, 2, 1, 2, 1”
Third week: “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2”

The initial “goal” is to get to doing 5 ladders of 5 rungs: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) x 5

I found that approach worked really well for both two arm and one-arm pullups.

I believe most of these were outlined in the book “Naked Warrior” by Pavel Tsatsouline.

As a fellow climber, congrats on your base of strength. Deadstop one arm pullups are awesome party tricks but don’t really carry over as much to actual climbing. Most of the best climbers in the world cant do them. Some can, but that is rarely the limiting factor in climbing. With that in mind, I would say working them 2-3 times per month should be adequate to maintain (and maybe slowly progress in them) but the majority of your training time and energy should be spent on grip strength, endurance and technique.

Yeah. Keep in mind I’m not a climber. I was training one-arm pullups because I wanted to be good at one-arm pullups.

For what little climbing I did, my finger strength from playing piano carried over far more than the one-arm pullup strength. Seriously.

Cheers guys, useful info. A couple of sessions per month seems doable, I’ll try to schedule something to fit them in. I can’t train as often as I’d like at the moment, and time constrictions make it difficult to get the necessary warm up for one armers, so I mainly train them during the weekend.

I think that teamed with the front lever pulls they could really give good results. Would really like to discover the full potential.
Of course I dedicate lots of attention to finger strength and climbing technique, but I like to target every aspect and to try and develop it to its full potential: I think that one can never be too strong! It’s also mentally reassuring because that once you know that you’re physically progressing, you can address other weaknesses, like movement, technique, etc.

Thanks again, other advices always welcome.