T Nation

Dodgin’ Dadbods: Buttloads of Volume


#456

Impressive man. Even back when I made pullups one of my main movements, and being shorter/ligter than you, I never could successfully do 3 solid reps of these, let alone 50.

You seem pretty good at pullups based off your log. What helps you with them? Frequency seems like a big thing for most people, and obviously losing fat. Anything else, any certain movements you feel like help you?


#457

I’ve mentioned it a few times around the forums - there are a lot of exercises that get carryover from other exercises. Pull-ups, to me, are one of the few exercises that get virtually no carryover from anything else. You need to do tons and tons of them over the course of months and years. There are people who can pull the whole stack on a lat pull down and row tons of weight that can’t do 5 perfect pull-ups.

There are three methods that helped me get great at pull-ups.

Method 1: Pick a number and do that number of pull-ups every day. Let’s say it’s 30, to start. It doesn’t matter if you do six sets of five or fifteen sets of 2, just get them in every day. Increase the number by 10 when it gets to be easy.

Method 2: Do 1 pull-up, rest, do 2 pull-ups, rest, and as far as you can go up. When you hit 10, go back down to 1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 pull-ups = 100 pull-ups. When you can complete this workout, you will be good at pull-ups. I still do this, but I superset Bench or Shoulder presses or pushups with the same rep scheme.

Method 3: Adding weight. This is where things can get risky. There are a lot of different variations that can add difficulty to the BW pull-up, but the fact is that if you can slowly add weight to your body, then once can do a few pull-ups with 2 plates hanging from you (I think 4 is my max with +90), you will be able to bust out lots of bodyweight reps. The only problem is that the shoulder is already in a compromising position, and adding weight can be risky for certain people.

A few extra pointers:
Do your pull-ups wider than shoulder grip and with an overhand or neutral grip most of the time. Underhand is fine, but lots of people end up doing arm-ups and get elbow problems.

Do your pull-ups dead-hang. Get full scapular protraction at the bottom and initiate with scapular retraction. Get your chin just to the bar, and don’t worry about getting too high up.

Finally, I’m not a huge fan of the assisted pull up. When people can’t finish sets, they turn to that machine, but the stability of having your feet on any sort of support completely changes the motion. If you add high volume pull-ups to your workouts and can’t finish the reps, do negatives (jump up and let yourself down slowly).


#458

Thanks for the detailed answer! Really helpful.

What would you say to someone who couldn’t do any pull-ups? Obviously lose weight and get stronger, but I agree that pull-ups are best improved by doing just that, pull-ups, and can never think of anything to say when asked besides inverted rows, but I personally am not totally sold on those (in terms of carryover).


#459

I’d go with the negatives he mentioned if you can’t do pull up. I agree that the machine changes the motion. The motion will stay the same relatively if you hang a resistance band from the pull up bar and put your feet in it. The elasticity allows for natural movement on the way up and down.


#460

@jackolee is right, the band around your feet lets you stay in a better position, it’s the best assisted pull up variation.

Inverted rows are a horizontal pull. They’re a good exercise, but as the angle of an inverted row gets MORE vertical, it gets EASIER. That’s counterintuitive when the goal is to do a pull up.


#461

Hamstring day

Got this workout from an australian BBing website, it was killer.

SUPERSET
BB SLDL 185x8, 225x6, 275x4
and
DB SLDL 60s 3x10

Lying Ham Curl
110 5x5, 50 1x50

Wide Grip Leg Press
180x10, 270x8, 360x6/270x11/180x20 triple drop set

Roman Chair back Extension 3xfailure 25, 22, 14


#462

I don’t know, the assist machines helped me a lot when I was recovering from a broken wrist a few years ago, I could do 1-arm assisted chins, and then once the wrist was useable I progressed back to normal chins. I don’t think it impacts the movement that much. Same when I was rehabbing from my pec tear in 2013.


#463

Fair enough - when rehabbing certain injuries, being able to pull your body up unilaterally is better than doing one arm pulldowns. I was more talking about building up from a general weakness and inability to do pull-ups, not from someone who’s strong enough to do pull-ups but can’t use one of their arms.


#464

Instead of a PWO shake after leg day, took the kids and wife to Burgerworks.

Double grass-fed bison patty with pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, and crispy spicy tortilla strips on a wheat bun. Hell of a PWO meal.


#465

Came home, went out to Whole Foods to have a beer with a friend (yes, the whole foods near me sells craft beers super cheap on tap at a little bar in the store, its sweet), and got organic hot dogs, jalapeno chicken sausages, and a couple pounds of skirt steak, and grilled and ate them all with the family along with some grilled asparagus, corn, and peppers. Just need a protein shake before bed to take me over the 300g protein mark for the day, which I’m trying to hit as often as possible.


#466

My next chest day:

SUPERSET
Incline BB 10x10
Incline Fly 10x10

SUPERSET
Flat Smith 10x10
Flat Fly 10x10

SUPERSET
Decline Hammer Strength 10x10
Crossovers 10x10

On all exercises, start with moderate weight, increase through set 4 and perform sets 4-10 with straight weights.


#467

So, had to modify the chest day due to machine unavailability and time constraints.

SUPERSET
Flat bench 135, 145, 155, 165, 165, 165, 155, 145, 145, 135x10
and
DB flat fly 25s 4x10, 20s 3x10, 15s 3x10

SUPERSET
Cable incline chest press 10x10
and
Pec Deck 10x10

SUPERSET
Crossovers 10x10
and
Pushups 10x10


#468

How much do you weigh? I’m so glad to not be eating 300 grams of protein right now. 225 feels like a breeze in comparison. It’s still like 1.35 grams per lb for me so plenty.


#469

225 lbs. I’ve gotten great results from 1g/lb protein intake for years, but the more I see people on preps with 1.5-2g/lb intakes, the more it’s making me a believer in high protein diets. I pretty much just use carbs to control my weight.


#470

Yeah the high protein intake definitely helps. Just makes your metabolism work and work and work. I just get so damn stinky. Keep it up brother!


#471

What does this mean, because it can’t mean 10 sets of 10 reps? That would be ridiculous…

That’s a lot of sets!


#472

It means ten sets of ten reps, two exercise supersets, and 3 sets of the supersets, for 600 reps total. So yes, it was insane. Just gotta check your ego and imagine your chest is a spring, stretching and compressing over and over.


#473

Just playing, that’s an insane amount of volume!


#474

I couldn’t tell, haha, it actually seems like a workout right up your alley!


#475

Maybe for a short sharp shock to the system as specialisation for a body part but I have tried higher volume stuff every session lots of times and it just doesn’t work for me.

For me at the minute it’s 1 or 2 bigger exercises for 3 or 4 straight sets followed by 4 runs of a tri set for a body part for 8 to 12 reps per exercise is the sweet spot. Heavy straight sets followed by pump work.