T Nation

Getting Back After Long Layoff


I recently starting getting back into lifting after a few years of not doing so are doing it half-assed. I have completely different equipment than before (kettlebells now, barbells before) so I am making some adjustments and just had a few questions.

My first is concerning upper body training. For the most part for the primary movements I train bodyweight movements and use dip belt/weight attached to have extra resistance. My primary exercises are weighted dips and chinups/pullups. I do have a dipping station but do not have a pullup bar (I use a ceiling joist basically). First - does anyone have any experience with homemade pull up bars with reccomendations? I'm already somewhat heavy - 240lbs - and although I haven't been able to add weight to pull ups, I'm sure with an actual bar I could make faster strides because I'm basically doing fingertip pullups and grip strength seems to wear out more than back/arm strength. I've just read a lot of people buying attachments for walls or doors...but most don't recommend a weight much higher than mine :wink:. Do you think wall studs could hold possibly 300-350 lbs depending on how well it's put together? Or should I just tough it out with ceiling joist for safety reasons?

Also along that line, my weighted dip is higher than pull up. I can do about 12 unweighted dips with good range of motion and my max set is has been a 45 lb 5 times. For pull ups...ehh...about 7 I've done before with no weight. Should they be comparable or are most going to be stronger at dips? Would it be odd if primary push movement was weighted dips and primary pull was rows (i can do those on dip station and get a better grip than pull ups or just use the kettlebells), or is that going to cause a weird imbalance since one is vertical and the other horizontal? Or am I being just too OCD about it?

Also with lower body...I have an anterior hip injury which is inflamed by most lower body movements like squatting, deadlifting, lunges, KB swings, etc. Currently I am dropping my exercises to my current isolation regiment involving resistance bands (actually better than it sounds), and also glute/ham raises and hip thrusts as actual weight bearing exercises. Do you have any suggestions other than these two movements that might not aggravate hip?

Also...1 other thing I forgot -

I am trying to increase grip strength. I have been doing farmer's walks with my kettlebells and bought a grip machine lever thingy to use as well. Any other suggestions?