T Nation

Help Me Out (Re: Pullups)

Alright everyone, hoping for some good ideas here…

Here’s the situation:

I coach junior varsity high school soccer (boys). Being an avid lifter, and myself having improved my on field performance through strength training (as well as plyo work, etc.), I obviously feel it’s important to incorporate this sort of training into soccer preparation.

Unfortunately, the head coach (my boss and also my coach of not too long ago) is
of the surprisingly common belief (in soccer, that is) that training with weights is not essential to the program and the only weight training the boys get to do is on their own time.

So, for better or worse, getting my boys into the weight room is not an option (terrible, I know). That said, I felt I got great results last season by constructing a good sprint program, throwing out a hundred pushup variations, a lot of plyo and agility work, and lots of challenging core work.

The players and the parents felt they were in the shape of their lives and we also had an injury free season (a little luck, a little strength, and some good active warmup work…).

Anyway, that’s the background, and it brings me to my quandry:

The other day, I saw that an ancient pair of pullup bars had literally been uncovered near the stadium. I don’t remember them from my time in school (5 years ago), but from the looks of it, they were under about 30 years of iceplant and other brush.

Nonetheless, they are there and in perfect working order. I’m excited, because it may not be a weight room, but at least I have something to balance out all of the pushup work from last year. My challenge is now to figure out a way to incorporate them into my workouts and get the most benefit for my players in reasonable time.

If I had a couple guys and a lot of time, we could obviously hit the pullups in any conventional way, but the considerations are as follows:

-max results
-20 guys/2 bars…10 guys to a bar with only 2 working at any time.
-most of them are typical, wiry soccer players, who should be able to knock out 8-10 reps pretty easily, considering their weight.

does anyone have a good idea as to a method/program where I could get everyone an effective workout on the bar, without sacrificing a day’s practice? would some sort of pavel ladder method be best, with them quickly going through the line? or???

sorry for the long post, but any and all help and ideas will be appreciated.

There are all kinds of things you can do. Break the group up into two groups of 10 and have a pullup contest. Every kids does max reps to failure and then add the total. With my Marines I sometimes do a 3-station circuit. one is pull-ups, one is sit-ups, the last is pushups. Do two-minute events with 1 minute rest in between then rotate events. The goal is max reps as fast as possible. You could add a 4th station with something like jump squats. Pull-ups will be the hardest event. You can probably run 5-6 kids through 2 bars in 2 minutes easily. They just pull until they can’t do another without resting. Drop off and the next guy gets up ASAP. To make it harder you can put the the pullup group in the “front leaning rest” position while they wait their turn on the bar.

Sounds like your head coach is a little old fashioned. Strength is important for every sport, even bowling, soccer, tennis, baseball…plus I’m sure your kids play other sports in the off-season.

get them to become a more tightly knit group by adding partner exercises.

Buddy squats
4-men pushups (the square)
Leg lifts (think that’s the name, where you throw down your partner’s legs after he brings them up in the air)

You could also have them do hanging pikes on the bars.

I have no idea what your average routine with them is, just throwing out ideas.

Hang dead animals and punch them.

It’s just a bar, go out and do it. when I have limited equipment I just do what feels right.