T Nation

Help with Vertical Pulling

A little info on where I am physique wise (basically maximum suckage) is here: http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/journey_from_400lbs?pageNo=0#3503193

What can I do to improve my vertical pulling and widen my lats? I’m too fat to do pull-ups now, and my high-pulleys will only handle about 100lbs.

Here’s what I have:

Squat rack with safety pins, high pulleys (max wt. about 100lbs).
O-bar
EZ Curl Bar
45lb Trap bar
2 Olympic DB handles
5-90lb powerblocks with stand
Plates 2-45, 2-35, 4-25, 4-10, 8-5, 4-2.5, 4-1.25lb platemates.
Attachments: triceps rope, single hand handles, wide-grip pulldown bar, T-bar arm and socket,
Kettlebells: 2X8kg, 2X12kg, 16kg, 20kg, 24kg
Misc: Step-up platform with 6", 8", and 14" options; 10lb medicine ball, two homemade clubbells that can be 7lbs ea. or 10lbs ea.; basic bench that will go flat or incline up to 60 deg.

Right now, the best thing you can do is to loss some weight. You could also try doing negatives (Jump up, grab the bar, and lower yourself slowly) if you think your elbows will hold up to the stress. I’d start with 3 sets of 2, and every third workout add another set until you’re ding 10x2, then add a rep to each set every 3rd workout.

[quote]ninjaboy wrote:
Right now, the best thing you can do is to loss some weight. You could also try doing negatives (Jump up, grab the bar, and lower yourself slowly) if you think your elbows will hold up to the stress. I’d start with 3 sets of 2, and every third workout add another set until you’re ding 10x2, then add a rep to each set every 3rd workout. [/quote]

Understood…I’ve already lost 80 and have 120 to go. I just want to have a physique to reveal when the fat is gone.
Will try your suggestions

[quote]djewnn wrote:
A little info on where I am physique wise (basically maximum suckage) is here: http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/journey_from_400lbs [/quote]

Dude, you’re all over the place. Whatever you’ve accomplished so far, good work, but really, you’re on a starvation diet with training ADD. Tough love time, my friend…

Choose one training program; the one you believe your body will respond to by dropping the most fat. In my opinion, 531 isn’t is, 5x5 isn’t it.

I’ll make it simple for you.

Do this:

It’s EDT with each day anchored by some strength work on a basic lift. The program might look more complicated than it really is, so if you have questions, let me know.

That really is the direction I think you should head for now. The benefits of maximum fat loss, and increased relative strength, dramatically outweigh the negatives of maybe losing some weight off your max lifts which, truth be told, won’t be that difficult to get back once you return focus to them. Plus, you’re still doing some heavier strength work each session, so there’s a chance you could actually gain strength anyway.

In your condition, widening your lats is so far down the list of what you should really be worrying about, it doesn’t even bear mentioning.

[quote]Squat rack with safety pins, high pulleys (max wt. about 100lbs).
O-bar
EZ Curl Bar
45lb Trap bar
2 Olympic DB handles
5-90lb powerblocks with stand
Plates 2-45, 2-35, 4-25, 4-10, 8-5, 4-2.5, 4-1.25lb platemates.
Attachments: triceps rope, single hand handles, wide-grip pulldown bar, T-bar arm and socket,
Kettlebells: 2X8kg, 2X12kg, 16kg, 20kg, 24kg
Misc: Step-up platform with 6", 8", and 14" options; 10lb medicine ball, two homemade clubbells that can be 7lbs ea. or 10lbs ea.; basic bench that will go flat or incline up to 60 deg.[/quote]

You have a phenomenal set-up, maybe too good. With all the gear at your disposal, you might be getting overwhelmed with your training possibilities.

Get your head right, prioritize your training, fix your diet, go balls out towards a goal, and you might surprise yourself. You even said you dropped 100+ pounds once before, so you’re capable of it if you go for it.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]djewnn wrote:
A little info on where I am physique wise (basically maximum suckage) is here: http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/journey_from_400lbs [/quote]

Dude, you’re all over the place. Whatever you’ve accomplished so far, good work, but really, you’re on a starvation diet with training ADD. Tough love time, my friend…

Choose one training program; the one you believe your body will respond to by dropping the most fat. In my opinion, 531 isn’t is, 5x5 isn’t it.

I’ll make it simple for you.

Do this:

It’s EDT with each day anchored by some strength work on a basic lift. The program might look more complicated than it really is, so if you have questions, let me know.

That really is the direction I think you should head for now. The benefits of maximum fat loss, and increased relative strength, dramatically outweigh the negatives of maybe losing some weight off your max lifts which, truth be told, won’t be that difficult to get back once you return focus to them. Plus, you’re still doing some heavier strength work each session, so there’s a chance you could actually gain strength anyway.

In your condition, widening your lats is so far down the list of what you should really be worrying about, it doesn’t even bear mentioning.

[quote]Squat rack with safety pins, high pulleys (max wt. about 100lbs).
O-bar
EZ Curl Bar
45lb Trap bar
2 Olympic DB handles
5-90lb powerblocks with stand
Plates 2-45, 2-35, 4-25, 4-10, 8-5, 4-2.5, 4-1.25lb platemates.
Attachments: triceps rope, single hand handles, wide-grip pulldown bar, T-bar arm and socket,
Kettlebells: 2X8kg, 2X12kg, 16kg, 20kg, 24kg
Misc: Step-up platform with 6", 8", and 14" options; 10lb medicine ball, two homemade clubbells that can be 7lbs ea. or 10lbs ea.; basic bench that will go flat or incline up to 60 deg.[/quote]

You have a phenomenal set-up, maybe too good. With all the gear at your disposal, you might be getting overwhelmed with your training possibilities.

Get your head right, prioritize your training, fix your diet, go balls out towards a goal, and you might surprise yourself. You even said you dropped 100+ pounds once before, so you’re capable of it if you go for it.[/quote]

Now that is an awesome reply! Okay okay, I totally get the tough love/ADD comment. I won’t disrespect the time you took to give legit advice by brushing it off. I’ll go on the “lose the fat keep the strength” program for 2 months and tell you exactly how it’s working. I’ve read that article several times and thought it looked cool.

You’re right my set-up is freakin’ cool. My training partner is a 20-year-old kid who’s growing like a weed and LOVES my gym.

You mention my diet…what would you change? I stated in another forum that my calories are the result of 1g per pound of est. LBM, lots of green veggies, and a decent portion of healthy fats for hormonal and anti-inflammatory purposes: grass-fed beef, Omega 3 eggs, fish oil, olive oil, etc. The actual number of calories is simply a result of this. I’ve learned to listen to my body enough to know that I THRIVE on a low-carb diet. I feel so much better it’s unreal. If I eat three slices of bread per day, I’ll have intestinal distress, feel groggy, and crash at 3:00pm.

Again, thanks!

[quote]djewnn wrote:
If I eat three slices of bread per day, I’ll have intestinal distress, feel groggy, and crash at 3:00pm.[/quote]

Not sure if that’s much of an exaggeration or not, but have you ever been checked for diabetes? I don’t mean to scaremonger, but since you’ve been coming down from such a big weight, it’s worth getting an all-clear from a doctor if you haven’t recently.

[quote]You mention my diet…what would you change?

my calories are the result of 1g per pound of est. LBM, lots of green veggies, and a decent portion of healthy fats for hormonal and anti-inflammatory purposes: grass-fed beef, Omega 3 eggs, fish oil, olive oil, etc. The actual number of calories is simply a result of this.[/quote]

I know you said you thrive on low carbs, so definitely exploit that as long as it keep working. The thing is, though, staying strictly low carb generally doesn’t work for long and when you say things like, “I tend to go for days or even weeks without losing weight, then will drop 6-7 pounds in two days” (like you did in the first post of your training log), that’s a sign that your body doesn’t want to stay low carb.

This is one of the key benefits of carb cycling. You rotate low, moderate, and higher (not necessarily “high,” but higher) carb days throughout the week to correspond to your training. This is a solid article all about it:

I’d start with one higher day when you squat heavy, with the other higher day and the moderate day on your other two lifting days. The rest of the week would be low carb, and you’d fine tune as you go (reducing one higher carb day to a moderate day, depending on progress after a week or two.)

Other notes: Weigh-in only once a week, not every few days. Weight can fluctuate naturally for a number of reasons, so semi-frequent weigh-ins are better indicators of progress, and better for overall sanity.

Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after using the bathroom, but before you so much as have a drink of water. That way it’ll be the most consistent. Also, if you haven’t yet, start taking photos once a week or once every two weeks:

In addition to the pictures, track your measurements - neck, upper arms, around nipples, around belly button, thighs, calves. Dropping inches while increasing/maintaining strength is what we want.

Those nutrition changes, plus a consistent and intense training plan should kick you in the direction.