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Just got Slammed into a Brick Wall

Since starting out serious lifting in mid november 2011 I’ve seen gains in about every lift and other body weight exercises but my brick wall is pull ups and chin ups, after about 2 reps i’m just done. I’ve been stuck on the assisted machine, I’m just beginning to record my workouts to see what i’m doing wrong but i’d like to get the more experienced opinions of you guys.

I’m 16 5’7 152 pds. Monday: Arms & Chest Tuesday: legs (hamstrings & calves) Wednesday: Shoulders Thursday: Back & arms (bis,tris, forearm) Friday: Cardio general light workout using bodyweight Saturday: Armor building specifically tumbling workout http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/armor_building And sunday just a light jog. I’m eating relatively healthy

can anybody tell me if im doing anything wrong

what are you doing specifically to improve your pullups?

ive been using the assisted pull up machine timed about 25 seconds, on the day i do back i do a set of horizontal pull ups using the olympic bar just maxing out…doing vertical dips with a 25 pd weight on my lap…and military presses. Should i be doing more workouts that mimic the motion of pull ups?

First article has some decent progressions that should help.

I’ve also used a free Android app by Rittr Labs for pull-ups that gave decent progression (there are similar ones for iPhone too)

  1. ditch the assissted pullup machine. right now. dont ever touch it again.
  2. Horizontal rows won’t help you much if at all with pullups.
  3. bench dips? what does that have to with pullups? you should prolly stop those too because they can tear up your shoulders.
  4. do pullups. even if you have to tap your feet on the ground at the bottom to give you a boost. this is how i went from being able to do 1 pullup to doing 11 pullups. and that was back when i was about the same weight as you. now im 195 and when i tested my max a few months ago i was at 12 pullups with perfect form. since ive stayed at this weight im probably at about 14 now. assist yourself as much as you need to so you can do sets of 5 or 6. gradually wean yourself off the assisstance. just do not, for the love of all that is good and just, use a partner to assist you, bands, or machines. i dont know how to explain it very well, but i can tell you from experience that these change the exercise too much. you need the full body tension from hanging on a bar with no outside support.

if you can do only do 2 reps you can also try doin 6 or 7 sets of 2 to start with. then when that gets easier do 5 sets of 3, then 4 sets of 4, then 3 sets of 5.

another option is called GTG or “grease the groove”. if you have a pullup bar at home, put it up in your doorway or whatever and everytime you pass by, just knock out a set of pullups. the point is to do a lot of pullups throughout the day. youre supposed to be fully rested whenever you do a set. you should do about half of whatever your max is. a good rule of thumb is to do as many as you can comfortably do until it gets hard to keep perfect form. one drawback of this is that you need to use impeccable form for every rep, which can be very difficult if you can only do two reps.

so to make sure im clear ditch all the workouts ive been doing and avoid partner and bands but for the 6to 7 sets of 2 should i do them at the beginning of my workout or spread them apart and only do them 2 to 3 times a week? thanks

rows are still good, but in their own right. they develop most of the same muscles but from an entirely different angle, so theyre still good to do, but dont expect them to help with your pullups. where you place the pullups in your workout depends on what else youre doing that day. whatever is most important to you should probably come first. dont spread them out through the workout. do them together, with a minute or two of rest between sets. 3 times a week would probably be best.

alright any rows specifically with the bar, dumbells or the machine rows?

whatever you want man. Kroc rows are probably the best for developing badassery. but its just personal preference unless you have a specific goal involving rows or something.

kroc rows

^^ you know haha

Before I was able to really get a good pullup I used to jump up and grab the bar while using the momentum of the jump to help pull myself up immediately. After doing this for awhile I was repping out with real pullups.

i did the same thing, and i just lessened the hop until my feet were just tapping the ground. and from there i started repping pullups.

do negatives. Do as many pull ups as you can under your own strength, then finish the set by jumping to the top, and lowering yourself under control. the reps and sets dont really matter, just shoot for a total number that you have to do, and keep trying to do more as you progress.

a few months ago I could only do 3 pull ups max. I started doing static holds and negatives, and just doing sets of 3 pull ups untill I got 15 reps. now I can bang out 5x5 no problem, which in and of itself is nothing special, but its progress.

also if you want to improve on any lift or movement, its best to put that movement first in your workout so you will be fresh. A main reason for sucking at anything in general is lack of coordination, which can only be solved by practice.

I second negatives, and you should also give pyramid sets a try. They’re a good way to increase your volume while avoiding failure.

For example, if you’re able to do 2 pull-ups now, do pyramid sets of 1-2-1. Rest 10s for each pull-up in the previous set: so a set of 1-2-3-2-1 would have rest of 10s-20s-30s-20s. Rest for a couple of minutes between pyramid sets.

Whenever you can hit the top of the pyramid easily, add another level.

I like to do four sets in total (wide overhand grip, wide underhand grip, narrow overhand grip, narrow underhand grip).

I’m just back into training after a couple of years off, and I’m using this method to get my numbers up again. I’ll do a few pyramid sets at the beginning of every session.

I remember from a while back that once I could do 4 pyramid sets of 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 (14 in all) I could easily bang out 8-10 pull-ups in total.