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Lee Boyce's Training Advice

Lee Boyce remind me of the reminds me of the old Cracker Jacks candy. In each box, you got a surprise.

Boyce’s training advice/articles are the same. Sometimes there’s good information and other time, as in his present article, “Stupid Exercise That Need to Die”, there poor advice.

The case in point is the Kipping Pull Up; it not a completely bad or “Stupid Exercise”.

It is actually a pretty good Upper Body Power Training Movement. That’s not only based on my opinion but…Chris Thibaudeau’s…

Kipping and Push-Pressing

A kipping pull-up is to a pull-up what the [push press] is to the strict overhead press.

In both a kipping pull-up and a push press you’re using the momentum created by the lower body to help with what is normally an upper body movement. And the more momentum you can create with the lower body, the easier the movement becomes – you can do more weight or more reps.

So, is the push press also cheating? Or just a different exercise than the standing military press? One thing is for sure: in both cases, the person doing it can either look very athletic, coordinated and powerful, or look like someone having a seizure.

Heck, I’m very fond of the snatch-grip high pull, which is pretty similar to the kipping pull-up: you’re using a lot of lower body drive to get the bar upward to your chest without having to use that much arm strength. Am I cheating?

Thibaudeau (in his article) explain when to use the Kipping Pull Upnd when not to.

Kenny Croxdale


I’m going to disagree. I don’t have a well-thought out argument, just my knee-jerk reaction: I liked this article.

I’ll come back later and try to support my thoughts (or, possibly, admit I’m wrong - ha! just kidding, this is the Internet). I just wanted to go ahead and post to get a discussion going.

I vote: good article and good points!


Focused on maintaining joint health and optimal performance for long-term lifting?

He doesn’t say it’s a completely bad exercise.

From the article:
"Though popularized by CrossFit, the kipping pull-up is one movement that needs to die. Sure, in a CrossFit competition, athletes have to do it in order to win. But high-level competitors have mastered the strict pull-up first.

Most people, however, are just kipping because they’re not strong enough to do strict pull-ups… and their shoulder joints are getting wrecked.
I can only imagine what expletives a shoulder’s labrum and rotator cuff would be shouting at the rest of the body during repeats of kipping pull-ups.

If you want to sustain your health, learn how to do pull-ups strictly as you become more mobile, even if it takes a much longer time to get there."

From Thib’s article:

"Problems started to arise when CrossFit became popular among the general population. Oftentimes these people do not have the muscular strength/integrity and shoulder mobility to do kipping pull-ups safely. But what’s really problematic is that because of its use of momentum, even fairly weak individuals (who can’t do more than one or two strict pull-ups) will be able to do kipping pull-ups once they learn to use their lower body properly.

But just because they can do it does not mean that they should!

Let’s go back to the push press comparison. If someone is weak and can’t hold a 65 pound barbell pressed overhead without looking like he’s lifting in the middle of a tornado, it’s not a good idea to have him do push presses.

Sure, he’ll be able to get the barbell high enough because of his leg drive, but the risk of a disaster happening will be high because he has trouble controlling that load… just like someone who can’t do strict pull-ups can’t control their body during a kipping pull-up."



I’ll just like @Chris_Colucci’s message instead of doing any of my own research - I am pretty sure those are the points I wanted to make


I like the guy, for what it’s worth. But I will make one point: when I went for ART on my shoulder, the therapist, who’s clients now include Premiership footballers, warned me about those rotator cuff exercises with bands. She claimed she had seen folks damage their shoulder further with those. And while she recommnded DBs, it was the lying version not standing as per LB’s article.

But I think this tracks right in line with the point he was making about line of gravity. So the principle holds up, even if they disagree on the vehicle.


Yes, indeed. The point I was trying to emphasise is what he considers optimal - the band - the ART therapist considers detrimental.


I would agree with that. I think that’s actually probably the issue folks take with Boyce’s articles in general: his language is very declarative. I think the principle gets buried beneath the specifics and, like you say, he’s not the expert in those specifics.

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Cracker Jack!

I picture young Kenny running down the street with a hoop and stick.


I’m 96.4369333% sure you see this in EVERY crossfit style gym :dealwithit:

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Oh man, if we’re going to start posting people getting hurt doing stupid things while lifting, hopefully no one looks at strongman!

Yes, the push press is cheating. Depending on your goal. If you are trying to build muscle, it’s a lousy exercise. If you want to build strength, it is also a lousy exercise. If you want to coordinate your force and speed to move maximal weight, it’s a good exercise. I don’t see why anyone would bother kipping outside of some sort of competition.

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It worked for this dude

Much like the push press, you can bypass the initial part of the movement and focus on the end ROM instead. And also like the push press, you can use too much momentum and completely negate that part (effectively turning it into a jerk)

The sound of that smack was very satisfying.


I get the article and the point. But the number 1 exercise to go is clapping press ups? Because you might miss, fall and get injured.

The thing is clapping press ups look cool. And trying to look cool (especially in front of the ladies) is essentially to only reason to risk injury.

In all honesty though I agree with most of the points raised. But I think the risks might be exaggerated.

I don’t see anything special that could be credited to kipping. I am a believer in a little cheating in movements to effect overload that can’t be achieved otherwise to trigger growth and break plateus, so don’t mistake me for some kind of “Strict” zealot. I just think he could achieve at least the same results from just not dropping down to full extension or even using a band around his shoulders going from one hand to the other. Hanging a weight from my hips seems a lot more useful than stupid high reps and kipping.

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I am curious: what would you need to see for it to be something special that could be credited to kipping?

LOL. I don’t know. It would probably need to be someone I know and therefore have a good idea of his actual real lifting program. It just seems like the least efficient path to the goal. There are plenty of things that happen in competition that most of us don’t do in training, this seems like something in that vein to me. Much like I didn’t see a lot of point in doing a lot of training in equipment outside of competition. Sure, some for form and overload, but mostly without.

I honestly found my training turned around when I focused less on efficiency and more purely on effectiveness. Almost everything I do is not the most efficient way to do it, but its the old “a good plan violently executed now is better than a great plan too late” thing.