T Nation

Military Workouts- Help w/ Pullups

so i need help getting to sets of 20 pullups. it actually doesnt matter if they are palms out, pullups, or palms in chinups. i just need to be able to do 20. right now i can crank out a set of 12. any tips?

also, if anyone has any tips on how the military trains, specifically USMC, id appreciate them. i was planning on going into law enforcement after graduating college this coming december, but may have the chance to do marine officer candidate school, so i want to be ready.

thanks.

A quick google came up with this article. The guy who wrote it was in a similar situation as you:

http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/220/

http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode2/Workouts

I can’t speak about USMC training because I’m not a Marine, but speaking to one at MEPS told me that it’s a bunch of running, rucking, push ups and pull ups at boot. I don’t know if it’s different for non-enlistees.


CrossFit might help you meet your goals for OCS.

www.crossfit.com

Good luck.

Fastest way?? Lose weight. really diet lose 10-15 lbs youll hit 20.

Other then that just like any other lift work it hard and smart I say train around it. Go heavy. add a load to you and start hitting sets. other days take load off of you and go high rep. do each once a week or so and it should make getting that 20 reachable in no time

Phill

Before I went to Marine OCS I could do about 4 pullups…but I was a weak SoB in just about every other aspect as well. I did every different pyramid scheme there was to go up in pullups, 1, then 2, then 3 then maxxing until I did a total of 40.

Doing these little pyramid schemes was slow going and I got up to about 11. Which got me through OCS.

I didn’t hit 20 until I forgot about the different schemes to raise the number of pullups I could do in one setting. I just started lifting heavy on the major compound lifts and doing sets of weighted pullups (hands facing away). When I could do 10 weighted pullups I could do 20 chinups (hands facing towards you and a bit closer together).

BUT, You look HYOOOGE man. So yeah, lose weight. Remember too, the bodyfat test in the Marine Corps is based on a 1950s state farm obesity chart. I’m almost 6’3" and when I was lifting heavy (when I got my 20 pullups) I weighed around 215…which is OBESE by Marine standards, I had to get taped even though I could see the line running down between my abs. Max weight for me is 213.

One more thing, don’t let being over the height/weight limit discourage you. You will need to lower your body fat so that when you’re taped you pass. The Marine PFT (Physical Fitness Test) is built for little guys. 3 mile run in 18 min, 20 pullups, 100 crunches in 2 min.

One of my old Captains was a lineman in college, he was 6’4" and around 250. Guy was really strong, but no matter what he did he couldn’t get over 12 pullups; his lower body was too muscular/heavy. So he compensated by getting really good at the 3 mile run. So even though he lost points on the pullups he flew on the run.

And the hardest part of OCS is definitely the running. We had roughly a 60% attrition rate w/ probably 40% due to injury. But it was during winter and cold and the body broke down pretty fast.

Have a search on this site for a article by Zeb in re to chinning, was a excellent piece of training information in re to chinning, was a article that stuck out like dogs nuts.

 In re to USMC, all the best, thanks for your future service.

Search for the thread:

“A case for the Pull Up”

its the best pull up thread there is and a lot of member gave in really good ideas and anecdotes to improve the # of pull ups.

Also check out this article:

[quote]uberjaeger wrote:
Before I went to Marine OCS I could do about 4 pullups…but I was a weak SoB in just about every other aspect as well. I did every different pyramid scheme there was to go up in pullups, 1, then 2, then 3 then maxxing until I did a total of 40.

Doing these little pyramid schemes was slow going and I got up to about 11. Which got me through OCS.

I didn’t hit 20 until I forgot about the different schemes to raise the number of pullups I could do in one setting. I just started lifting heavy on the major compound lifts and doing sets of weighted pullups (hands facing away). When I could do 10 weighted pullups I could do 20 chinups (hands facing towards you and a bit closer together).

BUT, You look HYOOOGE man. So yeah, lose weight. Remember too, the bodyfat test in the Marine Corps is based on a 1950s state farm obesity chart. I’m almost 6’3" and when I was lifting heavy (when I got my 20 pullups) I weighed around 215…which is OBESE by Marine standards, I had to get taped even though I could see the line running down between my abs. Max weight for me is 213.[/quote]

thanks for the replies. if youre referring to me looking huge as the guy in my avatar, thats not me, that jim wendler from elite fitness/ elitefts.com. the man is massive.

i am 5’9" and have been between 200-215lbs for the past 2-2.5 years. starting a month ago, at 200lbs, i have dropped to 190-191lbs. at 5’9" i think my weight max is 187lbs, so i dont have too much further to go, although im sure the last few will be harder than the first ten- but i have until about january to do it.

thanks for the replies everyone.

Yep lots of running so if you are heavy you will definitly loose a lot of muscle. I lost 40 lbs. Also the training is all about heart, you just have to keep going. 90% mental and 10% phisical

doesnt it kind of defeat the point if your going to diet simply to do more pulliups - why not stick to getting stonger.

Imo the best way to increase upperbody ME is to do more sets, but no to failure. in your case that might be a dozen or so sets of 6 or 8, up to 2 or 3 times a day

For me, the closest grip (hands touching each other) with palms facing face is where I get the most pullups. Slow negatives also helped me at one point. I just make sure I do the concentric portion as quickly as possible.

Im going to boot the end of march. Just my two cents in this topic is I cant believe they let you do either chin ups or pull ups. I was under the impression up until about a month ago it was only pull ups. I do PT a few weeks ago and got 6 chin ups no problem. Then again im a fatbody compared to marine standards. I cant believe people do pulls ups when they can do chin ups instead. Then again mabye its different depending on the person. I also recommend you lose as much weight as possible while trying to maintain muscle. More weight off of course the more chin ups

check up this link:
http://www.powerdevelopmentinc.com/?id=22

I had a great success with this routine by switching the DE days with RE days

and for the running make 1 day your long run (8-12 km)
while the other days work on speed endurance (400m,800m,1200, sprints) and interval running

Run, run, and run some more.

The military prizes small fast people. Small, because it takes less fuel (both gas and food) to move you around and fast because speed kills.

That said, I still chukcle at the guys who beat me on the run…then need me to help carry thier gear. My combat load weighs somewhere over 100 pounds. I can carry that all day. Most good runners cant.

do pullups all day, 3-4 sets of 1-2 short of your max reps… like 4 or 5x a day… the key is repitition(sp?)

wow, i thought this thread was long since dead.

im not doing the military thing anymore. i wrecked my motorcycle just a few days after i started this thread, and it took me out of training for a few weeks, and took me out of running until pretty recently. the class i had a spot in was shipping out at the end of january, so the bike wreck put me out of that.

however, in the time that i was sitting around healing, i did a lot of thinking and decided to take a chance on my ultimate goal anyway- fed law enforcement. ive now been working on that for several months. theres a local police academy starting a a couple months that pays pretty well, if im not any further along the federal line when that pops up, ill be taking my spot in the local academy, because im tired of feeling like im wasting my life, now selling parts at the local HD.

good luck to your goals. train hard and kick ass!

There is some good advice here so this is my humble addition:

Do you have a pull up bar in your house? If so, program yourself to do a set to failure first thing every morning when you wake up followed by a set of 50 to 75 push-ups. It is quite a shock to the system. I did this and within 6 weeks hit 40.

Also, work on doing weighted pull ups for several weeks. When you switch back to regular ones, you will feel like a feather.

Edit: That’s strange: I your last post did not show until after I posted this message. Nevermind!!!

Best of luck with the Academy. My father was in law enforcement for 35 years and I have the utmost respect for anyone choosing that path in life. By the way, where in MD are you located?

i live in crownsville, just outside of annapolis