T Nation

Pull-ups Every Day?


#1

I am 59 and in good health, lifting since 1967 and have always worked out. I lift 3 days per week with a Chest, shoulders, tris on Sunday, back and bis on Tuesday, and legs on Thursday. Abs and a finisher each day. Currently I do pullups on back day but am thinking of banging out 50 in as many sets as it takes to get there every day except Tuesday. I plan on a neutral grip or will use rings to do them. I've read Waterbury's article and it sounds interesting.

Any older guys do this? Sorry but when I say "older" I mean 50+. Of course opinions of the younger guys will be appreciated.


#2

I am just a bit older than you at 60. I have done volume that high more than several times over the years. Every time I have done that I eventually fry my elbows. And I should know better because I know exactly what my elbows feel like when I am over-using them but I like chins so much that I have a hard time stopping at a sensible point. I suspect that whatever your weakest point is when you are doing high volume in chins you probably actually know when you should stop. The hard part is actually stopping. That?s no fun.

To give you a point of reference, chins are just sort of just naturally easy for me. If I haven?t been doing chins for a while I can work up to 90 pounds on a dip belt in a couple of weeks, so body weight chins are not killers until I up the volume and ignore the signals that my elbows are attempting to send me. For what it is worth, I mostly I change grip on every set because that lets me do more volume. But I still eventually burn out. In my profile you can see a video of me when I was in my mid-fifties doing chins with my daughter hanging off my back. That really throws off your body position.

I say go for it. Lifting is really all about pushing boundaries and doing all you can. Just listen to your body. You have been lifting since the 1960?s: You know when your body is trying to tell you something.

Old Lifter


#3

Thanks. I'll probably do them 4 or so times per week. They aren't easy for me and in my late 50's I've put up the best numbers with that in my lifetime. Never did them much before, but have worked up to a max of 15. I like them as they are a complete exercise that hit a lot of muscle groups and the spinal stretch feels great. Always use a neutral grip or rings.

And after 40 plus years I am aware when my body's trying to tell me something, unfortunately I don't always listen.


#4

Go for it man. My training partner does pull-ups everyday. Granted he's 25. He also has a 615 deadlift at 181 though. He does several hundred pull-ups a week.


#5

Older here too (58) I try to do pull-ups a few times a week. I use a neutral grip. A wide grip/forward grip bothers my shoulders quite a bit.
When I was in my 20's, I could do sets of 22, 20, 18, etc., I was good at it.
Now I am trying to see if I can get my max back up to maybe 18. I can do 12 no problem.

I did tear something doing kip-ups a few years ago (crossfit), I would never do them again. It was on the eccentric motion, going down quickly and stopping, I heard something tear, and it took a few years to get over. So be careful.


#6

Do them everyday as a warm up or superset them with everything. Just do triples on all your sets : Leg press for x15 superset with pullupsx3.

Don't train to failure on them and squeeze I mean really squeeze the bar when doing them ( no elbow pain)

Hope this helps


#7

Could you elaborate on the no elbow pain point? That's all that would keep me from doing pull ups every day!


#8

I'm 40 and have done CW's 30d challenge 3x in the last 2 years. I also found that the elbows are the limiter to keeping this up. If you can, use rings exclusively.

I do short sets, like fisher recommends. I mix in a lunge variation and a pushup variation in a circuit. Doing few reps with each set, but many sets in a short period of time is good for me because (a) I make every rep a quality effort, and (b) I don't develop bad habits from pushing through form-breakdown. At this point, it is metcon and active rest for me.

BTW - I key-in on my rear delts with each rep. Seems to help keep my shoulders back and in proper position. When I focus on my biceps, I tend to haunch my shoulders forward, and then the shoulder joint starts to be a problem.

Good luck.


#9

^ squeezing the bar hard helps alleviate elbow pain.

I've done pull-ups everyday for years ... The trick (as stated above) is NEVER go to failure on your sets. For instance, I might do 4-6 sets of 8 everyday, or 3 sets of 12, or 2 sets of 15 .... Look at it as just increased volume. I wouldn't do multiple max sets trying to hit 50 reps as fast as possible. Better to break it up into 5 sets of 10, 7 sets of 7, or something like that

The neutral grip is also a great idea - I've found it much easier on the shoulders

I'd also recommend never trying this with weighted pull ups - surefire road to elbow issues/ tendinitis

FWIW I'm not 50, but I am 45 :slightly_smiling:


#10

Sure.

The harder you squeeze the bar on any pressing or pulling motion the tendons,muscles and ligaments take most of the load off of the joints. Think of this action as the springs of a car - now when springs go bad the shocks follow very shorly.

Try doing a pullup up with just a hook grip (thumbs over bar) compared to thumbs around bar and squeezing . You will feel a huge difference.

Btw this works on all


#11

Im 180lbs and dead 315... I've got serious work to do. Does your training partner (or you) feel all the pull-ups help the deads much or was that just a bit of a note that the guy is a beast?


#12

Personally, I think its way to much. You have other muscles that go into play with pull-ups. You may be going down the road of overtraining. I like 3-4 sets of lat pulldowns and lower cable rows once a week, that's it. Did it at 17 and still do it at 47 y.o.


#13

Yeah, the crossfit/kip thing is a recipe for disaster for an older guy. Stricter reps with neutral grip or rings works great to protect elbows.


#14

I have elbow arthritis and I can do pulls/chins every day just fine. Start slow and build up and vary your grips and you should be fine.


#15

I do my pull ups and chins 3 days per week. I have been doing them weighted. A weight belt with a 25 lbs plate.
I do 5 sets of 6 reps. I have been adding 2.5 lbs each week. I am 66. No elbow pain.


#16

For the last few months I've been doing 50 - 100 chins and pull ups at least 4 times a week. I range the reps from 5 to 8. Depends on how I'm feeling on that day. I've definitely gained some size in my back during this process.

I truly believe chins/pulls are the best upper body exercise going.