T Nation

Pulldowns = Mental Weakness

This is why I read, live, and breath T-Nation!!Pulldowns = Mental Weakness

Pulldowns = Mental Weakness
by Mike Boyle

Know what I really dislike? People who can do a pull-up or a chin-up but still do pulldowns. Why does this bother me? Because in my mind it shows mental weakness.

Every article on back training written since the dawn of time says that pull-ups are far superior to pulldowns. So why do people still do pulldowns? One reason: they’re easier.

My females are better at chin-ups than many males I know. You know why? Because we have accepted the reality that it’s better to pull up than to pull down. No excuses in my book.

When I spoke to Eric Cressey he cautioned me to not make this look like a rant. Again, many readers are probably saying, “I know pull-ups are better than pulldowns.” If you know, why don’t you do them? Why don’t you make your clients and athletes do them? I’m writing the same stuff I wrote twenty years ago. We need to create change, and change begins at the top. Testosterone Nation readers are some of the most sophisticated, so I’ll gladly preach to this choir.

By the way, I also hate writers who refer to pulldowns as lateral pulldowns. “Lat” is short for latissimus, not lateral. It’s an amazing display of ignorance and poor editing when I see a book or an article that refers to a “lateral” pulldown.

Thirdly, I despise those who do behind-the-neck pulldowns. The only way anyone can make a case for behind-the-neck pulldowns is if they said it was a combination lift that worked both the lats and the rectus abdominus.

It is people like BOYLE< THIB> JOHN!
Is why I read AND SUPPORT Biotest!!

LET THE UNDERPRIVERLIDGED BE HEARD!! (DNA and NATURALY speaking!)

SPEED-STRENGTH-and-ASS-KICKING
THIS T-Nation

ARE YOU WILLING!?!?!?!

I hope you are being sarcastic. Perhaps you or Mike Boyle can go tell Ed Coan, Kirk Karowski, Chuck Vogelpohl, Brian Siders, Andy Bolton etc. to their face that they are mentally weak for doing lat pulldowns.

[quote]Donut62 wrote:
I hope you are being sarcastic. Perhaps you or Mike Boyle can go tell Ed Coan, Kirk Karowski, Chuck Vogelpohl, Brian Siders, Andy Bolton etc. to their face that they are mentally weak for doing lat pulldowns. [/quote]

But…but…but it’s an article. They can’t be wrong??

And you’re lying anyway. There’s no way Chuck coulda gone from 198 to one of the thickest looking 275’s out there. Look at his back. Couldn’t have been built by pulldowns.

No, of course not…

you guys shouldn’t doubt authors, you could get delayed posting privileges…

God, not this again.

[quote]cwattsdrum wrote:
This is why I read, live, and breath T-Nation!!Pulldowns = Mental Weakness

Pulldowns = Mental Weakness
by Mike Boyle

Know what I really dislike? People who can do a pull-up or a chin-up but still do pulldowns. Why does this bother me? Because in my mind it shows mental weakness.

Every article on back training written since the dawn of time says that pull-ups are far superior to pulldowns. So why do people still do pulldowns? One reason: they’re easier.

My females are better at chin-ups than many males I know. You know why? Because we have accepted the reality that it’s better to pull up than to pull down. No excuses in my book.

When I spoke to Eric Cressey he cautioned me to not make this look like a rant. Again, many readers are probably saying, “I know pull-ups are better than pulldowns.” If you know, why don’t you do them? Why don’t you make your clients and athletes do them? I’m writing the same stuff I wrote twenty years ago. We need to create change, and change begins at the top. Testosterone Nation readers are some of the most sophisticated, so I’ll gladly preach to this choir.

By the way, I also hate writers who refer to pulldowns as lateral pulldowns. “Lat” is short for latissimus, not lateral. It’s an amazing display of ignorance and poor editing when I see a book or an article that refers to a “lateral” pulldown.

Thirdly, I despise those who do behind-the-neck pulldowns. The only way anyone can make a case for behind-the-neck pulldowns is if they said it was a combination lift that worked both the lats and the rectus abdominus.

It is people like BOYLE< THIB> JOHN!
Is why I read AND SUPPORT Biotest!!

LET THE UNDERPRIVERLIDGED BE HEARD!! (DNA and NATURALY speaking!)

SPEED-STRENGTH-and-ASS-KICKING
THIS T-Nation

ARE YOU WILLING!?!?!?!

[/quote]

Umm T-Nation is pretty damn cool, but I think youre taking this site WAAAAAY too seriously…

[quote]cwattsdrum wrote:
It is people like BOYLE< THIB> JOHN!
Is why I read AND SUPPORT Biotest!!

LET THE UNDERPRIVERLIDGED BE HEARD!! (DNA and NATURALY speaking!)

SPEED-STRENGTH-and-ASS-KICKING
THIS T-Nation

ARE YOU WILLING!?!?!?!

[/quote]

This what happens when you drink a six pack of Spike shooters in under an hour.

The strongest guys at my gym (bench 400+, squat 500+) do pulldowns.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this was probably intended for the average gym goer’ who opts for the lat pulldown down rather then doing a pullup/chin up/band assisted pullup etc. IMO these would be better options, though probably more difficult. Chances are this is something Mike saw alot training athletes/average lifters and decided to write about it. No harm done, but most certainly not everything here needs to be taken as if it’s devine script.

[quote]Power GnP wrote:
most certainly not everything here needs to be taken as if it’s devine script.[/quote]

That is the main heart of the problem, and its causes are two-fold

  1. apparently there is no critical thinking anymore. Maybe that’s incorrect, and there never has been any, but whichever the case, nobody QUESTIONS. I fully understand the concept in the differences between open chain and closed chain movement, but it has never been made clear why one is “better” than the other. An that’s the problem, people hear ‘closed chain is better than open chain’ and then dont ask “why?” when in my opinion it ought to be the first word that pops into their mind. I’m serious about that, I’d listen with an open mind, but beyond the “real world” example (in the real world you pull yourself up, not other things down) this has never been expanded upon.

  2. Writers WRITE as if it’s gospel and must be taken as such. I know this is a business for them, and it’s how they put food on their plates, but when you make statements about mental weakness it doesnt leave much room for reasonable differences.

As was mentioned before, it’s important to realize whom Boyle wrote the article for. Not powerlifters and bodybuilders. He’s dead-on for team athletes and, in my opinion, everybody else. Not that you can’t get good results from pulldowns, but whole-body strength and coordination are improved more by pull-ups.

I think Mike Boyle is right a lot more than he’s wrong.

Personally, pulldowns allow me to focus more on working the muscles of my back so I don’t consider them useless.

I use a form of weighted chin-up or pull-up all the time. They definitely are a better exercise for developing upper body strength. Sometimes, I’ll add a few sets of pulldowns afterwards with higher reps. I don’t see any reason to completely avoid a useful exercise just for the sake of following some dogma.

THINKING FOR YOURSELF = T-Nation!!!

CAN YOU HANDLE IT???

HELL YEAH!!!

This is the back of Dave Tate.

Sometimes he does pull-ups but most of the time
he does Pulldowns. He does cable pulldowns
with around 350 pounds and machine pulldowns
with around 500 pounds.

Pulldowns and Chin-ups are different
exercises. They’re both pretty good.
If you think Pulldowns are bad, then what
about Cable Rows? I really don’t see much
of a difference between Cable Rows and Lat-Pulldowns
other than one being horizontal and another being vertical.
But I doubt you have the same low opinion of cable rows
that you hold for pulldowns. So, what is the big difference?

Certainly any athlete should be able to do a decent amount
of Chin-ups. Chin-ups are better than pulldowns. And squats are
better than chin-ups. That’s just the nature of things. But that doesn’t mean pulldowns suck.

Why would someone who can do chins ever use a lat-pulldown? I don’t know. Why would someone who can do dips ever do close-grip bench press?

whatever floats your boat man. i personally only do pullups. all kinds of em. but that being said i guess pulldowns are a useful tool for some people. whatever gets the job done and allows you to accomplish your goals is good to go.

Personally I’m not a fan of pulldowns, because I get such a rush off pullups and chin ups, there’s just something so satisfying about them. I am a fan of calisthenics, they’re just so… primal I suppose, don’t know why, maybe the fact your whole body is moving, it seems natural.

But yeah, pulldowns are fine, I wouldn’t recommend them to a normal gym goer though just because I like pullups.

C’mon, this was directed at all those dudes at the gym who do 20 sets of behind the neck pulldowns wearing their mesh lifting gloves, a sweet pair of zebra stripe zubas and black tank top with their wrist wraps wrapped around the pulldown bar, listening to the best of Quiet Riet on their Walkman Cassete player.

Unless you are ‘that guy’ don’t get all bent. If you are, cut your mullet and do some chin ups, dammit.

[quote]BigBen72 wrote:
C’mon, this was directed at all those dudes at the gym who do 20 sets of behind the neck pulldowns wearing their mesh lifting gloves, a sweet pair of zebra stripe zubas and black tank top with their wrist wraps wrapped around the pulldown bar, listening to the best of Quiet Riet on their Walkman Cassete player.

Unless you are ‘that guy’ don’t get all bent. If you are, cut your mullet and do some chin ups, dammit. [/quote]

how many of “those guys” are reading this website, or Mike Boyle for that matter?

Pulldowns = Check Your Pants to see if your pen-s was replaced by a vagina… and go back to your 5th set of Tricep Kickbacks with 5 lb Pussy Ass weights

So should Mike Boyle not express his opinion because he thinks his readers won’t agree with it?

[quote]Reef wrote:
The strongest guys at my gym (bench 400+, squat 500+) do pulldowns.[/quote]

Your point being…?