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Pullup Program Need Help/Advice

Hi i currently powerlift and want to do 1 accessory pullup session per week.
I’d like it to be geared towards hypertrofy and a little strength improvement but mainly hypertrofy.
So i’m thinking about sets of 6-12 reps.

Now where it gets really unclear to me is how many sets i should do and also i have no idea on how much rest between sets?

I can do 12 perfect form pullups, bodyweight is 160 pounds/ 72.5 kg.

I was planning on calculating my 1rm but i don’t know how to calculate a 1rm with that and use 70-80% of that.

edit:

Ok so i think? my 1rm is 104kg? than 70-80% would roughly be between bodyweight and 10 added kilo’s.

I am looking at the rep set bible which says the optimal reps (volume) would be 36-50 and 60-120sec rest between sets.

How should i arrange the sets/reps now?

Bodyweight and than 10x5 or add 10 kg’s and do 6x6? I don’t think i can do any of these with only 2 min rests between sets.:S

I thnk it would be more somethng like 5,5,5,4,4,4,3,3,3,3,3 etc. untill i hit 50 reps, would that be just fine or am i n the wrong rep range per set?

I just dont think i can do multiple sets of 6+ reps with a max rest of only 2 minutes in between.

This might be of interest to you. This is a chin up program, not pull ups(same end result) and its over more than one workout.

It would probably be more effective for hypertrophy than what you plan on doing.

Another option is to just do pull ups/chin ups in between main lifts including warm ups. Jim Wendler suggests this in one of his books.

This is what I do. 5-8 chin ups between deadlifts and squats. By the end of the workout I have done about 50-60. On press days I do db rows.

Cheers.

Yeah ive read the chin up project, but it needs to be one session per week though, so that won’t work.

Also i don’t like doing them between sets of my main lifts because it interferes too much with my heart rate coming down/ getting my rest and i basically dont like it because it disturbes my focus.

[quote]Respeezy wrote:
Yeah ive read the chin up project, but it needs to be one session per week though, so that won’t work.

Also i don’t like doing them between sets of my main lifts because it interferes too much with my heart rate coming down/ getting my rest and i basically dont like it because it disturbes my focus.[/quote]
Then just do the 5 minute challenge at the end of a session.

Anyone have some advice concerning the content of my question?

I guess I’ll never understand why people complicate their lives.

Start with 3x12 then. 1 minute rest. Once you can perform 3x15 with minimal rest, add weight.

Why do you want to know the 1rm of a pull up? Big pull up meet coming up?

Also, quite a few articles on pull ups, including a few challenges. Look them up. BTW, finding all kinds of “excuses” with the chin up project tells me you didn’t really read the article and made up your mind before.

Taken from the article:

“Other Training
Perform your regular workout as you always would. If you have an “arm day” and need to cut volume back slightly, that’s fine. But most lifters won’t need to if they’re using a solid workout nutrition protocol and optimizing recovery in their regular workouts.”

Do it, don’t it. No matter to me, but don’t put excuses (disturbing your focus?) on something you have never tried.

Respeezy I would go for 10 sets of 3 reps as per Waterbury as this would work well for both strength and hypertrophy, what is the rest of your program like as I’ve recently become interested in powerlifting ?

Or…

Do 3-6 sets of 12-15, starting with a weight you can do 12 with and working to 15. Increase when you hit 15 and repeat.

When you stall…

Do 8-12 sets of 3-5, same progression pattern.

When you stall, go back to the higher rep scheme. Repeat.

3-6 sets of 12-15, or 4-6 sets of 10-12, or… whatever. Just do something that lets you keep progressing and adding weight over time.

[quote]JFG wrote:
I guess I’ll never understand why people complicate their lives.

Start with 3x12 then. 1 minute rest. Once you can perform 3x15 with minimal rest, add weight.

Why do you want to know the 1rm of a pull up? Big pull up meet coming up?

Also, quite a few articles on pull ups, including a few challenges. Look them up. BTW, finding all kinds of “excuses” with the chin up project tells me you didn’t really read the article and made up your mind before.

Taken from the article:

“Other Training
Perform your regular workout as you always would. If you have an “arm day” and need to cut volume back slightly, that’s fine. But most lifters won’t need to if they’re using a solid workout nutrition protocol and optimizing recovery in their regular workouts.”

Do it, don’t it. No matter to me, but don’t put excuses (disturbing your focus?) on something you have never tried.[/quote]

No need to be a douche, if i was to do 15 pullups in one set i would be working with maximally 65% of my 1rm, which accordingly to everything i read is NOT even close to optimal for hypertophy and will do almost nothing for strength.

That’s why i want to know my 1rm, so i can calculate with that.

Now on finding “excuses” for the chin up project, mister give nonsense advice and assume a lot, i train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 5 times a week which is very demanding on my lower arms and work a lot behind a computer, i have issues with tennis elbow and inflamed lower arms, so i cannot tax them any more. So i am not about to go do pullups every day, or even a couple of times per week.

And i take my training and sets seriously, i like to get my heart rate as much down as possible between sets and i’m not the type to talk to others during my sets, i am constantly focussing on my technique being aware of it and yes, focussing on it. So doing other exercises in between doesn’t work for me.

I really appreciate a lot of the advice i have gotten and am getting here, but if you’re not even reading my questions or go on assuming all kind of nonsense please dont bother responding.

[quote]tredaway wrote:
Respeezy I would go for 10 sets of 3 reps as per Waterbury as this would work well for both strength and hypertrophy, what is the rest of your program like as I’ve recently become interested in powerlifting ?[/quote]

Hi,
I thought a total of 30 reps would be too low for good hypertrophy?
Also i was wondering if i were to do 3 reps per set, that would be more geared towards strength? ( the number of reps) but with the weight i would be using would be very (too) easy.? I think im mixing some things up now.

My program currently is workout A: squat, press, deadlift, pullups and workout B: (squat), bench , rows, closed grip bench.
I just stopped doing 5x5 and went to 3x5.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Or…

Do 3-6 sets of 12-15, starting with a weight you can do 12 with and working to 15. Increase when you hit 15 and repeat.

When you stall…

Do 8-12 sets of 3-5, same progression pattern.

When you stall, go back to the higher rep scheme. Repeat.

3-6 sets of 12-15, or 4-6 sets of 10-12, or… whatever. Just do something that lets you keep progressing and adding weight over time.[/quote]

I cant do those numbers (not strong enough) i can do 12 than if i take 5 min rest i can do 10 or 11…

For me personally, I’ve found optimal hypertrophy with what works out to basically…

Ramp to a technical 1RM
90% for 3 cluster sets (rest 5-10 seconds between reps)
Ramp to a technical 2RM
85% for 2 cluster sets
Ramp to a technical 3RM
81% for 1 cluster set
70% for 1 max rep set

Each set is to technical failure, not actual failure. Nothing near grinding. All reps done explosively as possible.

This has had the best hypertrophy results with anything I’ve used so far. Optimal for everyone? Surely not. But it’s worked best for me up until now of all the schemes I’ve used.

This is simply a more advanced/complicated version of “4-6 work sets with a backoff set”.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
For me personally, I’ve found optimal hypertrophy with what works out to basically…

Ramp to a technical 1RM
90% for 3 cluster sets (rest 5-10 seconds between reps)
Ramp to a technical 2RM
85% for 2 cluster sets
Ramp to a technical 3RM
81% for 1 cluster set
70% for 1 max rep set

Each set is to technical failure, not actual failure. Nothing near grinding. All reps done explosively as possible.

This has had the best hypertrophy results with anything I’ve used so far. Optimal for everyone? Surely not. But it’s worked best for me up until now of all the schemes I’ve used.

This is simply a more advanced/complicated version of “4-6 work sets with a backoff set”.[/quote]

This looks very interesting, but i dont really fully understand it, could you elaborate a little on it.

[quote]Respeezy wrote:

[quote]JFG wrote:
I guess I’ll never understand why people complicate their lives.

Start with 3x12 then. 1 minute rest. Once you can perform 3x15 with minimal rest, add weight.

Why do you want to know the 1rm of a pull up? Big pull up meet coming up?

Also, quite a few articles on pull ups, including a few challenges. Look them up. BTW, finding all kinds of “excuses” with the chin up project tells me you didn’t really read the article and made up your mind before.

Taken from the article:

“Other Training
Perform your regular workout as you always would. If you have an “arm day” and need to cut volume back slightly, that’s fine. But most lifters won’t need to if they’re using a solid workout nutrition protocol and optimizing recovery in their regular workouts.”

Do it, don’t it. No matter to me, but don’t put excuses (disturbing your focus?) on something you have never tried.[/quote]

No need to be a douche, if i was to do 15 pullups in one set i would be working with maximally 65% of my 1rm, which accordingly to everything i read is NOT even close to optimal for hypertophy and will do almost nothing for strength.

That’s why i want to know my 1rm, so i can calculate with that.

Now on finding “excuses” for the chin up project, mister give nonsense advice and assume a lot, i train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 5 times a week which is very demanding on my lower arms and work a lot behind a computer, i have issues with tennis elbow and inflamed lower arms, so i cannot tax them any more. So i am not about to go do pullups every day, or even a couple of times per week.

And i take my training and sets seriously, i like to get my heart rate as much down as possible between sets and i’m not the type to talk to others during my sets, i am constantly focussing on my technique being aware of it and yes, focussing on it. So doing other exercises in between doesn’t work for me.

I really appreciate a lot of the advice i have gotten and am getting here, but if you’re not even reading my questions or go on assuming all kind of nonsense please dont bother responding.[/quote]

You have already been told to pick a program.

You have been given advice on all the questions you have asked and you still are not doing anything about it. Saying you are grateful and not following thru is actually not very grateful.

Getting your heart rate down as much as possible between sets is a factor of conditioning. Nothing else.

And again, I am just telling you what everyone else has been telling you in the numerous questions you have asked: Get on a different program. One that actually complements your Jiu-Jitsu training.

Or get a coach if finance let you.

Don’t worry, this is my last post to you. Good luck.

[quote]Respeezy wrote:
This looks very interesting, but i dont really fully understand it, could you elaborate a little on it.[/quote]

It’s not that complicated once you get it.

For the ramps:
Start at about 60-70% of what you know is your max. Do 1-3 reps. Add some weight, repeat. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you can only do 1 rep. Keep adding weight until you can’t do a good powerful rep.

  1. Then do a cluster set with 90% of the weight you ramped to:
    Do a rep. Rest 5-10 seconds. Do another rep. Repeat until you can’t do any more good non-grinding reps. If you even start to grind, STOP.

Do 3 sets like that. Rest… 90 sec - 3 minutes or so between sets.

  1. Then start back over at 70% or so and work up to a 2RM training max. Then 2 cluster sets with 90% of THAT weight.

  2. Then ramp to a 3RM, and 1 cluster set with 90% of that.

  3. Then at 70%, do as many reps as you can.

I’ve not done this with pullups. You have to be pretty strong to begin with to do this with pullups since to start at 70%, you need to have a 1RM of at least 45% more than your bodyweight. I suppose you could use an assisted pullup machine though if you needed to start lighter.

I’ve used this with success for high pulls, snatch grip deadlifts, and bench variations.

This is basically one of Christian Thibaudeau’s layer programs, which you can learn more about in his forum.

All that said.

You may be better working with another routine for pullups… something simple… like 4-6 weighted work sets and a backoff set with bodyweight only. Or something else mentioned above.

Don’t let the complexity/neatness of the approach be what attracts you to it. Do the simplest thing that works for you.

Thanks for explaining, i think i wil start with something more basic indeed, but i will copy paste this and perhaps give it a go when i stall with my next program.
With those reps very close to a 1rm it looks like something that might help very good with plateaus.

As Wendler would say, you’re majoring in the minors here. Nobody gives out degrees for pullups. Do them as warmups, superset them with your presses, do them at the end of the workout, do them weighted and unweighted. The only thing that really matters is that you do them, and get as many reps in as possible throughout the week. You really need to experiment to see what works best for you, not try to follow someone else’s program.

12 reps with 160 lbs will technically give you a 1RM of about 217.6 lbs (98.7 kg). Usually calculating 1RM from that high rep level is not that accurate. Best to ramp up to a work max, keep thing a bit conservative and calculate from there. From a supposed 1RM of 217 you’ll get a 70%-80% range of about 152-174 lbs. So bodyweight would be a nice and simple starting point.

Don’t overthink things if this is just accessory work. There are lots of simple options. You could start with bodyweight 5x8 and work up to 5x10 for example. Or you could ramp up to a 2-3x daily max, (single or double) with some bodyweight back of sets. There’s also a recent study out there that shows that 8 sets of 5 with 60 sec rest in between sets gives better results (in strength, hypertrophy and power) than 4 sets of 10 with 120 sec rest (total time being equal). Just see what feels the best for your elbows.

btw. You should be able to do a second 12 rep pull up set after a 5 min rest. when working those rep ranges. I can usually go a few extra reps on my third set or so, If I don’t squeeze out all I have on the first set. You might want to try a ramp up from 8-10-12-max rep. and see what that’ll give you (or 8-10-max rep)

[quote]pcdude wrote:
As Wendler would say, you’re majoring in the minors here. Nobody gives out degrees for pullups. Do them as warmups, superset them with your presses, do them at the end of the workout, do them weighted and unweighted. The only thing that really matters is that you do them, and get as many reps in as possible throughout the week. You really need to experiment to see what works best for you, not try to follow someone else’s program.[/quote]

Hi i am very conciously majoring in the minors as you refer to it, i really like to study the science behind lifting and comparing programs, trying out different programs, discussing programs etc.

In the past i have made the mistake of not following proper programs and i have been a typical gym idiot for around 10 years (making my own programs), with practically no real progress, therefore i have recently became (maybe a little too) obsessed with understanding everything and doing things exactly according to programm and doing the most effective workouts that i can possibily do.

[quote]grippit wrote:
12 reps with 160 lbs will technically give you a 1RM of about 217.6 lbs (98.7 kg). Usually calculating 1RM from that high rep level is not that accurate. Best to ramp up to a work max, keep thing a bit conservative and calculate from there. From a supposed 1RM of 217 you’ll get a 70%-80% range of about 152-174 lbs. So bodyweight would be a nice and simple starting point.

Don’t overthink things if this is just accessory work. There are lots of simple options. You could start with bodyweight 5x8 and work up to 5x10 for example. Or you could ramp up to a 2-3x daily max, (single or double) with some bodyweight back of sets. There’s also a recent study out there that shows that 8 sets of 5 with 60 sec rest in between sets gives better results (in strength, hypertrophy and power) than 4 sets of 10 with 120 sec rest (total time being equal). Just see what feels the best for your elbows.

btw. You should be able to do a second 12 rep pull up set after a 5 min rest. when working those rep ranges. I can usually go a few extra reps on my third set or so, If I don’t squeeze out all I have on the first set. You might want to try a ramp up from 8-10-12-max rep. and see what that’ll give you (or 8-10-max rep)[/quote]

Thanks, I like that 5x8 that you suggested with 1 min rests and working that up, i think i’ll start my next workout trying that.

Question, as i know my body and i recover pretty bad between sets, lets say i start and the 3d set i can only do 5 reps instead of 8 how do i go from there? Keep taking 1 minute rests and do as much whole reps as i can till i complete the same number of total reps i was about to do? (40 in this case)

I have no idea why, with squats and other exercises i am able to do the same amount of reps after 5 min breaks, but with pullups i suddenly crash from 10 to sometimes 5 reps, usually just -2 per set after 5 min though.

I’m guessing its either my overworked forearms and or i dont respond well to doing maximum reps in my first set, maybe its that… pullups are the only thing where i do more than 5 reps, so it might be that i have really bad endurance and the higher reps just tire out my muscles.