T Nation

Pullups

I know, I know… I’ve read the Poliqin way. But I simply don’t have a training partner, and find it awkward to ask a stranger (usually one that’s doing machine ex. anyway), to spot me. Is there ANY way I can get my pullup ablilty up to sets of 10+? I just finished a strength cycle, and ended up being able to do my body weight for 3 sets of 6 reps at a (X12) tempo (and the reps were sloppy toward the end of set 3). Help me get the number ups, PPllleasse?

I got a Russian technique called “ladders” that will get those numbers up quickly. I will post it when i get back from my sprinting session.

I used a shoulder press bench… one of those small ones with the short back on it. Set it up under the chin bar and use the back of it like you would use someones hand if you had a partner. Put your foot up there and use enough force to get you up.

At the end of each set do one or two very slow (30 sec) eccentrics. That will help get your reps up.

Okay, here’s the program; you do it every other day until your results get stale or your satisfied with how far you have gotten:

You do 1 rep...rest 10 seconds...2 reps...rest 10 seconds...3 reps...rest 10 seconds...and so on.

When you can longer top the reps of your last mini-set, you start back and one and work your way up again. You keep repeating this pattern until you can only do a single. It's like one large set. Your first ladder session may look like this:

1-2-3-4-1-2-3-1-2-1, with 10 second rest periods inbetween. The rep scheme will obviously go up after your first couple of sessions because your strength is increasing. Don't add weight, just stick with your body weight, since this is the area in which you are trying to improve.

This is a Russian military techinique specifically designed to increase "pull-ups." You'll be hitting sets of 10+ in no time.

One thing to keep in mind while doing this type of strength program is to never-ever train to failure. Don't start a rep you won't complete. The point of this program is not tissue breakdown; forget failure, and watch your strength increase.

if these ladders are pavels ladders are you supposed to leave more time between later sets as fatigue increases, i.e. say a single rep takes three seconds (one up, two down) you do one rep rest three seconds, do two reps rest six seconds, do three reps rest nine seconds and so on so as the work load increaes so does the rest periods. I think this is the original way pavel describes them as you was supposed to do it with a partner and only rest long enough for them to do there set, i’ve found this way to get more volume.

That sounds fine. I’ve seen a great deal of people use the “ladder” technique in a program to increase their max bench. I have found that a stable 10 sec. rest period is ideal when working with much heavier weights. For pull-ups with a partner that approach seems feasable as you wouldn’t have to time your rest periods; however, i don’t think that it would make a considerable amount of difference. It’s definitly not something to worry about if you don’t have a training partner. There are a number of logical reasons as to why it really doesn’t matter, provided that the rest periods remain short.

The ladder technique can be used quite effectively, but I would say that every other day is too much volume as is doing many “mini-waves”. I like the wave pattern, but would recommend that you only do 1-2 waves (depending on the amound of reps you do, your training experince, and recovery ability). Also, make sure that all your reps are strict. You said that you’ve read Poliquin’s pull-up acticles, but are doing sloppy reps? That information just doesn’t morph into your muscles. As far as frequency, I would suggest two times a week. And while your at it make sure that you’re not bombing all your other muscles at the same time. Furthermore Joel, Pavel, while having some good information is mostly full of shit. He validates all his training techniques by saying that “Russain Scientists” have proved it. Course, maybe if he could speak Russain, he could have actually discussed their research with them.

I’m a little confused as to how you think one wave (essentially ONE large set) every other day is too high in volume. I know, and have personally seen the results of a Bench Program where individuals bench everyday for 4 weeks, do ladders every other day for 2, and then back to benching every day for two weeks. A friend of mine put 85 lbs on his bench in just 4 months using this approach.

Furthermore, have you read "Power to the People?" Have you applied the principles outlined in the book to your training? I know so many individuals who have benefited from the techniques that Pavel prescribes. I put 30 lbs. on my Dead in one workout by simply utilizing the "high tension" techniques he talks about in the book.

If you've done something he said, and it didn't work, let me know...and we can discuss it. I'm not talking about all the "spiderman" stuff he does with the marines, but the principles and techniques he teaches regarding bodybuilding and strength training.

I don't take everything he says as "gospel" or even at face value. I don't do that with anything I read, but I have (as well as a great deal of other people) benefited tremendously from his teachings.

When doing ladders for bench press what position should I be in for the 10 second rest? The bottom position or the top position?

I am having much better luck with another approach, similar to Charles Staley’s. If you goal is 10, I say set your goal on 20. perform at or as close to 40 (2x goal, adjust as needed). perform a set of 2 every minute for 20 minutes. WHen that gets easy, go to 13 sets of 3, start a set every minute. If and when that gets easy, go to 10 sets of 4, 8 sets of 5, etc. This may take a long time, but aim your goals high. 2x per week. Try it. It may seem easy, but the compressed rest really starts to get tough at minute 12 for me, but does change. I am about to go to sets of 3. Toatal time with the 2 reps, 2 weeks

The barbell is racked during the 10 second rest period. Check out the complete bench program that I posted to Jasnick.

use a weight belt and add weight. Soon enough your body weight will be used for warmup sets. laters pk

Hey Kent_mc2 I’m curious is to why you think Pavel is “full of shit”? Do you think Coach Davies is full of shit? Lou Simmons? Ethan Reeve? How about Powerlifing USA magazine? Well they have all endorsed Pavel and his techniques. Tell me Kent_mc2 how many Nationally, and really internationally, recognized stregth training coaches or publications have recognized you and your training theories? From the sounds of what you wrote you just repeat what others have said and claim it as an orginal thought.(ie " As far as frequency, I would suggest two times a week.") Sorry Kent that’s not your idea, I think Polquin made that recommendation, not you Kent. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe you have been published? Maybe Kent_mc2 is a pen name for Mike Metzer? Oh no,wait, he’s dead along with his "I have the only possible answer on how to train
" idea’s or was it an idea. Keep trying Kent and please post a message when you do one of the following: Train a major college or professional sports team, are published in a recognized strength training publication or admit that you have never had an original thought and that you simply follow the advice of others that “can do”.

To Dominator, read my post again. My expaination (and what I really said) is in the post. I’m not sure what the rest of your piss-post was about, but here’s an “original thought” for you, go fuck yourself.

Clarence Bass has an article on his site about his experiment with ladders on the pullup. Check it out at www.cbass.com/Synaptic.htm

and

www.cbass.com/Pavel’sLadders.htm

The Pavel’s ladder concept sounds like an interesting one, but I don’t see it as applicable to your current strength levels. What I’d suggest you do, is what I did. Just start doing weighted chins! Since you’ve just finished up with 3x6 (which I don’t really consider a ‘strength’ phase), I’d suggest that you move immediately into one of the Poliquin ‘Maximal Weights’ permutations. 6x3, 5x5, 5/4/3/2/1, etc, etc. See the aforementioned article for more. The reason I like this idea so much, is because 5x5 training with weights allowed me to increase my chinup max from 15 to 22 in about 6 weeks. Don’t be afraid to pour on the weight… you should see the looks people give you when you’re doing a max triple with a dumbbell half your bodyweight.

My original comment toward Pavel was ment to more-or-less poke fun at him, after T-mag printed a few “other” things about “The Evil Russian”. But don’t let me cloud the details, check it out for yourself: Reader mail issues 172, 153, 190.

Hey Kent_mc2, I reread your post but you weren’t that clear, I mean you did say Pavel is “mostly full of shit” didn’t you? Is it because you’ve never heard him speak Russian so that means he doesn’t have the ability? Maybe you speak Russian and your not telling me? As for your “original thought” it’s not very original (sigh). But I expected that much from someone like you.