T Nation

So weak...

You’re all familiar with the guy who benches 225 the first time he tries, who can do pullups all day. On the other end of the spectrum: me. (Try not to laugh) I can’t do a single pullup. I can’t even do those bitchy half-ass pullups either. As far as dips, I can get about three. I can only put up about 120.

All of these training programs here involve things I can’t do. Is there anything I should be doing to get at least a solid base of strength, or just keep working out? Also, how can I get at least 12 pullups? I’ve tried pulldowns; it doesnt’ help much.

Try this

and just keep working at it.

front squats, bent over rows, military press, deadlifts, olifts. There is a ton of stuff you can do.

I hear you buddy, I’m in the same boat. I’m very weak. I stumbled on this site because I wanted to learn more about nutrition and found Dr. Berardi’s great articles here.

While I have kind of figured out my nutrition, I have never really got it together to weight train with any real discipline. I’ve stuck around, lurking, because I’m an information junkie. As a result, I’m a weakling who can barely bench the bar, can’t do a single pull-up, and can only perform about 7 push-ups.

Right now, I’m focusing on body weight exercises for the upper body, and dumbell squats, lunges, and deadlifts for lowerbody. I’ve only been doing this for a couple of weeks. But, I am seeing improvements.

Take a look at this for help on pull-ups: http://www.4mcd.usmc.mil/AOP/OSOHyattsville/Armstrong%20Pullup%20Program.htm

My major problem for developing strength has always been this: I have no goal, and I don’t eat enough.

My goals now are: 40 pushups, 12 pull-ups, and 5 single-leg bodyweight squats. Once I’ve accomplished this, I plan to hit the gym. If I can’t accomplish this, then, well…I’m a lazy skinny guy who can’t really make excuses.

Are your goals purely to just be able to do the exercise? Or do you have a sport that you play or some other reason to exercise? I know It might sound like a weird question, but If you tell me it might make it a tad easier to help you out.

But aside from that, I want you to know, holy shit you are my past! I couldn’t do anything physicaly challenging! I was benching 100 pounds to start out with and couldn’t run worth crap.

I would suggest to start out with though throw the weights aside for a little while. Lifting when you can’t control your body weight is about as good for you as eating KFC for every meal. If you want “strength” I suggest the only time you move a weight is to train your legs. That can help you handle your body wieght better.

try this for a good bodyweight workout:
Everyday:
100 pushups in sets of 10
200 squats in sets of 20
pyramid of 15 for pushups and situps
(pyramid means start with 5 reps of each, followed by 10, then 15, then go back down)
100 lunges in sets of 10

Don’t forget that your cardio is insanely important dude. Keep up with that any way you can cough sports cough

[quote]brains wrote:
You’re all familiar with the guy who benches 225 the first time he tries, who can do pullups all day. On the other end of the spectrum: me. (Try not to laugh) I can’t do a single pullup. I can’t even do those bitchy half-ass pullups either. As far as dips, I can get about three. I can only put up about 120. All of these training programs here involve things I can’t do. Is there anything I should be doing to get at least a solid base of strength, or just keep working out? Also, how can I get at least 12 pullups? I’ve tried pulldowns; it doesnt’ help much.[/quote]

You are not as special as you think, a lot of people started lifting precisely because they were weak and were fed up with it.

First, if you want quality advice then you need to include some information about you, e.g. age, weight/height, current diet/workout schedule and of course your goals.

I would advise you to start reading the sticky threads on top of this forum and use the search function, since most questions a beginner could probably ask should’ve been asked (and answered) already.

As for pullup progression, try either fatman pullups ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=golmL409-CU&feature=related ) or negatives ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opr72q6NKTc )

Maybe you have low testerone, see a physician, get your blood taken.

But, once upon a time, I couldn’t even do a single pushup.

When I was a boy.

Work on things that don’t require a gym, if you are really as weak as you say you are then, putting hard effort into calisthetics will help you see great gains in strength.

Pushups, squats, sit ups.

All sorts of pushup variations, do vertical pushups, on a wall too.

Then when you go the gym work on any of these programs these guys have suggested.

How old are you? How much do you weigh? How tall are you? What’s your sports background?

dude it happens to all of us. I was there before, but you gotta think about it this way. Someday I will be doing that and more. Back in the day I would see the jocks put up the 50lbers on the flat bench and I would see them struggle and act like they just did 300lbs.

I was a chunky weak kid and struggled with the 30lbers. Now those cock suckers stare at me in disbelief. Throwin up the 100lb paper weights for reps. Stay strong and never waver dude. Stick to it and the strength and the gains will come. My two almost teary centavos.

Petrichor is spot on.
The bruce lee guy is also spot on… strangely.

When I first walked into the gym, I was weak too. I couldn’t do a pullup. I couldn’t get 10 real pushups either. My squat sucked too, although I was somehow good at deadlifting.

Most of us have been there. You’re in good company.

Now, what are you currently doing to get stronger?

[quote]Otep wrote:
Petrichor is spot on.
The bruce lee guy is also spot on… strangely.

When I first walked into the gym, I was weak too. I couldn’t do a pullup. I couldn’t get 10 real pushups either. My squat sucked too, although I was somehow good at deadlifting.

Most of us have been there. You’re in good company.

Now, what are you currently doing to get stronger?[/quote]

Why do you say strangely?

[quote]Brucelee69 wrote:

Why do you say strangely?[/quote]

Because Bruce Lee is widely considered to be a joke.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
Brucelee69 wrote:

Why do you say strangely?

Because Bruce Lee is widely considered to be a joke.[/quote]

Broke his back doing 135lb Good-Mornings.

Are You Weak?

Squats and Milk.
Deadlifts and Eggs.
Bench Press and Oatmeal.
Military Press and Steak.
Power Cleans and Salmon.

Mistakes I see rank novice lifters making
(1) Not Squatting at All
(2) Squatting Too High
(3) Not Doing Deadlifts
(4) Only doing Bench & Curls
(5) Never Moving up in Weight
(6) Training with very little intensity
(7) Not Eating Frequently
(8) Eating Crap and Sugar
(9) Quitting Too Soon
(10) Doing the “300” Workout

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiCYqicMVJ0 Fat man pull ups?

I am also weak. Doing Rippetoe’s program currently. You’re not alone. I remember the first time I lifted weights: I did a bit ole 50lbs on the seated OH press. I still suck at it, but less.

Good luck! The key is just finding a program and doing it consistently. Rippetoes is great. For now forget about what every else is doing: are you beating your weight or reps from the last session? That’s what counts.

I couldn’t do one pull up like 4 months ago.
Try doing some other back exercises, like Rows. I didn’t even try to do a pull up for a few months, but just did Rows for my back. I tried doing a pull up again for kicks and was able to do like 8. They’re now a pretty big park of my back workout.

Your gym might even have those pull up machines where you have a pad under you that you can pul some weight on that pushes up and helps you do the pull up.

Just keep trying. Your body will adapt.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again:

I started not being able to do one pull and in 9 months time I was doing lots of 'em and in 12 months time I was doing BW+10kg and now I’m doing BW + 20kg.

Same deal with all the lifts. Just start trying and your body WILL ADAPT.

Negatives, or Gravatron, or just fucking straining trying to pull yourself up just once will all work.

[quote]boyscout wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiCYqicMVJ0 Fat man pull ups?

I am also weak. Doing Rippetoe’s program currently. You’re not alone. I remember the first time I lifted weights: I did a bit ole 50lbs on the seated OH press. I still suck at it, but less.

Good luck! The key is just finding a program and doing it consistently. Rippetoes is great. For now forget about what every else is doing: are you beating your weight or reps from the last session? That’s what counts.[/quote]

honestly I do not see how poking a fat kid with an orange and white stick will get you to do a pullup.
but it could happen

Bent rows and one arm rows helped me get to the point of multiple pullups.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
beebuddy wrote:
Brucelee69 wrote:

Why do you say strangely?

Because Bruce Lee is widely considered to be a joke.

Broke his back doing 135lb Good-Mornings. [/quote]

In Bruce’s defense, he wasn’t a bodybuilder, he was a fighter. For his genetics he was about as good as it gets. At 5’7" 130 lbs. I assure you that he could have easily destroyed someone huge and bulky. Although strength training is great for fighters, too much bulk is a serious disadvantage.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
Are You Weak?

Squats and Milk.
Deadlifts and Eggs.
Bench Press and Oatmeal.
Military Press and Steak.
Power Cleans and Salmon.

Mistakes I see rank novice lifters making
(1) Not Squatting at All
(2) Squatting Too High
(3) Not Doing Deadlifts
(4) Only doing Bench & Curls
(5) Never Moving up in Weight
(6) Training with very little intensity
(7) Not Eating Frequently
(8) Eating Crap and Sugar
(9) Quitting Too Soon
(10) Doing the “300” Workout

[/quote]

Man you have such nice posts on these forums.

[quote]Bujutsuka wrote:

In Bruce’s defense, he wasn’t a bodybuilder, he was a fighter. For his genetics he was about as good as it gets. At 5’7" 130 lbs. I assure you that he could have easily destroyed someone huge and bulky. Although strength training is great for fighters, too much bulk is a serious disadvantage. [/quote]

I’ve never seen a bodybuilder do Good-Mornings. It’s more of a staple for Powerlifting and Weightlifting. Eric Talmant is only 165lbs but he does some pretty heavy good-mornings to get his 600+lb squat. Granted though he’s a highly specialized athlete and you’d expect him to do heavier Good-Mornings.

I don’t know if Kimbo or Chuck Liddel do Good-Mornings but I suspect if they did, they’d be using a lot of weight. Kimbo is a particularly bulky fighter who used to be an 0-lineman for the Miami Dolphins. He recently K.O.ed Tank, who has benched 600lbs raw. Kimbo doesn’t have fancy fighting technique: he just reads other fighters instinctively and is incredibly strong.

Bruce Lee made some awesome films but he gets too much credit on the internet for the modest amount of strength and musculature he possessed.