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Where to begin to work towards pull-ups?

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  • Where to begin to work towards pull-ups?

    Let's say that I want to begin the recommended Primal exercise routine, and start with pushups, pullups, squats and planks twice a week, but I am completely out of shape and I have a ton of weight to lose. There is no way that I'll be pulling up my body weight for a long time, until I drop a lot of weight.

    In the meantime, where should I begin? I want to work out in my home. I've seen recommendations for Australian pull ups or resistance-band-assisted pull ups - should I begin with one of these? Can I do them safely in my home? What gear do I need?

    Or is there another exercise I should substitute for a while, as I build up my fitness level and lose weight?

  • #2
    Do lots of negatives, letting yourself down slowly. Use your feet at first if necessary.

    Sent via A-10 Warthog


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
      Do lots of negatives, letting yourself down slowly. Use your feet at first if necessary.

      Sent via A-10 Warthog
      I second what Mr Anthony said. do negatives and statics if you can.....Statics into negatives will burn and hurt like hell but if you have the will power to hold through the pain barrier then you will experience good muscle development leading to a better effort in 3 or 4 days time...Keep track of your TUL (Time under Load) and it should increase as time goes by.


      • #4
        Get the You Are Your Own Gym app by Mark Lauren. No real eqpt needed and excellent progressions


        • #5
          in thr PBF book (one of the free ones) theres links to videos that show where to start when you're really unfit, like me. Ive started with them - truckload of weight to lose and 6 weeks post surgery. Take a look -its a really good place to start when you don't know much and don't need anything to start- check you got the free books.
          I started with the walking then the wall push-ups,
          Last edited by CarbDodger; 05-28-2013, 08:23 AM.
          When I'd had enough of the grain and starched based 'diabetic eating for health' diet (eating for health, my ass!) my weight was 242.5 lbs. On starting primal- 18th April 2013 weight : 238.1.
          27th July 2013. weight after 100 days 136.9 weight lost 101.2lb ; that's 105.6lbs since I stopped the 'diabetic eating for health'
          new journal


          • #6
            Funny that you should post this today.

            I just started body weight progressions from the Fitness 666 web site. My goal is to be doing pull ups by the end of summer. For inspiration, I went on you tube and watched some videos. Just like the recommendations above, most experts recommend starting by lowering yourself down from the bar. I really liked the progression from scooby1961 (How To Do Your First Pull Up).

            BTW, I still have about 40 lbs to lose, but I am going for it. Good Luck!
            Primal since 9/24/2010
            "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

            Created by - Free Weight Loss Tools
            MFP username: MDAPebbles67


            • #7
              Your biggest initial limitation with doing negatives might be your grip strength. You might have to start with simply hanging from the bar.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


              • #8
                I do a combo of band assisted, hanging from the bar and ring rows. I never did get the hang of using my legs.

                Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                • #9
                  I think it's best to start with chin-ups (palms facing you). Last year I was finally able to do chin-ups, I used the bands and negatives to start. I still can't do a pull-up, they are much harder.
                  Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


                  • #10

                    All About Australian Pull-ups


                    • #11
                      I really hate doing negatives, and I really suck at static holding. I also have really poor grip strength. But I will start doing static holding then negative (lower slowly) on a regular basis. My upper body strength is so terrible that I have trouble doing high-rep pullups even with a band. Either I fail at some point and just stop being able to pull myself up, or I use a band so big that I'm basically bouncing off it and not doing pullups at all.

                      Any time a WOD includes pullups, I know I'll be the last to finish no matter how fast I do everything else because I will be super slow at the pullups. It's really demotivating. The same goes for pushups, actually. I do them on an incline, with my hands resting on a box, but am still super freaking slow (at least I get super slow after the first 10 or 15). I can do them faster on my knees, but that doesn't feel like doing proper pushups.

                      My journal


                      • #12
                        Get an inexpensive pull up bar that hangs on a door frame...for that matter you don't even need one: a low hanging tree limb or set of playground monkey bars work but might be harder to grab. Start by using some sort of a chair or box assist to help you do the pulling up then do a negative - which is letting yourself down slowly with little to no assist. Eventually you will be able to do a pull up with no assist. Do as many as you can with no assist then use your legs to complete your goal (12 - 20).
                        Good luck.

                        Sent from my DROID RAZR using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
                        Don't be so concerned about yesterday, or worried about tomorrow, that you forget to enjoy today.


                        • #13
                          I have tried the PB progression (two-leg assisted, one-leg assisted) etc. and the CC progression (lean back from the wall, Australian pull ups, etc.). I have found the Australian pull ups much more helpful. It took me a couple of months to do even do one real Australian pull up. Quickly I progressed to doing five all the way and another five half way up. I jumped on the pull up bar the other day and was able to do a real pull up. It took much longer for that to happen using the PB progressions for me.


                          • #14
                            If you want to improve pull ups specifically I highly recommend Greasing The Groove!

                            Last summer I did an experiment as I could not do one pull up. I used a door pull up bar and every time I walked past it I did a negative or chair assisted pull ups. I would do this for a few days then have two days off, but there was no strict routine here, simply when I felt weak I would rest, when I felt strong I would recommence.

                            In 2 weeks I could do an unassisted pull up! I do have quite freakishly fast adaptation to strength stimuli but I was amazed by how quickly this style of training worked. It is recommended not to use it for more than one exercise so as not to overtrain.

                            Good luck!


                            • #15
                              I think Al gives great advice. It worked for me.

                              Learning to Do a Pull-up