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RuMR

Funny Post from Rockclimbing.com

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mid summer someone I was climbing with told me that I should work on doing more pull ups. I wanted to cry. Even when I was a strong gymnast as a kid I could never do a pull up.

I wasnt sure where to begin...where does one start when they cant even do one?

Well, to my suprise I could do a pull up.

I wound up getting a pull up bar (20 bucks) that I hung in one of my doorways.

Cheapest and best climbing investment yet.

If you cant get a pull up bar, check the top of your doorways. Sometimes they are big enough where you can hang by your fingers (ouch! That was painful for me). To prevent slipping on either the pull up bar or door way, tape some fine sandpaper where the point of contact will be with your hands.

To start with I wouldnt necessarily recommend going to failure. Im no fitness expert. But if someone had told me that I needed to work on my pullups and to do X until I reached failure...I would. And I would have gotten myself injured pretty quick. Granted, I know working to failure can be beneficial at times.

I started by putting my feet on a chair while hanging from the pull up bar....using less and less of my weight. A few sets (give or take) led to a decrease in strength, but not failure.

Pull up bars are great at home, too because...

*You dont have anyone watching you! (bonus for me)

*You can also do leg lifts and other stomach muscle exercises to help reduce injuries.

As mentioned, dont forget to stretch those shoulders!

Courtenay has some good stretches on her site, in addition to tons of information on pull ups!

 

Distel....OUCH!

 

Hey! That was a page top!

snaf.gif pull ups! grin.gif

Edited by carolyn

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carolyn said:check the top of your doorways. Sometimes they are big enough where you can hang by your fingers (ouch! That was painful for me). To prevent slipping on either the pull up bar or door way, tape some fine sandpaper where the point of contact will be with your hands.

 

There's a dilemma there: the casing over most doors is not nailed on well enough for fingertip pullups. I once lost my deposit on a rental house because of 8d nails with big old heads placed through the casing of several doors for re-inforcement. I'd recommend using about 4 6d (that's "six penny" at the hardware store) finish nails. Finish nails have very slight heads, and with a nail set (long tapered hardened steel pin specific for the task) you can set the heads below the surface of the trim and fill the holes with color putty, and the landlord will likely be none the wiser.

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Off_White said:

carolyn said:check the top of your doorways. Sometimes they are big enough where you can hang by your fingers (ouch! That was painful for me). To prevent slipping on either the pull up bar or door way, tape some fine sandpaper where the point of contact will be with your hands.

 

There's a dilemma there: the casing over most doors is not nailed on well enough for fingertip pullups. I once lost my deposit on a rental house because of 8d nails with big old heads placed through the casing of several doors for re-inforcement. I'd recommend using about 4 6d (that's "six penny" at the hardware store) finish nails. Finish nails have very slight heads, and with a nail set (long tapered hardened steel pin specific for the task) you can set the heads below the surface of the trim and fill the holes with color putty, and the landlord will likely be none the wiser.

 

You mean they actually look above the door? Wtf? I drytool up there when I'm bored. :P

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Distel32 said:

Last week I knocked off 21, and 12 with just my middle and ring fingers!

 

You need to drink more beer my friend... bigdrink.gif

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The pull-up is by all means very relevant to your climbing because it measures YOUR ability to pull YOUR OWN body, but the difficulty is totally different for each individual. Your body weight whether chub or muscle is the "weight" that you are pulling. Your arm strength is not necessarily greater just because you are carrying around a 6 foot 4 inch body compared to someone of equal fitness carrying around a 5 foot 9 inch body. This has always been interesting to me since I am fairly tall with a hard earned spare tire and have always noticed how the smaller guys can just chug through those things while I'll struggle to do 2 or 3. I could never do enough of them for it to be a decent exercise at that amount.

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For those that cannot do alot of pull ups try starting with negatives , especially if you do not have access to one of those pull-up machines that will take some of your own body weight for you. Stand on a chair or have someone help you up so that you can lock off your arms in the up position (top of the pull up). Hold it as long as you can and instead of just releasing yourself down to the ground, slowly lower yourself. As you build up strength, and can do multiple pull-ups, do sets of negatives where one of your friends behind you pulls down on your shoulders while you try and hold up in the pull up position. Another great way to increase strength on the pull up bar or fingerboard is to incorporate negatives into a routine. Instead of just pulling up and lowering down, go up halfway, hold for 5 secs., lower down, then up again to 3/4 hold, lower half way, hold, up to full pull up, lower all the way, etc, etc. Mix it up. On your last final pull up when you cannot do anymore, then have your friend come in and pull down on your shoulders while you try and hold it up there.

 

This worked for me as a wrestler in highschool when I could do 30 pull ups easy (I also was 5'8" and weighed 135lbs.) Now I can still do 20 pull ups off the couch easy and weigh 155lbs.

 

Alex Lowe used to do 100 pull ups each day, not consecutively mind you, but over multiple repetitions. Work on other aspects, ie. lat. pulls. sit ups, finger board, and triceps. thumbs_up.gif Note: Not much of this makes much difference if you are not incorporating some type of cardio workout into the mix. Yeah, you can turn fat into muscle, but it won't make a huge difference if you keep putting fat on over the muscle you are building. There is no one cure-all to climb better, It is like the food web, remove one species and the rest will fall. Eat healthy, work out - cardio and weight, and climb!Voila! You will climb harder!

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mtnear said:

Distel32 said:

Last week I knocked off 21, and 12 with just my middle and ring fingers!

 

You need to drink more beer my friend... bigdrink.gif

HELL NO! I think I'm the only college kid who doesn't really drink. Makes you fat! fat doesn't translate into sendage my friend!

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so I went into the gym on my break... I got higher on my pullup than I did the other day ago grin.gif I have decided that is a great way to spend my break fruit.gif

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ryland_moore said:

 

 

This worked for me as a wrestler in highschool when I could do 30 pull ups easy (I also was 5'8" and weighed 135lbs.) Now I can still do 20 pull ups off the couch easy and weigh 155lbs.

 

Alex Lowe used to do 100 pull ups each day, not consecutively mind you, but over multiple repetitions.

 

So at 155lbs you're a featherweight. I like your idea of setting up a chair and doing some negatives though. I'm going to try it. The thing that is hard about pull ups is that it is a measurement of strength directly related to your body weight. I'm 215lbs and if I hacked off my legs or something (losing 60 lbs)I could do thirty pullups (but would have a hard time getting back down) cantfocus.gif I could probably lose 15 lbs w/o losing anything that I shouldn't but even so its harder for bigger fellas. You would probably have great difficulty doing a pullup with a 60lb pack on as well. The point is that the skinny ass 14 year old who actually has some upper arm strength will be able to easily do pull ups, while a guy who's 250lbs and in great shape will have a harder time doing pullups.

 

I guess there are too many variables in your body to use "being able to do a pullup" as a real benchmark for anything except your own personal goals. This would be interesting to move into the personal fitness forum.

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I've found that the lat pulldown machine doesn't work well for me. It's too easy to initiate the movement by leaning back. And for some reason I just can't pull as much weight on it as on a bar. When I want to do more than bodyweight, I use a weight belt with the chain and plates and the regular pullup bar.

 

I've also found that using grips that are 90 degrees from a normal palms-away position (so your palms are facing each other, thumbs pointing back at you) is helpful and a good approximation of pulling from handjams. It also seems to spread the stress on your shoulders around.

 

Another variation I've started is taking the rope attachment for tricep extensions, and tossing it over the pull-up bar. Because of the metal connector in the middle of the rope, one hand is a few inches higher than the other...do six reps, flip it so the other hand is higher and do six more. This is a decent approxmiation of pulling on ice tools since you are gripping the rope and locking off with your higher hand.

 

I started doing pull-ups again as part of my workouts. After what amounted to over a year off from climbing, I could only muster 14 in the first set and only 10 in the next two (used to do 4 sets of 20). Now I'm doing sets of 12 and decreasing rest between sets as well as adding sets. Once I get back to six sets of 12 with 1-2 minutes between sets, I'll start adding weight on the weight belt. That should be around the time I go to the next phase in periodization anyway, so the reps will go down and weight way up. (End of weak chestbeating)

 

If you can't do one, most gyms(climbing) have bungies you can attach to your harness or under your feet for assitance. Some gyms (regular) also have a machine called the Gravitron for pullups and dips which gives you assitance. You kneel on this platform and it's counterweighted with a nautilus weight stack...choose your amount of assistance to 5lb increments.

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pullups are for little kids. wtf?

pkg_bx_sm.gif

 

oh. and tellin people how many pullups you can do is for little kids too. wazzup.gif

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Lummox, just because you cannot do a pull up don't feel bad. I guess from the stats, most males in the US can't either. The point is not to show how many you can do but that you are able to improve or increase the number of reps (reflection that yes, you are getting stronger). Will and Blue make excellent points. Also, more sets with lighter reps is better than fewer sets with heavy reps (bulky muscle - not good for climbing!). For those only able to do one or only a few pull ups, that is where the pull up machine can really work, because you can do 3 sets of 10-12 reps using a lighter weight than your body weight. That is the type of muscle you want to build. Also, with more sets and longer reps, your muscles are working for a longer period of time, increasing muscle growth. For those doing the shorter sets with weight attached, try going slower (ie. 10 secs. up and 10 secs. down).

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ryland_moore said:

Lummox, just because you cannot do a pull up don't feel bad. I guess from the stats, most males in the US can't either. The point is not to show how many you can do but that you are able to improve or increase the number of reps (reflection that yes, you are getting stronger). Will and Blue make excellent points. Also, more sets with lighter reps is better than fewer sets with heavy reps (bulky muscle - not good for climbing!). For those only able to do one or only a few pull ups, that is where the pull up machine can really work, because you can do 3 sets of 10-12 reps using a lighter weight than your body weight. That is the type of muscle you want to build. Also, with more sets and longer reps, your muscles are working for a longer period of time, increasing muscle growth. For those doing the shorter sets with weight attached, try going slower (ie. 10 secs. up and 10 secs. down).

you are dangerously ignorant. straight out: if you dont know what the fuk you are saying then stfu.

and tellin how many pullups you can do is as cool as telling your percent body fat: it aint. mmkay?

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ryland_moore said:

Lummox, just because you cannot do a pull up don't feel bad. I guess from the stats, most males in the US can't either. The point is not to show how many you can do but that you are able to improve or increase the number of reps (reflection that yes, you are getting stronger). Will and Blue make excellent points. Also, more sets with lighter reps is better than fewer sets with heavy reps (bulky muscle - not good for climbing!). For those only able to do one or only a few pull ups, that is where the pull up machine can really work, because you can do 3 sets of 10-12 reps using a lighter weight than your body weight. That is the type of muscle you want to build. Also, with more sets and longer reps, your muscles are working for a longer period of time, increasing muscle growth. For those doing the shorter sets with weight attached, try going slower (ie. 10 secs. up and 10 secs. down).

wtf are you talking about? do you even know that you have slow and fast twitch fibers. slow twitch are endurance tissue and fast twitch are power. you need both. so doing high load low volume format is as important as lower resistance and high volume one. and here is a kicker- women have generally more slow twich fibers then men, so it is harder for them to do high power things.

and pull up is a perfect weight to strength ratio excercise. just because you weigh 200 lbs doesn't mean you are in good shape. it means in climbing that your fingers will have to hold 200 lbs on the rock. your fingers will be the weakest link, always and regardless how much you weigh.

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Bob is right on the money. I've recently read that there is also a third fiber type that is kind of a hybrid between fast/slow twitch. Apparently, you can also convert fast twitch to slow twitch. These different fibers are one more good reason to use periodization.

 

As far as power, how much pull-up type power do you need? What's the most you'll ever be pulling? Bodyweight+30lbs probably. (If you're doing drytooling campus moves at 20,000ft with a 40lb pack and 10lbs of clothes on, you're a hardman anyway and definitely don't need my input)

The point is that pulling isn't going to be what shuts you down, finger strength/forearm endurance is. The rare exception might be a long super steep handcrack with perfect bone-locker constrictions.

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Hi will...don't go to the red river, or rifle, or american forks, or well...just about anywhere that's buttass steep...i've fallen off stuff cuz i can't pull even though i'm certainly capable of hangin' the grips...Oh, and being able to substantially do more than your own weight is GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD....

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willstrickland said:

 

As far as power, how much pull-up type power do you need? What's the most you'll ever be pulling? Bodyweight+30lbs probably. (If you're doing drytooling campus moves at 20,000ft with a 40lb pack and 10lbs of clothes on, you're a hardman anyway and definitely don't need my input)

The point is that pulling isn't going to be what shuts you down, finger strength/forearm endurance is. The rare exception might be a long super steep handcrack with perfect bone-locker constrictions.

ok, so that's a good question, how much power?. this is the answer. muscles contarct on principle- all or nothing. so your nervous system adjusts the number of fibers used during the contraction (ecentric or concentric, muscle is getting longer or shorter). now- during action of the muscle some fibers get torn. that's why when you train you gain "bulk". it doesn't mean you have more cells, but the walls of the cells get thicker. There are cells called fibroblasts, which repair damaged tissue. this is why you get sore a day after the excercise, it's not lactic acid, but torn tissue.

muscle while contracting is recycling through the fibers. more power needed, more fibers contracted all at one. there are 2 main sets of cells: golgy tendon organ and muscle spindle fibers. golgy organ measures a load onto musculo-tendenous junction, so your muscles don't get ripped off bone. muscle spindles measure how fast your muscle contracts/expends. both of these cell types can shut down action of the muscle to prevent injury. so next time you hang onto a crimper and you watch your fingers open up (regardless how hard you try) it's a golgy tendon organ of your forearm flexors preventing injury- ie is turning your flexors off.

to answer the question how much power? farther away you are from your limmit, less of a chance of situation described above.

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What do you training guru's think of doing laps on a 2.5" diameter 25' long rope hung from a tree using only your hands (no assistance from legs)? Seems like good simulation for climbing cracks to me but I checked and (yep) I still suck. Seems to give a fair workout on the forearms and really hammers my triceps and upper abdominals.

 

After being shamed by climbers of every size and build, I still think technique and experience is what gets the send. I are so suck.

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RuMR said:

Hi will...don't go to the red river, or rifle, or american forks, or well...just about anywhere that's buttass steep...

 

No worries, cause those places suck anyway! Been to all three. (Actually RRG has a few good trad lines, and there is great fishing at Rifle.)You could include Gunks, Foster Falls, Obed, Little River Canyon...hell, tons of stuff in the SE is way steep. For me, I still find that it's the forearms that go before the ability to pullup and lockoff.

 

It's funny that you mention AF, that's were I climbed the "hardest" route I've done. Funny because it wasn't nearly as hard as some things I've been on that were rated much lower...like two numbers lower.

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in Canada you have to, or had to, do this fitness test every year and one of the tests was the flexed arm hang where you crank a pull up and hold it locked off and they time you. Most kids could do a minute or less. Well there was this one scrawny little rtarded girl named Sue in our school and she could bust off 5 minutes no problem - also one time some kids told her to do pullups and she cranked off like 100 in 6 or 7 minutes without really trying.

 

I guess my point is you can do lots of pullups and still be mental tongue.gif

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