Monday, September 1, 2014

Reader Question: How Do I Get Over My Pullup Plateau?

Hey, Paul - question on pullups. Is there a regimen you'd recommend for someone who wants to improve? I'll alternate sets of pullups with other exercises (squats,bench, etc) until I get to 50, and over months I'd say I've gone from a max of 8 to a max of 11. Would you know a simple routine I could use to shake things up and break the plateau? Let me know if something comes to mind, thanks in advance, and Roll Tide !

Hi Fletch, thanks for asking.  I prescribe more variation.  Think of a three day rotation with some of these:

1.  Add weight.  Could be just a 10# plate in a back pack

2.  Add a pause at the top

3.  Do fewer reps per set - focus on explosive contraction/fast movement

On day four, go back to doing what you normally do

Occasionally do an EMOM - every minute on the minute for 5 to 20 minutes do 3-6 reps (start w 3 and work up in subsequent sessions).

The weighted pullup thing adds a new level of accomplishment - 100# weighted pullup?  You will tell all your friends

Louie Simmons: "Once you spell your name right, you can only spell it wrong."  IOW, once you get used to doing pullups like you are doing them, they no longer provide as much adaptive stimulus - thus the prescription for variation.

If you have the elastic bands CrossFitters and weightlifters often use, you can "band yourself" to add resistance with a different force curve.  The ways to add variation are only limited by one's imagination and determination to find a better way to train.

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