Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
17

The end of February is twenty weeks away. With that much time until the competition, you should periodize your training into a general preparation, specific training, and competition lead-up. Doing just push-ups might work too, but you will achieve better results with a more balanced approach. General preparation - 6 weeks For the general preparation phase,...


16

The biggest risk of injury comes from overuse, particularly if you are getting older. Body weight exercises are very safe, and the biggest real risk of not doing them correctly is wasting time because you won't get the results you want. The key to pushups is keeping your body straight as a board. If your body is sagging in the middle, it's likely because ...


15

Don't "Stretch" Doing static stretches before working out is not good. It cools you down and relaxes you, which is the opposite of what you want while you're exerting yourself. What's worse is that by stretching your muscles, you decrease the amount of force that your muscles can exert, and make yourself vulnerable to injuries like muscle pulls. Static ...


15

I look at it as, they're competing in a sport with a completion criteria of chin-over-bar for reps/time. If the participants understand that they're taking on a certain level of risk of certain types of injuries training for this type of competition, then that's their business. People risk straining muscles kicking soccer balls too, but they accept the ...


13

The common wisdom is that the chin up (supinated grip) targets the biceps. It also appears to target the pectoralis major. The pull up targets the lower trapezius more. Source Ellington Darden also says the chin up better targets the lats because the involvement of the biceps means the arms won't give out as quickly as the pull up, allowing the back to get ...


13

Minimum height You need to be able to hang from the bar and not touch the ground with your knees. Maximum height You need to be able to pull yourself all the way up, chest touching the bar, and still have at least an inch or two of space between your head and the ceiling or anything else. Optimal height It's great to be able to just barely reach the bar ...


12

If I were having this problem, I'd focus on changing most or all of my pull-up and chin-up reps to "chest to bar", and accepting nothing less. This would probably mean a reduction in how many reps I could perform. If that reduced my volume too much, I'd do one (maybe two) "chin-to-bar" sets for as many reps as possible at the end of my pull-up work. I also ...


11

It sounds like you want to start incorporating muscle-ups and weighted pull-ups whenever possible. I don't think kipping pull-ups are really appropriate for a number of reasons, but if they float your boat (and you have a healthy, strong, flexible shoulder girdle), rock 'em. Upper-Body Pulling Power Power is not a common goal for upper body pulls, though ...


11

I wrote a rather big post about pull-ups vs. chin-ups where I also discuss the issue of grip width. I did it based on a few scientific papers whose links you can find there. Those papers study the grip width in percentage of your shoulder width. In other words, if your shoulder-to-shoulder distance is 40 cm, then 100% grip width corresponds to a 40 cm ...


11

Yes, Pull-Ups Are Awesome Even If You Can Only Do A Few You should do multiple sets of chin-ups, using negatives to get a larger total number for the workout. If you can only do three pull-ups in a set, then do three--strict ones, good ones, all the way down and all the way up--and then do another three as negatives (jumping to the top and lowering yourself ...


9

I used to have this problem with doing pull ups too but I realised that I straining my neck during the last few reps when you are trying to get your head over the bar. The neck strain can also happen if you jerk your body, or even grit your teeth in the struggle to get the chin past the bar. I guess the best prevention is to have better pull-up form. One ...


9

I think what's missing in the discussion area is a bit more context. Taking all sets to failure would include the barbell sets. Taking your barbell sets to failure is not part of starting strength. Why take body weight exercises to failure? Body weight exercises don't cause near the stress on your body as the barbell work. Essentially, you can recover ...


9

Do slow negatives, start at the top and lower yourself slowly, this is the way most people get strong enough to do their first, clean pull/chin-ups. If you have a rubber band to attach to the bar, that can work too.,


9

What you're doing is essentially a technique called Greasing the Groove. There have been a number of questions on here already about it, but essentially it's a method of becoming stronger in a particular movement pattern by practicing it constantly throughout the day. Note the use of the word "practice" there. The idea is to do exactly what you're doing, ...


8

Start out doing negatives. (basically start with your chin at the bar and slowly lower yourself)


8

Callouses form when your skin is pinched between gravity and the bar. If you learn to grab the bar in such a way that your skin is no longer pinched, you will prevent the formation of callouses. Additionally, using chalk helps improve your grip while also preventing callouses because the bar doesn't move as easily in your hands (as opposed to when they are ...


8

Sounds like you're ready to start muscle-up training, your numbers are decent enough (5 sets of 5 is my target before I move my students to muscle-up training). Add in some jumping muscle-ups to your workout routine. You're going to need a false grip on the bar, which means putting your thumbs and palm on the bar, rather than your fingers. This allows ...


7

From Training Dimensions: Greasing the Groove is a technique used to practice any strength movement at a high volume without requiring a long period of recovery. If you are new to pullups, greasing the groove allows you to practice pullups often, teaching your central nervous system to perform the movement more efficiently. In greasing the groove, you ...


7

You're absolutely correct that swinging can make pull-ups easier. (It can also make it harder to hold on to the bar. Both of these are not good.) I use two methods to avoid swinging during pull-ups and chin-ups: Bend my knees at a right angle, without crossing my ankles. Extend my legs in front of myself, as high as they go. You can do it like the picture,...


7

Bar thickness is well known for making it more difficult to do deadlifts, there's no reason why this wouldn't apply to doing pull ups as well. Particularly if your hands are on the smaller size, increasing thickness will have a significant effect.


7

Your problem is the lack of strength at the very top part of the pull-up. It is normal for most people don't go that high on their chin/pull-ups anyways. I will give you several exercises to follow in order to develop enough strength for what you want. Begin with explosive pull-ups, try remaining at the top position where the bar is touching your ...


7

The first question I would have to ask you is are you 40 kg or less? The reason you have a hard time with these body weight exercises is because the resistance of your body is more than you are currently used to. As you get stronger, you will be able to do more. Before I started losing weight, I could barely get 5 push ups at 138 kg body weight, but now I ...


7

It doesn't sound bad. I recommend going above five reps for at least some sets, since I find the upper body responds well to higher volume and it's not the worst thing in the world to train some endurance. I expect you'll actually see better strength results that way anyway. The more common method of loading pull-ups is to use a dip belt, but the backpack ...


7

Most people treat pullups like some kind of special exercise where reps, sets, and weights are somehow on a different plane of existence and doesn't obey all the rules of fitness. It's no different than any other exercise. You will increase your strength no matter what your rep range is, but you will increase your strength more if you do weighted ones in ...


6

I've been climbing, training for climbing, and reading books on the subject for a long time. If you are new to climbing, you need as much volume at the easiest grades possible. This is the best way to condition all of your body, as well as improve your technique. Go to the gym, do all of the easiest problems. Repeat them over and over. This will make ...


6

I assume that you are using the grip with your palms facing forward, palms facing inward will tend to emphasize the biceps more than the lats. The visualization that works for me, rather than thinking of "pulling" from the elbows, is thinking of "squeezing" the elbows to the body. Stand up, and place your hands and arms in the position that you would be in ...


6

These are exact words from Arnold Schwarzenegger in the July 2007 Muscle and Fitness: [...] you can build up to doing full-range-of-motion chins for many reps. Start with the lat pulldown machine. Over time, increase the weight until you're doing pulldowns with your equivalent bodyweight for about eight reps. Then, leave the machine and to free-hanging ...


6

SAID principle In most scenarios, our bodies respond to training stimulus very specifically. This is called specific adaptation to imposed demand, which tells us: specific skills or training may not easily generalize or transfer to distinct activities. You might be lifting more in the bicep curl, but curl strength doesn't necessarily translate to pull-...


6

When you say "hurt", do you think its a muscle soreness (a broad, burning sensation in your muscles), or joint pain (sharp, localized pain in your elbows, shoulders, or upper back)? If its muscle soreness, that's to be expected. Joint pain is something else. Its possible that you don't have a "warming up" problem, but that you're just not strong enough to ...


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