Did a pullup!

(Bob M) #1

I’ve been doing body weight training since the pandemic started. I bought a pull up bar. I was doing 1/4 pullups, then 1/2, then 2/3. By this, I mean I started at the top (helped by a stool to get there initially), head above the bar, then went down 1/4 of the way, pulled back up, went down 1/2 way, pulled up, then went down 2/3 of the way, pulled up. By the time I got to the full down, pull up, I couldn’t do it.

Today, I started extended down all the way, and was able to do (only) one pullup! Yeah!

Not bad for someone with a monocep (had shoulder surgery on my right shoulder, and they cut one of the tendons for the bicep on that side; so I have a “monocep” on that side). Also, with a fully torn supraspanitus on my left and a repaired supraspanitus on my right.

Also tried a true one arm pushup on flat ground. Still have a ways to go for that. Can do them on the second step of a set of steps, though.

Will update when I get to two pullups or one one-armed pushup.

(Joey) #2

Awesome to experience a personal breakthrough like this. Congrats!

Having had my (minor) physical victories through strength training - am now able to perform certain physical tasks in my 60s I could never do before in life - is deeply satisfying. :vulcan_salute:

Keep up the personal progress. If you ain’t growing, you’re decaying. Hormesis. :wink:


Absolutely brilliant - well done!

(Ohio ) #4

I do limited push ups.

Pull ups however, I wouldn’t even start with pulling yourself up until you build your shoulders up a little. Just hang there. Flex one side, then the other. Sync this up to your breathing. You can improve your grip strength on the bar & avoid injury by building up your forearms.

This is done easiest in a recliner !

Support the end of your wrists on the end of arm rests. Use 5-10 lb weights. Just sit there as your watching the news and just go up and down. If I’m making any sense. My forearms burn out fast but bounce back fast too.

I’ll rewrite if this doesn’t make sense.

(Bob M) #5

Thanks, all.

Let me see if I can photocopy my current “long” body weight workout. It might help let people know where I am. (I’m not a beginner. I’ve been lifting since I was 15 or 16, and have never stopped lifting, even when I was getting fatter.)

(Ohio ) #6

I’ve never lifted weights and don’t plan on starting. I could never do pull-ups until my late 30s.

I don’t consider pull ups,”lifting” either. Pull ups are just an extension of yoga, from my perspective.

(Edith) #7

Good for you! I’ve been doing pull ups and chin ups with a thick rubber band to assist. The plan was to use thinner and thinner assist bands over time. I may try your method, instead. I would be very happy to be able to do one.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #8

Congratulations! I am full of envy!

(Anthony) #9

Congratulations! I remember when I got my first last year. That feeling of amazement while I kept rising as I pulled instead of stalling out, it sounds stupid but it’s a big deal. I’m really happy for you.

Did you lose that 5 pounds you thought was keeping you from it?

(Ian) #10

(Bob M) #11

Not really. I had just revised my workout to try a full pull up first.

Here’s my workout this morning. I was running late and forgot to do 31-33 (side plank on right, rotate into full plank, rotate into plank on left).:

All sets to failure unless not applicable. (first two, 1+2, are warmups.)

This long body weight workout is usually 1:10-1:15, but I missed the planks. The weights are in kg.

(Butter Withaspoon) #12

Woohoo way to go Bob! Well done.
I occasionally hang onto a tree branch when I’m out for a walk, but not even close to a pull up. I’m vaguely thinking of getting a bar between a couple of carport verticals though :thinking:

Lately I’ve decided I’m going to learn to do a headstand. I look forward to this elation in some weeks months or…?

(Todd) #13

Congratulations on your pull-up.

I’m always trying to improve on the pull-up but then I had a MAPS incident (Middle Age Pull-up syndrome). 3 months of no pull-ups and I did one, then still had pain.

I follow Dan John. He is a “Coach’s Coach.” He is where fitness coaches go for information and that is for the most part his audience.

He has many things on You Tube, articles published and on several Pod Casts. You can look at this link, or just google his name https://www.danjohnuniversity.com/ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACw0EDBIG3Q

He always asks why do you have that goal? That is sometimes the toughest question to answer. I would encourage you to search his items and also look at Pat Flynn.

Congrats on achieving the goal.


darn straight all those NSVs are SO important
super happy for you!! :star_struck::100:

(Joey) #15

Always a runner, I never did weight training, so if the topic arose I’d tell folks:
Yeah, I lift weights 2 to 3 times a week. The other days, I put them down.

(Marianne) #16

Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment, in my eyes. Pullups are a bi*&^, and very difficult! I’m going to use an absolute and say I will never be able to do one of those. Push ups to me are as well (one-arm? forget it!!!). I can’t do one.

(Robin) #17

Dude! Way to go. (My only pull ups are the baggy butt of my jeans.)

(Bob M) #18

Update. I now do 6 pull ups (reverse grip, meaning that my palms are facing me), then 3 “wide grip” pull ups (palms away from me), then 2-3 pull ups on small handles, one after the other. So, 11-12 pull ups in total.

The bar I’m using:

I’ve also increased “weight” in every exercise, but since it’s body weight training, it’s hard to quantify. For instance, I have TRX straps similar to these:

When I started, I had my heels on the ground and my body in the air, maybe at a 45 degree angle from heels to head, while doing back exercises. My head was much higher than my heels. Let’s call this a positive 45 degree angle.

Now, I put my heels on a step ladder that has three steps. I put my heels on the topmost step and do my back exercises. This is effectively a negative 45 degree position, as my heels are much higher than my head. I then go to the second step, then the first, then put my heels on the ground. 4 sets, as quickly as I can do them, and each to failure.

I’m not yet doing one-arm pushups (edit: on flat ground), but I can do one arm push ups on the second and third steps in my basement.

So, I’m much stronger now than 2 years ago when I originally wrote this.

(Robin) #19

Great news!

(Bob M) #20

Thanks, @robintemplin

You know, I’m also taking steroids for an attack by a rose bush and subsequent stunning amount of rash that developed.

Sad to say (because this is probably pharmacological), but I’ve gone from 5 pull ups to 6…then to 7 today while taking the steroids. I was stuck at 5 for a long while. I have to assume that the steroids are helping. Not sure what that means when I stop taking them next week.

Regardless, I’ve still gotten much stronger over time, just not as quickly as with the steroids.