One of the goals I set for myself in 2014 is to do ten unassisted pull-ups in a row, and for a little while I was using the dip & chin assist machine though I didn’t feel I was getting anywhere. In a PT appointment with Jamie Ann I told her of my pull-up goal, and she’s given me a simple plan I can use to work towards my ten pull-ups, which I’ve added and tweaked a few parts of.
To warm up, I do ten minutes of short intervals on the cross trainer, then use the multi-station on low resistance to do straight-arm shoulder flies.
Then it’s the lat pulldown. I do sets of 20-12-8 reps with increasing weight with narrow underhand grip (the aim here to lift my own bodyweight on the machine, I’m about half way there now), then I do wide-arm overhand grip, again 20-12-8 reps. Learning to use my shoulderblades and back rather than just arm strength is the toughest part for me.
Onto my main exercise, which is on the functional trainer, the big thing shown in the pictures that looks a little like a torture device. I:
- Pull down the small step on the right and grab the bar closest in with underhand grip.
- Launch myself up to grab the other handle whilst also tucking my body up high – this is now the highest point of the pull-up.
- Lower myself down to straight arms over 4 seconds.
- Jump down and repeat for 10 reps!
Cooldown is a couple of intervals on the stationary rower. I’ve been doing this routine for a little over a month now and found that I can pull myself up from about three-quarters of the way up, which is huge progress considering how weak my upper body was initially. I totally accept this is going to be a long, tough process – though I now firmly believe I will be able to do ten underhand pull-ups by the end of the year. I’m already thinking of 2015’s goal: ten wide-arm overhand pull-ups!