Author Topic: Backsliding Pullups  (Read 3817 times)

Offline soar

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Backsliding Pullups
« on: June 19, 2006, 02:37:41 PM »
Okay, got another question...

I'm starting to feel like my pullups are "backsliding".  Since I started, I built up to the point where I could do about 7-8 (palms away strict, no kip) in a row for the first round of the warmup.  Now I feel that getting to 6 is really tough and 7 is the last before failure, and it seems like I have to take more breaks during pullup rich workouts.

Couple pieces of info that may help: I still don't kip (or usually do it really badly).  And when I'm just out and about, I find busting out 1 pullup to be easy and enjoyable, that's new.

So what to do?  I have a couple ideas flotaing about.  One is to just skip all pullup stuff for a week or so, to give the muscles a deep rest.  Another is to back of and sub easier stuff for a week.  Another is to just keep going and push through what may actually be a plateau rather than a backslide.

I know y'all can't personal train me, but maybe y'all have some thoughts to help me assess my situation and choose what to do?

Offline Steve Low

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 5588
  • Karma: +287/-56
    • View Profile
    • Eat, Move, Improve
Re: Backsliding Pullups
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2006, 03:41:35 PM »
I posted on this in another thread.

http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php/topic,1197.0.html

Quote
The quickest way to increase your strength of specific exercises is the grease the groove method. Basically what you want to do like 5 times interspersed throughout the day (say, before breakfast, brunch-ish, after lunch, right before dinner and right before you sleep) is to do submaximal sets of pullups and dips. So, for example, you do 8 pullups and 4 dips. 5 times during the day you would want to do 5-6 pullups and 2-3 dips for one set each and then just stop and go about the rest of your day.

The main reason why this works is because it promotes increased neuromuscular efficiency and enhances motor and muscle recruitment patterns which will increase your strength. This will help you gain pullup and dip strength very quickly which is essential if you want to do muscle ups or do well in climbing walls/trees/etc.

Here's a few links for greasing the groove:
http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/69/
http://www.powerathletesmag.com/wforum/viewtopic.php?t=639
Posts NOT medical, training or nutrition advice
Site // Overcoming Gravity Book

Gearsighted

  • Guest
Re: Backsliding Pullups
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2006, 05:05:04 PM »
Thanks Steven, I totally agree. If you want to improve your pullups, you have to do more pullups, but make sure to do them when you're fresh and can really work the technique 100%. GTG is perfect for this, as any strength skill is simply that, a skill. Be sure your diet and recovery are in check, then work them as often as possible without overdoing it and you will improve, simple as that.

Offline soar

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Backsliding Pullups
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2006, 02:21:22 PM »
I'm probably not being very clear, my qustion is more about how to identify overtraining, and what to do about it.

What's happening is that it feels like it takes more effort to do the same number (or less) pullups and pushups as compared to about a month and a half ago.  Could this be a sign of strength overtraining?  If so, trying to work so hard on it will probably furthur degrade my performance.

I have some familiarity with endurance overtraining, I used to do a lot of triathlons, but this feels different.  For examlpe, I'm totally struggling with pullups (even on the warmup), but my running seems totally unaffected.  The cure for the kind of overtraining I'm familiar with is rest, and that usually means stop training for an appropriate amount of time.

Would it be advisable to just stop doing pullups for awhile, except for those with the GTG method, but still engage in all the other stuff I do?  I like doing the WODs, and I'm a little worried, perhaps foolishly, that taking a pullup break will loose some of my hard earned gains.  I'd also prefer NOT to take complete rest, there's too many fun things to do.  Oh yea, I'm "old", 32, maybe that has something to do with it?  (insert old man smiley)

I hope I'm not coming across as too needy.  I'm just not very good at designing my own workouts, and I want to wake an informed decision before arbitrarily casting aside sections of the WODs.  If y'all know any good books to consult too, that would help.

I do appreciate the GTG advice for uppping my reps.  I've heard about this and have wondered about it but haven't known anybody to personally endorse it.

Offline Steve Low

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 5588
  • Karma: +287/-56
    • View Profile
    • Eat, Move, Improve
Re: Backsliding Pullups
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2006, 06:17:34 PM »
It could be a variety of reasons -- not just overtraining. It all depends on what your workout schedule, sleep schedule and diet look like mainly. If you google "symptoms of overtraining" you will find that in general the main ones are decreased appetite, achy joints and muscles, lethargy and stuff like that. It does not seem like that is the case here.

If you train grease the groove style with pullups, you will not overtrain.

It might be a good idea to take a week of though just in case you were overtraining, but to make any diagnosis, we would have to see what you are doing/eating/getting enough sleep or you would have to be able to evaluate it or you would have to evaluate it by looking at the symptoms and making a decision. Taking a week off will not destroy any gains and you will not regress (well, maybe a little, but not to make a noticable difference on anything -- e.g. you won't lose a repetition in pullups or anything). Conversely, if you are overtraining or you have worked out for months, your body may be able to become stronger and more fully rest and less acclimated for training over the week which will allow you better gains when you restart training again.
Posts NOT medical, training or nutrition advice
Site // Overcoming Gravity Book

Offline soar

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Backsliding Pullups
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2006, 07:46:01 AM »
Cool, here's what I'm going to try:
I just took a week off (started training again yesterday).  For the APK Warmup I'll do 1 less pullup than failure on each round (I've always been going for 3x10 for each warmup, but I've never been able to do 10 in a row).  I'll start with the GTG training as soon as I get something set up in my home.  And for the workouts, I'll just do the full amount of pullups the best I can.

Yesterday I did 3x7 pullups during the warmup.  7 is a pretty good number for me, so we'll see how it works out long term.

As for the diet, I eat pretty much everything.  Lots of protein and vegetables.  I probably eat a little too much sugar, and I have a glass of wine every other day or so.  I'd say overall I have a decent idea of nutrition and eat fairly healthy, but not perfect.  After I've been trying this for awhile I'll probably start playing with diet again and see if that changes anything.

Thanks for the ideas!