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  • Getting weaker by the week

    Ok, this is a little bit odd. Pull-ups have never ever been my strongest feat. I have never been able to do more a set for more than 5. Have some medical history with my back but has started training more last couple of years with some setbacks. I've gone from linear progression where it stopped improving very quickly to the bridge, bridge 2.0 and different templates.

    I'm currently doin the 7 week hypertrophy where I'm in the 4th week. For the supplemental days upper backwork AMRAP I'm trying to do Pull-ups. I have gone from being able to do 4 reps week 1 linearly declining to doing 0 week 4. Don't know what happening. Due to this the only thing i can do is descending part of the pull-up (jumping och climbing up and lover as slow as possible). Any Ideas?


    I'm 42 years old, 6 feet tall, weights 180lbs. I try to eat 2700 kcal each day.

  • #2
    How are your other lifts going?
    Maybe some fatigue in the upper back and/or lats?

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    • #3
      I'm pretty steady. Bench might be in slump aswell. Press with belt is all time high right now.

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      • #4
        Yeah I would say it's likely fatigue. Pull-ups also respond best in my experience to higher volumes, and only doing sets of 5 or less is probably not going to do the trick. Do you have access to a lat-pulldown? If so I would use that and use a weight that lets you get ~15 reps on the first set @RPE 8 and build that up over time, eventually transferring over to pull-ups when you are a bit stronger. If not, then I had success with a friend that I coached that trained in their garage by having them do the first set normal, then all sets after the first one using a resistance band to assist. This gave them a little practice unassisted, as well as a bunch of volume assisted to help drive gainzZz.

        Also, what are you doing on your second upper back day? Are you doing pull-ups both days?
        Last edited by PWard; 10-07-2018, 04:02 PM.

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        • #5
          Hi, I don't have access to a lat-pull down but the resistance band is a good idea. The upper back day I either do pull-up or rows.

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          • #6
            Adam Franklin posted a pulley system on the Facebook group (or at least I think he did) that was like $40 USD. Not sure if you could do lat pulldown with that or not.

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            • #7
              I find that doing lat pulldowns work well especially if you work up the volume and weight over weeks for example
              2-3 sets of 12 week 1
              2-3 sets of 10 week 2 + 5-10 lbs
              2-3 sets of 8 week 3 + 5-10lbs
              3 sets of 8 week 4 with the same weight or increased weight
              by the 5th week im typically back to doing pull ups for 6-7 reps.

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              • #8
                Fred123 Yeah I would give a shot with what I mentioned with the resistance band. Do your first set unassisted, then use a band to accumulate assisted volume until you're able to do at like 8-10 pullups in a set unassisted. It takes a long time to build pull-ups up. About 2 years ago I was where you are, able to do around a handful. 2 years later I'm doing sets in the low to mid 20's on GPP days. It just requires a lot of volume and practice over a long period of time.

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                • #9
                  Do you want to do pull ups? If your other lifts are progressing, don’t worry about it. Some people suck at pull-ups, mine never go up much when I train them, but I don’t care. It’s just an accessory movement, there’s nothing magical about them.

                  The band and assisted version PWard mentioned can be helpful since the movement does need volume and you can’t get volume if you can’t do them. You can also use the band for pull aparts or face pulls if your equipment is limited. Rows are always good, any version of them.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys, will try the above. Yes, I want to be able to do pull-ups. It's an OCD I have. If I suck at something I want to do it. Drives me mad sometimes.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fred123 View Post
                      Thanks guys, will try the above. Yes, I want to be able to do pull-ups. It's an OCD I have. If I suck at something I want to do it. Drives me mad sometimes.
                      Got it. Hit those band assists for volume and don’t always take them to failure. Another good way to build them up is to do lots of sets of singles or doubles if that’s all you have in you for the day. Knock out 10-15 sets of doubles between all your exercises. Just make sure they’re not all RPE 10.

                      Good luck!

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                      • #12
                        Yeah Jeff Dausch makes a great point that you definitely don't want to go to RPE 10 on pull-ups. I usually cut all my sets at RPE 7-8. Going to 9 or 10 on pull-ups is more fatiguing than most other exercises. Say someone got 10 reps @10, and they went to do another set after that they would be lucky to get 5 or 6 reps. Whereas if they cut the set @8, they maybe would have lost 1-2 reps max in the following set.

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                        • #13
                          Never thought of the RPE 10 thing. Very good tip. Thanks guys!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Adam_a View Post
                            Adam Franklin posted a pulley system on the Facebook group (or at least I think he did) that was like $40 USD. Not sure if you could do lat pulldown with that or not.
                            It seems the question has been answered but if anyone was curious the pulley system mentioned is here: https://fitarchon.com/product/single...cable-station/

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