February is Pullup Month!

In case you haven’t all noticed, we have done A LOT of pullups and chinups this week! Coming from someone who has a HUGE pullup goal (24kg, for the RKC Iron Maiden) that I would like to reach by May, I know how important it is to do something often if you want to get better at it. (I recently wrote about my battle with pullups on my blog.)Many of you have an expressed an interest in being able to perform an unassisted pullup soon, and those of you who have done them unassisted have expressed weight and volume goals. The only way to further that progress is more PRACTICE!

That being said, there are a few things I would like you to consider:

  • Vary your volume and intensity. Please refrain from going heavy (meaning weighted, or less assistance) all the time. A failure to do this will likely result in repetitive stress injury (achey elbows!). Play with your rep schemes and load, and this will allow you to do pullups 2-3x/week.
  • Vary your grips! You can choose Pullups (overhand grip on the straight bar), Neutral grip pullups (palms facing each other on the squat rack), or Chinups (supinated, or underhand grip on the straight bar). Some of you may even want to play with an over/under grip of you are trying to bridge the gap between pullups and chinups.
  • Roll and stretch your lats, please!
  • Above all, have FUN (meaning do not let pullups frustrate you or you will get nowhere-trust me from personal experience) and BE CONSISTENT. If you barely make it to class once a week, having a month dedicated to pullups will not benefit you.  Please come to class regularly, because when you don’t, we miss you :).

This past week we have had a lot of success with pullups and chinups. Those of you using bands are using lighter ones and well on your way to unassisted. Those of you unassisted are using weight or increasing bodyweight reps. Most notably this past week Bruce performed a 24kg Chinup (which I did not get on video! Uuugh!), Dana performed a 14kg Chinup and 3 or 4 bodyweight Pullups, Annie performed 4 chinups (her goal was to get ONE before her 50th which is this month!), and Peggy and Juli K. have both entered the unassisted realm. Jamie has 7 weeks left in her pregnancy and has since switched to using the lightest band to assist her with her 30 pound pullups!

I will be posting pullup progress on the white board so that we can track ourselves and encourage each other. You all continue to inspire me with your support of each other and your indomitable spirits. Keep up the good work, and Happy Pullup Month!

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