Many of you seem to have a hard time with the pull-ups, and have even gotten down on yourselves because you are not noticing sudden changes in this area. I’m here to say, “It’s ok!” As I told you all before, change is a process and it takes TIME for your body to adjust to the workouts! Here is a little story about my experiences with the first 3-4 weeks doing pull-ups.
I think it was safe to say that my weakest area when I began P90X was the pull-ups. I hated them! Day 1, Chest & Back, oh that wonderful workout. I was real excited to hang my newly put together pull-up bar in the doorway of my parents bedroom. I heard Tony in the background say that it was time for Wide Grip Pull-Ups. I widened my grip, and….got 4 unassisted pull-ups. Hmmm, that fourth one was a killer too! Then to the close-grip pull-ups. I got to 1, then stopped because I couldn’t do anymore! My back was so underdeveloped (As you can see in my Day 1 pic) that 5 pull-ups was the most I could do for the entire workout! I REALLY pushed myself with every back workout after that, and slowly got up to about 5-6 reps for each exercise, and that took me about 2.5 weeks! I didn’t really start doing well with the pull-ups until about day 60, where I could do about 8-10 for each exercise. Now, as my back is WAY more developed, I can push for about 12-15 reps. But it took TIME for my back muscles to develop so I could do more!
Here are my tips for all of you struggling with pull-ups:
(1) There is NO SHAME in doing assisted pull-ups with the chair! Once you progress and start getting stronger, lift one leg up, and then eventually move to the unassisted. You can even do a mix of both assisted and unassisted, just so you can finish the entire workout.
(2) Don’t cheat when doing these, and what I mean by that is not going up or down all the way. Bring yourself up as far as you can go so you feel a good squeeze in your back, and let you arms fully extend when going back down.
(3) BE PATIENT! If you are one of the people who haven’t noticed a difference in about 3 weeks, then start developing your back through other methods, such as with free weights or a weight machine. You can do exercises like Lateral Pull-Downs, Reverse Grip Lat Pull-Downs, Back Rows with the machine or Back Fly’s, Lawnmowers, Elbow Out Lawnmowers with the dumbbells. If you keep increasing your weight when doing those, then you will eventually be able to do unassisted pull-ups as your back gets stronger.
If you have any further questions about pull-ups, email me and I will help you out.