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Fed X


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PostSubject: some awesome links!   Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:25 pm

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Fed X


Posts : 2379
Join date : 2011-07-14

PostSubject: Re: some awesome links!   Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:57 pm

How To Get Insanely Good At Chin-ups And Pull-ups
Chin-ups and pull-ups for me are the most intense upper body exercises. Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated by them and had always wanted to master them. This wouldn’t happen until my early twenties and here I will share my approach of getting really good at chin-ups and pull-ups with you. But first let me tell you what happened today.

No picture of a dude struggling on the pull up bar? Lets have a totally random gorgeous woman instead! By the way, most guys are totally clueless when it comes to what women like about a man’s physique. Here is the deal: hot girls dig the V-shape of the torso (the waist to shoulders ratio). Gunz or bi’s or however you call ‘em serve mainly to intimidate other guys.

I Was Chilling After A Nice Walk In The Saturday Sun

…when I felt like I was in the mood for some mindless fun. So I popped a DVD with some flick called Mindhunters. It starred LL Cool J, Christian Slater, Val Kilmer and two hot girls whose names I couldn’t remember. The movie was pure brainless b-movie/slasher fun, and I enjoyed every second of it, though I’m sure the director wouldn’t like me calling his masterpiece a B-movie. Anyway, you maybe asking yourself what this movie could have to do with getting insanely good at chin-ups and pull-ups. Well…

LL Cool J Was A Ripped Bad a$$ In The Movie
In one of the scenes one guy was hanging off some bar (falling was not an option because the floor was flooded and the killer had rigged the water with electricity). LL came to the rescue, swinging, climbing and pulling himself up various ledges, bars and walls. And the first dude was waiting for him and hanging for dear life. Naturally, I thought to myself – if only this guy had gotten his pullups in check BEFORE getting himself in a life and death pullup bar situation. Now LL Cool J, on the other hand, was having a breeze because he always keep in shape.

Here is the tutorial this poor guy probably wished he HAD read lol:

The Perfect Pull-up and Chin-up
Watch your grip. Make sure to grip the bar towards your fingers. Basically, it should rest on the soft part just below your fingers. Avoid pinching your skin there. Pull-ups will cause callouses but they will actually make the exercise easier. Pinching the skin, on the other hand, will cause you unnecessary pain.
Pack your shoulders. Always start the chin-up from a dead hang position. From there the first thing to do is, with straight arms, to pull your shoulders down toward the body and pack them into your torso.
Use your back. The pull-up or chin-up is primarily an exercise for your back muscles. Those are the lats – the muscles of your armpits. You will fail to get good if you can’t feel and use your lats. It’s just that the biceps is too small and too week, no matter how well developed, to allow you chin-up mastery. Here is quick drill to feel those muscles. Extend your arms forward and ask a buddy to exert upward pressure on your arm. Now, try to lower it in spite of his efforts. Feel those muscles working? Good – use them in the pull-ups.
Cross your legs. The phenomenon called irradiation allows neighboring muscles to make each othe stronger when contracting harder. So by crossing and flexing your legs against each other, you become stronger.
Bend the bar. By attempting to twist the pull-up bar downward (your left hand will twist counter-clockwise and your right hand will twist clockwise) you will achieve a greater contraction in your upper body.
Squeeze your butt. Same as crossing your legs and gripping hard, squeezing the glutes will give you an instant strength boost.

[From left to right: a) sternum chinups, b) sternum pullups, c) wide grip pullups.]

Mix Up Your Pull-up and Chin-up Training
Regular chin-ups – these are done with an underhand grip. Pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. They are excellent for biceps development and for overloading the exercise using additional weight.
Regular pull-ups – same as chin-ups, except done with your palms in an overhand grip. They are also excellent for overloading with additional weight using a belt, a backpack or a dumbbell between the legs. They target the biceps less and the upper back as well as the brachialis (muscle below the biceps) and brachioradialis (muscle on top of the forearm) more.
Wide grip pull-ups – these target the arms less and the upper back more. They are useful for learning to use the back muscles for chin-ups and pull-ups.
Sternum chin-ups/pull-ups – these are the same as the regular chin-ups and pull-ups, except that they are done until the bar touches the chest bone (sternum). Sternum chin-ups and pull-ups are harder, but they work the mid-back and rear deltoids more.
How To Get Better At Pull-ups and Chin-ups
The way to get better is to practice often (3 or more times per week), do a relatively high volume of training (25-36 repetitions per workout is a great goal), use progressive overload, and focus on strength training repetition ranges (doing 3 reps with a weight with which you could do a total of 5 repetitions is good rule of thumb).

[Lat activation, or simply put using your back, and NOT your arms, is the key to pull-up greatness. Note how the shoulders go down and are packed into the body. Not using the lats - the armpit muscles properly, is the number one mistake people make on chin-ups.]

Mistakes Sabotage Your Pull-ups and Chin-ups
You are not using your back. If you don’t learn to use the back muscles to initiate the movement and do most of the work on chin-ups and pull-ups, you are never going to get good at them. The upper arms are simply a small muscle and cannot compete with the big and powerful muscles of the upper back.
You are training to failure. When doing complex movements like this, always stop 1 or 2 repetitions short of failure. This means to do 8 reps when you are capable of doing 9 or 10. Training to failure is a viable tool when it comes to breaking down a muscle so it can recover and grow bigger and stronger. Pull-up and chin-up performance, however, comes down to learning to use your back and getting more efficient at it.
You aren’t using full range of motion. If you don’t go all the way down on chin-ups and pull-ups, you won’t be able to powerfully activate the back muscles.
Weaknesses in Your Chin-up Performance
You are as strong as the weakest muscle that takes part in the exercise:

Train your grip. You won’t be good at pull-ups if you can’t stay on the bar long enough. You need a strong grip. Train by hanging off the bar for time with two arms (eventually try hanging off one arm). Barbell holds with heavy weights for time also will help.
Develop your forearms. Training your forearms with wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, reverse bar curls and pinch gripping (holding two weight plates together and lifting them off with one hand) will also improve your grip, thus your chin-up performance.
Strengthen the mid-back muscles. The mid back muscles are responsible for the hardest part of the movement – the finish. Strengthen them with dumbbell, barbell or cable rows.
Strengthen your upper arms muscles. Your upper arm muscles – biceps and brachialis, are also responsible for the finishing part of the movement. Improve them with barbell and dumbbell curls and reverse curls (like the regular curls but with your hands on top of the bar).

[Here's me doing 16 pull-ups. Notice the grip and the full extension at the bottom.]

Use proper form, activate the back, train often, use low reps and progress in weight (either with a weight belt, a backpack with weight plates or a dumbbell between your feet) as soon as it gets easier and you will be on your way to chin-up mastery.

One Arm Pull-ups or Chin-ups and Beyond
This is a pull-up progression that I got from the book Convict Conditioning. After mastering the regular pull-up as described in this article, you can still progress in your training.

The following is a list of incrementally harder pull-up variations. The way to train is to go through each stage for the designated exercise – Beginner, Intermediate and Ready to Progress. Once you fulfill the requirements for the Ready to Progress stage, you go on to the next exercise.

Note: I’m not including the progressions up to a full pull-up from the book in order to keep the article within reasonable length and because we’ve already discussed these strategies above.

Full Pull-ups – these are your basic shoulder width grip pull-ups (hands on top).
Beginner – 1 set of 5
Intermediate – 2 sets of 8
Ready to Progress – 2 sets of 10
Close Pull-ups – here the hands are on top and the distance between the two wrists is 4 inches maximum.
Beginner – 1 set of 5
Intermediate – 2 sets of 8
Ready to Progress – 2 sets of 10
Uneven Pull-ups – here you grab the bar with one hand and then grab your wrist with the other hand. The repetitions below are to be done for both sides.
Beginner – 1 set of 5
Intermediate – 2 sets of 7
Ready to Progress – 2 sets of 9
1/2 One Arm Pull-ups – here you perform a half one arm pull-up by getting yourself in a position where your pull-up arm is at 90 degrees and pulling yourself up. The repetitions below are to be done for both sides.
Beginner – 1 set of 4
Intermediate – 2 sets of 6
Ready to Progress – 2 sets of 8
Assisted One Arm Pull-ups – here you perform a one arm pull-up but you also drape a towel over the bar and grab the towel with your other arm as low as possible. The repetitions below are to be done for both sides. Note how with the increasing difficulty of the exercise the reps get lower.
Beginner – 1 set of 3
Intermediate – 2 sets of 5
Ready to Progress – 2 sets of 7
One Arm Pull-ups – these are the real deal – no assistance here. The repetitions below are to be done for both sides. Note how with the increasing difficulty of the exercise the reps get lower.
Beginner – 1 set of 1
Intermediate – 2 sets of 3
Ready to Progress – 2 sets of 6
In Convict Conditioning you will also get detailed instructions (gripping, positioning, tips etc) and photos for each of the advanced pull-up variations as well as similar progressions for advanced one arm pushups, handstand pushups and squats.

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PostSubject: Re: some awesome links!   Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:31 am

Great post.

Paul Wade in CC advocates training pullups (new blood routine) once a week, which to me feels not enough, espically during the earlier progressions.

How often would you recommend training pullups?

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Fed X


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PostSubject: Re: some awesome links!   Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:21 pm

I usually do high rep muscle endurance pyramid sets 3 x week... also lower body added on too...pyramid pull up training Starting to get boring... past couple of days have been low reps with added weight concrete blocks/book bag... Should have a vest pretty soon then I can really get crackin


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PostSubject: Re: some awesome links!   Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:33 pm

UFC Conditioning program

UFC or ultimate fighting has been around since the early nineties and made an instant impact with fight fans but since the release of films like never back down and red belt mixed martial arts seems to have taken the world by storm and even threat tens to overtake boxing as the number one combat sport.

Since the early days of legends like Royce Gracie, UFC has gone from strength to strength and the new bread of fighters are some of the fittest, strongest and most agile athletes not just in mixed martial arts but in any sport as can be seen with champions like Anderson Silva.

With UFC or mixed martial arts clubs springing up every were there are many youngsters who like the idea of cage fighting and either want to to test themselves in the Octagon or just obtain the benefits of mixed martial arts conditioning and so I have designed a list of all the qualities needed to compete successfully in UFC as well as guidelines of how to get them.


As someone who has had numerous muay thai and boxing fights I know that more fights are lost because of a lack of stamina that any other reason and it is quite common to see not the best but the fittest fighter win and so if you want to succeed in UFC I advise you to spend more time developing fighting stamina than any other aspect of your physical conditioning. Take it from me spending an hour doing set after set of heavy weights with one minute rest breaks just won't cut it in the ufc Octogan or boxing ring.

The type of stamina training needed for fighting has changed over the last 20 years with the knowledge gained from modern sports science and you only need look at the fight between Royce Gracie and defending champion Matt Hughes to see how things have moved on. The old days of boxers getting up at 5 am to do an hour of steady paced running are long gone and the reason is because sports science has shown that mixed martial arts and boxing fights are not steady paced but explosive in nature and require the ability to fight intensely for a number of seconds before a brief rest bite and then full intensity again. Therefore your stamina training should follow the principle of specificity (The more the training mimics the sport the more successful it will be) and you should try to incorporate the same quick spurts of intensity followed by short periods of lesser demand.

The best types of stamina training for UFC

Interval running

This is one of the finest mixed martial arts stamina builders and should be incorporated in everyone's training routine. A good starting point is to do 3 intervals of 3 to 5 minutes duration, were you run at a high pace for between 10 to 30 seconds and jog for 10 to 20 seconds before increasing the intensity again. Have a minutes rest after each round and then repeat until all 3 intervals are done.

Hill running

I lived in the hilly valleys of Wales when I boxed and this was a big part of my own training. If you have access to a good hill take advantage and simply run up it with purpose and jog down before repeating. Be warned it is extremely demanding but very effective.

A circuit of bodyweight exercises

This a brilliant training method of developing both stamina and strength at the same time for UFC, Boxing or any other sport.

The best method is to design a circuit of standard bodyweight exercises such as press ups, pull ups, dips, sit ups , crunches, squat thrusts and burphees ect with the number of reps ensuring that each exercise lasts for 30 seconds. Place the exercises in an order that allows a rest from one body part as you work on another such as going from press ups to crunches and you can then do a circuit of 10 exercises of 30 seconds so that the circuit last 5 minutes. Have a minute rest and then repeat two more times.

After just six weeks of this circuit you will find that not only are you far fitter and stronger than you were before but also that you have far more muscular definition.


Strength is an important attribute in mma as it is in all combat sports and the strength to hold your own in cliches and groundwork is essential as without it your opponent will simply bully you into any corner of the octagon that he wants. Weight training is an excellent way of building strength but for combat sports like UFC I think bodyweight exercises have an edge because the constant practise of using your own bodyweight as the form of resistance means that you become far more effective at moving your own body through space with speed and explosive power which after all is essential in mma.

A bodyweight strength building program

To build strength you need to keep the repetitions of each set to between 6 - 10 and have one minutes rest between each set of each exercise. Remember strength building is the desired outcome of this part of your training so although these exercises do not build stamina the one minute rest between sets is essential for the aim. Once you can comfortably do 6-10 repetitions of each exercise move on to a more demanding version so for example once you can do 6 - 10 pull ups begin training to replace them with clapping pull ups instead.

A good starting point is to do 2 exercises of 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions of bodyweight exercises for each muscle group but remember you must increase the exercise overload by moving on to more demanding versions of the same exercise once the ones you are doing become to easy.


Speed kills and in UFC it is devastating. In simple terms if you can do what your opponent can do but do it quicker you will most likely win.

The key to speed is muscle relaxation and although some are born faster than others you can dramatically improve your combat speed with the right practice. The best single way to improve your UFC fighting speed is to practise as much shadow boxing as you can concentrating on relaxing your muscles as you fire out quick combinations.

Also remember that although the heavy bag is a great way to develop power overuse of it will inevitably slow you down. I also recommend that you study the boxer Amir khan and the relaxed way Bruce Lee moves in legendary fight scenes such as the Bruce Lee Chuck Norris colosseum fight scene in Way of the Dragon as I don't think there has ever been anyone who could surpass Bruce Lee's speed.

A good starting point is 3x3 minute rounds of relaxed shadow boxing, 3x3 minute rounds of punching a floor to ceiling ball or you can try a paper target hanging head height from the ceiling (The idea is not to hit the paper but simply make it move with the air generated by fast punches), 3 fast one hundred metre sprints.


Flexibility is essential in UFC mixed martial arts to enable you to both Kick and knee effectively and also to prevent injury in the demanding positions of ground work.

Every training session should include 10 minutes of dynamic stretching at the beginning of the workout and 20 minutes of passive stretching at the end.


thought this was very interesting
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