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  1. #11
    Chris Hansen is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman View Post
    5-6 months of stretching, massaging and direct bicep work helped, but it was a painful recovery. I'll never go long without curls again.
    Interesting. How do bicep curls help? Pullups should work the biceps but apprantly not in the same way.

    For this purpose, is there a preferred format/set/rep/etc to use with the curls?

  2. #12
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    I get elbow tendonitius occassionally from pullups. When I feel or sense it coming I allways back-off or stop. Then I use ICE and golf ball massage. Heal first then get stronger. Strengthen the bicep in a way that does not hurt the elbow further. Barbell rows perhaps? Or CC Horizontal Rows. Don't know what your pull up schedule or program looks like - but maybe you are doing too many to failure too frequently. If so try gtg. If possible go to the cert at a later time. But if you allready paid for it - SAVE your effort for the cert and deal with the pain afterwards. The lesson is that if you have a upcoming cert be ready and capable well in advance and only train to maintain that strength to pass the cert. .Dennis

  3. #13
    Chris F. is offline Senior Member
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    Hey guys, thanks for the replies! It's very appreciated! I managed to do a nice workout of horizontal rows from sternum hight with my straps and handles yesterday and that really seemed to pump some blood through without causing pain. I'm going to stick with these awhile.

    I definitely did too much volume. I passed 3 sets of 30 with strict timing on the rows at sternum hight. I then wrote to Wade and got the go ahead to start vertical pulling. For whatever reason, I could just not get comfortable with the jackknife pulls and just started doing pullups. I used Pavel's fighter pullup program. Idid not do as many days as the program recommends but I did pull about 4 days a week. I love CC but I'm not completely married to it. I was also doing a fair amount of one arm swings.

    Anyway, I stalled on about 5 pullups for the top set (I've always sucked at these!) I then took the advice of another poster here and switched to the chin up grip. My numbers took off even though I started with a little nagging pain that I was able to work through. I figured it would work itself out.

    I finally stopped when I hit 10 chins for the top set and managed a total of 40 reps in a workout that took about 17 minutes. This was probably not smart for a guy my age (44) who hadn't done a lot of pullups in years and years. I also stopped swinging too.

    This was months ago and I still have issues. An MRI revealed damage and massage helps only temporarily. The problem is that I can't do 10 pullups at this point to pass the PCC. It's possible that I could knock of 10 chins though and either grip is acceptable. I think handles or rings are the way to go personally and Wade echoes that in his book.

    Once I get through the cert, I can rest as long as needed. Right now though I'm encouraged that the high rep stuff will help and the doc thought it was a fairly small chance that I'll really damage my arms being that I can still pull somewhat.

    Anyway, I thought I'd lay this out as a potential cautionary tale for the "older" trainee doing too much volume.

    People give Wade shit about the lack of volume in CC but the best size and strength gains I've gotten are from a lot of step 3 pushups and step 2 pulls done 2-3 times every two weeks. Other higher volume programs have wrecked me (and no, I'm not blaming the program, I understand its my fault.)

    Again thanks for all the great advice guys!

  4. #14
    Chris Hansen is offline Senior Member
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    I listened to an interview with Dan John and he suggested that when you get older you should do no more than about 10 reps on pullups per workout and then do a lot of rowing.

  5. #15
    fatman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Hansen View Post
    Interesting. How do bicep curls help? Pullups should work the biceps but apprantly not in the same way.

    For this purpose, is there a preferred format/set/rep/etc to use with the curls?
    Pullups do work the biceps to a degree. However, like any exercise that involves multiple muscle groups, the distribution of the load will vary according to your leverages. E.g. some people can squat a lot of weight but have (relatively) thin legs. If this is the case, you need to resort to more isolation-oriented exercises to bring up lagging muscle areas. Once the weak link in the chain gets stronger, the compound lift will go up accordingly. Isolation exercises were conceived for a purpose. If your biceps are weak when you do pullups, you won't make them stronger by doing more pullups.

    In my case, pullups and chinups place an inordinate amount of stress on the undersides of my forearms, much more so than on the biceps. Over time, this led to imbalances, resulting in golfer's elbow.

    My preferred set and rep scheme is 4-6 sets of curl-type movements for around 8-10 reps, done twice a week, on press/row days. I do them at the very end of the session and go for the "pump and burn" more than a particular no. of reps.

    The only way I've been able to make biceps exercises work for me was by doing them super-strict and not using a lot of weight; I find that I get better results using 70 lbs. to train the biceps than 170 lbs. to train the lower back and shoulders (cheat curl).

    Little rest between sets, the whole thing shouldn't add more than 10-15 minutes or so to your total training time and I believe it's worth it.
    [URL="http://heavyasareallyheavything.blogspot.com"]Fatman's Training Log[/URL]

  6. #16
    postandspread is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman View Post
    Pullups do work the biceps to a degree. However, like any exercise that involves multiple muscle groups, the distribution of the load will vary according to your leverages. E.g. some people can squat a lot of weight but have (relatively) thin legs. If this is the case, you need to resort to more isolation-oriented exercises to bring up lagging muscle areas. Once the weak link in the chain gets stronger, the compound lift will go up accordingly. Isolation exercises were conceived for a purpose. If your biceps are weak when you do pullups, you won't make them stronger by doing more pullups.
    I don't get it. If a guy with thin legs can squat heavy, doesn't that mean he has very strong legs? It's just that there's no "commensurate" hypertrophy but surely that would seem to be an aesthetic issue, isn't it? Also, if pull-ups work the biceps, why shouldn't doing more of them strengthen them?

    @OP: In case this helps. Though I could do at least 3 dead hang pullups when I last checked, I still do jackknife pullups just to see if I can meet the CC progression standards (can't yet). When I started to stall at about 8 for quite a long time, I switched to partials (from bottom position up, I should try top-to-middle). After 3-4 sessions, I could do 12 full reps. The stress on the brachioradialis was much alleviated.

  7. #17
    fatman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by postandspread View Post
    I don't get it. If a guy with thin legs can squat heavy, doesn't that mean he has very strong legs? It's just that there's no "commensurate" hypertrophy but surely that would seem to be an aesthetic issue, isn't it?
    When doing compound lifts, the body seeks the line of least resistance. So if a lifter relies more on the lower back to "good morning" the weight up (the infamous "squatmorning", which you can observe in PL competition), the legs may not be as heavily involved as in the case of the lifter who squats with a more upright torso.

    For such lifters, stronger legs (in addition to the already strong back) = bigger squat.

    Quote Originally Posted by postandspread View Post
    Also, if pull-ups work the biceps, why shouldn't doing more of them strengthen them?
    If a biceps weakness is preventing you from doing more pullups, you can't do more pullups. Strengthen the biceps and your pullup numbers will increase.
    [URL="http://heavyasareallyheavything.blogspot.com"]Fatman's Training Log[/URL]

  8. #18
    postandspread is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman View Post
    When doing compound lifts, the body seeks the line of least resistance. So if a lifter relies more on the lower back to "good morning" the weight up (the infamous "squatmorning", which you can observe in PL competition), the legs may not be as heavily involved as in the case of the lifter who squats with a more upright torso.

    For such lifters, stronger legs (in addition to the already strong back) = bigger squat.
    OK.
    If a biceps weakness is preventing you from doing more pullups, you can't do more pullups. Strengthen the biceps and your pullup numbers will increase.
    I thought the idea was similar to increasing pushup numbers: just do more of 'em and/or more frequently. I had once asked here whether floor presses with KBs held waiter style would be an assistance for pushups. Al Kavadlo's reply is essentially what I've repeated in the first sentence.

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