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  1. #1
    Chris F. is offline Senior Member
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Training pullups and biceps are KILLING me.

    Hi Guys, I'm trying to up my pullups numbers for the upcoming PCC and I'm really having trouble with my biceps and forearms doing pullups. For a while it was just the right arm but now it's getting into both. I have gone back and forth between chins and pulls and although I can do more chins, they are worse on my arms.

    Pullups have always been my weak point. I'm just under 5'9" but have a nearly ridiculous 73" reach. So, maybe the long arms are a disadvantage although I don't want to get hung up on an excuse (besides my wife said that will only make me stronger when I hit my target numbers ;-)

    Anyway, I can smoke the other parts of The Century but I'm maxed at 7 pullups. I've been to an ortho and had an MRI and I do have tendinitis in the arm. The doc thinks I can get through the training with less than a 40% chance of tearing the bicep tendon. I did a month of PT--complete joke. Wrist curls with 3 pounds etc.

    Des anyone have tips on how I can maybe strengthen my biceps to handle the pulls?

    TIA!
    CC Resume/Restart 11/29/11
    Pushup step 7, Leg Raise step 10, Pullup step 6, Squat step 7, Bridge step 5(still working Horizontal Rows too)

  2. #2
    fatman is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2008
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    Default

    Are bicep curls no longer doing the trick?

  3. #3
    Chris F. is offline Senior Member
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    Dec 2009
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    Default

    Don't do 'em. Maybe I should....
    CC Resume/Restart 11/29/11
    Pushup step 7, Leg Raise step 10, Pullup step 6, Squat step 7, Bridge step 5(still working Horizontal Rows too)

  4. #4
    mrdave100 is offline Member
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    Sep 2010
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    Default

    Hey Chris, when you drop down to a dead hang, you're not hyper extending your elbows are you?

    I had a bout of tendinitis many years ago, the doc recommended isometrics. Just a thought.

  5. #5
    Chris F. is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdave100 View Post
    Hey Chris, when you drop down to a dead hang, you're not hyper extending your elbows are you?

    I had a bout of tendinitis many years ago, the doc recommended isometrics. Just a thought.
    No, I keep a slight kink. Did the doc mean like specific hang holds? How long did your tendinitis last?

    Thanks for you response!
    CC Resume/Restart 11/29/11
    Pushup step 7, Leg Raise step 10, Pullup step 6, Squat step 7, Bridge step 5(still working Horizontal Rows too)

  6. #6
    Al_Kavadlo is offline Senior Member
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    Nov 2011
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    NYC
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    Default

    It sounds like your need to give yourself more rest in between pull-up workouts. You've got plenty of time to add 3 more reps before June. Taking a few days or even a week off now might be the smartest thing in the long run. Best of luck with your training - see you in St. Paul!
    Our only limitations are those which we impose on ourselves.

    http://www.AlKavadlo.com

  7. #7
    Chris F. is offline Senior Member
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al_Kavadlo View Post
    It sounds like your need to give yourself more rest in between pull-up workouts. You've got plenty of time to add 3 more reps before June. Taking a few days or even a week off now might be the smartest thing in the long run. Best of luck with your training - see you in St. Paul!
    Thanks Al! Yeah more rest for sure. Gonna take a week or two off until ALL the soreness is gone hopefully. I think I got into this mess by doing too many ladder-type workouts. I'm also 44 so maybe I don't recover like I used to and the jump from horizontal rows to full body weight hanging might have been a little much. Who knows?

    Trouble is, I had no problem with using nylon straps and handles suspended from my bar for step 2 but the step 3 jackknife pullups just felt all wrong for me leverage wise. Just couldn't get a groove, so I jumped right to full pullups.

    I wish I could do something else in the meantime but I'm not aware of any move that really can replicate the pullup while not doing a pullup.
    CC Resume/Restart 11/29/11
    Pushup step 7, Leg Raise step 10, Pullup step 6, Squat step 7, Bridge step 5(still working Horizontal Rows too)

  8. #8
    mrdave100 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris F. View Post
    Did the doc mean like specific hang holds?

    How long did your tendinitis last?

    No, she recommended various isometric holds.

    It lasted about 3-4 weeks.

  9. #9
    dkennedy1001 is offline Member
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    Jun 2012
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    Irish, living in the UK
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    Hi Chris,

    I feel half pullups really strengthened my forearms and elbow area so I think it would be worth hitting 2x15 of them if you haven't already.

    Dave
    CC Start Date: 23rd June 2012
    CC Progress: Squat step 10, Leg Raise step 5, Pushup step 5, Pullup step 5, Handstands step 3

  10. #10
    fatman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris F. View Post
    Don't do 'em. Maybe I should....
    I had a bad case of elbow tendinitis a few years ago. It got to the point where even squatting was painful, and deadlifting out of the question. At the time I was doing weighted pullups regularly, not a whole lot of direct arm work.

    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.

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