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Thread: Been stuck on Horizontal Pulls (Step 2) for 5 months...

  1. #1
    F_I_X_E_R is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    6

    Default Been stuck on Horizontal Pulls (Step 2) for 5 months...

    So Iíve been stuck on Horizontal Pulls (Step 2) for 5 months now. And achieving the progression standard of 3 sets of 30 seems next to impossible!

    Iím going to give you some info about me, and what Iíve done so you get a clear picture of whatís going on, so you can better asses whatís wrong.

    I am 190cm tall, and I weight 88kg. Or 6.2 feet, and my weight is 194 pounds. Also, Iím the following ĄNew BloodĒ routine.

    When I first attempted the Horizontal Pulls, I could only do this:

    Set 1: 5
    Set 2: 7
    Set 3: 5

    Done on a hip height bar.

    It was tough for me, so I decided to do them on a higher bar, that is slightly bellow my chest high.

    I took one month, and trained untill I was able to do 3 sets of 40 reps.
    Then I returned to the hip height bar, and this was all I could crank out:

    Set 1: 10
    Set 2: 10
    Set 3: 7

    It was frustrating, since I thought that I should have been able to do much more, and if I were to add a few reps every week, it would take me a really long time to reach progression standard.

    Then I deiced to try this to increase my horizontal pull up reps with this:
    Pull-up Push Workout | Military.com

    After the 15 days, I was able to do one set of 18 horizontal pull ups, and then 2 sets of 10 horizontal pull ups. It was just a slight improvement.

    Then I decided to go back to 3 sets of 8, and then add 1 rep to each set every week (8-8-8, then 9-9-9, then 10-10-10 and so on).

    After I got to the week where I could do 11-11-11, progressing got really hard, and I could add another rep just barely and with forcing. Also each rep felt heavy and difficult. On some weeks I just didnít progress at all, or I couldnít even hit my previous rep count.

    For 4-5 weeks or so, the best I did was 13-13-13.

    Going beyond that seems next to impossible for me, Iím just not making any gains here.

    Lastly, I tried doing 50 horizontal pulls, in as few sets as possible, and the best I ever got was this:

    16, 9, 7, 6, 6, 6

    I think that I should mention that I sleep regularly, AT LEAST 7 hour each and every night, I even get 9 hours 2-3 times a week. Iíve even read a book on improving sleep quality.

    I believe that my diet is okay, eating plenty of protein with every meal, I eat regularly, at the same time every day and I donít miss meals ever, eating clean, etc. Iím well hydrated, drinking 1 gallon of water a day.

    Also, I do lots of active recovery in between stregth training days, such as various mobility drills for the joints and a little yoga for my tissues.

    Iím making good progress in the other 3 exercises (push ups, leg raises and squats series). These horizontal pulls are my worst exercise!

    Even on the knee tucks, that were super tough for me initially, and back then, they were my weakest exercise, I managed to add reps slowly over 2 months and meet the progression standard with moderate effort. And last week I easily passed the progression standard on Step 2!

    Currently Iím at:

    Push ups Ė Step 3, passed progression standard, but want to do more reps.
    Squats Ė Step 6, stayed on Step 5, till I could do 2 sets of 50 with ease!
    Leg Raises Ė made it to Step 3, despite the massive struggle when I first started.

    So adding a few reps every week doesnít seem to work for the horizontal pulls, like it does for the other 3 exercises, where Iím having good, consistent progress.

    The only things I havenít yet tried are:

    1) Moving up to Jacknife Pull Ups(Step 3) anyway
    2) Use Grease the Groove on horizontal pull to increase my reps

    Itís getting really furstrating and Iím really loosing my patience with this. I donít think I shoud be experiencing these difficulties on the early steps of the pull up series. I donít think that for me to be stuck for 5 months on Step 2 is normal. At this rate, I will never get to the progression standard, nevermind full pull ups.

    Can any of you pull pros out there help me out?

    Thanks in andvance!

  2. #2
    MostlyFull is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default

    Congratulations on your tenacity and drive. It will serve you well as you get into the higher progressions.

    Go to step 3, but continue to do horizontal pulls. Pull-ups work on back width, horizontal pulls on thickness. I read somewhere that coach Wade put the high reps in step 2 to fill out the back and correct imbalance issues inherent with the mirror muscle athlete.

    I do Austrailian pull ups on Wednesday, three sets, currently 22-17-15, feet 1foot off the floor, using normal, wide and reverse grips. I go slowly but do not use my metronome to do the 2-1-2.

    Monday I do squats and pull-ups, Friday is push-ups and leg raises.

    i hope this helps. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Springdragon is offline Member
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    Jun 2014
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    Default

    I'll second MostlyFull's advice to just move on to the next step, while keeping horizontal pulls in your program. The strength transfer from horizontal pulls to vertical pulls actually isn't that significant, so you need to do both.

    If you're hellbent on adding reps, GTG does work well. So does doing reps with a super slow cadence (e.g. 4-2-4) for a few weeks. If you can add 2 full reps at molasses speed, that's probably like an extra 5 reps at a normal pace. Personally the weak links in all my pulls are my hands and elbows rather than my lats (this is especially noticeable whenever I switch to either GTG or slow reps), so there's that to consider as well. For that reason I work my grip as hard as any of the Big 6.

  4. #4
    Moses Correa is offline Senior Member
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    Hainesport
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    Default

    I agree with the last two answers. Sometimes moving on and the new level of difficulty helps you get better.

  5. #5
    Perkelnik is offline Member
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    Jan 2014
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    Welcome to the club dude! There is a thread about this somewhere, the couch even addressed this issue in the CC superfaq.
    In any case, Im in the same boat. What I did was I place the bar in about sternum height (right below my pecs) and when I was able to do 3x30 reps, I started with step 3. I hit intermediate standard in the very first workout I tried that. Now, 2 months later im doing 3x15 reps.
    As for horizontal pullups, I moved the bar lower (about the middle of my abs) and made it kind of a complementary excersice and plan to do that even after I hit 3x30 reps with bar in waist height.

  6. #6
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    Go back to the Intermediate Standard. Work toward TWO sets of 20 reps. Don't work three sets until you accomplish two sets of 20. I sense your frustration it seems you might be working over your current capability. Start with two sets of 10. Then build up the amount of quality reps while still feeling strong on your last rep. Like what like to say - "The invincibility of a refined technique" Also, if you can lose 10lbs of bf. Pullups at 185 vs 195 is a huge factor to consider if you want to make futher gains...Dennis

  7. #7
    go1
    go1 is offline Senior Member
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    Are your goals progressing to more advanced pull up versions or doing more reps?
    In some of his writings,Paul Wade has stated that one near all-out set is plenty--three is icing on the cake.Go to the next level and put all your efforts on that one set.Do a second if you feel you need to--you dont improve your strength doing more sets.Dont be a slave to absolute numbers--if you can do 10-15 reps at level 3 with slow cadencs,move on...just my 2 cents worth.

  8. #8
    wilneedheart is offline Senior Member
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default

    do cobra between sets

  9. #9
    F_I_X_E_R is offline Junior Member
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    Dec 2014
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    Default

    Thanks for all the advice and suggestions guys! I appreciate it!

    I decided to stay with Horizontal Pulls for a few more months, to see how much more reps I can add in.

    I'll limit the sets to 1-2, and no more, and see how that works out. Maybe that was my mistake all along? 3 sets was too much?

  10. #10
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    Yea 3 sets is too much for you at this time. Nail down the 2 sets of 20 first. Maybe even work up to 2 sets of 25 or 30. Remember to keep your last 2-3 reps "in the bank" so that you feel strong on your last rep. And lose 5-10lbs of body weight. Your numbers should increase if you give it time...Dennis

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