Friday, December 26, 2014

50 pull-ups at once (Season 1) - Plan doesn't work.

I'm challenge addicted! I understood it just after my first challenge was accomplished. Thats why I decided to add some pepper to my life. Sure, Ironman is very nice dish, but it takes a lot to prepare, and I want to eat during this preparation as well.

Finally I found two appropriate goal: "50 pull-ups in 7 weeks" and "100 push-ups in 6 weeks". In this article I'm gona describe my pull-ups story.

Back in childhood, it were pull-ups showing power of guys in my school or street. Those who could do more than 20 were real athlets in my eyes, and few of then, who could do 30+ had half transparent halo around the biceps, imperceptibly for themself.

I thought it was the order of things, being in business trip in US, to cross free time I've got, admiration from childhood and training plan - "50 pull-ups in 7 weeks". See how it was.


As it supposed to be, I've started from the test. I had to do as much pull-ups as I can, and using result I could choose the right plan. My start number was - 16! Not bad. Probably because of my dayly exercises during the last week before the test. This amount was the bottom bar for the toughest plan. Of course, the fact that I managed to start with the toughest plan is cool, but the fact that it was bottom bar meant - be ready for the tough trainings!


See my trainings in details and tables.

Let me explain colors firs:
  • 12 pull-up - did all 12 nice an without any problem
  • 10 pull-up - did all 10, but last 2 can hardly be called "nice"
  • 9 pull-up - it was near to impossible to do all 9 and probably I did only 8.5

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 1
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Sum
Monday 12 pull-ups10 chin-ups9 pull-ups9 chin-ups8 pull-ups48
Wednesday 12 pull-ups10 chin-ups10 pull-ups9 chin-ups9 pull-ups50
Friday 13 pull-ups10 chin-ups10 pull-ups9 chin-ups8 pull-ups50
Weekend Weekly test: 19! 148

BTW, I discovered somethind interesting on Friday workout. Up till now I was thinking that to hang on the bar is wasting of energy, but suddenly it remembered me a phrase of a great runner - Gordon Pirie (on the right): "In order to be able to run a lot, you have to leart to rest while you are flying". Here is the same approach. Probably the only way to be able to do 50 pull-ups, is to get to the point when the short period of time between them is enough to prepare for the next one. I tried to apply this new metodology, wouldn't say that it have any massive impact, but I did a bit more then I would do without.
Week 2
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Sum
Monday 15 pull-ups11 chin-ups10 pull-ups9 chin-ups8 pull-ups53
Wednesday15 pull-ups12 chin-ups11 pull-ups9 chin-ups8 pull-ups55
Friday14 pull-ups13 chin-ups12 pull-ups11 chin-ups9 pull-ups59
Weekend Weekly test: 21! 167

Another week gone... Friday training showed that my plan goes ahead of me. It was really hard to do all pull-ups. Third lap, 12 pull-ups - for the first time it was hard to get to the end... forearm muscles were ready to blow... It is hard to believe in "50 pull-ups" in 5 more weeks, but I can see improvements, I can go according to the plan still, thus there is a hope.
Week 3
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Sum
Monday 15 pull-ups14 chin-ups10 pull-ups12 chin-ups10 pull-ups61
Wednesday15 pull-ups14 chin-ups11 pull-ups13 chin-ups10 pull-ups63
Friday14 pull-ups14 chin-ups14 pull-ups12 chin-ups11 pull-ups65
Weekend Weekly test: 24! 189

+1 more week! During this week I managed to lose faith in myself, and believe again. Probably there is a lot of theory behind the numbers in this plan, that's why whole the way I'm balancing on the edge, with great effort, but still able to do what I have to do according to the plan. Intermediate test showed that 5-min running helps, and for the next test I need support, otherwise I won't resist...
Week 4
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Sum
Monday 17 pull-ups10 chin-ups16 pull-ups10 chin-ups14 pull-ups67
Wednesday14 pull-ups19 chin-ups11 pull-ups13 chin-ups9 pull-ups66
Friday19 pull-ups13 chin-ups14 pull-ups13 chin-ups11 pull-ups70
Weekend Weekly test: 27! 203

One month passed! The main difference with the previous week - I bought belts. With and without belts - delta is +2 pull-ups.
Week 5
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Sum
Monday 22 pull-ups13 chin-ups11 pull-ups10 chin-upsMAX pull-ups (13)69
Wednesday24 pull-ups10 chin-ups11 pull-ups13 chin-upsMAX pull-ups (13)71
Friday26 pull-ups10 chin-ups11 pull-ups10 chin-upsMAX pull-ups (13)70
Weekend Weekly test: 20 (a shame) 210

In two weeks I have to do 50, while this time couldn't do even 20... I was not in mood, plus I new that after pull-ups I have a marathon to run. And, btw, I'm not using belts any more. There were too much of - "it's a shame with belts", "it is not serious" and I'm going to work on my forearm...
Week 6
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Sum
Monday 27/30 pull-ups15 chin-ups10 pull-ups15 chin-upsMAX pull-ups (10)77
Wednesday23/33 pull-ups16 chin-ups11 pull-ups13 chin-upsMAX pull-ups (14)77
Friday24/35 pull-ups10 chin-ups11 pull-ups10 chin-upsMAX pull-ups (15)70
Weekend Weekly test: 27 224

Already two weeks I can't defend the number 27 :(... It is "plato". I did small research and here is what I've found:
  • "More than you can" approach - you have to increase amount and forget about quality for the last few pull-ups. It is believed to help with psychological and physical barriers. (gonna try, will see if it helps ib a week)
  • To change something - as my muscles got used with current approach, I probably need another weight, speed, or something else to change (will use it if first approach fails)
  • Reverse ladder - 5 laps, minus one pull-up each, e.g. 13, 12, 11, 10, 9... Next time +1 to each: 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 (this one for desert).
Week 7
(Week 6, second try)
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Sum
Monday 30 pull-ups15 chin-ups10 pull-ups13/15 chin-upsMAX pull-ups  1482
Wednesday33 pull-ups*16 chin-ups11 pull-ups13 chin-upsMAX pull-ups - 1285
Friday22/35 pull-ups10 chin-ups11 pull-ups10 chin-upsMAX pull-ups - 1063
Weekend Weekly test: 20 (after 12кm run) 230

"More than you can" didn't work, more than this - it looks and feels ugly. Will apply the next approach... And while I'm struggling with pull-ups, goal with pull-ups achieved!

First season ended up on the number 27, which is fail by initial plan! Sure, 27 pull-ups not bad at all, but still fare from what was expected. Plan didn't work in my case. Is there anybody for whome it worked? Now I have to apply different tips and tricks in order to make it happen. Ok, I will if I have to. Hope second season will have happy-end!