For those of us who can't do pull ups well yet, is it better to do assisted pull ups and just decrease the assisted weight to progress or to do cable lat pull downs and up the weight to progress?
IMO, I think it's better to focus on assisted pullups and even do some other variations of pullups such as jumping pullups or negatives
are lat pulldowns okay to use every once in awhile? Sure, but I think you'd be better of, as I stated already, focusing on variations of the pullup until you can do them without help.
5'10", 170lbs, 10% bf
Bench:255 Squat:295 Dead:400
Snatch:145 C&J: 205
Chin-Up: +135 Dip: +100
Max Pull-Ups: 44
CrossFit Lv. 1, ACE-CPT
You want our weapons!? Come and get them!
I agree. If you want to get better at pullups, then do variations of pullups.
Can you do chinups? What about mixed grip pullups? Neutral grip? If you are stronger at those then try those, as well.
It doesn't matter, they are equivalent.
That's a picture of Scarlett Johansson.
I don't care for assisted pullups at all... they are not close enough to regular pull ups. A better option is learning how to kip... or doing partial range of motion pullups. Having someone "help" you changes the forces in a way that does now put the same stress on the back.
Pulldowns I feel are a good alternative if you cannot do either of the above things.
Powerlifting since Sept 2006
My PL Training Journal
"To give anything less that your best is to sacrifice the gift" - Pre
I got a LOT stronger on pullups just by doing lat pull downs. I think a mixture of both would be smarter though.
gym lifts: squat: 341lbs, deadlift: 374lbs, bench: 275lbs
My journal: http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=85034
"F—k you and the Prowler you rode in on"
It depends on what your goals are. IMO, it's really not going to be that big of a difference as far as development goes, provided that's not the only thing you do for back.
But as stated, if you want to be good at pullups, do them. If you want a bigger back, use your back in a progressively heavier way while eating enough to grow. I like both.
Diet is key, the calorie is king
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination
alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
30th U.S. President
"If you want to look abnormal you have to eat abnormal,lol."--ST