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Thread: should i work pullups or do pulldowns?

  1. #1
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    should i work pullups or do pulldowns?

    so like 2 years ago i used to be able to crank out like 13-14 pullups per set. nowadays im lucky if i can get 5 good ones. dont know what happened, im definitely stronger, but im about 30-40 lbs heavier, maybe thats it.

    anyways.....
    on a routine that calls for pullups/chinups, what do you think is a better idea:

    1) perform the number of prescribed sets of pullups and crank out enough to work, but leave some in the tank for all the rest of the sets (even if that means doing only 2 or 3 reps per set), and try to go for 1 more rep every week or so

    2) perform pulldowns, keep increasing the weight over time until the weight is near my BW, then switch over to pullups

    im thinkin to cut to the chase and go straight for the pullups and try to build them up, but i wanna see what all you more experience guys think. also, whatever general advice on getting better at pullups you guys have is appreciated. thanks guys
    Friends don't let friends slam weights on the ground after every set

  2. #2
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    I'd go with option 1.

  3. #3
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Option 1 for sure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member seK's Avatar
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    I would go with option #1, also check if your gym has an assisted pullup machine. That should solve your issue with reps until you get back up to speed.

  5. #5
    Rob Schilke | GFX Designer thecityalive's Avatar
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    That or you can get one of those large rubber bands or medical bands and attach a big loop to the bar, put your foot in one and you can get some added help that way.
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  6. #6
    Стальная Воля Laz3rShark's Avatar
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    If you want to get better at pull-ups, you have to do pull-ups. I'm sure we've all seen the guy in the gym that can rep out 12-15 lat pulldowns with their bodyweight but can't pull their chin over a bar more than once or twice, it's a different class of movement entirely.

    Overall, the best way to work up to being able to rep your bodyweight is to accomodate assistance using bands, like thecityalive suggested. The problem with the assisted chin/dip machine is that the stack gives you the same assistance at the bottom, where you're weak, as it does at the top where you're much stronger. For as much of the ROM that you can handle your own bodyweight, you should be doing so. The bands are great because they give you more assistance at the bottom, where you need it the most, but they're stretched out less if at all at the top so for the part of the rep where you're strong, you're on your own.

    SPRI, EliteFTS, Agatsu and MuscleDriver all make great bands. Decide on a goal rep range for your bodyweight, use the band that allows you to hit that rep range for a few sets, and progress to weaker bands as you get stronger. You can also do burnout sets, where you do as many pull-ups with your bodyweight as you can, then as many as you can with your lightest band, then the band up, etc until you can't do any more with the heaviest band you've got. One of my clients went from 3 pull-ups to 12 pull-ups in a month using this method! Not the kind of progress I'd expect to happen every time obviously, but impressive results nonetheless.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Luke1081's Avatar
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    Do the pull ups....
    -Luke

    6'0"
    Im eating like an ANIMAL training like a hell raiser and hoping to be as big as possible...
    I just want the girls to say WOW!

  8. #8
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    yeah, i guess that question had an obvious answer. my gym doesnt have the assisted pullup machine. it does have the bands which i could use, but im just gonna do raw pullups and try to build on them every workout that they show up. thanks guys
    Friends don't let friends slam weights on the ground after every set

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