Wendler writes this in his FAQ about 5/3/1:
"34. Harry Selkow’s dip and chins sets/reps for 5/3/1
10 x 3, 10 x 5, 6 x 5 (BW or weighted) after 5/3/1 work
Harry’s dip and chin regimen is highly recommended."
Does this mean to perform 10 X 3 & 10X 5 & 6 X 5 all on the same day? I assume if he meant that it would be 10 X 3 and 16 X 5.
Is it choose one that works best? Or do 10 X 3 on the '5' week, 10 X 5 on the '3' week and 6 X 5 on the '1' week?
In reference, in the 5/3/1 book he says that if you are doing unweighted dips or pull-ups you better be doing at least 100....
I'm a bit confused. Does anybody have this figured out?
Why are you overthinking this? Jim loves pull-ups. He thinks you should do 100 reps without weight. That's a lot. If you want to follow his 5/3/1 to do pull-ups, buy his book and.or ask him directly.
If not, just do pull-ups - a lot of them. You'll pull-up strength will increase as will your back/lat size.
You wasting good energy thinking about something like this when you could be eating, watching TV or masterbating.
Do a buttload of pull-ups and you'll be just fine. I promise.
You can always throw them in between pressing sets like he suggests as well. Look to do more total reps each time or each week. Or look to add weight. Just do a little more each time over a period of time. You will probably get stronger.
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Just get under the bar!
2) I have done and will continue to do a buttload of pullups. Doing 100 is hard (for me)--I do it! (along with 100 dips, etc.)
3) I don't think trying to follow what Wendler says is the optimal pullup routine is "overthinking" when I am trying to follow his routine. What does "overthinking" in this case even mean? I am not trying to understand the theory or logic, just follow the most basic level of instructions--you can't think any less than that! In fact, I'd rather not think at all. Just tell me what the he** he is saying and I'll do it. I don't get what he means but I'm guessing some people here do...or have even trained with him.
I'd love some help understanding a basic sentence that is for some reason beyond me. I'd appreciate anybody who could add something positive to this!
If you are doing 100 bw pull ups then you are fine. Just keep doing what your doing. If you want to switch it up and add weight go for it. Harry Selkow's pull up and dip recommendations are more for people who have had trouble making progress with pull ups and dips. Like Rhodes said don't worry about it, just do them.
Is the issue that no one else understands either?
What people are trying to tell you is don't major in the minors. Pull-ups are accessory work. Get 'em done and you're good. Don't over think what Wendler was trying to say. Wendler ain't Shakespeare. His writing may or may not be crystal clear and frankly, it doesn't matter. The jist of it is, do a lot of damned pull ups for accessory work. If you can 100 BW pull ups, throw some weight on and do some weighted ones. Mix heavy weighted pull ups with BW pull ups. Use wide grip, neutral grip, narrow grip pull ups. Just do 'em and enough of 'em to make it count.
Don't waste time fretting over stuff that just doesn't matter that much. It isn't worth burning up your brain cells.
If you want it spelled out:
5 x 10 x BW
If you can accomplish that, add weight.
Last edited by Tim K; 01-13-2011 at 06:51 PM.
Harry Selkow helps people build pull-up strength with a variety of set and rep schemes including some of those listed in the original post. They are not all done on one day, they are just examples of what someone might do on a particular training day. If you want Selkow to help you build your pull-ups within your 5/3/1 program then ask him or look at some of his articles. Otherwise just do a bunch of pull-ups and don't worry about it.
I have done and am doing 5/3/1 for pullups after my log press 5/3/1 and have had great results with it. I think it is great for increasing weighted pullups. Bodyweight pullups are good but I find adding weight is better.
Don't think I don't appreciate the advice. I really do. But I don't see why you think that 'thinking about what you are doing' and 'doing it' are mutually exclusive. Why would my understanding what Wendler is saying prevent me from doing it? Why would it be 'worrying'? Or 'majoring in the minors'? You get great by being great in all the parts that make it up. Dan Gable is good to listen to on this. You train mediocre, you train for mediocrity.
Maybe many of you have coaches in town with you, I live in a little town where I workout with my buddies. Nobody here lifts with bands, chains, or has heard of Westside, Elite FTS, etc. Most guys spend 80% on biceps and 20% of the time on pecs (or vice versa). I can't 'not think about it.' If I did that I would be 'majoring in the minors of bicep curl.' If my bench isn't increasing, or my squat is going down, I'm not just going to 'not worry about it.' Or else, what is the point?
It seems to me that there are three basic levels of understanding:
1) You can do it (whatever it is). Apprentice
2) You understand the theory behind what it is that you do. Journeymen
3) You understand the theory and can apply it to what you do, so that they are the same. Teacher
If you have a coach you only need #1. I have no coach. If I don't get 2 and 3, I don't even get #1. If I don't have an understanding and an ability to apply it, I don't have anything. So while I appreciate the help, I feel like its condescending to tell me 'not to overthink it' or 'don't worry about it.' If I didn't have a drive to get better at what I do and lift more, I'd still be on the preacher curl rack working on set #6 of biceps for the day. This is a hobby, but I am passionate about it. Learning about it and developing my knowledge doesn't exhaust me, or count as worrying. It inspires me and enables me to do what I do better. I just had a basic question about what Wendler was prescribing so that I might be better. I don't know why many of you felt the need to psychoanalyze my desire to understand, at a very basic level, what he was saying. Or to suggest that fine-tuning part of my workout program was counter productive. If that were true, we'd all just do the same accessory lifts in the same rep/set schemes and be done with. I, like anybody else, wants more bang for my buck. It doesn't stop me from working hard to do it either.
What is so hard to understand? What is so difficult to comprehend about Wendler's love of the pull up? He wants you to hit, at minimum, 50 pull ups per upper body training session. Get 'em done any way you can. If you are having trouble getting 5 x 10 @ BW, use Selkow's routine to get better at pull ups. If you can hit 5 x 10 @ BW, add weight to the pull ups. Again, Wendler loves pull ups (As Rhodes has already stated). They are a great, basic, fundamental exercise for building a strong and wide back. WTF is the issue here? Seriously?
Majoring in the minors means dicking around worry about something that might add a few percentage points to your overall performance when you really need to be concentrating on stuff that will make a real difference. If you're a top rated athlete that is already operating at near 100% potential, then you can start losing sleep over exactly how many reps of what accessory movement might give you that extra 1% on your bench press.
But somehow I don't think even Rhodes is sitting at home obsessing over the minutia in his programming.
Every workout I do is alone. This coach stuff is weak. There are tons of great videos and training programs online by the top performing pros in lifting to help you get the basics.
If you are truly committed to lifting, then you and your buddies would pack the car up and drive to a good powerlifting facility at least a couple times a month.
Ask Rhodes how far he has driven just to bench with other great lifters. Talk to Vinny, Travis, and others...
If you want to get stronger - here it is in a nutshell - eat, train consistently, train technique, get adequate rest. I put it in order of priority too.
Now get off the net and give me 50 pull ups!
I think part of the problem here is that there is no "right" or "wrong" answer to this question. Wendler just does a bunch of pull-ups. Selkow has a more planned out progression scheme for improving the pull-up. Wendler clearly thinks you can use Selkow's progression with success as well. Wendler has also said that you may not be able to start out doing 100 pull-ups per session and you should just find a starting point and add more over time. This is exactly what Selkow does as well as you progress. Who knows which is "better". Any approach that has you progressing systematically over time will work and thus no one can give you a definitive answer as to whether you should follow Wendler or Selkow. If you want a looser approach go with Wendler and just do a bunch of pull-ups. If you like a more planned out approach, then do Selkow's progression. In the end both will likely be effective, but who knows which is "best".
Last edited by Sean S; 01-14-2011 at 12:51 PM.
Ive been meaning to get around to getting my pullup numbers up but haven't done so yet. From what I understand, since pullups are an accessory BW execise, volume is the key.
Depending on your strength, start with 50-100 reps. It doesn't really matter how you perform the reps initially. They actually dont even have to be all during the workout.
So if you can do ony 8-10 pullups, then you might start with 50. This could be 10x5, 12x4, 16x3 or whatever. You might do 3x5 in the morning, 3x in the afternoon, and 3x5 in the evening.
Just getting the reps in initiially is what counts. Over time, the number you can do per set will go up. You'll eventually get to where you can do 20 reps in a set.
Another method ive seen recommended if you cand do them throughout the day would be to do pullup ladders anytime you are able to. So the reps go: 1,2,3,4,5,6..... If you do a ladder up to 5 that is 15 reps in one set.
If you are going to only do them during your workout, doing them at the beginning and end is a good way to get more reps.