The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    Pull ups to failure

    I usually start my back workout with 4 sets of 10-12 pull ups (after a 5 min warm up on an elliptical and light stretching). The rest of my back workout looks like this:

    Barbell Rows
    T Bar Rows
    Single Arm DB Rows

    All exercises are 4 sets of 8-12 reps and I usually add some weight each new set to push myself. I want to develop a much better back, would doing my pull ups to failure help me see better results? They seem a little easier every week I do them, but I don't want to overtrain my back. I also started doing deadlifts but I don't do them on my back day. Thanks.

    *Before anyone says "EAT to get a bigger back" thanks in advance but my diet is solid and I've been gaining about 1 lb a week and remained decently lean.
    Last edited by WILLGETNICE; 08-01-2005 at 08:07 AM.

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  3. #2
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    All exercises are 4 sets of 8-12 reps and I usually add some weight each new set to push myself
    What about weighted pullups? That would push yourself, no?

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatrick
    What about weighted pullups? That would push yourself, no?
    Do I do that with the same belt as weighted dips? The gym I go to has one but it's about a quarter century old and falling apart, would it be worth buying one?

  5. #4
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    A good weighting belt is a decent investment and only runs about $30 for a nice one.

    Also, you can hold DBs between your feet pretty easily.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
    A good weighting belt is a decent investment and only runs about $30 for a nice one.

    Also, you can hold DBs between your feet pretty easily.
    Can you recommend any belt or should I Google it and just see who has the best deal?

  7. #6
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    I had good luck with APT, so I'll plug them again, but I haven't seen/ordered/used any of these products:
    http://www.prowriststraps.com/dipping_belt

    I don't think you can really go too wrong. I'm not sure that leather is stronger than nylon or whatever. The weak link will probably be the chain attachments, but this an be remedied at the hardware store with some good chain and steel quicklinks and biners.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  8. #7
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    I don't know any belts to recommend. Honestly, if I could do four "true" pullup sets hitting the reps you're at now, I'd be in heaven!

    Kudos for an apparantly great back!

  9. #8
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    I do 3 sets to failure on pullups. Works quite well.

  10. #9
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    I'm probably going to buy one of those belts soon too. If you can wait a week or so and on a budget, hit eBay...there were a few on there.

  11. #10
    Senior Member CiteCollegiale's Avatar
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    DB rows and BB rows are basically the same thing why not substitute with another exercise

  12. #11
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    I think you are doing way too many sets. I would just stick to 2-3 each of pullups, BB rows, and another rowing exercise. Just add more weight to make each set more challenging.

  13. #12
    Senior Member djreef's Avatar
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    If you're gaining a lb per week and maintaining your composition, I'd say you're dead on. As long as the # of reps for the same weight goes up, or weight keeps going up for the same # of reps, you're alright.

    DJ

  14. #13
    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    In the short term, you can always bring a backpack with you and put a 20-lb weight in it. Shoot for 2 sets (after warmup) of 8 pullups with as much weight as you can put in the backpack.

    --Steve

  15. #14
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    Just for something new, when I do pullups, I do body weight for 3 sets until failure. Lately I've been putting a box under the pull up bar and once I've reached my last rep, I'll stand on the box and jump so I'm all the way up on the bar, then I lower myself down very slowly and controlled. I do about 4 of these each set. I've only done them for about a month now and I've seen an improvement in my pullups and I'm sure its working my grip strength.

  16. #15
    Formerly Nick Hatfield SW's Avatar
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    Do deads on back day, the same one as pullups. Use pullups as an auxillary, and put enough weight on to allow you only 5 reps or so per working set.
    "You can take control of my mind and my body, but there is one thing a Saiyan always keeps.... his PRIDE!"- Vegeta

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  17. #16
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Hatfield
    Do deads on back day, the same one as pullups. Use pullups as an auxillary, and put enough weight on to allow you only 5 reps or so per working set.
    Why? Deads have no functional relation to pullups other than grip strength.

    Deads should go on posterior chain/olympic lifting/traps/spinal erector-related days, not lat related ones. There is far more carry over between PL-style bench pressing and lats then deads and lats.

    Pullups should be a primary pulling exercise, along with a horizontal plane row.

    Edit: rereading the OP, it seems he has exactly the right sort of scheme, in this respect.
    Last edited by MixmasterNash; 08-01-2005 at 12:02 PM.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
    A good weighting belt is a decent investment and only runs about $30 for a nice one.

    Also, you can hold DBs between your feet pretty easily.

    Holding DBs between your feet works pretty well. You don't need a lot of weight if you're not used to doing them 10-15lbs extra makes a huge difference for pull-ups.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
    Pullups should be a primary pulling exercise, along with a horizontal plane row.
    Last edited by Mission; 08-01-2005 at 02:30 PM.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WILLGETNICE
    I usually start my back workout with 4 sets of 10-12 pull ups (after a 5 min warm up on an elliptical and light stretching). The rest of my back workout looks like this:

    Barbell Rows
    T Bar Rows
    Single Arm DB Rows

    All exercises are 4 sets of 8-12 reps and I usually add some weight each new set to push myself. I want to develop a much better back, would doing my pull ups to failure help me see better results?
    I agree that you are probably doing to much in one training session. I would eliminate at least one of those exercises - do you need three different rowing exercises in one session? How about doing pull-ups last, rather than first?

    As far as pull-ups go, there are a lot of variants (weight, bar, grips, range of motion, bands, body positioning) that you can do if you don't want to vary your volume and/or rep schemes... Training to failure is ok too, if you like HIT...

  21. #20
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    Just to add another question to my original one in the first post, are there any exercises I can replace Barbell Rows with in my routine? Thanks.

  22. #21
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WILLGETNICE
    Just to add another question to my original one in the first post, are there any exercises I can replace Barbell Rows with in my routine? Thanks.
    You don't really need another if you're also doing DB or t-bar rows.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  23. #22
    Formerly Nick Hatfield SW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
    Why? Deads have no functional relation to pullups other than grip strength.

    Deads should go on posterior chain/olympic lifting/traps/spinal erector-related days, not lat related ones. There is far more carry over between PL-style bench pressing and lats then deads and lats.

    Pullups should be a primary pulling exercise, along with a horizontal plane row.

    Edit: rereading the OP, it seems he has exactly the right sort of scheme, in this respect.

    I've done something very similar and saw nice results. Maybe he could too. Deads should take precedent as the primary pulling exercise IMO.
    "You can take control of my mind and my body, but there is one thing a Saiyan always keeps.... his PRIDE!"- Vegeta

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  24. #23
    Senior Member DNL's Avatar
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    if you want to make your pullups more challenging, i'd recommend rest/pause pullup (i think there's another name for it). I believe this is what rock climbers use, so i think Mix should be familiar with it.

    Go up pause for one count, go down halfway pause for 2 counts, go up again pause for 1 count, back to the start (deadhang).

  25. #24
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Hatfield
    I've done something very similar and saw nice results. Maybe he could too. Deads should take precedent as the primary pulling exercise IMO.
    But they have nothing to do with each other. It's like saying he should squat to improve his bench press.

    The is not just one kind of "pulling." Lifting off of the ground is a compound exercise involving ankle, knee and hip with static arm position and some shoulder retraction (that has minimal lat involvement). Rowing or pullups are a compound exercise of elbow and shoulder joints.

    Just because they are both called pulling doesn't mean they are the same kind of thing under any reasonable classification.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  26. #25
    Senior Member DNL's Avatar
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    Is that why some people devide their workout into a vertical pull and a horizontal pull day?

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