Its funny, ain't it.
Not only is the grass always greener on the other side (sometimes it truly IS, hehe), but we tend to crave that what we “cannot do” (or think we cannot).
And fitness, and exercise is a prime example.
I've often asked the average boobybuilder and bench presser if they (for instance) would want to be able to walk up and down flights of stairs repeatedly daily ...
.. Without support ...
On their hands!! ;)
And the more outrageous (seemingly so) the act (though really, if you train for it, and can do it, you'll need to do NOTHING else in terms of exercise) the more the denials.
“Hmmph! That stupid stuff!”
“HA! Thats gymnastics bro! Why would I want to do that rubbish! I'm here for strength, broooo!”
“I don't care about bodyweight! We all know it's useless!”
And so forth.
I just received an email from a guy who claims to be great at deadlifts and can “pull a house” according to him (or was it curl).
And this guy had emailed me before as well.
Both times wrt a course on that almighty exercise, the pull-up ...
I didnt really respond at length to him the first time.
And the second time all I said was this.
“Hey, thats great man”.
And apparently that set him off.
How dare I.
How dare I ignore the fact that despite his repeated trilling about “bodyweight exercises are useless”, he wants to do pull-ups secretly but can't?
Hey, I get it.
We all do, whether we admit it or not.
And hence the folks that want free copies of my books “because they want to read it”.
Because they'd love to be in that sort of shape, but are too petrified to actualyl do it (remember, anytime you give anyone ANYTING for free, it's never valued – the exact opposite in fact almost instantly) ... and of course are looking for an excuse to diss you down the road in terms of “the iron is where it's at”.
I could certainly take names and kick ass in that regard on the above, hehe, but I'll let the “suspense” build (mindblowing I know, hehe).
If you want to do it, then just come out and say it my friend.
And then just do it, and it's that simple!
Fitness wise, start right HERE.
Truly the best investment you'll ever make, and the best results ever as you can see!
PS – More on Bozo Scofield in a while for those of y'all looking for a few giggles. Stay tuned! ;=)
So, today’s topic is an interesting variation on pull-ups.
And, something I’ve not written about a lot as of yet.
That being, rope . . . (which I HAVE written about) pull-ups, and RING pull-ups.
As in, pull-ups done on gymnastic rings.
Or, similar rings in the park (or wherever, really!).
And I’m here to tell you this; these rope and ring pull-ups give you the BEST damn workout of your life if used correctly, not to mention FRY your grip from here, to tomorrow, and to kingdom come!
What do I mean?
Well, I did 55 pull-ups today.
And only 10 of these were regular thick grip (bar) pull-ups.
Ultra thick grip, and while I do great at these, know what I did NOT do so great at today?
The combo, the GRIP-i-licous combo I just mentioned! ?
That being, ROPE pull-ups (done on chains, actually) and gymnastic ring pull-ups (done monkey bar style out there in the park).
And the two of them gave me a workout from Cain today.
Believe me, when you alternate between sets of 15 for these, and do so QUICKLY – you’ll quickly fry not just your grip but your biceps and entire back too!
And while pull-ups aren’t and rightfully so meant to be “bicep specific” (not if done RIGHT!!!) - - the fact is that THIS exact sort of training will wreak havoc on the biceps, and cause them to grow like never before.
Work them in with regular pull-ups, and you’ll see that same growth on the traps too and forearms.
But again, for these?
Inner forearm work, and then some, not to mention fingers of rebar – believe me, it was all I could do to HOLD ON TO THEM chains as I trained out there today!
And believe me, if you add in regular monkey bar work, your overall upper body strength and conditioning will shoot so quickly through the roof that it ain’t even funny.
You’ll literally be approaching human “da xing xing” status as the Chinese call me (Mandarin Chinese for “gorilla”) as they see me working out ther.
And as the years go by, it does nothing to dim the fervor with which they say these words, and rightfully so!
Anyway, that’s a short one, I know, but it’s what I got for ya today, and believe me, it ain’t the length - - it’s the girth and SUBSTANCE that counts, and NO, it ain’t what you think either! ?
Ps – HERE is where you can learn how to do pull-ups the right way, my friend. The vast majority of male adults cant even hang on to the bar, let alone do pull-ups. Rectify this and do so quick – right HERE.
As the “boom boom boom” PULSATING music fades out after my nth watch of the Bourne Supremacy, I just gotta write to you about something!
And that something is something everyone wants.
Looking young, and more importantly, at least for me or those who GET IT – FEELING young!
The latter usually goes with the former, but the former in exclusion of the latter? Rarely ever, and if so, it don’t last.
Now, I’ve always been told I look a good 10 or 15 years younger than my actual age, and for whatever reason this seems to be more the case as I “get up there in terms of numbers”.
And it ain’t just what I’ve been told.
It’s what I feel.
I’ll be flat out honest with you.
In these “tough times”, I feel better overall and am (surprise!) DOING BETTER overall than when things were all rosy and good at the age of 19, for instance.
Or 32 . . .
. . . Sometimes the tough times make us what we truly are, a WARRIOR!
I saw a line from the movie – ah, I can’t remember the name now, but I saw it last night (a real life remake of Benghazi, a true story).
One of the specially trained SOLDIERS (security detail – an elite one) makes the following comment while fighting off hordes of invading fighters storming the embassy.
“Man, I wish I could go home and STAY THERE. Seems like every time I go home I say it’s the last time but something happens, and I end up back here!”
And that comment really struck HOME for me. Which has always been where I hang my hat.
Anyway, point of this random monologue where my fingers literally are, as Donald Trump famously once said unable to keep up with my mind, and therein lies one marketing secret that I . . . ah, b ut lets get back to it!
Looking young, and feeling, and obviously STAYING young.
In China they’ve got a saying which translates into “A man never really ages until his LEGS stay young” (no, not literal translation, but it’s what I can recall and the gist of it”
“Ren lao, Tui . .. “ (I’ll have to look it up, and I have mentioned this in prior comms, but for now, I’ll leave it be!)
Rocky Balboa famously once said that the “punch is the last to go on a man”.
Well, he proved it. The commentators sitting around the ring said it I believe.
And I’m writing to you about NONE of this really, or perhaps all.
Whats the secret, I’m guessing youll ask. What gives?
Well, exercise done the right way – the VERY UNCONVENTIONAL way – is part of it.
Ditto for diet.
Ditto for the TYPE Of exercises I do, and the SPEED at which I do ‘em!
And while sprints come in there, I’m writing to you about pull-ups!
Most people won’t believe me, but YES, pull-ups can give you tremendous cardio in a way even sprints can’t if you do ‘em right, and bang bang bang like I advocate doing the pushups.
Now, most people CANNOT do a single pull-up, let alone tons of them at rapid fire speed.
50 pull-ups in less than 5 minutes is very doable, my friend, when you work up to it and believe me, at that point, the ADRENALINE coursing through your veins will literally keep you not just alive and KICKING, but FEELING GREAT, looking GREAT, and lookmign and feeling YOUNG all your life!
That’s how pull-ups done right make you feel, not to mention on TOP of the world!
As for the “how’s”, well, I’v ementioned this in the advanced course right HERE.
Bear in mind though, that this course is just for those of you at an intermediate to advanced level at pull-ups.
If you cannot, for instance, do 10 pull-ups in proper form, you might want to start with the BASIC course.
And once you get good – well – have at in terms of the ADVANCED ONE!!
And that’s really all I got to say - - for now!
PS – And no, my lifestyle ain’t exactly one for the pursists in ANY regards. Believe me when I say it, ‘tis the PRECISE and EXACT opposite. That’s how I like it though, and that’s how it shall STAY!
PS #2 – Now what good does this do ME, you might be asking yourself. I can barely do a pushup, let alone a pull-up, and let alone bazillions of them. Well that’s fine my friend. That bit isn’t applicable for you. What you need to get started on the FUNDAMENTALS first, and get good at ‘em – and THIS System is what will get your fitness levels up there so youc an start on the tougher stuff – The 0 Excuses Fitness System. Truly the best damned fitness system on the planet, and one that routinely receives RAVE reviews, and provides even better results. GRAB IT NOW !
This is something I’ve been meaning to write about for a long, long time but haven’t for whatever reason.
Once I was having a conversation with my friend from the Marines (an ex Marine, the same dude I’ve written about so often).
And we were talking pull-ups, and the right way to do ‘em.
And I think we ended up getting into a bit of a discussion about form and kipping, which apparently my friend said was OK to do to get your numbers have (if you have to!).
I disagreed. As I always HAVE Done, for reasons I’ve been pointing out a lot as of late.
And while that was the discussion, we ended with this.
“Rahul, the way you do ‘em is the RIGHT way” my friend said.
“But in the military, we do pull-ups in many different ways! You don’t always get a pull-up bar to perform that sort of movement, often under duress, in real life . . . “
I added the part about duress, but the rest of the quote is pretty much what he said.
Now, he’s spot on.
Pull-ups are a functionally effective exercise if there ever was one, and there are just so many different ways to do ‘em.
Ways that could well save your life even if you’re not in a war . . . or save OTHER lives with the brute strength it builds and the capacity to perform physically at higher levels for a much longer period of time.
This morning, there was a heavy ass plant at the house I moved.
I mean BIG and heavy.
And I pulled it like nothing - - like it wasn’t even heavy to start with (most men would struggle to budge it).
Most “modern day men “ that is.
And I don’t care if you’re doing pull-ups to build that sort of brute strength, or simply to be more functional and STRONGER in your daily movements (believe me, when you can move couches up and down stairs on your lonesome, it not only makes you feel good, but has a very practical aspect to it!).
Or, if you do what Sig Klein did during a fire which was to climb down a drain pipe with one hand, a lady in danger nestled in the other . . . while the entire damned building was on fire.
Now THAT is strength. Useful strength!
So back to uneven surfaces.
There are MANY ways to do pull-ups, my friend, and I’ve found that doing ‘em on uneven surfaces not only makes the exercise far more difficult, but also more interesting.
And more advanced.
Believe me, there is a reason I put out a TON of new pull-up movements in “Pull-ups - - from STUD to SUPER STUD within weeks” (my advanced course on pull-ups) and I would not be lying to tell you that most of these movements are anything but mainstream, and certainly anything but EASY (and usually way, way too ignored!).
That’s the advanced course, of course.
But what good is that gonna do YOU, you ask, if you can barely hang on to the bar, let alone even start to execute a proper pull-up?
Well, take heart for one. Tons of “men” are in your position, and that’s why I created the BASIC course on pull-ups – Pull-ups from DUD to STUD within a matter of WEEKS!
Definitely one you must grab, so do so NOW my friend, and once you’re done with THAT, and getting better at pull-ups, grab the advanced course.
Functional strength that can save your life one day, and definitely make the one you’re living a heck of a lot more convenient. Can’t and doesn’t get better than that does it mi amigo?
Hey, that should have been the title of the post!
That’s what I thought too!
PS – I’ve been doing my pull-ups (some of ‘em) on a massive thick IRON monkey bar set out in the park, which is NOT even. It’s triangular, and doing “walks” up that sucker is something to be honest, not to mention the monkey bar work which is tough enough as it is, but doing them this way is not only more functional and productive, but also adds a whole new DIMENSION to things!
PS #2 – That above tip right there is worth it’s weight in GOLD, as are all the tips I put out in Gorilla Grip. Truly the definitive course in terms of developing that cast iron kung fu like grip, and to be honest, that can only HELP you while doing pull-ups!! ?
Well, we're finally back online, and with a new look at that - - a look that (judging by the emails I've got so far) some of you seem to be enjoying more than the previous version of the site.
Whew - - what a battle it was to finally get online again, but it's DONE for now, and I hope Fast and Furious Fitness doesn't have to "move" again anytime in the near future!
Anyway, let's start things off with some reader feedback - - specifically, a great question from Tom in Newark. He wrote in saying that he loves pull-ups - - and that they are his favorite exercise, but he had a question. Are pull-ups better when done with a "hammer grip" (parallel, with the fingers of both hands facing each other), or is it better to do them with a regular grip (palms facing away)?
He also goes on to state that doing the hammer grip pull-ups seems to hit different parts of his back than the regular pull-ups do, and that both complement each other.
And he finished off by saying he's building some super gripping power with a combo of these two exercises (and a few others thrown in, these being the main ones though) alone.
Great question, and one I've often pondered myself, and my answer is - - Tom, they're BOTH good - - and they're BOTH variants you should practice on a regular basis.
You've also let one of my "secrets" to improving at pull-ups here out of the bag - - that being to work the hammer grip pull-ups to improve the regular pull-ups, and vice versa.
And yes, the hammer grip pull-ups DO hit your back differently than the regular pull-ups. The regular version seems to "spread" your lats out more, while the hammer grip pull-ups seems to "lengthen, stretch and strengthen" (no other way to put it on this one!) your lats a lot more. And they BOTH hit your lower back pretty well.
The parallel grips also seem to lend themselves to higher reps than the regular grip pull-ups, though interestingly enough, that doesn't happen ALL the time for me - - only on occasion. I'll elaborate more on that later though.
The only real area of difference is the abdominal region. I've found that the regular grip pull-ups tend to hit the "front" of the stomach as a whole a lot more, as opposed to parallel grip which seems to tax the "obliques" a lot more - - a good thing, by the way, since THOSE are the muscles (along with the transverse abdominal muscle resting deep under the superficial "six pack" muscles) that really pull your waist in - - as well as add REAL POWER and STRENGTH to your entire core.
And contrary to what most people think, BOTH are great ways to develop crushing grip power - - of course, if you do things the right way. There is a secret that one needs to know - - and MASTER - - while doing pulling exercise - - something so simple you'd think it was obvious, but something that (amazingly enough) I see ignored on a regular basis.
I detail that secret in Gorilla Grip - - a must have if you're (like Tom is) interested in developing crushing gripping power - - you can grab your copy right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/8-gorilla-grip/
But otherwise, both are great versions of the same exercise, and I recommend practicing both versions if you can on a regular basis. Just make sure you do the exercise in PROPER FORM - - no "kipping", no "swinging up with the legs" or the other foolishness I notice and write about on a daily basis.
Kudos on the gripping strength you've developed - - add some monkey bar work in there, and you'll soon be on your way to tearing wrists off in no time, hehe.
And that, dear reader, is that for now. Back again with more!
P.S: - Our Facebook page is a great way to stay informed on what is going on at Fast and Furious Fitness HQ's - - stop by and check it out - - https://www.facebook.com/fastandfuriousfitness
Was completing my workout today in the local park when a couple that I've seen often came along.
I was working out in the afternoon today, and this particular, probably in their mid 20's or so usually chooses this time of the day for their jaunt.
And as I went through the last few repetitions of an extremely tough exercise I've been working HARD to master, I saw "the look" on the woman's face.
And from the title, you've probably already guessed what type of a look it was - - and you're right.
And what's funny, at least to me, is that this look repeats itself every time they see me exercising - - oddly enough, they seem to show up just at "that" particular time in my workout. One of those things as it were.
The guy usually looks at me with a resigned, sort of "benevolently friendly" (if that term makes any sense), says something to the gal, and walks on.
The gal walks on too, saying something to the guy, but she's got the first stage of the "the look" printed ALL over her face.
As in, what's that crazy "gui lao" doing? (Gui Lao literally meaning foreign devil, a not so polite but commonly used term on mainland China, at least in the Southern provinces)
She pauses, stares at me, and I stare at her after I complete my rep, and then go on about my business.
Finish that rep, and I find her staring at me again with a look of "why would someone do that", as her partner nudges her, edging her on her way, down past me.
And come the third rep, I see both of them sneaking surreptitious glances at me, but being they're too far away at this point for it to really register in my mind, I just act as if they're not there and continue.
This particular scenario repeats itself every time they see me, so you might ask, hey, what exercise is it that causes the Chinese to give me the "crazy gui lao" stare?
Well, as mentioned before, it's an exercise that is extremely tough to master, and certainly not for the "pumpers" at the local gym/'roid house.
It requires patience to master, so that makes it a no-no for most people.
It makes you grip as if your life depended upon it, and it makes ugly callouses sprout all over your hands. Strike three for most folks right there.
But it also develops a vice like grip, super strength (and endurance of sorts) in the entire arm, especially the fingers and forearms.
And that exercise is - without further ado - a FLEXED hang - but from one hand.
Simply put, that means yours truly is hanging in the bottom position of a pull up (arms fully outstretched) with one hand - for time. And to make it even more fun, I use a thick bar to do this exercise.
I've been at it for a couple of weeks, and it was surprisingly hard to begin with, even for someone like me whose used to doing various sorts of pull-ups.
No swinging around crazily, no showing off, just a flexed, still, controlled HANG.
And while the exercise might cause the average person to gawk and gape, be informed that if you want to build a bone crushing grip, this particular exercise will do it for me - in less than a minute, or minute max per set.
I mean, find someone, at whatever body weight, that can hang on with one arm in good form - on a THICK bar - for one minute or more, and you've got someone with a seriously, seriously strong grip.
And I don't know about you - but I'm more than willing to brave callouses and the "crazy" look (and the pain) to achieve the results I'm referring to!
Now, I realize there are a lot of people might agree with me here, and rock on down to the local playground for some timed holds, but before you do so, a word of caution: -
- Make sure your able to do timed holds with TWO hands in PROPER form for AT LEAST a minute before even attempting this. And yes, there is a reason the four words are capitalized. . .extra attention, folks!
- Make sure you can do at least 5 pull-ups per set in good form without undue fatigue.
- And last, but not least, make sure you keep your weight at reasonable levels. This usually goes hand in hand with the first two, unless your freakishly strong, of course, but I've hardly ever seen overweight folks manage one pull-up in good form, let alone five.
And that, my friend, is the story for the day. Try this simple little exercise out if you so desire, and let me know how it went!
P.S: - Can't even do a flexed hang with TWO hands for any length of time, let alone what I mention? Well, no problem, amigo - your NOT alone, and there IS a solution. Pull on over to http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/88-getting-better-at-pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks and you'll soon be pumping those reps out as if they were second nature - NO questions asked!
As you probably already know, pull-ups (done correctly) are one of the toughest exercises you can do, bar none.
Most adults can barely hang onto the bar for more than s few seconds before "dropping like a stone" - and the reasons are varied. Being overweight is the primary cause for most folks, while lack of strength in the upper body (namely the back, shoulders and grip) is the over-riding factor for other people.
Yet others simply shy away from this exercise, automatically deeming it to be "too tough" and "something I could never do for reps".
I bet it does - and those of you that have sent me emails over the last month or so on pull-ups KNOW it does.
And so, I've put together a course that will get even the rank beginner amongst you to start repping out pull-ups like a pro - within a matter of weeks.
That's right - you CAN go from "zero to hero" within the space of a few weeks.
Will it take effort? Sure - but no pain, no gain, amigo - it's as simple as that.
Nothing in life worth having is free, and the bare minimum I can ask you for is EFFORT, plus a paltry $15.99 which is what the course retails for. And when you factor in the bucks saved on gym memberships, fancy machines and the like, this amount doesn't seem like a lot at all, does it?
This course is being offered as a PDF as of now, so you should expect to have your copy in your Inbox within 24 hours of making payment.
I'd go into further detail in this note, but I believe the best thing to do at this point is to direct you to the sales page right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/88-getting-better-at-pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks ; so you can take ACTION on this pronto.
Get cracking on this NOW - I look forward to hearing about your success!
P.S #2: - In addition to Facebook, we're also on Google+ HERE: - https://plus.google.com/+Rahulmookerjee_FastandFuriousFitness - stop by and check it out!
P.S #3: - My special "20 percent off" offer seems to have been received quite well until now - remember this only lasts till Jan 2014, so get in while the going is GOOD!
I've not been able to get to the park I normally perform the outdoor portion of my workout in for quite a bit now. Not really sure why, but one reason is TIME - that park is a fair distance away from where I live, and I just haven't found the time as of late to mosey on over there for some long and enjoyable workouts.
I miss it somewhat - especially having to shoo off the "busy bees" that all show up in my workout "space" to do little other than pass comments, "ooh and ah", and hang their jackets on the dipping bars (or even worse, position their posteriors on said piece of equipment as soon as one's ready to start a hard set of dips). Ah, the fun of it all. . .
But, I'm digressing here - so since I can't make it to that particular park these days, I'm making do with one right near my house. Which is fine, really, except for the fact that it doesn't have the old rusty swing set that I'm used to doing my pull-ups on. I basically used to use the top of the swing set (thick bar joining the swings together) to do my exercises, and it worked great.
Neither does it have a monkey bar apparatus of any length/height, so going back and forth on it (an excellent grip builder, btw) is out.
But, it does have a monkey bar set up of sorts, so that is where I do my pull-ups these days. And I'm doing OK - except for the fact that the monkey bars form a "V" where I grip to perform my pull-ups, and I'd much rather do them on a thick and straight bar if that makes any sense.
Why? Well, many reasons, mostly personal preference, but also because I think I can exert maximum force and get the most out of my back muscles on a straight bar as opposed to a "v" setup.
And so, I'm trying out some interesting variations on the pull-up these days - one of those being the hammer grip pull-up - where you basically perform the movement by gripping a couple of parallel bars and pulling - perfect if your doing pull-ups on a monkey bar setup.
I've seen this variation done many a times before, but for whatever reason, I never really got into the movement that much myself - but I am now - and here are some observations: -
- This type of pull-up should be far easier than the regular pull-up (especially in the bottom position) for those that have shoulder problems, as the shoulders are in a "neutral" position of sorts as opposed to a regular pull-up.
- The movement should be easier to master than a regular pull-up, meaning more reps is a real possibility - and leading to many fun "high rep" pull-up sequences!
- The parallel grip makes it a lot more comfortable (note - thats different from "easier") to perform abdominal movements such as the L-hold, or V-hold. I personally sometimes have trouble with my shoulders when performing said movements on a straight bar, but nothing of the sort happens on parallel bars - even if I hold for an extended period of time.
- It brings the biceps into play big time; so for those of you that are looking to hit the biceps with a decent exercise - this is it. The regular pull-ups is still king - but this one is a close second.
- Last, but certainly not least, this movement can be a fantastic grip builder as well if you perform the right number of reps - try it and see!
Not to mention it makes a nice change from having to do your pull-ups the same way every time; always good to change things up once in a while.
None of this means you should replace the regular pull-up with this one - not at all. That movement is still the #1 back and arm movement in my books - but this one is a pretty decent strength builder as well if you really get good at it.
And that, my friend, is the tip of the day - back again soon! If you workout today, make it a super one!
P.S: - To see photos of me with my adorable little baby girl, click on over here to my facebook account: - https://www.facebook.com/rahul.mookerjee
P.S. #2: - For more interesting variations on pull-ups, check out Fast and Furious Fitness right here: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
This has GOT to be one of the most talked about questions in strength training.
Which is better - the chin-up, or pull-up? And I've seen this question posed so often in so many different places, that I thought I'd do my best to try and address it today. . .
First off, I'd like to say that ANY sort of pulling exercise involving your own body-weight is good - be that chin-ups, pull-ups, pull-ups on rings, horizontal pull-ups and so forth. It isn't so much which one is better than "they're all good", so if your doing any of them at all (and most people DON'T), more power to you.
My own preference has always been for pull-ups, and I state this in my book as well; the main reason being the pull-up is a more natural movement, and builds more strength throughout the upper body in lifting postures you actually USE throughout the day. Think about it - do you generally lift stuff with palms out or in? I'd say the former most of the time, and thats one main reason behind my preference.
Second, the pull-up tends to target the LARGEST muscles in your upper body a lot more than the chin-up does - those being the lats, which provide most of the pulling power/support throughout your entire back area. Develop real strength in the traps and lats, and you'll never have trouble picking up heavy objects again - not to mention you'll LOOK strong as well, no matter what you wear.
So, what does this mean - should we ignore the chin-up altogether?
Well, it depends. Most people actually end up ignoring the pull-up in favor of the chin-up, mostly because the chin-up is an easier move to accomplish. Chin up brings your chest and biceps into the movement a lot more than regular pull-ups will, so it is easier to do them that way a lot of times. Chinning can also put your wrists and elbows in a somewhat unnatural position, which could be a problem for some folks.
Is that OK to do long-term - well, again, it depends - I'd say no if you want to develop your back to the fullest, but at the same time, the chin-up can be an interesting and intense variation at times; especially to target the upper chest area. Try mixing these in with a bunch of dips and pull-ups - YOW!
And at the end of the day, if pull-ups are too tough for you to do, and chins are all you can do, well, do them - you'll still build way more strength doing them than you would on the lat pulldown machine in the gym (an useless piece of equipment if I ever saw one); and they are probably the only one exercise that will aid you in making the "leap" to a regular pull-up.
So, there's my answer - make of it what you will. As with most other things, it all really depends on YOUR goals, and how far YOU want to go - but that is a basic outline of the issue.
And that, my friend, is that for now - back again later!
PS: To read and learn more about these amazing body weight exercises, order a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
A great variation to your regular pull-up workout (for those of you that do them) is the close grip pull-up. The movement is similar to the regular pull-up/chin-up, but the only difference is that your hands are close together while performing the movement - close, as in less than shoulder width - and touching one other if your really good at the exercise.
I did these for 5 sets of 5 reps today in addition to some other things - and I'm FEELING it in my forearms right now!! That's right; this type of pull-up is great for the forearms, and is a super tough variant as far as gripping power goes. Believe me, these are hard enough to do even if your good at the regular pull-up - and they're almost impossible to do with a weak grip.
I don't recommend doing this style of pull-up all the time; the standard pull-up is still king in my opinion, but it pays to change things up every so often, and this is one great variation you can use, especially if your looking for extra forearm/bicep work.
So, during this 5 x 5 workout (along with other 5 x 5 exercises - for "sample" workouts you can follow, see Fast and Furious Fitness), I added in yet another style of pull-up, a couple of hard sets across the monkey bars, and then timed holds. And that was pretty much all I needed to get the forearm workout of the week. No fancy gadgets, no routines that took all day. No pumping, no preening, nothing - just basic work on thick bars - and that's ALL.
So, moral(s) of the story?
- Keep things simple - the simpler the better - and usually tougher.
- Variations are great; just make sure you do them RIGHT!
And that, my friend, is that for now. Back later with more!
PS: - The forum had a few problems, but they seem to be all sorted out now - stop by and post your thoughts and ideas: http://rahulmookerjee.com/phpbb2/
PS#2: If you don't already do pull-ups, you really SHOULD be. Fast and Furious Fitness is the place to start for a primer on how to incorporate this wonderful exercise into your regimen: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
If there is any single bodyweight exercise that inspires awe, smacks of raw power, is an almost unparalled upper body muscle builder - and a tough one at that - it's probably the humble ole' PULL-UP.
Pull-ups are a supreme test of an individual's strength and fitness levels. And it's sad, but true - that most adults today are probably doing good to knock off ONE pull-up in decent form.
There are numerous reasons why the pull-up should be a staple part of any upper body workout you do, and I'll list some here: -
- One of the best strength exercises you can do - bar none. Pullups done correctly will give you superhuman grip and pulling strength; as well as increases in muscle all over your upper body - including the chest. Plus, they strengthen your entire back beyond belief - get good at these, and you can kiss your back pain goodbye forever.
- Pull-ups stretch and lengthen the spine, thus keeping the vertebrae aligned as they should. The very act of HANGING from the pull-up bar does this, and this leads to a huge increase in nerve force throughout the entire upper body - very few other exercises can duplicate this.
- Pull-ups ensure that you get "balanced" development throughout the upper body. Let's face it, most trainees are crazy about working the chest (which explains why bench pressing is so popular); but when it comes to the back, we don't see near as many folks lined up at the pull-up bar. And this sort of thing ultimately leads to unbalanced upper body development with an overdeveloped chest with nothing to "back it up", for lack of a better term - and makes you a prime candidate for injuries.
Ok, enough already your saying. I know pull-ups are good for me - but I can barely do ONE properly - what do I do?
Well, first of all, and the most important thing is - DON'T GIVE UP! It's easy to get disheartended when you can barely do a single pull-up despite training regularly - or if your training with someone thats good at them. Remember the Rocky movies? Remember Rocky II where we see Stallone popping off one handed chin ups? Or Rocky III, where we see "Mr T" grunting his way through a set of pull-ups while Rocky trains like (for lack of a better description) a "gym bunny"?
I bet you do - and if your not good at pull-ups yet, I bet those scenes had you in awe. That's good for inspirational purposes, but remember that YOU can get good at them as well. Emblazon that in mind as your work your pull-ups; you CAN - and WILL get good at pullups!
Also, make sure your doing your pull-ups in good form; this means pulling with the back instead of the arms. Most trainees will try and jump on to the pull-up bar and somehow haul themselves up - NOT a good way to do them! A correct pull-up starts from a dead hang, and you use your BACK to pull - not your arms - your arms should simply assist the movement. For more on this, see Fast and Furious Fitness - it's imperative you get the form down pat, and I've provided plenty of detail on pull-ups there.
Grip strength can also be a limiting factor for a lot of trainees; so you may also want to work on some supplementary grip exercises if your not improving at your pull-ups. I detailed some of these in yesterday's email, and the book contains plenty more that you can do.
Last, but not least - stay FOCUSED on the task. It's easy to lose focus when doing pull-ups, and end up with sloppy reps - not good. Make sure you focus on your grip, and your back - and keep that focus throughout the entire rep/set. That in itself is a huge tip right there - implement into your own training, and watch your results skyrocket.
And work your pull-ups hard - HARD! I know I said this at the beginning of the email, but it's so important it bears repeating. Remember, hard work is what gets you the best results, and you'll agree with me after you've got to the point where you can pop off 5 sets of 5 good pull-ups without much trouble!
Well, my friend, those are some tips that should get you started on the road to pull-up mastery. It's a long road to be sure, but one well worth mastering.
And if you haven't yet incorporated this exercise into your routine - well, you know what to do.
All for now. If you train today - train HARD, and make it a great one!
PS: Fast and Furious Fitness shows you how to go from ZERO pull-ups to stud level. Don't delay any longer - click HERE to grab your copy now, and get started on the road to get an upper body that'll be the envy of most gym rats!
Today's post is going to address callus formation - something which every serious trainee experiences at some point in their training career - be it bodyweight training, weight training, bodybuilding, racket sports, or any other similar endavor which requires repetitive gripping or pulling movements.
Bodyweight exercise enthusiasts, pull-up maniacs and most sportsmen are NO stranger to calluses - in fact, the only competitive sport that I can think of that doesn't involve calluses is swimming. Some folks try to avoid getting calluses while others wear them proudly as a "badge of honor" - the thought basically being, the more committed one is to their activity or sport of choice, the more callused the hands get.
As for me, I sport plenty of calluses on my hands. As a matter of fact, one of them split right open while I was performing my pull-ups today - OUCH! Now thats something that's painful - I had to adjust my grip to be even able to complete my workout. My own fault for tugging away at it though, so the split wasn't entirely unexpected.
So, what do I think of calluses? Do I try and avoid them? Do I wear gloves to minimize wear and tear on my hands? How do I deal with the pain while doing my exercises?
Well, first off, I believe that calluses are an inevitable, if sometimes unwanted by-product of serious strength training. It's virtually impossible to do thick bar pull-ups, finger pull-ups, and any other pulling movement without developing calluses. And I do NOT believe in using gloves or other "aids" while pulling - I believe they take away from the overall exercise. Second, although they can be REALLY painful, I don't try to avoid getting them - pretty much because it's impossible to do so while training hard.
Why, you may ask? Well, it's hard to explain - but "feeling" the bar in your hands is of paramount importance if your aim is to succeed at pulling yourself up on that bar. You need to feel each square inch of your palms fiercely gripping the bar - until your fingers literally peel off - and you need to "feel" your strength transfer over from your back muscles to your hand muscles to complete the pull. All this, in my opinion, cannot be done with gloves. I realize there are people that wear gloves and seem to do well enough - but in my opinion, gloves are NOT the ideal pulling companion.
As for the pain, well, I try and not grip directly over the callus if I've got one that really hurts me. For instance, I completed my pull-up session today by gripping more with the fingers than the entire hand (on the left hand - and note that I'm NOT talking about "thumbless" pull-ups). You can also apply antiseptic cream or other potions to the calls after your session. But at the end of the day, it's going to hurt a little no matter what - my advice would be to work through it the best you can. And though that sounds masochistic to a degree, it really ain't once you really start to "get into" your routine - you'll automatically work through the pain without even realizing it if your committed enough.
Also, remember that it's always harder training with equipment outdoors than it is doing your exercises indoors. By that I mean that I'd be less likely to develop painful calluses by doing pull-ups on a chinning bar as opposed to a thick, rugged iron beam out in the park (with numerous contusions and abrasions on the surface). But then, you also develop a much stronger grip, "lasting" power (no sniggers, please!) and a higher level of mind-muscle connection by doing the exercise in a tougher manner. No pain, no gain - as they say - but it's entirely up to you. You CAN still train indoors and make great gains - you just have to go about it the right way.
And last, but not least, remember that this advice is just as applicable to your ladies out there as it is men - at least looking at it from the point of success in your training it is!
Keep pulling like you mean it,
PS: Training indoors is a fantastic option for most of us, but you have to know how to do it the right way to get proper results. Fast and Furious Fitness shows you that way: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
I wrote a a bit about grip training and it's importance the other day. That post recieved quite a number of hits, so today, I thought I'd write a bit more about it - only, we won't be talking "directly" about grip training, rather, we'll be talking about how to get better at doing pull-ups. How does this relate to grip training? Well, you'll see - and I'm not referring to the usual "get a strong grip and you'll automatically get better at pull-ups" (though that is a very valid point as well).
But no. Today, we'll talk about an often ignored "link" while doing pull-ups - a hidden "key", if you would, that if applied correctly, will literally help you rocket past personal bests in pull-ups and other pulling movements in no time at all.
And this link that I'm referring to is nothing other than the "strength connection" between your hands, and your brain. This may sound strange to you at first, but hear me out first - the next time you do pull-ups, or lift a heavy weight, or do any pulling movement - focus on your HANDS, and your GRIP - and you'll find the exercise automatically becomes a bit, if not quite a bit, easier. REALLY focus on the bar your holding, or the feel of the weight in your hands - and see what a difference that makes.
I'll bet it's massive - and while I'm not sure how to explain it to you in scientific terms, I know that this is a FACT. Your fingers and hands are one of the areas of your body most jampacked with nerve endings and neurons "talking" to the brain, and when you focus on your hands - the brain automatically forces your muscles (and your body) to focus that much more on the lifting exercise - and boom - it becomes that much "easier".
And for those of you that believe in traditional Chinese massage and acupressure points - you'll know what I'm saying when I'm talking about tons of nerve endings in the hands reporting back to the brain. Sure, they exist in the feet as well - but we don't use our feet to lift too many objects. . .
Ok, so are you still with me? Still trying to figure out what all this hocus pocus about the hand-brain connection and Chinese acupressure has got to do with anything? Well, my friend, it does - and that brings me to today's tip - when doing pull-ups, or ANY pulling exercise - REALLY, REALLY focus on the grip. And the way to do that is to squeeze the living heck out of the bar your using - literally.
I do my pull-ups on a thick iron bar out in the park, so it's physically impossible for me to "squeeze" this sucker - yet, I try my best every time I do any pulling exercise on it. I really SQUEEZE the bar - until my fingers start screaming, and I STAY that way during the entire set. And guess what - this ONE simple detail has allowed me to make more progress in my pull-ups than anything else has.
This is one of those things that is easy to ignore - it's easy to simply hold on to the bar without really squeezing it - so make sure you keep this in mind while doing your pulling exercises. And if at all possible, do them on the thickest bars you can find - in addition to building fingers of rebar and a Tarzan like grip, you'll also build solid mental strength. Not easy to hang on to a thick bar and squeeze it for all your worth at the end of a tough workout - believe me on that one!
So thats today's tip - SQUEEZE the bar, and watch yourself progress faster that you ever have on your pulling movements!
PS: I cover this, and many other valuable tips that you do NOT want to miss in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab a copy NOW.