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Old 01-28-2014, 03:58 PM   #1
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Default Are pull ups overrated?

Simple question. We were debating this in the shout box. What do you say?

Are pull ups overrated?
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:03 PM   #2
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Overrated, in what sense? I think, if you do pull-ups at the expense of other exercises, then possibly it's not the best use of time etc but overall pull-ups are a great upperbody exercise which allow the muscles to be worked in a different manner to such as the overhead press which it complements perfectly.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:10 PM   #3
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One of the points mentioned was...

Pull ups are far too easy for the skinny guys who need heavy resistance, and far too hard for the heavier trainee who may also need the back work.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:14 PM   #4
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I do excessive amounts of pullups

I also NEVER had any shoulder problems. When I was skinny, fat, weak, stronger, that was the MAIN constant.

Overrated in terms of mass building, yes. General shoulder health, no.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
One of the points mentioned was...

Pull ups are far too easy for the skinny guys who need heavy resistance, and far too hard for the heavier trainee who may also need the back work.
Some skinny people can't do them either, which is weird, I suppose, since you'd think that the lighter person would have no problem with pull-ups but some still do; that may come down to technique or other issues.

I guess for the skinny guy that can do them, adding resistance is all that's needed but I don't think that doing them without added resistance, negates the usefulness either, IMO, it may not add to them in terms of performance value but I'm not sure it takes anything from it, at the same time.

For the heavier guys that can't do them (and the lighter ones that can't either), I still feel a movement that works the body/upperback muscles at that angle is a wise choice of exercise to maintain balance within the workout; how to go about that though is another matter.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:29 PM   #6
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I think the combo of how we do them has really increased my upper back width and strength.

I am one of those fat guys who cant do many. We do them in several sets of 1 rep at a time. Hang, let the lats engage just like on the benchpress and then explode up. 30 seconds rest, and then do it again.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:55 PM   #7
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It really depends on the person and the technique. If someone isn't strong enough or doesn't know the technique well enough to perform good pullups in the first place then they won't get anything out of them. I've seen lots of people do pullups by grabbing the bar, pulling exclusively with the arms while letting their chest cave in, then procede to bounce up and down with a very small ROM. That's not only useless, but it's asking for an injury.

When I do pullups I use a full rom and flex my back by sticking out my chest at the top. I feel them throughout my back.

Another issue with any bodyweight movement is that you become limited on the methods of progression you can employ. It's not usually very easy to add weight, especially in a controlled progressive way. The only way to really progress is to do more reps, and that will really only help if your specific goal is to build capacity for that specific movement.

I'm a big fan of band assisted pullups though. They let you bypass a lot of the problems with pullups. You don't need to be very strong, and you can also add weight progressively by using a less powerful band.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Byrd View Post
I think the combo of how we do them has really increased my upper back width and strength.

We do them in several sets of 1 rep at a time. Hang, let the lats engage just like on the benchpress and then explode up. 30 seconds rest, and then do it again.
Curious, what's your eccentric tempo, down slow?

Know tempo is not the flavor of the day, maybe bc who wants more slow twitch.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
One of the points mentioned was...

Pull ups are far too easy for the skinny guys who need heavy resistance, and far too hard for the heavier trainee who may also need the back work.
I can't imagine this being a real problem unless you are very very heavy. Heavy guys can usually by doing negatives in a couple weeks build up to a couple of full reps per set, you can then start building upon that.

The lighter guys could just do more reps really (this whole notion of 'if you go over 10 reps you're training endurance and not getting stronger is stupid). Someone who can do 21 pullups is stronger than someone who can do 11 pullups, and assuming you properly train your entire body for strength, 20+ reps is going to be hard to achieve. The guys who can do semi high reps (~15) are usually the ones that don't even train legs, obviously these people don't care about training properly anyway so this entire thread would be wasted on them.

Once the reps start getting really high you can always just add some weight by either using a 'dipping belt' or holding a dumbell with your feet.

Edit: +1 on the band assisted pullups for those who aren't strong enough yet.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleurplaay View Post
I can't imagine this being a real problem unless you are very very heavy.
Like 2/3rds of MAB?
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