Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pull Up Reps..........setting a new PR!!

We have been asked often about the best way to improve pull up strength and increase volume. My standard response, before getting too detailed, is "to do more pull ups, you need to do more pull ups". Practice, practice and practice more.

In recent weeks, I have seen several questions on forums and discussions on blogs about whether or not performing pull ups EVERY day, in addition to regular programming makes any sense. With anything, there are varied opinions.

As we have said on many ocassions, we call it like we see it from our perspective.....your average, health minded guy or gal looking to stay healthy, fit and strong willed. From our view, if improving pull up strength is a personal goal, then yes, you could and should find a way (like you would anything else you have set your mind to) to practice hard, practice often and practice with purpose.

I have included in this post an article and a workout that in my view provides the framework of a good accelerated plan if pull up improvment is a focus. Personally, I'm giving it a try over the next couple of weeks and will report back out;

Pull-up Push Workout
by Stew Smith

Getting better at pull-ups is a subject of concern for many people. As with the "Pushup-Push Workout," this idea makes little sense physiologically, but it works. You never want to have an extended period of repeating the same exercises day after day, but you can do this workout for ten days, rest for three or four days with no pull-ups, then test on day 14 or 15. Then you will find your increase to be as high as 50-100% from your previous max pull-ups.

Here is a question from a Marine Reservist wanting to max his PFT of 20 pullups:

"Where can I find your pull-up routines outlined? I am stuck at about 7 pull-ups and would like to get to 10-12."

After the unbelievable success from the "Push-up Push Workout," in which people doubled their pushups in two weeks, I performed the same test on pull-ups with (young and old) students with similar success. This workout works best on folks who can do 3-10 pull-ups. Many increased their pull-ups to 10-20 in two weeks.

Here is what you need to try for a two-week period:

- Do your regular workout program, but for 10 straight days do an additional 25-50 pullups.

- If you are only able to do less than 5 pull-ups: do 25 pull-ups for your daily plan below:

- If you can do more than 5 pull-ups: do 50 pull-ups for your daily plan below:

Odd Days (Supersets OR Pyramids):

Supersets (repeat 10 times):

- Pullups - max
- Pushups - 20
- Dips - 5-10
- Abs of choice - 30

Pyramids (see PT Pyramid article above)

- Pullups - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 rest with
- Pushups - 2,4,6,8,10,12,14....2
- Abs of choice - 5,10,15,20,25,30,35....5
- Alternate with NO rest from one exercise to the next

Even Days:

25-50 pullups anyway you can throughout the day or in a single workout. Do small repetition sets until you reach 25- 50 pull-ups.

Rotate for the next ten days from odd day workout options and even day pull-up supplement, then take three-four days off from doing ANY pull-ups. Test on day 14 or 15 and let me know your results.

Good luck with the Pullup-Push Workout. Push yourself and you can quickly perform better on your pull-up test. You can fit this type of program into your present workout plan by just adding 25-50 pullups on your rest days so you do a ten-day routine of pull-ups.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Steel Shop Field Day!

The Steelfit Showroom is literally INSIDE a massive Steel fabrication shop. The cavernous space includes sky high ceilings, cranes, lifts, trucks, machinery and steel EVERYWHERE.

Steel Beams, Channels, Rods, Pipe and steel everything for as far as you can see. After getting some work done in the studio where the Steelfit equipment is produced, I love to take time to venture away to explore to see what type of "steel" trouble I could get into.

Now, I know lots of guys that would have an absolute field day exploring the shop in general....but my favorite finds are almost always in the SCRAP barrels; that is where it gets really fun. This is where odd pieces end up as by-products of other jobs in progress. What I find there is is always a bonanza, with dozens of toys the result.

I-Beam pieces of varying weights and widths are perfect for doing farmers walks, weighted pull ups or walking lunges. There are almost always solid rods and pipes of all sizes to experiment with overhead squats, snatches, pressing and all sorts of "body bar" type moves. Then there was the plates, channels and large pipes..........varying sizes and weights; for pressing, cleans and you name it; so much fun.

You may recall the saying, "one man's junk is another man's treasure". for Steelfit, the scrap barrel in the steel shop is it: Steel Shop Fun for sure!

Monday, October 3, 2011

FREE-Bar Demo

Our friend and accomplished Crossfit athlete, Blair Morrison from Anywherefit showing off some moves on his STEELFIT FREE-Bar.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

One of Ten.................

The Decathlon is a really cool event; a competition seeking the Best Athlete on Wall Street. Better yet, the event is major fundraiser for a great cause.

10 events, 1 cause.

On October 22nd, men of all athletic levels employed within the financial services industry will descend on New York City to compete in 10 athletic events testing speed, endurance, strength and agility, all to raise money in support of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s research initiatives.

Every performance from every competitor counts because of the performance-based fundraising format. The concept is simple: the better a competitor performs, the more money he earns via donations. Competitors set goals,train hard and aim to exceed expectations. Competitors can raise more money than they think they could by breaking performance goals in every event.

The Events:
400 Meter Sprint
5 Cone Agility Drill
Football Throw
Vertical Jump
Pull Ups
Bench Press
40 Yard Sprint
500 Meter Row Sprint
800 Meter Run

This year, positioned as the third event of the day, pull ups are just one of the ten events featured. With only strict dead hang pull ups counting (no kipping allowed), the challenge calls for max reps without dropping from the bar.

This year, STEEELFIT FREE-Bars will set the stage for the pull up event. We can't wait to see the competitors in action. As we have known for years, pull ups are truly one of the ultimate tests of strength and we are thrilled to see them included and getting the respect they deserve.

Pull ups may be One of Ten on October 22, but they are ONE of ONE in our book every other day.......keep pulling.

STEELFIT wishes all of the athletes the best of luck!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The 'newest" great exercise..........

Having read several articles and blogs lately singing the praises of the best new exercise; I have been mildly amused. The gist of the what I was reading spoke about a pure exercise with total body benefits and a laser like focus on building back and bicep muscles.

This newest find; the pull up of course...........and for many of us, it is hardly a new found skill, but remains an absolute staple in our fitness diet.

At first, I was a little miffed. After all, you still can't enter a standard health club or large scale fitness center and find legit pull up bars. The best you usually see is about 32" of abrasive or padded bar surfaces incorporated into a rack or other piece of multi-functional fitness apparatus. After a little more thought though, I started to feel a bit of redemption. For those who believe in body weight strength training and the purity and authenticity of old school calisthenics, it's great that others are starting to wake up to the simple facts.

It may be from popularized programs like P-90X and others touting functional training as the new religion, but bottom line....they finally get it and it's about time. We have seen many bars go out our doors recently on their way to smaller fitness studios, the homes of personal trainers and other general fitness enthusiasts who believe as we do.

As I have said many times, the pull up is under-rated for its supreme position as the perfect back exercise. With so many ways to add variety and dimension to the exercise, the benefits are really limitless.

New to some, an old friend to others......pull ups are indeed a GREAT exercise. Keep Pulling!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2011 Afghan Games

Presented by Kandahar Crossfit and Life As Prescribed comes a competition like no other in a place like no other. On 9 and 10 July men and women of Kandahar Airfield will compete in an event as harsh as the environment it's being held in. The Afghan Games will bring out those individuals that have earned the title of the fittest and toughest humans on earth.

STEELFIT is proudly providing sponsorship and will be providing a STEELFIT Strength Grid for use during the Games. We couldn't be happier about supporting our troops and this awesome event.

For more information on the Games..check out the promotional video below from the guys organizing the games.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pull ups...............ANYWHERE!

STEELFIT wants to congratulate our good friend and Crossfitter, Blair Morrison. He has become legendary by his alias, Anywherefit, and has offically opened a CrossFit box this month; aptly named Crossfit Anywhere. Check out the pics of his new space and the STEELFIT Strength Grid in the background.

Since we started less than two years ago, we have now found ourselves in the position where we have a broad variety of bars for just about every situation and can get STEELFIT bars just about anywhere. We started with wall mount bars that work great in all kinds of settings. The extra wide brackets are key, so kipping pull ups can be done even on a wall mount. But the cry for a FREE-Standing (and mobile) unit was just too great...and the FREE-Bar was born. This free-standing unit has proven to be huge studios, military recruiting bases, demonstration events and home/garage gyms. We can't keep up with the demand. Soon after that, however came the logical extension of the FREE-Bar.....the FREE-Grid. For smaller gyms not in the market for a giant pull up system, the FREE-Grid was the answer............

We started out a couple of years ago with custom Steel Grids in our backyard, and now the STEELFIT Strength Grid is available East to West. (Can't get our stuff out of the country yet, except for Canada). This is the STEELFIT original with functionality and durability that only STEELFIT can deliver.

So, bars for everyone and every situation and we now have pull ups ANYWHERE..............