Pull-up Power

Q: James, thanks for your training wisdom. Yes, pull-ups for me is a problem. I have to do them at work hanging from a support beam. It's tough. My fingers can't go around the wood since it's a beam, so I have to cup them on top, then pull myself up. It works, but it's not easy. I still train at home, and at 57 I'm doing OK. I have to improvise a lot.

Thanks again for your updates.
-Bruce


My Answer: Well Bruce, if you're doing pull-ups on a support beam, then I say you're doing good and kicking the asses of guys half your age. You got to work with what you got, and sometimes that's better for you. In my starving student days, I used to workout at a playground, which had a 3 inch thick pull-up bar for kids to hang on. I did pull-ups on that. Scared a few soccer moms, made a few pint sized friends.

Even though it was initially difficult to do pull-ups because of the thickness of the bar, I kept doing it. So when I joined a gym and performed pull-ups on a pull-up tower with a regular one inch thick bar, it was easy. Right off the bat, I was doing three times the number of pull-ups that I had done on the thick bar.

So keep up the good work, Bruce. It's hard work, but it's good quality work.



Q: How's it going? I live in Canada, and I've been trying to find your book SPV2: Neo-Classical Bodybuilding for some time now. Any ideas on where I may be able to pick it up?

By the way, I've been using your program Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph for the past month and a half and have made some decent gains. On your blog you've suggested to another reader, after 3-6 weeks on the ectomorph program [that]he or she should switch it up to a 5x5 program. Would this 5x5 program be done 4 times a week instead of 3? Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time,
Don


My Answer: Yep, switch to a 5x5 program with a 4 day a week routine. Be sure to hit each body part at least twice a week. Use completely different exercises from the pyramid program.

As far as my book, you can order it through Amazon.com.



Q: On your blog you describe a training method for chin ups or pull ups: do 10 sets of half of the maximal amount of chin ups that you are able to do. How do I combine this method with the sample arm program in your book? The sample program means training arms 3 times a week. I probably can't combine those two, so how long do you suggest I should stick to the sample arm program? Should I take a week off every month and do the chin ups program? Or 2 weeks after 4 weeks of the sample arm program? Or should I alternate between the two training methods every other week?"

- C.


My Answer: No biggie. Rather than combine every method of madness into a week, just alternate or cycle through your favorite programs or programs you want to try. Simply alternate between the 2 methods: 3 weeks of the pull-up method followed by 4 weeks of the arm specialization program.

Speaking of specialization routines, in my book Strength and Physique: High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth, I list out, in detail, all of my body part specialization routines.

The book is packed with specialization routines for the chest, back, deltoids, arms, quads, hamstrings and calves. You'll learn of each muscle group's "personality" and how to streamline your training program to whatever lagging body part you want to develop. Strength and Physique: High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth is a very dense read, and you will shortcut your learning curve by light years in the gym.


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