[Wife] 5 Week Pull-up Program

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    • #10244
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      My wife agreed to do a pull-up program, she is nowhere near doing one so it’ll be nice to see how much she progresses. Due to her scheduling we had to include a gap between week 1 and the other weeks, but since it’s mainly stretching I felt it was okay.

      16 Jan

      Daily Stretches
      Pre-Testing: Active Deadhang (12 secs)
      Active Deadhang w Straps (20 secs)
      Rack Pull ISO Hold – 10 secs @ 40,45,50,55,60,60,60kg
      Forearm Cool Down

      The stretches and cool down bookend each workout. She could only hang off the bar for 12 secs, let alone lift herself up. Her grip seemed to be the weak point so she tried again with straps and managed longer. I wanted to do a bit of grip work so the program isn’t entirely lost on her, so rack pull and hold at the top was added.

      17 Jan

      Daily Stretches
      Bent Knee Seated Pull ups – 2 x 4
      Forearm Cool Down

      These were easy enough to focus on the technique.

      19 Jan

      Dynamometer Grip Test 9.30am – Left 30.5kg, Right 30.7kg
      Daily Stretches x 2
      Weigh In – 67kg, 44.5kg FFM, 49.4% water
      Rack Pull ISO Hold – 5 x 10 x 60kg
      Forearm Cool Down

      I have an electronic dynamometer and noted the time of day because that is a variable that needs controlling for reliability. For the same reason I noted down the water % as her perceived fat free mass (FFM) is wrongly very correlated with water when it comes to body fat scales.

      21 Jan

      Daily Stretches
      Bent Knee Seated Pull ups – 4 x 4
      Forearm Cool Down

      22 Jan

      Daily Stretches

      24 Jan

      Daily Stretches
      Bent Knee Seated Pull ups – 3 x 4
      Forearm Cool Down

      25 Jan

      Dynamometer Grip Test 10am – Left 29.7kg, Right 29.9kg

      She’s away for a while and will repeat the last 3 days of Week 1 when she returns, followed by weeks 2-5.

    • #10262
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      END OF WEEK 1

      11 Feb

      Daily Stretches

      12 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Bent Knee Seated Pull ups – 4 x 4
      Forearm Cool Down

      13 Feb

      Daily Stretches

      WEEK 2

      14 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 18,13,13 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      A little miscommunication on the first set, I explained that it should be around 60% effort. These were spaced across the day with a maximum of 2 sets in one visit, spaced 5 mins apart. That’s going to be the same for all of weeks 2 and 3. We have a bar in the garage so she pops in as she’s leaving the house for work and does 1-2 sets each morning.

      15 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 15,14,15,18 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      The idea is to increase the number of sets each day and for simplicity I suggested adding one set each time. It’s a concept known as “Greasing the Groove” where you complete time under tension but space it across the day so your body isn’t fatigued. It’s commonly done with push ups and pull ups.

      16 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 12,15,14,10,10 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      18 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 10,8,12,12,12,14 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      19 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 11,12,12,10,11,11,10 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      This is the end of week 2, doing 5 days of active hang. This was because she can’t hold for 30 seconds, and if she could the next progression would be hanging in the top position for up to 30 seconds. In week 3 it will be six days a week of the same thing, but 80% intensity instead of 60%, meaning this week was more like a primer for the volume to come. I’ll test her grip strength tomorrow.

    • #10324
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      Feb 20

      Dynamometer Grip Test 10am: Right 33kg, Left 37.4kg

      What?? She’s right handed so this was a surprise, also interesting to have such a difference.

      WEEK 3

      21 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 17,20,17,21,21,20 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      This is 80% effort and she was doing pairs of hangs with 5 mins between, then coming back a few hours later to hold for another pair.

      22 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 16,20,18,20,19,22,22 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      23 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 17,20,15,31,17,19,15,18 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      She struggled with sore hands here, mainly around the calluses. On the 4th set I asked her to see if she could hold for 30 seconds and she managed it, but that doesn’t mean she progresses.

      24 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 17,20,19,20,20,20,19,20,22 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      Sore hands again, just adding one set every day.

      26 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 16,20,20,19,20,19,18,21,17,16 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      27 Feb

      Daily Stretches
      Active Hang – 15,17,20,18 secs
      Forearm Cool Down

      Hands were too sore so she couldn’t continue. We looked up variations in grip and she’s been using a small rubber pad to avoid holding on the knurling but it was no use.

    • #10346
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 4

      This marks the end of the frequency method and a return to more traditional training.

      29 Feb

      Dynamometer Grip Test 10.30am: Right 36.7kg, Left 31.3kg

      Negative Rep (3 secs down) – 1
      Bent Arm ISO Hold w Chin Over Bar – 0 secs
      Active Hang – 33,30,20,37 secs

      This is five max effort sets, starting with the most difficult variation you can handle, taking 2-3 mins rest. My wife managed a controlled negative, so starting at the top of a pull up and lowering slowly for a count of 3. She couldn’t hold the top position at all so she did 4 sets of active hang.

      2 Mar

      Negative Rep (3 secs down) – 1
      Active Hang – 12,8,8,11,9,6,5,6,2 secs

      This was a rest-pause method (15 secs rest) starting with the most difficult variation as above, and finishing when you can barely hold the active hang. She’s done deadlifts the day before and said her abs were hurting and so performance was down.

      5 Mar

      Negative Rep (3 secs down) – 2,1,1,1
      Active Hang – 35, 28 secs

      This was the same as the first workout of the week but with 6 sets instead of 5. She has improved enough that she can do multiple sets of negative reps, even if it’s only 1-2 reps it’s very controlled.

      WEEK 5

      It was recommended to take at least 2 days off before doing this week, which involves training 5 days in a row.

      9 Mar

      Negative Rep (3 secs down) – 4 x 1
      Bent Arm ISO Hold w Chin Over Bar – 0 secs
      Active Hang – 15 secs

      This looks like the end of week 4 but it’s actually 3 sets of the hardest variation you can do, then 1 set each of negative, flexed hang and deadhang. Again still unable to hold the bent arm at the top of a pull up for any amount of time.

      10 Mar

      Negative Rep (3 secs down) – 8 total

      You take the maximum reps you can do of the hardest exercise, multiply by 5, and do that many spread across the day, sort of a more advanced frequency method. It was my fault for not checking until late in the day that this was the session, so she only had time to fit in 8 reps.

      11 Mar

      Negative Rep (3 secs down) – 2
      Active Hang – 9, 2 secs

      This was the drop set day with 15 secs rest, aiming to beat the previous attempt. Her hands were really sore from all this exercise and that was the limiting factor which meant she failed the active hang pretty quickly.

      12 Mar

      Negative Rep (3 secs down) – 9 total

      Unable to find time to fit in all 10 quality reps so just 9 here.

      13 Mar

      Negative Rep (3 secs down) – 4 x 1
      Bent Arm ISO Hold w Chin Over Bar – 0 secs
      Active Hang – 12 secs

      The same session as the 9th.

    • #10347
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      20 Mar

      TEST DAY

      Pull ups – 0 reps

      Hardly a surprise, she managed a very slight bend in the arms but was still nowhere near achieving her first pull up. I was impressed at how much her active hand improved and that she was able to start doing negative reps, her grip strength on the 18th for her right hand was up at 38.5kg so she’s certainly stronger, just not there yet.

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