/ Pull ups?

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Simos on 18 Oct 2013
Obviously lots of climbers do pull ups as part of their training routine - I do a few at the end of each climbing session and I am at the point where I could do ~8 pull ups relatively comfortably and whereas this is well below average I am sure (by climbing standards at least) I am wondering whether it actually makes sense to continue trying to do increase the number I can do?

My thinking is that since I am mainly interested in bouldering and the problems are short, I shouldn't really need a lot more endurance when it comes to pulling myself up but more power. I am sure that doing more pull ups will also get me stronger but wouldn't it be better if I started doing weighted pull ups and kept the number below 10 rather than keep doing more and more?

Also I really don't feel that the muscles involved in pull ups are really a limitation for me as my fingers give out first usually (unless on massive jugs) so would it make more sense to turn my attention to the campus board instead of traditional pull ups?
BrandonBallentyne - on 18 Oct 2013
highclimber - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos: I would avoid the campus until you've been climbing consistently for a good while. it's very easy to pull the very delicate finger tendons and pulleys through not being conditioned.

Pull-ups are great for strength in the back but don't really isolate the forearm muscles. for that I would recommend doing some dead-hangs - hanging on reasonable holds, maybe with your feet on some holds too, for as long as possible. Make sure if you do this that you don't lock your arms straight; bend them slightly.
Simos on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to highclimber:

Thanks for the advice, I've avoided the campus for exactly this reason but when I tried while keeping my feet on the board below it wasn't particularly bad but still challenging. I would definitely not do it without support from my feet.

Will try to focus more on dead-hangs and see how it goes but doesn't again the same thing hold as my original question? ie just keep holding longer and longer make you stronger or is it best to work up to a reasonable time and then up the weight?
Simos on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to BrandonBallentyne:

Thanks, have tried most of these in the past although not the Frenchies, they sound useful for lock offs. Sounds like I should build up a bit more on the pull ups before considering using weight...
jsmcfarland - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

If pure finger strength is the limiting factor to your climbing, then focus on that. Using a hangboard/fingerboard/campus rungs/holds to work the various grips (open hand, pocket, pinch, sloper, and some say crimp). If the hangs are getting too easy (probably unlikely at your level unless you start with massive holds) then just use smaller or harder holds, or start adding small amounts of weight. Most of the stuff I have seen advocates holding on for not more than 10 secs max, between 6-8 seems to be the done thing
highclimber - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:
> (In reply to highclimber)
>
> Thanks for the advice, i.e just keep holding longer and longer make you stronger or is it best to work up to a reasonable time and then up the weight?

yeah but don't over-do it/use too crap holds. I used to do pyramid intervals so I'd hang for 10sec, recover, 15 sec, recover 20 then back down to ten. Ideally you want to finish before you exhaust yourself. Just make sure you take heed to what your body is telling you.
Simos on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to jsmcfarland:

Thanks... That's a lot less time that I would have guessed I had to hold on for. Yes big holds won't be a problem I think but I'll start there and then try to go to smaller holds that I think will be quite challenging for me.

Hard to know for sure but it does feel like finger strength is my main limiting factor (well after technique that is) plus forearm strength. Certainly don't feel like it's my back but I don't know how that would manifest in my climbing even if it was... :-)
MischaHY - on 18 Oct 2013
If you couldn't use a campus board without feet, then you sure as hell don't need to be using specific training methods like that. Just climb as much as you can! When you're bouldering V8/V9, start looking at something specific i.e. fingerboard training. Trust me, ligament injuries are horrible and take ages to heal.
Daniel Heath - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

I agree that high reps of pull ups has a diminishing benefit.

Also agree about deadhangs and your finger strength is probably limiting (almost always the case)

However if you're interested in strength, consider other muscles:
-Shoulders for stepping into an undercut
-Triceps for pushing down on a hold
-Shoulders to push a hold out to the side

Variations of press ups is good for these and also balances out your pull up muscles.

And about pull ups, there are lots of ways to make it harder so you're doing <6 reps, then you get stronger IMHO
Simos on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to MischaHY:

I hear you on ligament injuries (actually had reconstruction on both thumbs so know how much they s@ck); it was the main reason I didn't do campus work so far. However I feel (might be wrong of course) that I am more likely to get injured when I try problems that need me to use a lot of finger strength - it's mainly because while bouldering positions are sometimes awkward/unbalanced I find and even feet can slip, I also find myself over gripping when high up and tired. With the campus board using feet it felt like I could control things pretty well - have no idea if I could campus without using my feet but don't want to try either :-)

V8/V9 is a VERY long time away obviously - maybe I posted 10 years too early :-)
Simos on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Daniel Heath:

Makes total sense - already doing pushups, dips and some handstands for all those reasons, they have helped A LOT!

I am trying to aim between 6-10 reps for all the exercises if possible.

Another (probably silly) idea I had was, instead of doing any pull ups, deadhangs or campus, to do a few problems until I am comfortable and then try to repeat them while carrying some extra weight (eg weight belt). Haven't seen anyone do it so probably a silly idea?
Paul D Jones - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos: How many times can your flex your cock with 1kg + on it? If you can get it in a pocket and tense the f*cker its far more effective that pullups will ever be. Balance my friend, use your 5th limb
douwe - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:
Because you've already posted about experiencing problems with elbow tendonitis I would definitely not add any weight or do campus exercises. If you want to do strength training I would focus on core strength. A good core will allow you to use the finger strength you already have more effectively.

@Paul D Jones; thanks, haven't read the 'use your dick' comment on a climbing forum in a while. It is actually good advice to press your crotch towards the wall on vertical climbing since you will have better balance and it allows for better footwork.
Simos on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Paul D Jones:

Very helpful, thanks mate :-p
Ben Sharp - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos: I really rate the pull up as an exercise (as in chins, palms facing forward), it's a good lazy mans exercise if you're not a gym buff and in my (possibly ignorant) view it's good for injury prevention because it gets your whole upper body used to being used. One exercise and it works your shoulders, chest, back, biceps and core. If you do it on a flat beam instead of a pull up bar it does work your forearms and fingers as well, at least it makes mine sore anyway.

It's an excellent exercise man, keep it up.
andi turner - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to MischaHY: Yes, I completely agree.

I know enough people who "train" who simply do it because they're avoiding the fact that they're technique or flexibility or strength in other parts isn't up to scratch.

My advice would be to climb lots, climb the problems you don't like and then 'treat' yourself to the ones you do throughout your session. Do some pull ups, press ups and leg raises or whatever at some stage too. Concentrate on climbing well, I can almost guarantee it's nothing to do with finger strength.
douwe - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to andi turner:
Second that.
Making up your own problems at the wall is also a fun & good exercise in my opinion. It helps you visualize the problem before climbing it and sharpens your problem solving abilities.
Simos on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to douwe:

Yes tendonitis is also one of my concerns too but oddly the thing that does seem to make it better for me is not so much resting but actually getting stronger (in a controlled way of course).

I decided against using weights for now (thanks all!) but if I do add weights in the future I think I will almost certainly have to up the intensity of pushups, dips (maybe add weight too) etc to keep things balanced.
Simos on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to andi turner:

Will definitely climb as much as I can - didn't mean that the pull ups would be in any way taking away time from climbing. I have a chin up bar at home so thought it'd be good to also do some pull ups, especially when I have to miss a climbing session. Thought about getting a finger board too for the same reason but I think it's too early and will probably end up injuring myself.
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panz - on 19 Oct 2013
everybody has method that fits him,

mine is as follows-I normally start from 10 pull-ups ,

do it on everyday basis one week, every next week adding one pull-up,

in 5 weeks when I do 15 I comfortably go climb my level,

40 years the same. Lucky climb!
Ron Walker - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

As someone who can useully do lots of pull-ups I would say that it is a really poor exercise for climbing and more likely to cause elbow and shoulder problems. Like you even on jugs my grip will give out long long before my ability to do pull-ups does.
I'd concentrate on technique, footwork, flexibility and balance first. Look at some of the top women climbers and see how they move.
I'm sure many of the lady's flowing up a route are unable to do the same number of pullups as the sweaty 'monkey' type " look at me" 'big noise' type blokes climbing the same route or grade!
mattrm - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

Out of all the people on this thread, I'd listen to andi turner and Dan Heath the most. If you're wondering why, look at their profiles and see how hard they both climb (RP sport grades - Dan, 7c and andi, 8a...).

However to echo Dave MacLeod you probably just need to climb more. As you've said yourself, 'my fingers give out first', so get on the hard problems with small holds. And don't knacker your elbows in the process.

Stuff that limit me personally is either forearm pump, fingers or footwork. Never felt that the number of pullups I could do has ever limited me.
Simos on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Ron Walker:

While I do focus a lot on 'climbing well' and I am totally with you on that, I don't fully agree in that you underestimate a bit the importance of power. Perhaps if you couldn't do many pull ups you'd feel the need to get stronger more. Technique matters more but you need the strength too to progress beyond a level I am sure.

I've actually had a case in point today: much better than me female climber (but not too strong) trying a problem and really getting stuck on a move. Tried the problem too and copied pretty much the way she tried to do the hard move (technically was right) and found it fairly straightforward for me, all it needed was a bit of strength to pull myself up. Strength needed was very similar to doing a pull up, only difference being that I was holding using fingers on a hold instead of grabbing a bar with my hands.

Maybe it's just me but there are plenty of problems that I feel that I wouldn't be able to easily do without strength - if not anything having a bit of strength gives you options when climbing I find but of course is not an excuse for poor form. And I find pull ups relevant especially if you slow down/ focus on the negative part (coming down) as the ability to hold off with arms out wide and with the elbow bent at 90 is a position encountered often in climbing.

Perhaps if my body type was naturally more muscular I wouldn't have felt it was important but being naturally on the skinny/weak side, I've seen a lot of improvement when I started getting a bit stronger, even to my technique!
Simos on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to mattrm:

Checked those already, thanks :-) not that someone that doesn't climb really hard can't give good advice though...

True that there are weaker links than big pulling muscles - I'll work on those too, nothing is mutually exclusive. It's amazing how much easier everything feels when you get the footwork/balance right - like all the weight is lifted from your fingers all of a sudden! :-)
Scrump - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:
Sample size of one so take this for what its worth (not much).
Over summer my climbing has gone up 3 font grades and im by far the strongest ive ever been. In the same time my max pull ups have gone from 8 to 10. I dont think pull up strength is directly transferable. Climb more powerful bouldering if you want to get strong or if you cant then fingerboard. Even if your just starting as long as your careful itll be helpful.
Simos on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Scrump:

Thanks makes sense - I think you misunderstood me a little. Not saying that there aren't more specific/useful exercises than pull ups (there are many!), nor am I saying that pull ups alone can improve my climbing (they won't!). All I am saying I guess that they are (much) better than no strength training at all and also quite accessible (to me at least) as I can do them at home so don't see a reason not to (apart from injury).

Also forgot to mention but as the chin up bar is fairly thin, it's quite easy to just use fingers only when doing pull ups, which I feel works the forearms too.

Anyway thanks to all - I do really take on board all of the above and fully appreciate than pull ups won't make a big difference, if any. Sounds like increasing the number of pull ups won't help and adding weight might cause injury right now so will try to have some setup at home for some deadhangs. Obviously will focus on climbing well and often and improve my technique rather than specific training like campus boards for now and maybe revisit in the future if I feel I've made enough progress.
Mick Ward - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to mattrm:

> ...you probably just need to climb more.

Probably the best single piece of advice the OP could get.

> Never felt that the number of pull ups I could do has ever limited me.

I could do almost the same number of pull ups when leading E3 (say physically F6c max) as almost (but sadly not quite!) F8a.

Not the greatest correlation going between pull ups and performance, in my case.

Mick

neuromancer - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

Not to hijack too much, but what if climbing a lot more is an impossibility - due to job or situation - say once a week at best. What could be done in the interim?
Mick Ward - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to neuromancer:

Your first decision is:

1. Am I climbing for fun?

2. Or do I want to get better?

The reality, for most people, is that it's 1. but their ego is telling them that they should get better. So they start on ill-thought out training programmes, get injured, etc.

If it's 1. then just enjoy it, whether it's once a week or more/less.

If it's 2. then, if it's just once a week, more important than the interim, is how you spend the session. You'll need to focus on where you need to improve, whether technique (always a good first port of call!), power, endurance, whatever.

Then do what you can to back up your weekly session. For most, it will probably be simple stuff, maybe a little aerobic, plus general/antagonistic body conditioning exercises. (The four best I know and do are push ups, sit ups, leg scissors/crunches and sidebends - no more love handles!)

Pull ups, maybe. A finger board - be careful, to be treated with great respect. A campus board, forget it unless you're bouldering at least V6, imho.

Be careful!

To doubtless slightly misquote, 'The thing is to get strong - but not get injured!' (Wolfgang Gullich)

Mick

najki_2000 - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:
Being a weak girl I can do about 5 (having rp'd a few 7as) - took me a year and a half of climbing to be able to do 1. What seems to stop me on steep boulder problems (font 6c and above) is ability to pull off with one hand a lot higher than other (offset pull ups), so I'd say training these might be more useful than simple pull ups
Simos on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to najki_2000:

I found the same in some cases too although (luckily) I can just about pull when needed. I considered doing offset ones at the climbing wall as they have a rope hanging off the bar I could use and also holds at different heights but don't want to waste too much time at the climbing wall doing pull ups but want to do them at home, hence why I asked.

Also most of people are posting that their climbing improved a lot but they can still do the same number of pushups more or less and quoting high (quite impressive if i may add) grades - I suspect at such a level pull ups are almost irrelevant as by that point enough specific strength would have been built and difficultly is based on smaller holds and situations where more specific training is needed.

It does seem to confirm my original 'concern/suspicion' though in that beyond a certain number it doesn't pay off to just try to do more, hence why I was considering to add weight. Maybe doing different typed like offset ones will help more. Just to repeat, this is NOT instead of climbing but in addition to...

Simos on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to neuromancer:

You are not hijacking at all, it's actually one of the main reasons I asked too as I am moving somewhere without easy access to a wall and want to do something at home to help with climbing (and ideally keep me fit) as much as I can.

Since the general consensus seems to be that more pull ups (or even just pull ups in general) won't help much, what credible options do you reckon are there for home-training that can help with climbing?
Jon Stewart - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

Dunno if this has already been said, but for someone starting out the stuff you can do at home, i.e. on a finger board, isn't very suitable. I'd say before your fingers get strong enough to stand up to doing pull-ups and dead-hangs on a board I think a pull-up bar is the best option.

But also, be wary of increasing strength before you've developed good technique. IMO, gaining strength before technique makes for an awful climber! The "I can climb 7a after only 3 months [if it's just campusing, I never worked out what these things on the end of my legs were for]" climber is not one that inspires huge respect in me at least.
neuromancer - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

What if it's both? My situation is that I get to a centre, am bored by all of the routes that I can do without getting pumped (maybe bad route setting? Find another centre?) and feel that I am limited by a lack of conditioning to climbing on the routes I want to do (I just can't pull on such a small hold or I get pumped too quickly) - routes that involve technical moves a well as inclined terrain, or simply smaller holds on steep terrain.
shark - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> Dunno if this has already been said, but for someone starting out the stuff you can do at home, i.e. on a finger board, isn't very suitable. I'd say before your fingers get strong enough to stand up to doing pull-ups and dead-hangs on a board I think a pull-up bar is the best option.
>

Deadhanging can be a very controllable safe exercise and if you are aware of good practice I would say it is good to do it from the start as:

A. gains in real finger strength (and strengthening the supporting structures)takes a long time to achieve and because the forearms are relatively small and
B. because it is so important for climbing.

For beginners use all fingers and bodyweight (or less). Generally no less than 5 secs per hang or more than 30secs. Vary the grip positions in your routine. Thorough warmup is essential for injury avoidance and performance. Be hydrated. Dont go nuts - ie dont do it every day and take a week off if you get a tweak - in fact take a week off once a month anyway.
highclimber - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Simos)
>
> The "I can climb 7a after only 3 months [if it's just campusing, I never worked out what these things on the end of my legs were for]" climber is not one that inspires huge respect in me at least.

There is a difference between those that have climbed a 7a and those that can climb 7a's.
najki_2000 - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:
Being a weak girl I can manage ~5 (grade wise I have rp'd a few 7as this year). Took me year and a half well into climbing to be able to do one pull up.
What seems to stop me on steep boulder problems (font 6c and above) is inability to pull off a handhold where my hands are at very different height or where I need to lock off. So maybe training offset pull ups is more beneficial than just the simple ones
Scrump - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to shark:
This will be way more useful and effective than pull ups.
Mick Ward - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to neuromancer:

> ...am bored by all of the routes that I can do without getting pumped (maybe bad route setting? Find another centre?) and feel that I am limited by a lack of conditioning to climbing on the routes I want to do (I just can't pull on such a small hold or I get pumped too quickly)

Why don't you have two grades - onsight and worked (redpoint), the latter say two grades higher? Just get on the latter and mess around. What's your experience telling you? Can you really not pull on the holds at all? (If so, sounds like power needed.) Are you getting pumped? (If so, sounds like fitness needed.) Your worked routes will provide a training needs analysis and a mode of training.

Caveat, further down the line you may find yourself getting bored pulling on the same hold time after time without much happening. But that's how you get better. (Be careful though not to get injured.)

Good luck.

Mick
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neuromancer - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to Mick Ward:

The personal response is most appreciated. My experience is telling me that I am getting pumped. I cannot solve fitness by going climbing more - can I solve fitness by a reasonably rigid (if gentle to begin with) fingerboard routine?
Ramblin dave - on 20 Oct 2013
In reply to shark:
The advice I've had on strength training for fat bumblies from One Of The UK's Top Climbing Coaches (tm) was pretty similar to that - basically, start on a fingerboard hold or campus rung that you can hang for between four and ten seconds. Do deadhangs on that hold for as long as you can in sets of four with a good rest between hangs. Don't do more than a couple of sets in a session. Once you get to the point that you can hang your hold for more than ten seconds, move to a slightly harder hold. Repeat until hench.

And yeah, like everyone says, don't injure yourself: warm up properly first, don't overdo it, keep good form (thumb placed next to fingers, arms slightly bent at the elbow, no swinging around), chalk up if you need to so you don't slip off, use a half-crimp rather than a full crimp etc

The other thing you can do with a pull up bar that's probably more useful than pull-ups is core strength stuff eg leg raises.
shark - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Just to mention there is nothing wrong with pullups they just aren't as useful for most uninjured climbers as deadhanging but the exceptions might include the less burly such as girls where prioritising pull ups and other upper body exercises might yield better results which Eva Lopez talks about here: http://en-eva-lopez.blogspot.co.uk/2012_07_01_archive.html

In short doesn't have to be either deadhangs or pullups it could be both
Mick Ward - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to neuromancer:

> I cannot solve fitness by going climbing more - can I solve fitness by a reasonably rigid (if gentle to begin with) fingerboard routine?

[Caveat] I'm probably not the best person to answer because I've never used fingerboards that much. Absolutely nothing wrong with them imho; quite the opposite, I've just always had alternatives. And I probably should use them more.

If you really feel you're unfit, I'd give pull-ups a go first. (I know this is where we started!) If you do go on to fingerboards, please be really, really careful. You have to get so used to listening to your body. Ironically when people do get used to listening to their bodies, they've almost always been injured (usually several times). And, even worse, they may also be old and knackered, having taken quite some time to learn the lesson. (I plead guilty to the lot!)

I'd still be surprised if you couldn't maximise your climbing session. Even if the routes are boring, if you reverse them, taking the clips out, go straight on to another, etc, it will get seriously pumpy. Obviously you have to agree 'mini-sessions' with your belayer - else you won't have one!
Pretty soon though, you're mentally begging your belayer to go slower, so your rest extends.

'You know it ain't easy
you know how hard it can be...' (John Lennon)

Mick






Simos on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to shark:

I embarrassingly don't know who Eva Lopez is but the article is excellent IMHO - makes total sense to me that pull ups will help a lot beginners and weaker intermediate climbers but will not make much difference to advanced levels.

Having said this, probably any upper body strength training (incl climbing) will probably help beginners! :-)
Paul F - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

You should be able to do this. Minimum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFPsvF3UOdo
shark - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:
> (In reply to shark)
>
> I embarrassingly don't know who Eva Lopez is



http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68417
Simos on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Paul F:

I need to work on my technique :-p
Simos on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to shark:

Thanks - sounds like she knows what she is talking about! ;-)

Actually there are some really interesting, well-researched/articulated articles on her blog (and some exercises on YouTube). Will go through them in more detail when time permits, thanks for pointing me to them.
Jonny2vests - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Paul F:

That's just a warm up for Dominic LaCasse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb2k5_ftaE0
johncook - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Paul F)
>
> That's just a warm up for Dominic LaCasse
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb2k5_ftaE0

Watched it, done this warm-up, now what exercises should I do after it?
martym - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

I'm by no means a champion climber, but I do think that my strength in climbing was aided by having done chin ups all my life... my dad had a pull up bar in our home & I did them all the time while at football training on the goalposts. I've always been able to do over 10 with ease... I do them for kicks every now and then. I can campus quite well on broad boards; not so much on the crimpy ones.
So for juggy climbing it helps, for more precise climbing, try a fingerboard.
andic - on 23 Oct 2013

Can anyone on here do one armers?

What did it take?
It is my ambition to be able to do at least a couple on each side.

Currently I am about 90Kg/14st can do quite a few pullups (did 21 in one set last week), do plyometric pullups and do a supported one hander by pulling on my wrist.
What am I missing?
BnB - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andic:
>
> Can anyone on here do one armers?
>
> What did it take?
> It is my ambition to be able to do at least a couple on each side.
>

> What am I missing?

A ladder?
andic - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to BnB:

Do you mean a training ladder/progression? What is yours?
BnB - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andic: No. I was trying to be funny.

On a serious note, I can pull up to my heart's content but my climbing is still rubbish because my fingers and forearms are relatively weak. I'd achieve much better gains improving this weakness than by working on back and shoulder muscles.
shark - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andic: >
> Can anyone on here do one armers?
>
> What did it take?
> It is my ambition to be able to do at least a couple on each side.
>
> Currently I am about 90Kg/14st can do quite a few pullups (did 21 in one set last week), do plyometric pullups and do a supported one hander by pulling on my wrist.
> What am I missing?


It would be worth setting up a pulley on a pullup bar and hang weights off one end and use a foot sling in the other to establish how many kgs you are off doing it in terms of strength gain required or body mass lost. You could also measure progress this way.

Cant do them now but found I could by accident a few years ago after a stint of pull-up training that Neil Gresham advocated. I'll dig it out if you're really keen but there are plenty of progressive programmes if you look on the web specifically aiming on achieving one armers.

One tip - doing them side-on is substantially easier than front-on.
Steve nevers on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos: But..

Roly Balls or rock Rings?
Shani - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andic:
>
> Can anyone on here do one armers?
>
> What did it take?
> It is my ambition to be able to do at least a couple on each side.


Similar stats here - I can do over 20 pull ups with good form, I am 82kg and currently 10%BF (at my last Bodpod). I've been training for a one armer for years - I'd love to do one off each arm.

Over the last three years or so I've never got closer than with about 15kg assistance, but I've also been injury free in that time. For anyone over 70kg (or over about 30 years of age), injury free training has to be a parallel goal to a one arm pull up!

I've not tried a one arm max for a while and am currently doing weighted pull-ups and chins.

If you find 'the secret' let me know!
jkarran - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

> My thinking is that since I am mainly interested in bouldering and the problems are short, I shouldn't really need a lot more endurance when it comes to pulling myself up but more power. I am sure that doing more pull ups will also get me stronger but wouldn't it be better if I started doing weighted pull ups and kept the number below 10 rather than keep doing more and more?
> Also I really don't feel that the muscles involved in pull ups are really a limitation for me as my fingers give out first usually (unless on massive jugs) so would it make more sense to turn my attention to the campus board instead of traditional pull ups?

If you can do a few pull ups you can do more than enough. If bouldering is your interest I'd turn your attention to bouldering. Sounds flippant perhaps but isn't meant to be.

jk
Scrump - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andic: Assisted one arm hangs helped for me a huge amount. I can usually do a one armer on my right arm now and im close on my left. This came after a few weeks of an easier version of the chris web parson one arm hang training. Interestingly I can still only do 10 pullups.
andic - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Scrump:

That is interesting but I suppose 10 reps is moving away from maximum strength training and one arm pullups are very much high intensity for most of us.
andic - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Shani:

Having glanced around on the web it looks like weighted pullups, one arm lat pulldowns and one arm hangs are what I should be trying, low volumes, high intensity and long rests.

Note this is not a climbing related training goal, not even for DTing. I just want to be a smug git.
Shani - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to Shani)
>
> Having glanced around on the web it looks like weighted pullups, one arm lat pulldowns and one arm hangs are what I should be trying, low volumes, high intensity and long rests.
>
> Note this is not a climbing related training goal, not even for DTing. I just want to be a smug git.

Indeed. An OAC is f*cking cool - especially of each arm!

I normally train for this once a week and am currently doing a 5x5 (with 25kg) one week and a Reverse Pyramid set the following week (with 45kg attached).

When I work one armers I normally do it at a pull-up station as this seems to allow for shoulder rotation and I feel it works the groove more than lat pull down cables (although I could be wrong). On occasion I do lock off work in the three key positions.

I suspect that arm-bone geometry might have an influence...

Only a few people I know can do an OAC, and of those, most I see are light (under 70kg). I've seen one big guy on You Tube doing an OAC but he was extraordinary.

Best of luck with training. I am actually psyched by this thread! ;)
Ian Black - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos: Forget about how many pull ups you can do in a climbing context. I can do sets with a 25kg plate and can do muscle ups no problem, but I'm still a crap climber. Concentrate more on footwork and technique. The most specific training for climbing is to climb more.
shark - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Shani:

Why do call it an OAC rather than OAP ? Hope its not because you are using an underhand method...
Shani - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to shark:
> (In reply to Shani)
>
> Why do call it an OAC rather than OAP ? Hope its not because you are using an underhand method...

Yep. I start straight armed, palms out in an open shoulder position. As I pull up I rotate in to a chin, finishing with the thumb touching the sternum. I don't use this as a climbing exercise. I rate full ROM movement and also rate this approach for following the body's natural trajectory. Weighted work is normally a mix of pull ups and chinning.

Anyway, talking of OAPs long time no see. How's life? Your kids still crushing?
Scrump - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andic: Yer thats my theory as well. It seems like 1-9 are easy then my shoulder get super pumped and stop working on rep 10 and theres nothing I can do to get 11. Doesnt seem to hold me back with climbing so I dont worry about it to much. Its just weird because no one else I know has the same problem at all.
JIMBO on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to andic: I can usually do one either arm. I'm about 85kg and I'm sure if I lost a bit more I could get back to 4 or 5.
I've been through phases of weighted two armers, bachar ladder sessions, campus boards and long slow negatives...
Shani - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to JIMBO:
> (In reply to andic) I can usually do one either arm. I'm about 85kg and I'm sure if I lost a bit more I could get back to 4 or 5.
> I've been through phases of weighted two armers, bachar ladder sessions, campus boards and long slow negatives...

That's a big claim! Do you start hanging straight armed and finish with chin above bar? If so, very impressive!
Simos on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to Scrump:

Definitely in your head :)
JIMBO on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to Shani

> That's a big claim! Do you start hanging straight armed and finish with chin above bar? If so, very impressive!

Apparently I've got big arms! The most I've done fully to the bottom and chin over is 3. I usually stop short of locking the shoulder out fully and then I could do a couple more (about 150 degrees).
Shani - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to JIMBO:
> In reply to Shani
>
> [...]
>
> Apparently I've got big arms! The most I've done fully to the bottom and chin over is 3. I usually stop short of locking the shoulder out fully and then I could do a couple more (about 150 degrees).

I'm inspired! At 82kg I'm a veritable lightweight in comparison. I've got no excuse now.
andic - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to Shani:

Actually I had a 'fitness' test on Tues at the gym: cardio, chest, back and legs; load of tosh really but it estimated 1RM and vo2max. My lat pulldown 1RM is apparently about 160kg so I'm within a whisker of 2xBW.

Training tonight included some unweighted, 2x2 one handed, 5x5 with 20kg dumbbell, 6of3 one hand lat pulldowns 60kg.

Probably Monday I'll go v.heavy and low volume and include some plyo style pull ups catching a bar to train power as well as fibre recruitment.

Not ready for unaided hangs yet, try them in a few weeks.
AJM - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to Daniel Heath:

> I agree that high reps of pull ups has a diminishing benefit.

Agree. Fwiw I think my max pull-ups to a set came when I was climbing about 6b on an optimistic day. Unsurprisingly this is because I'd been doing lots of pull-up training for an ice trip rather than doing training that would work on my weaknesses as a rock climber.

Kieran_John - on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:

I struggle with locking off on a wall. Any particular pull up exercises suitable for that?
Shani - on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to Kieran_John:
> (In reply to Simos)
>
> I struggle with locking off on a wall. Any particular pull up exercises suitable for that?

One way is using Three Position Static Holds.

Do a pull up and then hold yourself at the top of the move, with arms at 90 degrees and then at 'just above the bottom of the move'. Hold each position for 5s. Do the holds on the upward and downward phase.

Ben Snook - on 25 Oct 2013
I've been climbing on and off for about 7 years. I'm 5'10 and weigh a smidge over 70 kg. I've never gone to a gym, but do have a pull up bar at home I use occasionally. I can crank out ~30 palm-out pulls without breaking a sweat, and can push to 40 if I need too. I think the most I've ever done is a set of 50. I have done a one armer whilst eating an ice cream, have done a set of 6 muscle-ups, and the other day did a palm-in chin with my girlfriend (~50kg?) koala-d on my front.

She struggles with 2 palm-out pulls.

I don't push my grades on trad (super comfortable cruising at VS; should really start getting on with HVS and E1). Whenever I go to the wall I'm onsighting (I never seem to do redpoints) high 6s.

My girlfriend is onsighting mid 6s.

Long story short; at our level, our strength has very little impact on our grades. IMO technique is much more important to train than strength!! I would humbly suggest to practice your footwork and body positioning rather than your pull ups.
shark - on 25 Oct 2013
Shani - on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to Ben Snook: "I have done a one armer whilst eating an ice cream"

How big was the ice cream?
Ben Snook - on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to Shani:

A fruity Chilly Billy; at least 100g!
The Ghost Rider - on 26 Oct 2013
Try doing supported one handers as slowly as possible, then pull up with support, and release on the way down, descending under control.
The Ghost Rider - on 26 Oct 2013
Not sure how relevant pull-ups are to climbing, I can do 15 comfortably but am a pretty poor climber!
Simos on 27 Oct 2013
In reply to The Ghost Rider:

To me this doesn't prove anything really. Equally a non-climber who is a gym rat and does 50 pull ups will be rubbish at climbing.

Nobody is suggesting that pull ups are a substitute for technique; far from it. They are not even a substitute for other strength training. The question is whether adding gaining extra strength by doing pull ups, over and above the climbing itself, is significantly beneficial (I say significantly because I don't think it's counter-productive).

For the record from the responses above I've dropped the pull ups altogether for now and started working on core strength instead when I have time at home.
Jon Stewart - on 27 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:
> (In reply to The Ghost Rider)
>
> The question is whether adding gaining extra strength by doing pull ups, over and above the climbing itself, is significantly beneficial (I say significantly because I don't think it's counter-productive).

A coach with a bunch of qualifications and stuff advised me: doing a few pull ups and stuff won't do your climbing any harm. I think that's about the size of it.

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