Saturday, September 27, 2008

My 6-grip pullup/chinup medley

During my 3 years of bodyweight-only training, the pullup was a staple of my exercise program. 

It wasn't uncommon for me to do more than 100 repetitions done as part of a circuit training workout.

These circuits were often pull/push in design. I'd do a set of pullups then follow immediately with either pushups or bar dips. 

Sometimes the sets would be maximum rep efforts with longer rest times between sets. Other times the sets would sub-maximum rep efforts with shorter rest times. 

The only thing constant during my pullup mania training era was change and variety. It served me well.

I had a favorite pullup workout and did it once a week. It consisted of 6 sets of pullups or chinups. 

Each set was done with a different grip for a maximum rep effort. I rested exactly 2 minutes between sets. 

All reps were done with good form so they were not of kipping variety. I called this workout my 6-grip pullup/chinup medley. It consisted of the following:

Standard grip pullup - the good old-fashioned standard pullup where your palms face away and a grip width of about 24 to 26 inches.

Standard grip chinup - again this is the standard garden-variety chinup where your palms face you and you have the same grip width as the standard grip pullup.

Close grip pullup - your palms face away and your grip width is very narrow so that your hands are almost touching.

Close grip chinup - your palms face you and your grip width is very narrow just like the close grip pullups.

Wide grip pullup - your palms face away and you have a very wide grip width, as wide as is comfortably possible.

Wide grip chinup - your palms face you and you have a very wide grip width just like the wide grip pullups.

Assuming that each set takes 30 seconds to perform and you take the suggested 2-minute rest between sets, this workout takes 15 minutes to complete. 

Don't be surprised if the next day your ab/core muscles are a little sore from being worked because they were.

Count your reps for each set and add them to arrive at a total, and then record it in your training journal so you can compare it to subsequent efforts.

My total would average about 50 reps when I regularly performed this medley. It would be less now because I don't do pullups very often.

If you want a longer and a complete whole-body workout, do a set of weighted or bodyweight squats between the sets, but I still suggest you give yourself the 2-minute rest period for best effort performance. 

And if you want something even more than that, add a set of pushups or bar dips to each round, perhaps alternating and doing pushups one round and bar dips the other round. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.

But if time is short and you want a quick and effective workout, give this workout a try, one of my favorites, my 6-grip pullup/chinup medley.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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