Pull Up Training, The Evaluation
Friday, June 29, 2012
I did more research on pull ups and found that the most important muscle are the front, side, and back deltoids (shoulders), and biceps. Pushups are excellent for training the front delts, pecs, and biceps, but I need to add more training for the side and rear delts.
Last night was Day 0. It was just an evaluation of where I'm at in order to get to my ultimate goal of doing a "Sarah Connor pullup".
I basically just did a light circuit of various strength training exercises to find out where I'm at. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I do resistance training using mostly my body weight on the elliptical machine, treadmill, and stretch bands. My lower body is very strong - squats are no problem - I love them! But my upper body, well, it's kinda mixed.
I tested my core strength with planking. I usually plank on my forearms because I can't put extended pressure on my wrists, but with the contour bars I bought for pushups, I found I could modify my plank straight arm. That is a lot tougher, and revealed my upper body weakness. I held the plank at 1 minute, and my arms gave out before my core.
Next, the pushup. I haven't done pushups in a long time because of my wrist. With the contour bars, I gave it a try. I was able to do 2 sets of 5. 5 was the most I could do before fatigue. So 10 pushups total. Not great. However, I don't think my arms were the problem here. I can definitely feel the burn in my front delts this morning, so this is obviously my weak spot, and why I can't do a pull up.
I also tested my arm strength with 2 pound weights. I did sets of 20. Arm curls (bicep) was too easy - I didn't feel the burn at all. Next was lateral fly (shoulder - side delts) - terrible. I reached fatigue at 20.
Apparently my biceps are strong from carrying 20lb bags of groceries up 3 flights of stairs, but my shoulders are wimpy.
My plan of action is to continue dropping my overall bodyfat. Lower weight means less mass I have to pull. Now I need to put together a workout routine to strengthen up my shoulder muscles, which seems to be grossly out of balance with my arms.