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Exercise bleg

One of the things I do to stay sane is a bit of simple strength training, usually just push-ups (both one-handed and standard) and pull-ups. I've had great success with push-ups; before I went on this last vacation and completely failed on my routine, I was over 70 normal push-ups in a row. My goal is to hit 100 before I go home, and so long as I don't get too lazy, I reckon I've got a good chance.

With pull-ups though, it's a different story. My goal is 30 in a row. I have never in my life done more than 23, and for basically the whole of my service I've been stuck around 20. I usually work out four times a week, and I've done three sets to failure, added weight, tried "greasing the groove," all to little effect. (All those things, by the way, worked quite well for push-ups.) I rather suspect I'm not eating enough protein. Any thoughts out there?


  1. Option 1 inspired by science -
    Steroids seem to help people in this area

    Option 2 inspired by Interstella 5555 -
    Put on Daft Punk and let the beats give you god-like strength

  2. Also, creatine. I tried that one time for awhile, and by gum, it works wonders. Makes you gain about 10 pounds of water weight though.

    I should try the Daft Punk too, I usually listen to lectures on Roman history. Not the best pump-up soundtrack.

  3. I know this post is a bit old, but I just read it so I figured I'd chime in. You're probably onto something about not eating enough protein - it'll probably help to try and get protein levels to ~1 g/lb of bodyweight (if possible), though I've found I have better strength levels at ~1.5g/lb BW.

    As for exercises... Do you have access to any thing you can use to do horizontal rows? Maybe a low-set bar that you can do inverted bodyweight rows on? My pull-up #s got considerably better after focusing on horizontal rowing for a while. You can also try weighted eccentrics (sets of 8-10). As a side note, do you know which muscle is the weak point (i.e. what tires our first - hands, lats, biceps, etc)? I had weak lats, and focusing on them has really helped all my back exercises, including pull-ups.

    Bear in mind that I'm also at the same point you are of being able to do ~20 pull-ups, so take that for what it's worth. Also, on a total side note, your blog has come a long way - it's a pleasure to read while I'm procrastinating in lab.
    -Steele E. Dan


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