It’s Spring Break and I’m taking a week off from working out. My kid is off so it’d be really tough to go to the gym anyway. The 24 Hour Fitness near our home doesn’t have childcare. There is another 24 Hour Fitness further away that has childcare, but I prefer to take the week off. I feel like I’ve been stuck (plateau) and a week off would be good. My body will have to chance to recover and I’ll be able to rest mentally as well.
This year, I’ve been doing the Armstrong pull up program to increase my number of pull ups. It has worked wonder and I went from 7 to 16 pull ups. I’ve been stuck at 15-16 for a few weeks now and I am not making much progress. At this point, I need to change it up.
The problem with the Armstrong program is that you do many sets of pull ups every weekday. My workout routine probably isn’t helping either. I usually do the Armstrong program. Then I lift weights and do a little cardio. Then I do one more max set of pull ups. This last set is usually my best set because I’m finally warmed up. My back and shoulder are sore and stiff even after a full day of rest. It doesn’t seem like I’m getting enough. The Armstrong program increased my max reps greatly so I really like it so far, but is it working out my back too often? I read up on this topic on the internet and there are many different opinions on this subject.
Pull ups every weekday
Most bodybuilders think doing pull ups to failure everyday is not good. The conventional wisdom is that working out will tear the muscle and your body needs at least 48 hours to heal and build. Just one day off isn’t enough for your muscle to recover.
However, pull ups are a bit different. You’re exercising with your bodyweight and it is possible to exercise more frequently. Your muscle will adapt to the challenge.
Here are good two posts I’ve found on the internet.
Chad Waterbury did pull ups daily for about 5 months.
- Pull ups to failure increased his max reps. However, avoiding failure increased muscle mass.
- Use rings to avoid elbow and shoulder pain.
- Your forearms and biceps will adapt to the challenge.
Nerd Fitness’ daily pull ups, lunge, and push up (PLP) program. This one is actually from Chad Waterbury as well.
- Natural grip is better.
- Need to sleep and eat right.
- Good result. He got bigger, stronger, and lost 1.5 inches off his waist. Nice result!
- Get a pull up bar
From what I found, people who haven’t tried doing pull ups every day think you need more recovery time. However, those who have done pull ups every day saw great results. The PLP challenge sounds really interesting. I should try that at some point. Usually, I don’t like lunges because I have a bum knee, but maybe this will be fine. You increase the volume slowly so your body should get use to it.
Taking a week off
Anyway, I will take a week off to recover and relax. Last week, I tried weighted pull ups for the first time and I am more sore than usual. I did just 3 sets.
- 8 reps with just bodyweight
- 6 reps with 5 lbs
- 6 reps with 7.5 lbs
- Regular work out then did 15 normal reps.
I think I’ll do weighted pull ups in every Friday. This will hit my muscles hard and I’ll use the weekend to recover. The weighted pulls ups really hit the forearms and biceps.
Alright, that’s it for now. I hope you have a great spring break. I’m going to take it easy and hang out with my kid. The mental break would be nice too. It’s been tougher to get to the gym lately.