Climbers need to have impressive upper body strength to haul themselves up to great heights—and if they’re trying to get tricky with maneuvers like one-arm pullups, they need to be able to handle more than just their own body weight. YouTuber Geek Climber started researching how to do the front lever and one-arm pullups, and realized that the training required that he be able to pull an extra 7o to 80 percent of his bodyweight.
His solution? Attempt to build up his strength so that he could do pullups using his wife as the extra bodyweight.
“I decided to head to a park with my wife, who weighs 75 to 80 percent of my bodyweight to try it out,” he says in a video documenting his training journey.
In his first attempt pre-training, his wife latched around his waist, and he wasn’t even close to completing a rep. But he quickly hit the gym to test out his baseline strength level.
He started by seeing how much weight he can handle for pullups. He starts at 35 pounds, and quickly ramps up to 70 pounds.
“Half my bodyweight,” he said as he completed the pullup.
But by 80 pounds, he was done. He went back down to 75 pounds to see if he could knock out a rep with that load, and he was able to finish the rep. He calculated that 75 pounds is approximately 54 percent of his bodyweight. With a goal of repping with 75 to 80 percent bodyweight, he had some ground to cover.
He came up with a training plan courtesy of YouTube and Reddit. He decided to start training with 3 reps of 85 percent of his then-one rep max, which he calculated to be 45 pounds. With that, his training plan was: 3 reps of 45 pounds for 4 sets, with 2 minutes of rest between sets.
He did this routine three times a week for two weeks. By day 15, he was able to pull up 90 pounds, a 15 pound improvement.
At that point, the plan seemed to be working well. He upped his training weight to 55 pounds for another two weeks with the same structure—but on day 29 he hit a wall and failed when he tried for 100 pounds.
“I was super disappointed, and my body felt super beat up,” he says.
So he decided to take a step back and re-evaluate his training. Eventually, he discovered ‘deloading’.
“It basically means after a period of intense training, significantly reducing the amount of training for a short period of time,” he says. “My first thought was how do I not lose my gains?”
Besides de-loading, he also researched his pullup form, and found room for improvement. He switched up his focus to make sure he was keeping his legs together and squeezing his core and glutes tightly on the way up instead of a maintaining a loose lower half. He also pumped his chest out to engage his lats as much as he could, instead of mainly pulling with his forearms.
After taking two weeks off, he started his training back at 55 pounds, and was shocked to be able to do it. After two more weeks of training, on day 57, he decided to test out his training with his wife.
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Pull up my wife! Here's the first part of my hopefully not too long journey to master the front lever. One mistake that we are all guilty of making is wasting time learning a calisthenics skill before obtaining the baseline strength for it. I did not want to make the mistake again so after doing some extensive research, I realized that the prerequisite strength for learning the front lever is the ability to do a weighted pull up with 70~80% extra bodyweight. Coincidently, my wife's weight falls into this range, so I decided to set my intermediate target for learning the front lever to pull up with my wife on my back for 1 rep. It felt impossible initially, but eventually I was able to figure out the right adjustments to make and successfully pull up my wife for 1 rep fairly quickly. Be sure to check out my latest video on YouTube to see how I did it! Link in bio. #pullupmywife #pullup #weightedpullup #weightedpullups #calisthenics #weightedcalisthenics #trainhard #strength #strengthtraining #pullstrength #pullupprogression #intermediategoals #goalsetting #halfwaythere #letsgo #extrabodyweightpullup #bodyweightfitness
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