procrastination contemplation, I’ve decided on a new challenge. Well, not new, exactly, but new for this year.
After almost four years of regular workouts, I still can’t do a pull-up. That’s mostly because I don’t try, and I don’t try because…well, pull-ups are hard.
pullup with neutral grip
(Click on image to view this exercise…)
I can accomplish the pull-up demonstrated above as long as I’m on the assisted pull-up machine with about half my body weight (which is more than this woman’s) being propelled by the machine. Take away the support and I am like a dangling piece of spaghetti just hanging on the bars.
But, no more, I say! I am dusting off my old pull-up goal (it was filed between my old C25k goal and my 100 push-ups goal) and trying again. I’ve read that the best way to learn how to do a pull-up is to do a pull-up*, but
that’s just plain stupid, in this case, because if I could do a pull-up it wouldn’t be a goal that’s not working so well for me. This time, I’m using the approach recommended int this Sparkpeople article:
Phase 1 involves starting with seated lat pulldowns- 2-3 sets of 12-15 good form reps at 25% of body weight. I’m currently doing about 50-60% of body weight with these, so I’m moving right into phase 2.
Phase 2 uses standing lat pulldowns (haven’t done those in ages!), working to 2-3 sets of 12-15 good form reps at 50% of body weight. No clue where I am in this phase, but I’ll know after today’s workout.
Phase 3 continues the work from Phase 2, working to 80% of body weight, before moving to Phase 4.
Phase 4 assures me I should be ready to complete 2-5 pull-ups. I shall be happy with 1 pull-up. It doesn’t even have to be pretty.
If you’ve been reading here a while, you know better than to hold your breath waiting for me to complete this challenge. Generally what happens is that I enthusiastically chase the goal for a bit, then grow bored and move on to something else. It’s fine with me, because my truest joy is in the chase itself and as long as I’m pursuing something, I’m happy.
You can bet your bottom dollar, though, that if I ever DO complete a pull-up, 100 push-ups, or a 5k, a Cake Day will be declared.
What’s your current “hot pursuit”? Will it bother you if you don’t reach the finish line, or are you content with your efforts? (There’s no right or wrong answer to that, in my opinion.)
*In general, I agree with the notion that the best way to learn how to do something is by doing it, but I think it works better for things like public speaking or knitting. But I could be wrong.