Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pullups, Presses, Volume, Creatine and Weight gain

At the beginning of the year I decided to spend some time working on pullups, which have always been a weak point for me, being a bigger guy.

I started doing a descending ladder set program of Pavels, the Fighter Pullup program. The problem was that my rep max is one. So, I began the 5rm program with a rubber band, to lessen the resistance. The first day is 5,4,3,2,1 and you do pullups daily, increasing the volume every workout.

At the same time I have bee working on variations of KB presses. Several of these workouts were in an EDT format of presses combined with rows and several were Viking inspired high volume pressing sessions ( eg-25 sets of 5 per arm w/32kg). In the interest of improving strength I also started supplementing with creatine, which I haven't done in a while, but I got a good deal (free) on a kilo of creatine, so why not?

My BW at the beginning of the year was around 269.

I began noticing that my traps and shoulders were looking a little more pronounced and that my lats feel wider. Great. I went to test my RM the pullup on Monday and I am still at 1! And it was a hard one too. So I am thinking: "This SHOULD be easier by this point, shouldn't it?"

I stepped on the scale: 278. No wonder! I shouldn't be surprised, given the way creatine works with H2O retention, so I had a big "ah-HAH!" moment there. Thankfully none of the weight gain has been in my belly and my presses are getting stronger.

Now, the important thing here is that not only do I understand WHY the weight gain, but also that it is in fact a GOOD thing, given the increase in my pressing and the fact that had I tried a pullup with 10lbs strapped to me 6 weeks ago, I wouldn't have been able to do it.

So my next step in training is to shift back into a pure fat-loss mode for the next 10 weeks and see how much of my new muscle I can keep while whittling away at my belly.

5 comments:

P. J. said...

Nice work on the pullups. Real men train their weaknesses.

Taikei Matsushita said...

Got the same situation here David!
Purchased the pull up bar, using jump stretch band to ease the resistance etc.

I need pull up done by June.

hunashaman said...

Great stuff Dave. I'm particularly glad that you posted this topic. My one rep max on pull ups is also 1 and I'm a big guy too. I'm currently on a four week PHA kettlebell cycle and will then proceed with a 4 week heavy and high volume strength / size cycle which will include pull ups. Keep going, we will become monkeys eventually.

Sean Schniederjan said...

we're in the same boat man, i can't do pullups to save my life.

Kettlebell Instructors/0311 said...

My legs are well muscled and smooth to the touch, but not hairless. Doug and I are not synchronized swimming anytime soon.

W2