Saturday, 8 November 2014

Muscle ups

A few months ago, I finally managed to achieve something i've been training for since the beginning of the year. I finally got a muscle up. While they are still far from perfect, and rely more on momentum and a 'perfect set up' than I would like, i'm still really happy with the achievement, and it's given me the inspiration to keep working towards my next goal.

While i'm sure my training isn't as efficient as it could be, I wanted to share the things I have trained which I believe helped.

At the start of the year, when I got the pull up bar in the post, I started on the 20 pull ups challenge. Increasing the volume of pull ups was important for me because they had fallen to 7, and I had always been able to do 10. I followed this for quite a while, trying to build my basic strength back up. Sometimes it would take me several weeks to pass a week.

When I got to around week 5 of the program, I went back a few weeks and started to add extra weight, until eventually, I was just training a 5*5 3 times a week. At this point, I was also training hadley rows and bicep curls in my weightlifting, to supplement my pull up program. Pulling the bar in close to my chest and squeezing the shoulder blades together at the top of the row seems logical to me, as this mirrors the transition of a muscle up.

A few months before getting my first muscle up, I noticed that despite my training, I still couldn't pull as high as some of my friends. This spurred the decision to start adding more variation to my pull up workout. I'm fairly sure that these changes helped me crack the muscle up transition. When I was training parkour, I made a point to train split arm muscle ups, alternating which arm goes over first. Instead of training 5*5 pull ups three times a week, I decided to only train it once, and add in a variation day, consisting of close arm chin ups, wide arm pull ups, and the closest I can get to typewriter pull ups, and on friday, I worked a 3*5 heavy set. I believe that these, combined with trying to pull my chest to the bar on each rep, helped me crack the first muscle up. It took 8-9 months of training before I managed to get them, and there's a long way to go before I get one from deadhang, but I'm glad to have cracked the transition.