I wrote an article on one arm pull-ups a few months ago where I mentioned I might write and film some more stuff on perfecting the one arm pull-up. However as the snow has gotten deeper and the ice has gotten fatter my general level of interest in writing or posting anything has been sadly lacking. Perhaps part of the issue is that I am resonating with the notion of finding that point of training where one can get maximal gains with the minimal effort. However the problem with that is that I have a long history of lifting and that might be part of what allows me to now train with less “work volume”. So this week I spent some time looking at old training journals and tried to figure out what “basics” I had before I entered the world of doing one arm pull-ups (1aps). Here are some of the items that I came across:
Spent a couple years where I aimed to do ten sets of 20+ reps of pull-ups a day (or more regularly three times a week).
Same kind of idea with push-ups in sets of 50. Chest and bicep strength here are big.
Heavy pullovers. Seriously why did people quit doing these? It seems like seratus strength is the limiting factor for a lot of people being able to actually make it past the sticking point of a 1ap.
Heavy weighted chins. I have been guilty of putting down chin ups as opposed to pull-ups in the past. The reality is that I also did them for a long time, once again do them, and understand now that they develop a very different musculature.
Heavy dips and Db bench. Again the notion that getting past the sticking point is where the lat quits doing tha majority of the work and starts sharing load with the chest and seratus.
Weighted lock offs for both pull-ups and push-ups.
More recently the items that I have found that actually have value but are far more specific to the actual movement:
Bacchar ladder climbs and lowers.
One arm lock offs.
Archer presses and pulls on rings.
Towel pull-ups for grip strength.
However this is where the problem arises, I don’t have a way of gauging whether or not having a triple body weight deadlift is actually part of what gives a huge amount of stability to my shoulder girdle and has accustomed my body to doing 1aps. Or maybe there is some other seemingly non related lift that has played a huge role in building the strength for the movement. Paved is known for commenting on strength as a skill set, an exercise in building tension. Perhaps one could develop a 1ap simply buy mastering tension through a different lift. So we come back to the notion of what kind of programming a person should work on to develop their 1ap, or perhaps more importantly, the underlying strength to allow for one.
I would say these would be good goals:
A double body weight deadlift.
1.5x body weight chin up.
Body weight Db bench press.
1.5x body weight dip.
Getting there will of course depend upon the individual but here is a very loose program that could certainly start the process.
1a. Deadlift. 10, 5// 5, 5, 3, 3
1b. Pull-up. 20+
2a. Weighted Dip. 5, 5, 5, 5
2b. Pull-over. 5, 5, 5, 5
I am sure that this as a base program followed by some more movement specific programming would do great things for developing a one arm pull-up, however, perhaps more to the point, it would be great for developing strength.