Tag Archives: pull up training

The Feeling of Having My Arms Replaced with Jelly

I am going to fall.

I’m going to lose my grip and fall backwards on my ass…

That’s pretty much what I was thinking while training for pull ups this morning.  I say “training for pull ups” instead of “doing pull ups” because right now, I can’t even do a single pull up.  And I don’t recall ever being able to do one even as a kid.  Well, there was that time in 6th grade when I could jump up to a bar and pull myself up – but I’m talking about a proper pull up from a dead hang, without the help of a jump.

The problem with training for pull ups when you can’t even do a single pull up is that the solution can’t be as simple as “Just do more pull ups.”  How can I “just do more” of what I cannot do?  If I could do even just one that would be enough – I’d just work on adding one more rep every session.  That’s why I’ve been working on my upper body strength: because right now I’m relatively weak. My biggest weakness is my grip.  Part of it is my body type: I have small wrists and small hands (which is also my problem when working on my handstands), making it hard for me to maintain my grip for long.  It also doesn’t help that I am overweight by about 8 kilograms (that’s 17.64 pounds for those who measure in pounds).

Hence the thought of losing my grip and falling backwards about halfway into the set.  I’d been working on reverse row-sit backs, and still had a set each of straight arm bar pull ups and TRX bicep curls to look forward to.  This, after practicing getting in and out of a straddle press to handstand against the wall, followed by a set each of hollow body pushups and TRX tricep extensions.  Just another normal handstands-and-pull ups training day, a.k.a. upper body strength day, a.k.a. “try-not-to-fall-on-your-ass” day.

Training for pull ups really is a pain in the ass – well, more like pain in the forearms and hands actually – but it’s also rewarding.  I like the feeling of getting stronger gradually.  Sure I’m still weak, but every session I get less weak.  And even if after a couple of months or so I still am unable to do more than a single pull up, that one pull up will be more than zero!  And it will really help with my parkour and freerunning, especially once I start training wall runs and under-bars.  It will even help me keep my grip on my kali sticks during FMA practice.

So I welcome the feeling of having my arms replaced with jelly in the morning.  It’s all good training.  And look!  I can still type.  Oh yeah!


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