Sunday, February 10, 2013

60 Is the Magic Number

If I were running one of those dating services, I'd make a fortune hooking up weight training men with those numerology-obsessed women.  We're all keenly aware of how obsessed our fellow Iron Mongers are with percentages of max lift number,  sets ,reps, percent activation, minutes and hours spent training, number of seconds of I need to go on still?  They might live happily ever after with a cat-hoarding harpy who looks at living the good life as a specific set of numbers away from perfection. 

I can't speak for my readers but when I see a pile of numbers associated with lifting on my computer screen, seemingly popping out at me in 3D they're so numerous,  my mind goes blank almost as fast as it becomes uninterested.  It's the pinncale of paralysis by analysis.

While I have a general tendancy to shun specific sets, reps, rest periods, % of max, I have found a number in my training that has succeeded in standing out after all of these years that I've grabbed onto a rigid, overhead object for reasons related to pulling up:  60...or more. 

I've found through my own pile of sweat and pain that doing 60 pull-ups per day is a one way ticket to being more awesome in life.  I came across this wonderous discovery well over 12 years ago when I was working a night shift, 6 pm to 6 am.  Back then I could just barely manage to do 15 pull-up in a row.  So, I'd do a set every hour, just to keep myself awake on an unusually strong bathroom stall to keep myself awake.  Of course, being a 147 lbs puke, I'd barely be able to do even a few by the 9th hour but over the course of those dreadful evenings that I was onto something. 

That something is the simple fact that has been hammered home on my latest job of brooming, shoveling, sweeping and lugging around heavy and harsh sucton hoses that the upper back muscles can take a brutal amount of labor and not yeild in agonizing cramps and soreness.  The Lattisimus Dorsi muscle is a glorious piece of meat that begs for work.  No matter how much you try to beat it up, it just keeps taking it and getting more awesome in the process. 

Over the years, when I decided to train with pull-ups, a workout doesn't seem complete without at least 60 pull-ups, regardless of sets.  Do 4 sets of 15 or 10 set of 6.  Ladders or pyramids, it doesn't matter.  Just get to, or over, this number.  It's really that simple. 

Do more if you can.  Get exotic if you'd like.  Fat bars, weighted, on suspension rigs, L-sits, gripping towels.  Whatever.  Don't get wrapped up in too many details.  Just make sure that you throw lots of volume at your Lats.  They'll thank you for it and it won't take you too long to appreciate what they're doing for you. 


Freddy said...

Good post, I will certainly add more pull-ups to my workout routines the coming weeks! keep up the good work.

Milady said...


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