After taking a hiatus from exercise in September, I’m back on track with my pull up plan. But I’m doing things a little differently. Instead of going for the heaviest weight I can possibly curl, I’ve started with a lighter weight and higher reps. There really isn’t a good reason for this, other than I wanted to try something different. It seemed like my initial work with the plan wasn’t yielding positive results of the kind I wanted.

I mean, I didn’t feel like I was increasing my back strength. I know that using solely my arms to lift my body weight isn’t the way to go, so I figured that by focusing more on form and high reps, I could build up those back muscles. Also, instead of doing the laying down pull up moves that I had added, I’m going chair assisted pull ups at home. It is a truly makeshift setup, but it lets me work on strength every day.

I’ve consistently had issues with how to do the barbell assisted pull up at my gym. Again, I’m not sure why, but adapting that move as my strength increases has just irritated me. I’ve landed at using my heels to provide the assistance, but I can only go so high with the bar. So now I’m doing single heel assists. Only time will tell if this modifications and adjustments will pay off.

The one piece of advice I hate for pull ups is to lose weight. Sure, losing weight means less weight to lift, but weight loss can also involve losing muscle mass. The balance is difficult. My hiatus did coincide with some weight loss, and that’s part of the reason I went to lower weights. Since I’ve increased my aerobic activity by adding more running and continued three days a week of pull up workout plus one day a week of Cross Fit, I’ve continued to lose weight, though more slowly than when I was sick.

And sure, I like losing weight while gaining strength, but I don’t want to go overboard. Unhealthy weight loss is not worth it, even for my pull up goal.

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