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Does ability to do pull ups depend more on strength or bodyweight? Watch

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    Obviously both factors are involved but I can manage 11 full pull ups so far (after a bit of training) and thought i was getting quite strong as people seem to struggle with them. Someone said today though that Im light and that I can do them as I dont have much weight to pull up (im 5ft and 120 pounds). Not that this really matters or anyone cares but i was just curious, do they have a point. I know that being tall and obviously heavier body weight would make the exercise harder but could someone who was 'weak' and light still do them. Im not as proud of myself now haha.
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    A good strength:weight ratio is more easily achieved at lighter bodyweights. The best people in my gym at pullups are the climbers, who are all pretty skinny and probably can't deadlift/squat/bench that much.

    You don't often see 100kg+ lads who are amazing at pushups, pullups etc even though they're ridiculously strong, just like you don't really see 60-70kg guys who are amazing at strongman.
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    once u can do 3 sets of 15 pull ups, start doing them with weight to increase the intensity
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    (Original post by indigofox)
    Obviously both factors are involved but I can manage 11 full pull ups so far (after a bit of training) and thought i was getting quite strong as people seem to struggle with them. Someone said today though that Im light and that I can do them as I dont have much weight to pull up (im 5ft and 120 pounds). Not that this really matters or anyone cares but i was just curious, do they have a point. I know that being tall and obviously heavier body weight would make the exercise harder but could someone who was 'weak' and light still do them. Im not as proud of myself now haha.
    I've not really attempted them (i was tall and skinny and now taller and fatter so would have been an ideal test subject) but i would have thought that the ratio of muscle to bodyweight would be the biggest factor. Tall people would probably have an advantage purely on the basis that the taller you are, the more muscle volume you are likely to develop. Remember here that muscle does not just grow in length but also in depth.

    So i'd suggest that height may be the biggest factor so long as the person does not look like an ethiopian.
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    Both. Depends on the ratio
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    I've never been able to do more than 10 pullups to failure really. It's not that I've not gotten stronger on them, it's just that my bodyweight has increased along with my strength. Obviously if I added 100lbs of assistance so it was like I weighed 120lbs (on an assisted pullup machine for example) then I could rep the f*** out, but if I was smaller framed then my overall absolute strength levels might not have been so great either way.
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    I've never been able to do more than 10 pullups to failure really. It's not that I've not gotten stronger on them, it's just that my bodyweight has increased along with my strength. Obviously if I added 100lbs of assistance so it was like I weighed 120lbs (on an assisted pullup machine for example) then I could rep the f*** out, but if I was smaller framed then my overall absolute strength levels might not have been so great either way.
    How do you even progress in pull ups? I've been negatives and pause reps and still can't do more than 2 full rom pull ups -- what am I doing wrong?
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    (Original post by indigofox)
    Obviously both factors are involved but I can manage 11 full pull ups so far (after a bit of training) and thought i was getting quite strong as people seem to struggle with them. Someone said today though that Im light and that I can do them as I dont have much weight to pull up (im 5ft and 120 pounds). Not that this really matters or anyone cares but i was just curious, do they have a point.
    Anecdotally, I've seen lots of posts from moderately serious lifters along the lines of "the biggest gain I ever made with chin-up reps was when I lost 20 pounds".

    I would say that it's kind of counterproductive to be worrying about things like this. If you're doing better an chin-ups, you're getting stronger. Sounds good!
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    (Original post by ReallyWigga)
    How do you even progress in pull ups? I've been negatives and pause reps and still can't do more than 2 full rom pull ups -- what am I doing wrong?
    I always just did 2 sets to proper failure, then later on I started doing one set to failure and then finishing that with either a dropset (doing band pullups to take some resistance off) or doing negatives after hitting failure. Using band pullups as a warmup is a good idea as well. Kind sucks not being able to actually see the progress, but my ability to do them never diminished despite being much heavier.

    If you're not having much luck with them then maybe switch to lat pulldowns instead, that's mostly what I do nowadays anyways unless the machines are taken and I can't be bothered to wait.
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    IT purely depends on the ratio I for example can do 35 push ups and only weigh 41 kilograms however my friend who is all muscle weighs 60 kg but can only do 15. it intirely depends on the ratio and determination. i know one guy how weighs a lot but can do loads more than me
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    11 pull ups is mighty impressive for a female, i'm surprised nobody has commented on that.


    Most things are relative to bodyweight.
    Although we do prioritise strength vs the bw ratio.


    If i were you i'd get your pulls to maybe 12/14 and then could then add 5kg and so on.

    Strongish guys can rep 30 plus. However, 11 is impressive for a female so well done
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Anecdotally, I've seen lots of posts from moderately serious lifters along the lines of "the biggest gain I ever made with chin-up reps was when I lost 20 pounds".

    I would say that it's kind of counterproductive to be worrying about things like this. If you're doing better an chin-ups, you're getting stronger. Sounds good!
    It depends on whether we are talking about repping body weight or absolute chinning strength (body weight+weight attached). Anecdotally, I've always hemorrhaged absolute chinning strength when dropping bodyweight. The problem with just considering bodyweight chinups is that they cease to be a good measure of strength for strong and lean people, and move into a test of muscular endurance more than anything.

    Really, excepting people who are seriously fat, most people are just bad at chinups because they are weak, not because they are carrying an extra 15-20 lbs on their waist- even at a slimish 78kg I could 1RM approximately 140kg combined on the chinup- the weight of a seriously obese person, I just used chinups as a strength training move (with additional weight and low reps).

    Skinny people might be better than fat people at repping their bodyweight, but the kings of pullups and chinups both somewhat in terms of repping bodyweight, and massively in terms of being able to rep out with a substantial additional load are guys with very low bodyfat and very muscular upper bodies, as any youtube search can confirm. They tend to be around a rock hard 90kg. A similar trend is observable for activities such as max vertical jumps which people tend to assume favor skinny people, although in this case its more the whole bodies of the athletes that need to be very muscular whilst also being very lean. True muscle tissue with a well trained central nervous system is just incredibly weight efficient!
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    The physiques of those best at fundamentally bodyweight moves like pullups and dips always look something like this:




    (starts at 0:38)

    The guy allegedly weighs around 95kg.
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    It depends on whether we are talking about repping body weight
    Bodyweight. I'm sure that's what the OP is talking about, and I've literally never before today seen someone claim to care about number of reps for weighted chinups (other than in terms of managing programming). (I see people boast about max added weight, but never about being to bang out multiple reps at that weight). And FWIW (unless you are much older than I expect), my first visit to a weightlfting forum was probably before you were born (rec.misc.weights on usenet, for those who were on the internet before the world wide web was a thing...)

    (As I'm sure you know), look at people who have straight bodyweight rep records and they tend to be fairly small (and with twigs for legs
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    without being too rude your body weight (in terms of your height) is average and not abnormally low, and your muscles grow alongside your height (hence why kids can't lift weights that adults can lift). i personally think that whoever said that was just jealous.

    i'm not saying weight doesn't affect it, like i have a friend who's 5'5 and 7 stone who can do pull ups but has hardly any muscles (his arms are like sticks), but your strength in relation to your height (and probably your fitness levels) will be better than someone who's taller and heavier but can't do pull ups.

    this is coming from a gymnastics coach btw, so i'm vaguely qualified to say these things
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    Both, depends on your relative strength to your bodyweight. Someone could definitely be on the lighter side and still have trouble with pull ups because they lack relative strength. Since they are an upper body exercise too, they are easily influenced by bw. Even if i go up a bit in water weight this definitely affects my pull ups the next day. Never the less, 11 pull ups is solid.
 
 
 
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