SWA_9482As we approach the end of goal-setting month, let’s start to refine things a little bit.  For the last few weeks, I have wanted you to come up with three different goals: a gymnastics goal, a weight-lifting goal and a “running” goal.
Some of you have spent this month figuring out what you want to do and also figuring out where you are now.  So for example, you might want to improve your snatch by 20 pounds, but aren’t quite sure where you are starting from. That’s what you should be doing now…setting your baselines.
So for the rest of the year, how do we approach attacking this goal?
First, set some interim objectives. Think of them as a series of short-term goals that when strung together will get you to your long-term goal at the end of the year.
Since many people are trying to achieve their first pull-up, let’s use that as an example.
Some objectives towards getting a first strict pull-up might be the following:

  • 3 strict pull-ups in a green band
  • 5 strict pull-ups in a green band
  • 3 strict pull-ups in a red band
  • 10 ring rows at a 45-degree angle
  • 10 ring rows at near parallel to the floor
  • 5 ring rows with feet on a box

So each of these is itself a “goal” that is much more attainable than the end goal. The idea is to check them off as you progress in strength and technique.
Great.  So we have some objectives – mile markers on the way to the final destination – but how do we get there? Where is the road map?
No matter what the goal, you will need that plan, that road map, to at least make sure you are headed in the right direction.
Sticking with pull-ups for a moment, well, there are plenty of people who have traveled this road before you. And they left their own maps for you here, here and here.
I personally like to look at a variety of plans and then create my own. So here is one plan to get that first pull-up that you may or may not use.
Work on it at least three days per week
This can be during the workout, in a warm up or before or after class. So one week might look like this:
Day One
3 Sets of:
– 5 Negatives (Jump up to chin over the bar and take three seconds to come down)
– 10 Ring Rows and the strictest angle you can maintain for all 10
Day Two
3 Sets of:
– 3 Max bar hang with chin-up grip. (Hold chin over the bar as long as possible with palms facing towards you.)
– 10 Ring Rows and the strictest angle you can maintain for all 10
Day Three
3 Sets of:
– 3 Negatives (Jump up to chin over the bar and take five seconds to come down)
– 5 strict pull-ups using appropriate band or “toe spot” on box
– kipping practice
This is not a comprehensive plan, but should keep you busy for a while and help you check off the objectives.  You can mix and match and change reps and exercises to match your own strength and skill level.
Trust me, if there was one pull-up plan that magically worked for everyone, we would know it by now. The truth is pull-ups are hard. They require strength, mobility and the right “power to weight ratio,” which is a fancy way of saying you may need to lose some weight.
So now that you have your goals, it’s time to set objectives and road maps for each.
If you need help with that, come talk to me. I am really interested in what your goals are and how to help you map them out.