Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Monday, April 12, 2010

It's a funny thing, pride--one of those strangely dichotomous things that is at once a wonderful thing and a horrible one. One person's source of pride might seem ludicrous to another. Pride can motivate a person. After all, on some level, pride is part of why we bathe every day and wear clean clothes and brush our teeth and hair. We want to look at least remotely presentable. Taking pride in our appearance and our work ethic and our other good qualities helps us to be good, productive citizens. Pride in ourselves can motivate us to eat better, to be active, to continue to learn instead of becoming stagnant in our professions. It makes us stronger, smarter, faster, more graceful than we would be without it. Pride in our homes helps motivate us to keep them clean and tidy. Pride certainly is not always a bad thing.

I have realized, though, that pride has not always been a good thing, either. Granted, it has done all of the things mentioned above, but I think that in some ways it has hindered me as well. As strange as it might sound, sometimes we need to take a step back and objectively evaluate where we stand. We need to look at where we are, not where we want to be, and assess our strengths and weaknesses and address them honestly, not trying to be more than we are, no matter how desperately we might want more. For what seems like forever I have been struggling to do a pullup and a pistol. Some form of assisted or partial pullup or pistol has been a part of my workout for well over a year now. I have wanted so desperately to move closer to these goals that I have pushed myself to take bands away too early or perform a particular movement any way necessary to get a momentary sense that I am accomplishing something. Recently I started Pavel's Fighter Pullup Program. It uses a ladder program to increase reps and can be used, with bands, to bring one closer to a pullup if they can't yet accomplish one. It works by building on a person's three or five rep max. Before starting it, though, I had to honestly assess my three rep max and my five rep max. For once, I cast my pride aside, and although I felt like a total loser, I chose what in my eyes was the path of the physically weaker individual and started the program with one more assisting band than I really wanted to.

That was five days ago. Already I am humbled by my own stupidity. In those five short days I have finally managed to begin to feel the groove of the pullup. I've finally begun to feel the full-body tension I have been trying to learn to generate for the last 6 months. And I finally feel like I might actually be making progress.


  1. Interesting I hadn't heard or seen that before. A quick google later, and I think I'll fire it up in May.

    Last year, I was down to the 1 inch and 1/2 inch superband together. When I tossed the challenge out there, I found I needed to go back to my 1 3/4 inch band (the 2 1/2 inch band rockets me up). But I only have a 3 rep max.

  2. actually a little confused.

    25RMx20 does that mean do 25reps for 20 sets?

  3. I'm in the same boat right now. I started the convict conditioning at the bottom. Feels silly doing 10 wall pushups when I can do a one arms already but I think the author is right and I've made the decision to follow it through and do at least 2 workouts at the minimum before moving to the next level. There are 9 levels of progression and this might take a year but I really want the handstand pushup and the naked pistol (just to be clear that is without weight).
    Pride......I love to press. I pressed the 97 and had the beast in my sights until I picked up a wiffle ball and threw it across the yard, which apparently caused bursitis in my arm so I had to revert to nothing but swings and snatches. I can't even do get ups. It was the best thing ever. I'm in better shape than ever. I just wanted to say I could whip the beast. Will it improve my conditioning? Not really. Pride.
    I should know better. Many times I've started working out with someone who bounced a bar of his chest to out lift me and after a few months of sticking to my slow and correct form I passed him.
    See it through. Persist without exception.

  4. Chris: not sure where you saw this but "25RMx20" would typically mean:
    25RM -- this is the MAXIMUM WEIGHT that you can get 25 repetitions with

    25RMx20 would be lifting "the MAXIMUM WEIGHT that you can get 25 repetitions with" for only 20 reps.

  5. Faizal:

    Wasn't this one directly, but a pdf with the same information


    Look under the program 15RM and 25RM.

    The way someone on the dragon door forum described it. Do max rep, then 20, all the way through the set.