For those who care about buffness

Posts tagged “chin ups

the legend of the human flag!

In November last year, a friend asked me to help him achieve a flag. So we started working diligently towards a workout plan which would lead him there. In all fairness it didn’t take much adaptation from my own workout, merely slight modifications for the most difficult series in the early days, and less weight. A progressive levelling to harder and heavier series.
The friend in question had a reasonable level of base fitness already, an awareness of his own body and muscles, and had already clearly experienced workouts and boxing stamina regimens. And prob had a reasonable BMI (not that I care about BMI bs but am trying to say the kid was ripe for a buffness academy intensive workout!).
So we started with the basic upper body exercises, in circuits. Pulls/chins, push, oz pulls, dips. The bread and butter of calisthenics. Progress was steady and I was lucky he was very keen and motivated.
We started with difficulty achieving 8 x pulls 4 times, and an exhausted client. We built him up and ~6 months later we have a fluent pull upper, (I think he is at ~10kg extra on all sets, and could do much more if he dared!) who does half flags on the pole for breakfast and in his sleep. With perfect form.
The grip used to teach him the human flag was the trad grip on a normal street pole (with tape added for better grip). We started practicing them every other day as soon as he developed awareness for his half flag skills, and alongside rigourous front planche practice, after circuits.
Great emphasis was put on proper form, proper grip and the initial tip toeing phase before any lift off was attempted. After a few months, he was able to briefly hold a tucked flag, and decided to start practicing the ladder grip. This grip imho is a bit easier to handle for most people due to nicer wrist angle and a feeling of safe grip, not to diminish his hard work, as 6 months ago he could hold neither! It is a remarkably hard feat for either grips, and this makes me really proud:

Congrats to him and to all of you out there working on the flag! Work your upper body hard, with compound exercises like pull ups that will work your core hard too, you will need it for this. And one day, you too can achieve the legendary human flag!

increase numbers of pulls

while waiting for my right shoulder to be less tender so i can resume buffness training, i came across a “BarStarzz” article about increasing the number of pull ups one can do.
i must say, i am now interested in trying this regime. not so much because i am desperate to increase my number of pull ups. i do an average of 4 x 10 every workout i have. but more because i would like to see what happens.

so basically this is how they structured it, it’s based on the armstrong program, used by the marines (find out more here

    1. day 1: max reps sets

– as you wake, 3 sets max rep push ups w 5-10 mins rest in between.
– 3-4 hours later rest you can then do pulls. 5 max rep sets w 90 secs rest, STRICT FORM ONLY.

    2. day 2: pyramid sets

– as you wake, 3 sets max rep push ups w 5-10 mins rest in between.
– 1st set 1 rep, rest 10 secs
– add one rep every time til you hit the max you can do. pause 10 secs and redo the max reps set again.

    3. day 3: training sets

– as you wake, 3 sets max rep push ups w 5-10 mins rest in between.
pick a number of reps that will allow you to do 9 sets, no more no less. adjust according to your findings.

consists of 3 sets of shoulder width pulls, 3 x narrow chins and 3 x wide grip. 60 secs rest between sets.

    4. day 4: training sets and beyond

– as you wake, 3 sets max rep push ups w 5-10 mins rest in between.
try to go over the 9 sets according to what you did on day 3. you then know you need to readjust for the following week.

    5. day 5: repeat the day you found hardest

– as you wake, 3 sets max rep push ups w 5-10 mins rest in between.
– repeat whichever day

check out the barstarzz video:

so who knows, perhaps when my shoulder is back on track i will do this for 6 weeks and report back! 🙂