This was initially going to be just an email sent to those who came to the bar muscle up workshop last week, but then I realised that more people needed this information than those 8. So here it is....
This whole system is based upon the idea that you know how to kip, can perform one or two chest to bar pull ups and have solid hollow and arch positions whilst on a pull up bar. If this isn't you then do not attempt to follow this system just yet. Get the basics first and then layer on the higher level stuff.
You can start at any point, but I advise starting at a lower level than you think you should so that you get more time practicing and the volume doesn’t smash you. If you have any weak points in your kip then the extra volume may bite you by exposing them to more volume than you are used to.
Moving on with the progression depends on the sets being performed perfectly – which means that the body positions through the kipping motion are tight, the reps are consecutive and the body is in a hollow when your chest touches the bar. If you need to spend longer drilling absolutely perfect mechanics with hollow and arch drills then you’d be stupid not to. This is a long game that never really has an end so do not feel that you have to rush on before you are ready.
In the interests of keeping you healthy and so as not to distract from everything else you want to do in the gym please do one level of proression once or twice, but no more a week:
1. 7 sets of 1, 60 seconds break
2. 7 sets of 1, 50 seconds break
3. 7 sets of 1, 40 seconds break
4. 7 sets of 1, 30 seconds break
5. 7 sets of 2, 60 seconds break
6. 7 sets of 2, 50 seconds break
7. 7 sets of 2, 40 seconds break
8. 7 sets of 2, 30 seconds break
9. 7 sets of 3, 60 seconds break
In a few weeks, with proper application and recovery, you can find yourself crushing total numbers of chest to bar pull ups that you only dream of right now!
This progression, at 7 sets of 8 with 30 seconds break between sets leads you to doing 56 C2B pull ups in roughly 7 minutes. Do you need to go on past there? What is going to be gained by going past there? Do your goals line up with you training? Only you will be able to answer those questions, and you will have to make a decision as you progress along whether or not to keep going.
The same format can be used for muscle ups….. The only prerequisite is that you can already do one, and do one well. When the same idea is applied to muscle ups (or even any higher skill / strength movement that you want to practice) all the caveats of movement perfection become highlighted even more – show us one person who enjoys hanging all their bodyweight on a shoulder joint that is elevated, protracted and internally rotated and we’ll show them exactly where the A&E department is at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital for when they’ve torn their shoulder up or fallen off the bar/rings.