I was about to say that this post isn’t about guns (“arms” challenge) BUT then I realized, it is about guns. Mine. The ones on my body. Anyway.
Like any fitness enthusiast, I have a long list of weaknesses in my training that I want to improve. This month, I’m going to double down and show that list who’s boss. Well, a small part of that list.
Here’s what I’m doing and how I’m doing it…
Ah, upper body. Upper body strength is tough for a lot of women, since most of our strength sits in our lower half. I’m no exception! I’ve gotten a lot stronger than I used to be (evidence: my arms 1.5 years ago versus now), and I’m especially proud of how strong my shoulders have become. Now I just need to get the rest of my upper body to catch up!
Specifically, I will work on my strict pull-ups and ring dips this month. Not only will this help my upper body strength in general, it will also help me work toward my goal of getting a muscle up!
If you’re not familiar, a muscle up is basically a huge pull-up plus a dip, done on the bar or on gymnastics rings:
(P.S. You’re welcome. Keep watching, I won’t judge.)
My current numbers (unassisted):
Strict pull-ups: 1
Strict ring dips: 0
My goal, by August 31st:
Strict pull-ups: 5 unbroken
Strict ring dips: 3 unbroken
(And eventually a muscle up, time frame TBD once I get more input from my coaches!)
I already do a regular CrossFit WOD 4-5 times a week. That won’t change. But, in addition to my regular workout routine, I will do the following extra work twice a week:
Every minute on the minute, for 16 minutes:
Odd minutes: max reps strict pull-ups
Even minutes: max reps strict ring dips
Since I can’t currently do any unassisted ring dips, I will have to get a little help for the ring dips. I plan to put one or both of my feet on a box to offset some of my weight. For pull-ups, I can use several different approaches to get good sets in: switch my grip (over vs underhand), switch to negative pull-ups, or possibly use a resistance band for some sets. (For an insightful article about band use and its disadvantages, read this. This is why I’m not using a band for all sets.)
I’m intentionally only doing a small amount of extra work on only 2 different exercises because this way, I won’t get overwhelmed, and I won’t push my body too hard. Taking things in small chunks is important to making sure the whole operation is a success.
Update to follow at the end of the month with results! :)
Is this a weakness for you too? Do the challenge with me this month! If not, what weaknesses are you working on?