I need to improve my upper body strength

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by RetroMozza, Feb 5, 2009.

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  1. Righto, two weeks ago I couldn't do one chin-up, after a couple of weeks in the gym, I can do a couple - and I mean proper ones...

    I'm struggling with push-ups though, I've never been able to do them - I'm now 21. It's embarressing but I'd rather get laughed at on here than at the selection centre.

    What can I do? If I could do one or two, I'd probably just keep going until I can do more, that's what I plan to do with my chin-ups anyway..
  2. Well what I did to improve my press ups was do 3 x best effort press ups, 3 x best effort chair dips, three times a day. If you're at home alone most of the day, set an alarm on your watch (say for 0900, 1300, and 1700) and when the alarm goes off, drop and just do the press ups so you won't put it off or forget to do them, I found it helped for me, in four months I could do 40 'proper ones' in less than 2 minutes, which I thought was pretty impressive as before I started I could barely do one! About twice a week, time how many press ups you can do in 2 mins, and you should see this improve really quickly.
    Practice makes perfect my friend!
  3. So it IS literally best effort? I don't mind doing that, and I certainly will...

    What muscles do I need to work on in the gym? Would that even help?
  4. Well no, not when you get to selection, I think you have to do a set amount of press ups in 2 mins (if I remember rightly it's 40, but depends on the job you want to do), however if you really are struggling but are clearly putting in 100% effort, I think some of the recruiting staff give you the BOTD, especially if you're female, then again they might not be so kind, so make sure you are comfortable at doing around 40 in 2 mins.

    You need to work your triceps, biceps and deltoids really, lifting weights and pushing weights (the one where you have to push weight up) might help, but if you specifically want to work on press ups, then just doing lots and lots of press ups will be enough. I'm not really sure about working out your upper body strength in the gym, you'll have to ask a lad I'm afraid, but if you want to work muscular strength you'll need to do high weight low reps, if you want to work muscular endurance you'll need to do low weight high reps, many times, and if you want to work on power you'll need to do high weight low reps, very quickly. But I'm sure I'm just pointing out the obvious there, you probably already know that!!

    Good luck! and PM me if you need anymore help..
  5. Press ups are easy to get used to doing, like everything it will just take a little time. Best way is to try sets. E.g.
    Week 1) Four set's of 15 press-ups, 20 sit-ups, 2 pull-ups
    Week 2) Four set's of 20 press-ups, 25 sit-ups, 2 pull-ups
    Week 3) Five set's of 20 press-ups, 25 sit-ups, 4 pull-ups
    Week 4) Five set's of 25 press-ups, 30 sit-ups, 6 pull-ups
    Week 5) Six set's of 25 press-ups, 30 sit-ups, 6 pull-ups
    Week 6) Six set's of 30 press-ups, 35 sit-ups, 8 pull-ups

    When doing the sets do complete rotations, eg, press-ups straight to sit-ups straight to pull-ups then rest for one to two minutes before carrying on...

    It really will work for you, trust me. As for pull ups, if you find them dificult try negative pull-ups to begin with. This is where you stand on an object where your head is over the bar and then just slowly lower yourself and repeat. This will help strengthen your back and shoulders. But if you can already smash out two, don't worry about this. Are you doing over arm or under arm and is this for recruit selection?
    If you have any questions/dramas just pm me mate... x
  6. A good thing I found with chin ups and/or pull ups, is to buy a bar from argos, think its about a tenner, stick it in a door way (dont need nails), then do whats called greasing the groove! Every time you walk past knock out a couple.

    Put it in a doorway you regularly walk through, and you can be doing quite a few in a day, I noted them down a few times, and I think from memory, I managed about 180 in one day, by doing 5 or 6 at a time.

    You will get better at them quickly, as you are doing them very regularly. And truth be told, the only way to get better at something is to keep doing it!
  7. I can only do chin-ups when my palms face me, if that makes sense. It's bloody tough to do one the other way..

    I've been doing high weight low reps in the gym, I will start mixing it up now though..

    Thanks for all the help guys...

    Edit to add: Yes, it's for recruit selection. I'm not trying to bulk up or owt, I'm just after the core strength and endurance, and stamina.
  8. Right lads, just went out on my lunch and got a chinning bar from Argos for 7.99...

    What do I do with me legs? Lift them up to my chest?

    The bars I've been using at a friends house are out of my standing reach and I have to jump to get to them... so I'm unsure as to what to do with my legs now, if I just leave them hanging there I'll be stood up!!
  9. Running will do your legs, sh1t bust.
  10. Bend your knees so that your lower legs are parallel to the ground, and cross your ankles.
    As for the heaves, I only used to be able to manage 25 - 30, but after I rowed the Atlantic, I found I could do 50 easily.
    Hope this helps.
  11. Go to B&Q and buy a chop saw, not a cheap one, get a makita or something.

    Saw both your legs off through the femur (its a strong bone hence the makita saw) and cauterize the stumps using a teaspoon heated up over a candle.

    Keep the legs, you can nail them back on when you're finished.

    Hope this helps.
  12. I don't know what's worse... the advice to chop my legs off or the advice to shop at B&Q!
  13. :lol:

    Seriously, just lift your legs up a little, you can do hanging leg raises, where you hang from the bar and lift your legs up, youtube it, is pretty good.

    But if your doing chin ups (palm facing) or pull ups (palms away), just pull your legs up so they are off the ground, you can pull them upto your chest as you lift, no problem with it, and will bring a few more muscle groups into play

    The main aim of it though, is to just stick it in a door way, and knock out a few everytime you go past. Make a note of how many you do in a day, you will see you can rack up a lot
  14. It's worth damaging the door frame and screwing in the little bits of plastic for the Argos bar, rather than trying for a tight friction fit. My pal was doing chins when the friction fit gave - 180lb of force plus whatever the acceleration was - say 200lb into the top of his head. Sore yin :D