Saturday, August 12, 2023

Pull-ups: The Decay and Build Rate at My Age

Building Pull-ups - I worked regularly over an extended period of time (a really long time!) to get to be able to do five pull-ups. BTW, most people any where near my age can’t do any pull-ups. Once I get to 5, I got ambitious and aimed at seven. And I made it there! 

 The first of July 1, 2023, I did seven pull-ups. Not perfect (there's lots of jerking) but also, they are not cheap partial extension ones either.  I was proud: Check it out.

But then I took a trip.  Spent five weeks in Europe. Ate more than a few croissants, pain au chocolate, and foie gras. On the trip, I visited a gym two times (great fun to go to a boxing gym in Paris, check it out also) but didn't do anything like a lat pulldown or pull up.  On July 8th, I thought I would test and see how much I'd lost.

Result: I could only do three. I've tested two more times over the last week. Three it is. :-< That's my new max. uhg!

So lets do the numbers, I went from 7 to 3 over 5 weeks.  That's a decay rate of roughly one pull-up a week. That seems to me to be a pretty fast rate of deterioration.  Historically, I've found that fitness hangs in there for months and years. I remember once, not having run in a year, running a 7 minute mile. Also, I won a dare for doing pushups at one point without any recent history. But, that was then. This is now. I'm now 65 and I'm learning how the body behaves at 65. And I’m not thrilled by what I’m learning. 

Maybe I should be figuring it out in percentages.  That's about 15% loss per week or 57% loss over four weeks. Jeeeez. I'd better keep working out.  So here’s the rule:

I'll update this as I measure myself to see how long it takes to earn it back. My guess is, with 3 pullup workouts per week, it'll take 8 weeks to get back to 7. They'll come back one every two weeks. So in eight weeks, say mid September, I should be back to seven But we'll see.

August 14th - Rested yesterday so I tried it this morning.  I definitely did 4. I almost did the 5th. I'm now optimistic that I'll be back at 5 by next week or the week after. I'm now wondering if it'll be fast, a week each, to get #4 and #5 back! That's great, why expect six or seven to take longer? Why indeed?!?

August 21st - I did five this morning. Except for last one, they were good ones. I’m pleased. My goal for next week is 5nice ones with maybe a 6th sloppy. And a week later, 6 nice ones! We’ll see, I gotta keep putting the work in.

August 29th and 31st. Six! Pretty sloppy on the 29th but I found someone to watch me on the 31st and with the adrenaline from an audience, a pretty clean 6. I’m encouraged.

So drama: will I get to seven by mid September. That gives me two weeks to add one. 

here I am on Thursday, September 7th. Looks like a messy seven.  Note that the extension is full and I go all the way up. But, I do kick and jerk. I'm working on it.

And if I can add one every half month, does that mean ten by Halloween? 

And how much would it help if instead of weighing 202, I weighed 197? Or what if I took my shoes off…

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