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As I see, this is a place for a first post here on forums, so here we go.


Hello Rebellion. 

I go as aramis (lowercase "a" is intentional for any grammar nazi over here) for almost half of my life for all my friends and even my wife (who I met in medieval reconstruction group I joined back in the college). 

I'm 38, married, father of two hellspawns (5 and 8), working full-time job in engineering and trying to find time for generic family-time, goofing around with kids, some exclusive time with wife, and also nerd stuff like gaming, woodworking, old tool renovation and recently airsoft. Some time ago there was also medieval reconstruction, but sadly, as people from my group got older, went to different cities/countries it just died. But I kept all my stuff so when the need arises, I can fight zombie outbreak as XIVth century infantryman with glaive and pavise. 


But enough oversharing, let's get back to the topic.

First - stats:

Height 193cm (6'4'')

Weight 80kg (176lb)

Age 38 (13 squirels)



And then, character story:


At the end of march I casually stepped on a scale and found I gained some kilograms (did I mention I'm form Poland? That's in Europe/across the pond, for all of you Freedomers).

I'm overall in okay-ish shape (or I thought so), but as my job evolved toward more desk-job than working at the machines, I found myself gaining some fat from not moving enough. Then I decided I need to find some home workout I can stick with and found Beginners' Bodyweight Workout. At first, I was able to do only two circuits, limiting pushups to 5-6 in set. Throughout april I slowly worked up to full three circuits with complete sets (it's hard, but doable), working out every other day. On top of that (thanks to many articles here on NF about nutrition) I started to track my food intake, cut sugar, liquid calories, bread and snacks, added vegetables, limited my calorie intake and so on. In result, I dropped from 86kg to my target weight of 80kg AND progressed with workouts at the end of april. My body fat level decreased as well - I don't know exact numbers, but readings on body fat calipers dropped from 12mm to about 6-8mm - fold measured above Illiac crest. 


My eating habits are far from optimal, but I do what I can to balance my diet. I skip breakfast every day (IF ftw), then eat lunch at noon (batch cooked chicken with vegetables), dinner around 4pm and supper before 8pm. I work out in the afternoon, mostly around 6pm, so my supper doubles as post-workout meal. It is (on work-out days) cottage cheese and almonds. On rest days, it's omlette / scrambled eggs with tomatoes and mozarella or something similar. The most troublesome meal is dinner, as my father is in charge of cooking and he tends to cook very carb-heavy meals with little-to-none proteins and vitamins. Just picture a platefull of pasta with instant roasting sauce and a piece of fried sausage. Or delicious, but still mostly-carb potato dumplings. I will not argue with him about this because he helps so much with home, kids etc while me and my wife are at work, but as I said - dinners are pain in the ass to balance in the diet. In most cases I just assume most of my carb intake will be from whatever is at dinner, and plan to maximize protein on lunch and supper. I used to eat less than 1700kcal on rest days and less than 1900kcal on workout days.


Recently I stopped counting calories and macros (I hate this), but I did it for over a month and I stick to habits I made then. I only raised a bit my calorie intake to even the deficit I did in april to lose weight. My concern is if I eat enough, but the scale shows no more than 2kg differences week-to-week, so I think I'm quite good. 


End of backstory. Now, the problem:


Since I've met my weight goal, I needed new one. About a week ago, I dropped earlier workout plan and started my way to first real pull-up. I use this article as my guide. I've started at level 3A (assisted pull-ups with exercise band), since I can easily make 3x8 body rows at about 30 degrees from floor. 

After the pull-up part (3 sets with 2min breaks in between), I add some push-ups and squats for complete full body workout in form of circut - (15 squats with exercise band , 10 push-ups)x3. Of course I warm up before and stretch after.

For now, I use 35kg band to help me get above the bar, but I find my pull muscles get tired extremely fast - I can do 6-5-2 reps, not a single more. My arms and back just don't cooperate. Similar thing is with push-ups. I make 10 on the first circuit like a champ, second circuit is easy 6-7, then things get hard, and last circuit is 4-5 reps okay, then every next one needs couple seconds of rest and holding breath to push me up. 


I don't understand why I get tired so fast. Where should I look for a cause of this to work on the solution?




Did Basic bodyweight workout for a month, counted calories and macros, adjusted nutrition (sort of). Reached weight goal and lowered body fat. Now struggling with learning pull-ups. 

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Hey aramis,


What were you doing before changing to trying to get your first pull up in? How long have you been working out for? (Forget this, re read your post)


Also am I reading your stats right, you are 6'4 and 175 lbs. If that is the case, the issue you are likely running into is your arms are so long that you are moving a lot more than say me who is 5'9. So if you are going to failure to each set it is a lot of strain on your muscles.


A thing you could try and used to work for me is do your 6, 5, then switch to the body rows for reps. That or throw in some negative pull ups to get up to 5 for that set (starting in the up position and lowering yourself very slowly). I don't think you are going to get much progress struggling to do 2 on the third set, so dropping to the easier exercise can give you that extra boost and measurable improvement. (Say this week you get 10 body rows, next week 11 etc, then eventually you will get that 6th rep on the 2nd set and so on).  Same idea for pushups. Do your first two sets, then drop to knee pushups for as many as you can. 


The key for when you are starting out is to be able to see continued progression so that you build a habit. Whatever program will challenge you, get you to work out, and has a way for you to measure improvement will be the best one for you.

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Hey, thanks for your reply (and sorry for the wall of text). 

Yes, you read my stats correctly (edited my first post for freedom units). I'm tall and thin. 

I will substitute third set of pulls for negatives (with the same grip as "main" pull for the day), and maybe limit first two sets to 5 reps for a 2-3 weeks, we'll see where this will take me. My plan is to switch pull-ups, chin-ups and body rows workout-to-workout, so single day will be more focused on single exercise (like in the article). Is is reasonable approach? 



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Yes that sounds sensible. I would probably do the 3rd set to failure on the pull ups, then finish off with the negatives, instead of replacing the whole set with negatives. Limiting the first 2 to 5 also makes sense. If you are failing on every set (is completing 6, but tried for the 7th and couldn't) that is a pretty normal decrease in reps.

Fitness, like honour, is never bestowed but earned through blood, sweat and sacrifice

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