Got this question from Mike last night -
He wanted to know what the best KB exercise was to
increase his pull up strength – “due to a lack of strength
and an abundance of body fat (6′ tall and 260-ish pounds).”
This is a great question.
Here’s basically what I told him:
Push your plate away.
The best way to increase your PU or any bodyweight
strength is to decrease your body weight – your body
That’s because the PU or Chin Up are great tests
of relative strength – strength relative to your bodyweight.
Now here’s the Catch-22:
In order to work on your relative strength you need to
drop fat. So how do you drop fat and work on your
relative strength at the same time?
First, let’s address the big ugly 800 pound gorilla in the
room before we get to the exercise thing.
Let’s deal directly with the “weight” issue.
Let’s give you a simple, easy-to-follow plan that will
drop the bodyfat quickly.
1. Get yourself some high quality – I mean HIGH
quality protein powder.
Here’s what you’re going to do with it:
- Mix 1-2 scoops with 16 oz of water and drink twice
a day. (1 scoop per serving for women, 2 for men.)
- Eat a piece of fresh fruit with it – apple, orange, etc.
Again, you’ll do this TWICE a day – it’ll be your breakfast
People always ask me what protein powder I recommend.
I haven’t talked about this in a while, but I can’t say enough
about Dale’s Raw Protein Powders.
They’re vegetable based, which for me, and maybe you too,
means no allergic reaction to the milk proteins that make up
traditional protein powders.
(Ever get bloating and gas and maybe even some of the
“Dirty D” with regular protein powders? Yeah, me too.
Not with Dale’s stuff.)
Here’s where you get Dale’s Protein Powders:
(I like Chocolate the best – nice “clean” feeling – none of
that mucous-y aftertaste.)
2. Have a relaxing, enjoyable dinner with your family
- Eat a large piece of protein – fish, chicken, beef, turkey,
pork – you get the idea
- Fresh cooked vegetables: Steamed or stir-fried in
- On workout days, have some NATURAL starches (NOT
bread or pasta or anything man-made) – just about a fist
size: rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, beans, etc.
(This means by default NO starches on non-workout
And that’s it for the food end of things.
Now I know some people are going to have some
- “Yeah, but, I like to eat _______ for breakfast.”
- “Yeah, but, I can’t afford ________.”
- “Yeah, but, I don’t like to drink my meals…”
- “Yeah, but [INSERT ANYTHING I MAY HAVE MISSED
Look, I don’t care – Well I do, which is why I’m taking
the time to write all this.
You can either find some excuse to stay the way you
are – dissatisfied -
You can change.
Yes, YOU CAN.
In the end, it’s ultimately up to you.
This is the SIMPLEST, EASIEST way that the average
person can drop some pounds safely, quickly, while
improving his or her health in the process.
Ok, enough about that.
Back to the Pull Ups and the exercise part.
(In fairness, I didn’t tell Mike about that meal plan part -
it was late and I hadn’t thought through it yet.)
Remember, Mike asked about the best KB exercises
to help the Pull Up.
He correctly guessed the Get Up. And he suggested
The Snatch will help, but indirectly.
It’ll help you burn off unwanted calories – fat – if you
do enough of them, especially combined with the
meal plan I outlined above.
But there are 2 more things that will help -
The first, is KB.
It’s the Press. If you press the way we suggest in the
SFG/RKC – using and active negative and total body
tension, you can easily work up to doing Pull Ups.
In fact, several RKCs, Dan Anderson and Justin
Qualler, have worked up to One Arm Chins using
these methods, without practicing OAC’s at all.
The second, is actually taking a season off your
KB work and working exclusively on bodyweight
If you’ve been a “Kettlebell Secrets” subscriber
for any length of time, you know that I’ve done that
myself with some spectacular results.
We’ll get into this idea throughout the rest of this week.
In the meantime – today’s take home points:
1. Pull ups are easiest to do when you weigh
less – they’re a test/ measure of relative strength.
2. The fastest, easiest way to work your Pull Ups
is a seemingly indirect route – work on getting
your body weight down by dropping body fat.
3. The easiest, simplest way to drop your body
fat is 2 Dale’s shakes a day, with a piece of fruit,
and a big, protein veggie based meal for dinner.
4. Use two KB exercises – the GU and the Press
to help your Pull Up strength.
5. Consider a season of bodyweight only training.
Ok, gotta run – gonna grab some coffee with a
P.S. If you’re not into the fruit thing or that just
seems too complicated for you, or you need
something to “chew” – grab some of Dale’s Raw
Just eat one instead of the shake and fruit.
(I still prefer the shake and fruit option.)
I’m pretty sure Dale’s running a sale on these
things right now – so you’ll probably save 20%
or something like that…
P.P.S. Keep your eyes peeled the rest of this week -
I’ll be giving you some more ideas on how to
integrate body weight training with your KBs to
help you strip off some body fat.