Q and A Nov 2, 2012

I was pretty fired up this week with the New York Times and Globe and Mail and their recent article that ‘women CAN’T do pull ups’. You can see my rebuttal here.

Women: I feel my job is to arm you with as many tips and tricks as possible to help you prove the exercise physiologists wrong at the University of Dayton.

Dudes: You better get going on your pull ups cuz there’s a whole lotta women out there that are ready to rock the pull up bar just to prove a point. You’re going to have to work hard to keep up 😉

Agreed. Pull ups are tough, but anything worthwhile is worth working for.

On with the Q and A….

pull up tips


Question: I get confused with all the info out there about nutrition..eat carbs, don’t eat carbs, go on a diet, don’t diet….really? Any sound info for me? Ryan

Answer: Ryan, Info out there can be overwhelming it’s true. And there’s a lot of MIS-information out there too. Here’s some basic info about your hormones and fat loss, check out this post. As well, my friend, Anthony Alayon has a free report for you. In his report he goes into more detail about all this…

* How lowering calories does NOT lead to fat loss
* Information on necessary macronutrient breakdown
* Tricks like how consuming fat will help kill body fat
* What the ‘right’ carbs are to help you lose weight
* Discover the difference between losing fat and losing weight

Click here to get his free report, it’s a worthwhile read.



Question: There’s a ladder with horizontal bars at the playground. How can I use that to work up to the higher pull up bar? Beth V.

Answer: You can do an inverted row on a ladder or low horizontal bar. A playground ladder may do the trick or you can easily create your own low bar by putting an Olympic bar in a squat rack and loading it with a bit of weight so that it doesn’t move.

Ideally, you want the height of the bar to be such that when you do a full hang with the body in an inverted plank position, your arms are straight, but your back is just off the floor.

Maintain as close to a plank as possible and let the heels be the pivot point. Try not to thrust the hips up and as you bring the chest to the bar.

Here’s a video demo:

All the best Beth, and keep those questions coming.

Question: I saw your response to another question regarding grip strength. I’ve been doing the vertical hang and my grip strength is improving. I have a hard time using the straps recommended. Can you help?

Answer: You’re referring to this post.

I had a hard time at first when I started using straps. I’ve made a little video for you here:

It takes practice to learn how to quickly wrap up for lifts, but it really helps when I’m doing heavy deadlifts or other heavy back work and my grip starts to fail. I don’t really care to have huge meaty forearms, but I’d prefer to train without straps for the most part. But when my grip fails before my back does, I know it’s time to grab my straps. And as you can see, my straps have been around a long time.

By the way, I often get asked about lifting gloves.

Girls, don’t be a sissy. I’m sorry to say it that way. Yes, my hands are calloused up, but I like them that way. To me the callouses are a bit of a badge of honour. A sign of hard work. I’ve never used workout gloves, I find them uncomfortable and sissified.

But feel free to look like a sissy…;)

The same goes for the bumper that you’ll see some people put on the squat bar. Once you get the bar on your back properly for squatting, it feels great. It’s tight and secure and isn’t resting on any bony projections.

It’s likely that the bar is too high on the neck if it’s really uncomfortable. Roll the bar back on the traps, get the hands in tightly to the shoulders and look up. The bar won’t move and isn’t uncomfortable. Lose the pad girls (and guys) and squat.

That’s it for today! It’s a high school football city semi final for my son tonight. He’s a corner and I”m a raving fan. Of course you wouldn’t recognize me under all my clothes. In Calgary fall football isn’t for the faint of heart. Here’s my bestie, Krista and I in our matching Betty Brown coats getting ready to cheer on the St. Francis Brown’s.

pull up tips

And here’s Sam after a big win:

pull up tips

Don’t you wish YOU had a blog where you could just brag up your kids? C’mon, I know you’re all jealous of me and my (mis)adventures with my kids. It’s like opening up my wallet and forcing you to look at picture after picture of my babies. (You’re all good sports and I appreciate your patience here 😉

One last thing, if you haven’t grabbed my program, I’d be remiss not to tell you to CLICK HERE.

Girls, if you’re gonna be a pull up diva, you need some coaching and again, guys, don’t let us beat you.