So, you’ve been using the Pull Up Mate for a few weeks now and you’re looking for something more intensive. Why not try out our Upper Body Circuit Workout and see if you can handle the challenge!
Time has gone by and you practiced doing exercises on the Pull Up Mate to a point where you feel confident taking your fitness to a higher level. With the right blend of exercises, you can piece together a nice little circuit routine that is sure to please and deliver you the extra little oomph you’ve been looking for.
Below, I’m going to list a series of exercises with explanations of how to do them with perfect form. Then I’ll give you the details on rep counts, rounds, rest breaks and frequency. By the end of this piece, you’ll have everything you need to do this workout with grace and finesse.
Here are the exercises we're going to focus on for this circuit:
We’ll start off with some nice old-school decline push-ups. Set up the Pull Up Mate so it is at an angle and the crossbar is at the waist-high location. Carefully place your hands on the lowest part of the parallel bars and position your feet over the crossbar. Your body should be at a downward angle at this point with your hands parallel to each other.
Tighten your abs and form a straight line from the back of your head to your heels and bend your elbows to lower yourself down. Stop when your chin goes lower than the parallel bars and push yourself back up. Stop when your arms are fully extended and repeat.
With the Pull Up Mate in the same position, grab ahold of the crossbar with an overhand grip and place your hands about shoulder-width apart with your legs extended out. Your body should be in a straight line at this point and at an angle to the ground.
Keep your core tight and pull yourself up toward the bar. Stop when your chest touches the bar or comes as close as possible and slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended. Repeat for a set of reps.
Make sure you do not let your hips sag at any point during your rows.
Place your hands on the parallel bars and position your body so it is at an angle to the ground. You should be parallel to the bars at this point. Perform a push-up by bending your elbows and stop when your chest is about even with the bars.
Push yourself back up in a fast motion and lift your feet off the ground. Hold yourself up in the air as you kick your legs forward and under the crossbar. Let your heels land lightly on the ground and hold for a second. You’ll be moving from a push-up position into a dip position with your chest facing up.
Quickly snap your feet off the ground and weave them back under your body, landing on your toes. Perform another push-up and repeat for a set of reps.
Set the Pull Up Mate in its extended vertical position. Reach up and grab the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width, overhand grip and let your body hang straight down. If your feet touch the ground, bend your knees and move them behind your body.
Tighten your core, look up at a slight angle and pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. It’s even better if you can touch the bar with your chest, but just do the best you can. Hold for a second, slowly lower yourself down and repeat.
When you’re doing pull-ups, make sure not to swing back and forth and use momentum. With the exception of your arms bending, your body should be as motionless as possible.
Make a quick change and get the Pull Up Mate set up with the parallel bars parallel to the ground. Now, hop up and grasp the bars with your arms fully extended and legs hanging straight down.
Bend your knees so your feet are behind you and bend your elbows to lower yourself down. Lean forward slightly when you do this and stop when your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Push yourself back up until your arms are fully locked out, pause for a second and repeat.
Try to keep your elbows in close to your body throughout to prevent putting excess strain on your shoulders.
Chin-up L-sit Leg Raises
Adjust the Pull Up Mate back so the crossbar is in the high position again and grasp it with a shoulder-width, underhand grip. This time move your legs out in front of your body and let them hang there.
Pull yourself up by bending your elbows until your chin clears the bar. As you pull up, raise your legs in the air until they are parallel to the ground. Time it so once your chin clears the bar your legs are parallel to the ground. Hold for a second, slowly lower yourself all the way back down and repeat.
If you are having trouble keeping your feet off the ground when you lower yourself down, move them behind your body. This will require a little more effort and attention to detail, but you can still pull it off. If you have to do this, make sure to keep your body solid and still without swaying back and forth.
Alternatively, you can pull your knees to your chest before moving on to the full L-sit position. Remember that this is all about progression, keep trying the L-Sit and within a short space of time you’ll get there.
Alternating Hanging Side Knee Pull-ins
Grasp the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip and let your legs hang straight down or bend your knees and move your feet behind your body.
Pull your shoulder blades inward by engaging your lats and brace your upper body so it does not sway. This is called packing your shoulders, by the way.
Keep your legs together and pull your knees upward at an angle to your left side. Go as high as you can and hold for a second. Slowly lower your legs back down or behind you and repeat the same move on your other side. Continue to alternate back and forth in a slow and steady motion.
Perform all of the exercises in the order in which they appear. In technical terms, this is called ‘vertical loading’ because you are following a vertical column. Rest as long as you need to between each exercise, but try to keep your breaks no longer than 60 seconds.
Once you have gone through the entire list, call that one round. Start back at the top and repeat the entire circuit three more times for a grand total of four rounds.
As for your reps, aim for 10 to 15 with each exercise. Use your form as a guideline to really make this determination. As long as you have 90% quality or better, aim for the higher end of the rep count. And be honest with yourself.
You will have to adjust your reps with the alternating hanging side knee pull-ins because you are going back and forth. In this case you can either count every time you go to one side of your body or you can double the reps.
For example, if you want to do 10 reps, only count when your knees come up to your left side. Or, you can count every time your knees come up but go to 20.
As far as frequency goes, you can likely get away with doing this workout three days a week on nonconsecutive days. But let your body be the judge. If you work out on Monday and feel really sore on Wednesday, then hold off one more day and see how you feel.
You never want to over-train and work out while in pain. This can cause injuries and prolong soreness to a point where it can become chronic. Besides, your muscles build when you are at rest, not exercising. Give them a chance to recover and you’ll be safe.
Tips to Consider
Remember, this is a circuit workout, which means you want to do the exercises back to back with short rest breaks in between. Once you know your Pull Up Mate well, you should be able to change its shape within about 30 seconds or less. That’s a perfect amount of time to rest between exercises.
Lastly, make sure to stay hydrated when you are doing circuit training. That’s actually the rule with any type of workouts. But this applies especially if you are out in the hot sun. You want your muscles to perform optimally and if you are dehydrated that won’t be the case. You run the risk of cramping up and even pulling a muscle.
By drinking plenty of water before, during and after your circuit workout, you won’t even have to worry about it.
You are now armed with a solid workout that will target all of your major muscles from the waist up. Even though you likely have experience with the Pull Up Mate, you may have never done circuit training before. Take your time in the beginning until you get in the flow.
In as little as two weeks, your body will start to adapt and you’ll be able to move through the exercises with precision. Good luck and remember to always honor your body.