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  1. #1
    Registered User redmchalo's Avatar
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    Why do people dislike the assisted pull-up machine?

    I did pulldowns for years and still couldn't do a single pull up. I then started using the assisted pull up machine twice a week, sometimes three times a week for a few months, and now I have progressed to doing sets of 6-7 overhand pull ups without any assistance. This is a great machine to build up strength for pull ups, not sure why people dislike this machine.
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    Originally Posted by redmchalo View Post
    I did pulldowns for years and still couldn't do a single pull up. I then started using the assisted pull up machine twice a week, sometimes three times a week for a few months, and now I have progressed to doing sets of 6-7 overhand pull ups without any assistance. This is a great machine to build up strength for pull ups, not sure why people dislike this machine.
    I find it really hard to do normal pullups without lifting my whole body with my right hand so I do assisted as well it's still hard af lol
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    Registered User tuura007's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redmchalo View Post
    I did pulldowns for years and still couldn't do a single pull up. I then started using the assisted pull up machine twice a week, sometimes three times a week for a few months, and now I have progressed to doing sets of 6-7 overhand pull ups without any assistance. This is a great machine to build up strength for pull ups, not sure why people dislike this machine.
    I don't like it because the tempo is awkward. With pulldowns, I can be explosive or slow, with the assisted it's always slow and controlled.
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  4. #4
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I think it's fine, I used it until I could do a proper pullup. Doing controlled negatives and whatnot on the pullup bar is fine (specificity and neural training) but you need volume to grow muscle into the relevant muscle groups - and you won't get much without some assistance.
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    never had the luxury of having one.
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    Bootless Errand ironwill2008's Avatar
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    IMO, an 'assist' machine is useless, and I'd never recommend using it to someone trying to do a Pullup. It's the same thing as telling someone to use a Smith machine to learn how to Barbell Squat.

    The S.A.I.D. Principle rules all, and it states that to get good at something, do the something, not something else.
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    IMO, an 'assist' machine is useless, and I'd never recommend using it to someone trying to do a Pullup. It's the same thing as telling someone to use a Smith machine to learn how to Barbell Squat.

    The S.A.I.D. Principle rules all, and it states that to get good at something, do the something, not something else.
    what do you think about people that recommend doing pulldowns and when you can almost do your own bodyweight you have to "migrate" to regular pull ups.

    I don't think it really translates
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    IMO, an 'assist' machine is useless, and I'd never recommend using it to someone trying to do a Pullup. It's the same thing as telling someone to use a Smith machine to learn how to Barbell Squat.

    The S.A.I.D. Principle rules all, and it states that to get good at something, do the something, not something else.
    This, I never found the pull-up machine to be useful for me at all. I feel like the machine wasn't specific enough to the actual movement to derive any actual benefit from it. I didn't even find pulldowns to be useful for me either although it may have improved my ability to grip for a pull-up.

    What I did find useful though were pull-up negatives.
    Last edited by sooby; 02-10-2017 at 05:42 AM.
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    Originally Posted by m3ss0m1 View Post
    what do you think about people that recommend doing pulldowns and when you can almost do your own bodyweight you have to "migrate" to regular pull ups.

    I don't think it really translates
    If the goal is to be able to do Pullups, Pulldowns can be of use as an accessory lift to doing multiple sets of negative Pullups multiple times per week.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I think it's fine, I used it until I could do a proper pullup. Doing controlled negatives and whatnot on the pullup bar is fine (specificity and neural training) but you need volume to grow muscle into the relevant muscle groups - and you won't get much without some assistance.
    Nice post.

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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    IMO, an 'assist' machine is useless, and I'd never recommend using it to someone trying to do a Pullup. It's the same thing as telling someone to use a Smith machine to learn how to Barbell Squat.

    The S.A.I.D. Principle rules all, and it states that to get good at something, do the something, not something else.
    /thread

    Do eccentrics if you can't do one rep and work your way to sets of 1 and build from there
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    It's a nice tool because you can progress by backing off the assistance in small increments. I really love this feature. It's downside is that it always had this weird zero gravity aspect to it, like I was jumping around on the moon or swimming in a pool - real slow motion. While I like anything that pushes you towards controlled form, it still doesn't feel exactly like a pullup or dip does. Overall, i'd think of it as training wheels. Don't use it forever, but it's a nice stepping stone towards an ultimate goal with pullups and dips.
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  13. #13
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    I was able to work my way up to doing body weight pull-ups with only lat-pulldowns and the assisted pull-up machine. I never did negatives or any of that stuff.

    It took me about a year, doing 3 sets 3 times a week, alternating between the pulldowns and pull-up machine.

    I was doing linear periodization, although I didn't know that's what it was called at the time. I'd start with a weight I could do ten reps with, then add weight each workout until I failed to get 5 reps, then start over at ten reps again.

    Eventually, once I was able to do 3x5 with my body weight minus 50 pounds, I was able to do a pull-up without assistance.
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    I started with assisted pull ups as not to be embarrassed when I could not manage any and fell to the floor in a big heap, after a couple months migrated to doing pull ups from a bar trying to hit 20 just about up to 15 now.
    Can manage 20 chin ups do 4 sets of each 3 times a week.
    Have had two back operations and these two exercises have helped me more than anything else.
    Still striving to meet my goals even though someone keeps moving the goalposts
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    A friend of mine couldn't do a single One, 3 days later he hit 2.

    Just by trying to do one, your body reacts to stimulate the muscles needed to perform the exercise. He did that and Negative Pull Ups, Jump up and lower down as slow as possible.

    That machine is alright, but people react to you differently.
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    People hate assisted pullups for no reason. Kind of like the smith machine. I thought this was a BODYBUILDING forum. Isn't working your lats the main goal when performing a lat exercise?? why does it matter whether you do pulldowns, assisted pull ups or real pull ups???
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    I'll disagree with some of the above comments.
    I think the assisted or counter balance dip or pull up machine has some value for some people.
    It helps the top range of motion where typically people are weak when trying pull ups.
    It also is more similar to a regular pull up by pulling your body/chin to the bar.
    IMO pull downs would be a poorer choice if you have a choice between the two.
    You can use progressive resistance here by removing weight and eventually like mentioned in an above post be able to do pull ups with no help.
    While not exactly the same movement pattern as a pull up it's pretty close and IMO has carry over in developing strength for the free bar pull up.
    I have a disabling elbow injury that prevents me from doing free bar pull ups and dips suffered years ago.
    I was able for many years to to dip and pull up proficiently with body weight and more.
    I worked with a counter balance machine for bar dips recently for months and eventually was able to do unassisted bar dips again which for me is a big deal.
    So IMO the assisted/counter balance machine is beneficial for some.
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    I used an assisted pull-up machine for a long time as I could only get 5-6 reps of underhand ones done without the machine. The machine did help me increase my pull up reps but I found that resistance bands were far more effective for me. Although I was assisted by the bands, I had to keep my form tight throughout the whole lift and I got more out of the eccentric portion of the lift. Plus, I can do pull-ups in virtually any gym as long as I have my resistance bands in my bag.
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    Originally Posted by tuura007 View Post
    I don't like it because the tempo is awkward. With pulldowns, I can be explosive or slow, with the assisted it's always slow and controlled.
    so for you it about cheating not using correct technique,

    a real pull-up's is all been slow, at least 6 sec to top, 3 sec pause at top, and 6 sec down
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    IMO, an 'assist' machine is useless, and I'd never recommend using it to someone trying to do a Pullup. It's the same thing as telling someone to use a Smith machine to learn how to Barbell Squat.

    The S.A.I.D. Principle rules all, and it states that to get good at something, do the something, not something else.
    totally disagree,

    yes smith machine is dangerous the assisted pull-ups/ chin machine is nothing like smith machine

    it teachers correct technique/right speed and much more strength in back faster
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    I'll disagree with some of the above comments.
    I think the assisted or counter balance dip or pull up machine has some value for some people.
    It helps the top range of motion where typically people are weak when trying pull ups.
    It also is more similar to a regular pull up by pulling your body/chin to the bar.
    IMO pull downs would be a poorer choice if you have a choice between the two.
    You can use progressive resistance here by removing weight and eventually like mentioned in an above post be able to do pull ups with no help.
    While not exactly the same movement pattern as a pull up it's pretty close and IMO has carry over in developing strength for the free bar pull up.
    I have a disabling elbow injury that prevents me from doing free bar pull ups and dips suffered years ago.
    I was able for many years to to dip and pull up proficiently with body weight and more.
    I worked with a counter balance machine for bar dips recently for months and eventually was able to do unassisted bar dips again which for me is a big deal.
    So IMO the assisted/counter balance machine is beneficial for some.
    agree with most of what you said,

    1900- to around 60's traditional pull-up's technique was straight back/ slow pull your head over bar to a dead hang/full range movement

    then from 70's to now technique is all about cheat momentum, fast speed, chest to bar, leaning back,not end in dead hang then repeating pull-up's, small range movement
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    Originally Posted by madveg View Post
    so for you it about cheating not using correct technique,

    a real pull-up's is all been slow, at least 6 sec to top, 3 sec pause at top, and 6 sec down
    The threads 2 years old and there's nothing about a pull up that requires a ridiculousy slow rep more than any other movement.

    If you want to Tempo work them then do so, but not following your random Tempo isn't cheating.
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    With complete honesty, the first time I attempted to get properly fit I was able to do sets of 3 pullups. I was kinda light for my height though at 80kg 6'4. The assisted pullup machine doesn't give me the feeling of a real pullup at all. I assume band pullups give you a better feeling but have no experience with that. Pull downs feel awesome to me to this day, but what I have advocated from day one is negative pullups. You get the feeling of a pullup and activate all of the muscles the same way but purely in reverse.
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    Registered User UnworthyRhombus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    The threads 2 years old and there's nothing about a pull up that requires a ridiculousy slow rep more than any other movement.

    If you want to Tempo work them then do so, but not following your random Tempo isn't cheating.

    Haha this dude has such stupid standards. A "real" pull up is nothing more than going all the way down till you're at a "dead" hang and pulling your chin above the bar. I support a quick pause at top and bottom but only because that's how you get good ROM out of every exercise.
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    I think it's a good machine if you can't do the pull ups yet but perhaps it might be seen as not good to use if you stick with it and don't eventually learn to do them without the assistance. The machine is just like a stepping process.
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