December 11, 2012 10:49 AM

Finally! First bar muscle up

I have been practicing bar muscle ups for about 6 weeks. I spent a lot of time "kipping" up to the bar (read "flailing around in the air like a fish") without muscling at all. I also used hours of internet time looking at various YouTube videos on how to do this right (for the record, sitting at my computer watching YouTube did nothing to improve my form nor my strength). Practice, encouragement, coaching, dieting, and strengthening seemed to help immeasurably.

One thing that did seem to make a big difference for me (and it was a tip from YouTube) was to spend some time with the lat pull-down machine doing lots of reps with a fairly light load.  I did that a few times over the last couple weeks to get my "muscle" part of the muscle up stronger. My routine for this was to do 4 x 25 of really light, then 2 x 25 of a bit heavier, then 4 rounds (a bit heavier still) of 10 pull-downs, 10 push-ups, and 10 sit-ups. The idea was to work the main muscle groups that I needed for muscle ups.

The biggest factor, in my opinion, was coaching and encouragement. Nicole at Crossfit 2A has worked with me on this each day for a few minutes. She pointed out the many improvements that my form needed. Additionally, the encouragement from the lunchtime group was great motivation, especially over the last few days as it became clear that I would eventually get up there.  Thanks, everybody.

Now, my attention turns to that damn rope!

Ron Lohse at Crossfit 2A