You can't monitor progress, if you don't know where you began.
I've always liked doing pull ups even though I've never been really good at 'em! It's amazing how one simple little metal bar can seem so intimidating when placed in the middle of a bustling weight room. Pull ups are in fact one of the best upper body exercises / workouts you can do, and you'd be hard pressed to find a personal trainer that didn't agree. They were also one of my inspirations when I was developing GymPaws because there really were no such things as "pull ups gloves" to be found.
Like with any exercise, you shouldn't be doing it if you haven't mastered proper form. For those of us that may struggle with pumping out reps of pull ups there's the weight assisted pull ups machine! Usually they're tucked away in the corner of the gym and that in and of itself may give you the impression that they're not popular or it's not something that's effective. You couldn't be more wrong. How A Weight Assisted Pull Ups Machine Works It's a pretty simple concept. The machine counters your body weight by adding resistance via a weight stack or hydraulics (if it's an electronic machine). The more weight that you choose, the easier the pull up will be. If you're working out with a personal trainer to spot you, you can even do weight assisted pull ups with a rubber resistance band. Why Pull Ups? Compound exercises require you to use more muscle groups to complete the movement or exercise. Pull ups are a great example of a compound exercise because they fire up your biceps, shoulders and back. Because you need to maintain proper form, you'll even be working your abs! Tips For Weight Assisted Pull Ups 1. Don't be afraid of this machine! Pull ups should be your best friend if you're trying to build upper body strength and size. 2. If you're on a machine and adding weight, pay attention to the instructions. You DON"T want to step off of the assistance bar at the bottom of the movement or you're be smacked in the ass (or family jewels) with the weight bar. 3. Focus on your form. Even if the machine has foam hand grips, you really gotta try a pair of GymPaws Pull Ups Gloves. Trust me. When you're NOT thinking about the feeling of your skin ripping off your hands, you can focus on performing the movement properly. 4. Do the math, don't just keep adding weight. If you want to improve and monitor your progress, pay attention to how much weight you're actually "lifting." At 215 lbs, if I set my machine to 61 pounds that means that I'm lifting 154 pounds of bodyweight.