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View Full Version : "Weaning" Myself off the Gravitron (Assisted Dips & Pull-ups)


mikem
November 21st 04, 10:43 PM
Can anyone relate how long it took them to drastically reduce the
"assistance" they use with the Gravitron machine?

I weigh 220 lbs. (need to drop about 30 lbs. over the next 6 months or
so) and have so far dropped the assistance I get from the machine from
130 lbs. to 100 lbs. in about 6 weeks. Whenever I can do 2 sets of
10, I drop off another 10 lbs. (1 plate) of assistance on the machine.

My aim is to get to zero assistance (i.e. real dips & pull-ups) before
too long. I don't want to push it too hard but I also don't want to
take years to do real dips/pull-ups.

To be honest, I'm not sure if I'll get to the goal of full
dips/pullups. I've always had a fairly strong lower body but a very
weak upper body. I'm 48 and I've never been able to keep up a weight
training routine - until now. I've been fairly consistent in doing a
(mainly upper body) routine twice a week for the past year.

Does anyone have any experience in using the Gravitron machine this
way?

Thanks

Mike - Toronto

Denis
November 22nd 04, 12:12 AM
> too long. I don't want to push it too hard but I also don't want to
> take years to do real dips/pull-ups.

Hey, Mike.
It does not take years, but rather pounds - loosing those extra 30 lbs will
help a lot.
don't rush though - 30 lbs in 1/2 year is too much, you'll drain yourself
even if you do it.
so actually it may come down to waiting a year for you then, but so what?

> To be honest, I'm not sure if I'll get to the goal of full
> dips/pullups.

yes, you will - there is nothing special about it. you have the same arms
everybody else does.

> I'm 48 and I've never been able to keep up a weight

great, never too late. just make sure you enjoy whatever sport you do.

> training routine - until now. I've been fairly consistent in doing a
> (mainly upper body) routine twice a week for the past year.

cardio on the other days? if you have so much extra weight, jogging trails
should be your gym I think.

Good luck.
Denis

spodosaurus
November 22nd 04, 09:58 AM
Denis wrote:

> yes, you will

I can agree with that part but...

> you have the same arms
> everybody else does.

not that part. He doesn't, unless he's a clone.

> cardio on the other days? if you have so much extra weight, jogging trails
> should be your gym I think.

Why? With attention to what and how you eat, you can lose weight without
cardio as long as you're getting some degree of activity daily (and that
goes for losing weight with cardio, too). When I dropped 20kg, it was
only through adjusting my eating habits and making sure to get daily
vigourous exercise (within my medical limitations, of course). He
probably should be putting equal emphasis on big lowerbody movements in
the gym, though.



--
spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. To jump to the end
of the story, as a result of this I need a bone marrow transplant. Many
people around the world are waiting for a marrow transplant, too. Please
volunteer to be a marrow donor:
http://www.abmdr.org.au/
http://www.marrow.org/

spodosaurus
November 22nd 04, 10:03 AM
mikem wrote:
> Can anyone relate how long it took them to drastically reduce the
> "assistance" they use with the Gravitron machine?
>
> I weigh 220 lbs. (need to drop about 30 lbs. over the next 6 months or
> so) and have so far dropped the assistance I get from the machine from
> 130 lbs. to 100 lbs. in about 6 weeks. Whenever I can do 2 sets of
> 10, I drop off another 10 lbs. (1 plate) of assistance on the machine.
>

So you've increased your lifts by 30 pounds in just 6 weeks of
progressive training? That's good sustained progress. Keep going.

> My aim is to get to zero assistance (i.e. real dips & pull-ups) before
> too long. I don't want to push it too hard but I also don't want to
> take years to do real dips/pull-ups.

At the rate you're going it will take 19 weeks more, or about 4 months.
That's fine progress. When you get closer, you can start adding some
partial range dips to get a feel for them, or perhaps even some negative
only pullups. However, those are pushing things a bit hard, and if you
don't want to do that then don't. you're already progressing steadilly.

>
> To be honest, I'm not sure if I'll get to the goal of full
> dips/pullups.

Why?

> I've always had a fairly strong lower body but a very
> weak upper body. I'm 48 and I've never been able to keep up a weight
> training routine - until now.

And sticking with it is the 'secret'.

> I've been fairly consistent in doing a
> (mainly upper body) routine twice a week for the past year.

Why aren't you putting similar effort into big lower body movements like
squats and deadlifts? You'll grow a lot more muscle and get total body
strength gains.

Cheers,

Ari


--
spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. To jump to the end
of the story, as a result of this I need a bone marrow transplant. Many
people around the world are waiting for a marrow transplant, too. Please
volunteer to be a marrow donor:
http://www.abmdr.org.au/
http://www.marrow.org/

Jay
November 22nd 04, 03:02 PM
"mikem" > wrote in message
m...
> Can anyone relate how long it took them to drastically reduce the
> "assistance" they use with the Gravitron machine?
>
> I weigh 220 lbs. (need to drop about 30 lbs. over the next 6 months or
> so) and have so far dropped the assistance I get from the machine from
> 130 lbs. to 100 lbs. in about 6 weeks. Whenever I can do 2 sets of
> 10, I drop off another 10 lbs. (1 plate) of assistance on the machine.

If your goal is to get off of the gravitron, this scheme is not the approach
I would take. I would use less reps, increased resistance.
Can you do 1 BW chin?
If you can, start there. Do multiple sets. measure the rest, start
decreasing the rest.
add controlled negatives. not too slow but controlled.

These are much better approaches than to use a set scheme of 10 reps.
>
> My aim is to get to zero assistance (i.e. real dips & pull-ups) before
> too long. I don't want to push it too hard but I also don't want to
> take years to do real dips/pull-ups.
>

Top Sirloin
November 22nd 04, 03:22 PM
mikem wrote:
> Can anyone relate how long it took them to drastically reduce the
> "assistance" they use with the Gravitron machine?

Stop using it right now. Do something else for
your triceps, like heavy benching or
skullcrushers, and start doing negative pullup
reps and supinated lat pulldowns.

It's just too easy to cheat on those assisted
pullup/dip machines by pulling your knees towards
your body.

--
Scott Johnson / scottjohnson at kc dot rr dot com

Denis
November 23rd 04, 02:04 AM
"spodosaurus" > wrote in message
...
>> you have the same arms everybody else does.
>
> not that part. He doesn't, unless he's a clone.

you're taking it too literally. I think the original poster may have a
thought that there is
something special about pull-ups, that only some advanced athletes can do
them or something.
so I'm telling him, if he has a pair of arms, he sure will do it, too if he
gets stronger (which what he is doing in the gym) and loses that extra
weight.

>
>> cardio on the other days? if you have so much extra weight, jogging
>> trails should be your gym I think.
>
> Why? With attention to what and how you eat, you can lose weight without
> cardio as long as you're getting some degree of activity daily (and that
> goes for losing weight with cardio, too). When I dropped 20kg, it was only
> through adjusting my eating habits and making sure to get daily vigourous
> exercise (within my medical limitations, of course). He probably should be
> putting equal emphasis on big lowerbody movements in the gym, though.

fine, do your "vigourous" gym lowerbody movements within limitations, of
course. I think people who are
fat just need to get a clue that they need to start moving and get their
tail outside and
run for some good 40 minutes a day. it is hard only in the first couple of
weeks. yeah, yeah - I know
muscle will burn more calories... explains why most (I'm not saying you are)
of the people in the gym are overweight and
move like turtles from one machine to another after sitting on them for some
good 5 minutes.

sure, there are many ways to lose weight. I'm saying, if the guy wants to
lose 30 lbs in 1/2 a year as he said, he better start running.

Denis

spodosaurus
November 23rd 04, 02:21 AM
Denis wrote:

> sure, there are many ways to lose weight. I'm saying, if the guy wants to
> lose 30 lbs in 1/2 a year as he said, he better start running.

And you'd be wrong. Replace running with 'getting daily exercise and
modifying his diet' and you'd be right.


--
spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. To jump to the end
of the story, as a result of this I need a bone marrow transplant. Many
people around the world are waiting for a marrow transplant, too. Please
volunteer to be a marrow donor:
http://www.abmdr.org.au/
http://www.marrow.org/

Bill
November 23rd 04, 04:57 AM
(mikem) wrote in message >...
> Can anyone relate how long it took them to drastically reduce the
> "assistance" they use with the Gravitron machine?
>
> I weigh 220 lbs. (need to drop about 30 lbs. over the next 6 months or
> so) and have so far dropped the assistance I get from the machine from
> 130 lbs. to 100 lbs. in about 6 weeks. Whenever I can do 2 sets of
> 10, I drop off another 10 lbs. (1 plate) of assistance on the machine.
>
> My aim is to get to zero assistance (i.e. real dips & pull-ups) before
> too long. I don't want to push it too hard but I also don't want to
> take years to do real dips/pull-ups.
>
> To be honest, I'm not sure if I'll get to the goal of full
> dips/pullups. I've always had a fairly strong lower body but a very
> weak upper body. I'm 48 and I've never been able to keep up a weight
> training routine - until now. I've been fairly consistent in doing a
> (mainly upper body) routine twice a week for the past year.
>
> Does anyone have any experience in using the Gravitron machine this
> way?

I'm 46 6' and went from 218 to 193 in about a year (approx 29%bf to
18%bf). My nemisis has also been the Gravatron. As Jay mentioned
instead of sets of 10, go for less reps more sets. I typicaly warm up
my conective tissues first (we're over 40... say a comfortable set of
12). I then do sets of 10, 8, then 6 removing weight at each set. I
then go for at least one more set of 6 which I just barely make. I've
been using this method and can now do several free pullups (yippee!).

Take pride in knowing that not many big folks can do many pullups. I
see very few over 40 even trying. Mostly the young bucks who still
have the power to weight ratio on their side. (g)

--
Bill

Liz
November 23rd 04, 06:46 PM
(Bill) wrote in message >...
> (mikem) wrote in message >...
> > Can anyone relate how long it took them to drastically reduce the
> > "assistance" they use with the Gravitron machine?
> >
> > I weigh 220 lbs. (need to drop about 30 lbs. over the next 6 months or
> > so) and have so far dropped the assistance I get from the machine from
> > 130 lbs. to 100 lbs. in about 6 weeks. Whenever I can do 2 sets of
> > 10, I drop off another 10 lbs. (1 plate) of assistance on the machine.
> >
> > My aim is to get to zero assistance (i.e. real dips & pull-ups) before
> > too long. I don't want to push it too hard but I also don't want to
> > take years to do real dips/pull-ups.
> >
> > To be honest, I'm not sure if I'll get to the goal of full
> > dips/pullups. I've always had a fairly strong lower body but a very
> > weak upper body. I'm 48 and I've never been able to keep up a weight
> > training routine - until now. I've been fairly consistent in doing a
> > (mainly upper body) routine twice a week for the past year.
> >
> > Does anyone have any experience in using the Gravitron machine this
> > way?
>
> I'm 46 6' and went from 218 to 193 in about a year (approx 29%bf to
> 18%bf). My nemisis has also been the Gravatron. As Jay mentioned
> instead of sets of 10, go for less reps more sets. I typicaly warm up
> my conective tissues first (we're over 40... say a comfortable set of
> 12). I then do sets of 10, 8, then 6 removing weight at each set. I
> then go for at least one more set of 6 which I just barely make. I've
> been using this method and can now do several free pullups (yippee!).
>
> Take pride in knowing that not many big folks can do many pullups. I
> see very few over 40 even trying. Mostly the young bucks who still
> have the power to weight ratio on their side. (g)



I just want to say that tomorrow is my 51st birthday and I can do 10
unassisted pullups in a row. Wooo-hoo! And no kicking up. Of course I
only weigh 115 pounds, so it wasn't really too hard. Once I was doing
70% of my bodyweight on lat pulldowns, I took to the Gravitron and had
thrown away the pin within three weeks. I have a severe lumbar
scoliosis so pullups are an ideal way for me to put on upper body
strength without loading my sorryass spine. You should see the lats on
me, I look like a damn UPS truck! I love it. Anyway, being OLD isn't
an obstacle, so throw that excuse out the door.

Dips impinge my right shoulder (bad from too much mousing) so I cut
back on reps and limit the elbow flexion. I might have to give them
up.

For the past couple of months I've been working on one-armed pullups
and still have a looong way to go, but even if I never ever get there
(and I sure as hell won't on the Gravitron, I guarantee that), it's
done astonishingly beneficial things for my grip. In fact, kind of
scary things. Right now I set the pin at one half my body weight minus
20 lbs. I turn sideways on the platform at an angle that's more
comfortable for my shoulder, and then I just do them till I die.

-Liz