Sometimes we make resolutions that we don’t keep. But I’m determined not to let that happen to me with my goal to do a Pull-Up. And I’m proud to say – I’m on my way to making it happen!
Meet my trainer: Keith Banner
Keith heard me talk about my goal of being able to do a pull-up and he said he could help! So I was excited to take him up on his offer. Keith is a Certified Personal Trainer who works out of the gym in the Plaza of the Rockies in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs, with Mitchell Brothers Training. He’s a former resident athlete at the Olympic Training Center for cycling, having won gold and silver medals at the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival. So, with that kind of experience, I was excited to pick his brain and get going on my goal! Here’s some of what he has shared with me about the process of training to do a pull-up.
Stacia: Ok, Keith, where do we begin??
Keith: First off, you want to meet with your physician before beginning any exercise program. But you also want to learn as much as you can about the specific muscle groups involved and utilize specific exercises that isolate them. By taking this approach, you’re assured that your time and your energy isn’t wasted on non-relevant muscles.
Stacia: So, which muscles will we be targeting for pull-ups?
Keith: We’re strengthening the abdominals (to stabilize your core), lats (latisimus dorsi) and biceps.
Stacia: What are the best moves to start out?
Keith: The best way to develop the muscles we’re targeting would be to do abdominal exercises (planks, crunches, & oblique twists) and biceps curls (dumbbell, cable, or barbell).
Stacia: We also spend a lot of time on the move above. I think people are probably familiar with the lat-pull down machine. But you have me focusing on a very specific grip to make sure I’m targeting the right muscles.
Keith: Right! In the photo, your grip is close inward to facilitate the form needed to keep your elbows angled inward, isolating your lat muscles. The first mistake people make is trying to move the weight with their biceps muscles, not their lats.
Stacia: And what’s your advice for everyone out there – working towards that New Year’s goal?
Keith: Proceed with baby steps - make small changes, gradually... there is no better way to fail at something than to take on something extreme & overwhelming. It takes roughly 26 days to establish a new habit, so, consistency is crucial! If your goal is to run a 5K, start by incorporating a few flights of stairs into your daily routine- do that for a week, then add a few more flights for the next week. Little by little, a base level of fitness is created and better prepares you for actual jogging.
Stacia: I am so excited to have Keith training me to meet this goal! He says I should be able to do a pull-up in a month! What?! That’s awesome! So stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted on the things I’m learning along this journey.