Plateauing on Armstrong Advanced?

Question

I began using the Armstrong program a while ago and increased from a max set of 15 pullups to a max set of 22. I train specifically for obstacle course racing and decided to use Armstrong after my second race, which indicated that I needed better grip strength and body weight control.guide_pull_up_anatomy_muscles_worked

The original program worked wonders. My 3rd race, the obstacles were pretty much a breeze. Eventually I hit a plateau and then began using the Advanced Program. I would do Advanced twice a week. I have now plateaued again after about 2 months on Advanced at 8 reps per working set using only 5 kg in a backpack.

I feel that in order to keep improving I need to overload as I did with the original program. I would also like to start to incorporate more weight training into my routine too and also obviously need to keep running in there too somewhere as I am actually competing in these races. What should I try to improve from my plateau on Armstrong Advanced?

Answer

Great job so far! There could be many reasons why you’ve plateaued again. It may take some experimentation to figure out why.
  1. Do you have one weak link you could focus training on, for example your grip or your biceps?
  2. Consider if you’re undertraining only doing 2 days a week. Try every other day for 3 weeks and see how your progress changes.
  3. Try adding another set of unweighted pullups every workout. Wait 2 minutes after your Armstrong Advanced routine, then do a max pullup set, even if it’s just 2 or 3.
  4. Try 2 times a week Armstrong Advanced and substitute the 3rd workout with a heavy lifting session. Barbell rows, lat pulldown machine, curls, and grip training could really stimulate some muscle growth if you work heavy.
Try those and let us know how you progress. Best of luck!

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