My Muscle-Up Journey Has Come to End… I Hope I Can Say That Soon!
I remember being in class, and the idea of a learning project being introduced. I experienced too many different emotions at once to count. At first, I was confused and had many questions which were shortly answered, then I was a little stressed. I began to overthink what I want to do, how is it gonna turn out, and if I will genuinely enjoy it and dedicate myself to learn. The first thing that came to mind which I tried to push away was to learn to do a muscle-up. I tried to push it down for the simple reason that it might be too hard and I don’t want to fail. However, after thinking of other possibilities such as cooking and relearning Italian I decided I wanted to take on the challenge. I learned so much every week from many resources and people which I will be including. Overall it has been a very educational and fun journey and it’s only the beginning.
I will be looking at each week of my learning project posts, and briefly explain the week. I will also include apps that made it much easier to share my learning. Along with resources such as YouTubers, articles, and people who helped and pushed me through my journey
Looking back at the first week is very exciting. I remember being excited to introduce my journey and my well-thought-out plan. However, I was aware this could be near impossible to learn in less than two months since it took my friend a year. I go on and talk about why I want to do a muscle-up. This included my competitiveness, benefits of it, and overall increase strengths. I had come up with a plan to achieve my goal, including looking at exercises that help build strengths for muscle-ups and proper technique. I also added a nice attempt at a muscle-up, which was just a pull-up, a poor one.
For week two I decided to focus on form/technique. I made two posts, one being a plan I am going to follow, the other being my attempt and workouts. I followed a youtube video and was introduced to three techniques. One was suggested for beginners and that was the kick-up muscle up, using legs to increase momentum. In the first blog post, I also introduced the workouts I will be doing and recording twice a week. To record, I used TikTok which was not the best option I later next week found out. Looking back not all the workouts planned were followed, adjustments had to be made. My attempt was a bit better this week using swing, but still having bad timing and missing strength.
Week three was focused on a new app, VivaVideo. The first post this week was focused on the app itself. The app allowed new editing possibilities and longer videos. I realized this app would be beneficial to record my exercises each week. I was able to make the videos longer and include text. I was also able to change the speed of the clips, making them all easy to follow. I did not include a muscle-up attempt this week however, due to shoulder soreness.
This was the most painful week physically. I had been working out five days a week for almost a year and my body finally caught up with me. I felt a little down because I started to lose motivation. However, I did have someone who was doing muscle ups tell me I look strong enough to do a muscle-up to cheer me up. This week I also switched to week two workouts with the help of a website named BreakingMuscle. The exercises did not go as well though due to elbow and shoulder pain. I took time to recover and look back at the video from week two to master the swinging.
Week five was possibly the most mentally motivating. This was the week I began to have self-doubt because of the previous week. I began to look at articles and realized I have the strength for a muscle-up. When I started my journey as my attempt showed I was struggling to do a pull-up, but now I was able to do 8 with ease along with straight bar dips. This did give me confidence and motivate me to fix my form and coordination. This week I also began looking at new articles and youtube videos to add to my upcoming workouts. This included technique and strength training exercises. The YouTuber Chris Heria was whose advice I did take, he in the same youtube video successfully trained an individual to do a muscle-up. An overall very motivating week along with me successfully doing a box jump muscle up, which I failed previously.
This was arguably the saddest week. The journey was coming to an end and neither time nor my body was not on my side. Coming from week five I did feel motivated though since I was assured I had the strength for a muscle-up. However, when training the new technique and strength exercises found in the youtube video, I hit a roadblock. The technique I was learning from Chris Heria was to do with an L-Sit and a new method of swinging ur body up. It did not seem too difficult and had positive feedback in the comments. I gave the new exercises a shot but realized I can not hold my legs straight when hanging on the bar, which was the whole concept of the technique. I decided to go back to my original technique, swinging and kicking up my knees and try to muscle through it.
Tips I Have for Anyone Attempting to Learn a Muscle-Up!
- Focus on form first thing
- Stay motivated, muscle-ups take a long time to learn
- Do specific to help build strength and technique
- First, be able to do 8 strict pull-ups and 8 strict straight bar dips before you start
- Stretch and warm-up before any attempt at a muscle up
- It is way harder than it looks, do not be harsh on yourself if you can not get it, only 1% can
- Get used to a false grip from the beginning
- Patience and Practice
Most Useful Resources and Apps I Encountered
- VivaVideo: Amazing video/photo editor to record your process
- TikTok: Can record your process, as well as learn from many creators, what we call #GymTok
- The benefits of doing a muscle up the article by BearGrips
- Adam Frater and Chris Heria both great athletic creators who make any gym exercise easy to learn and motivating
- MensHealth article on doing a muscle-up
- BreakingMuscle article on important exercises to do
- Swinging muscle-up tutorial on youtube by Lauren Ann Kennedy
Exercises I Personally Found Most Beneficial
- Straight Bar Dips
- Regular and Assisted Pull-Ups
- Box Jump Muscle Ups
- Ab Exercises
- Hanging L-Sit
Exercises I Personally Did Not Find Beneficial
- Chest to Bar Pull-Ups
- Negative Muscle-Ups
- Straight Arm Pulldowns
Let’s Wrap It Up
First, I want to say thank you Katia and all my classmates for a great class. It has been really enjoyable and it went by way too fast. I am also very thankful that an assignment like the learning project was included. It allowed all of us students to learn many new skills physical and mental. Even though my skill did not go to plan, I still managed to gain a lot from it. I sadly was not able to do a muscle-up at the end of my learning, but that is part of learning. Even though I felt confident I would be able to achieve it, looking back I am not surprised I could not. When I started I could not even do 8 strict pull-ups and 8 strict straight bar dips, which are crucial to starting to learn a muscle-up. Even though by the end I gained the strength, I had less time to focus on technique which ultimately is what failed me. Nevertheless, I became stronger, dedicated, and even more motivated. I will continue to practice my muscle-up technique since all I am truly missing is a better swing and use of momentum. Thank You everyone for following my journey, I will get the muscle-up soon and tweet it at #edtc300 like always. Thank You!