OAPU Assistance

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
I am starting to practice OAPU. The best I can do is against a wall. I have a good set of resistance bands and was wondering if for a progression to start using the bands for assistance that way I could stay consistent. I work away from home so anything I use to lower my elevation when progressing will be different. I have different things at home than at work. But if I use the resistance bands I can use the same thing for assistance when at work or at home. What are your thoughts?
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Against the wall is a lot more useful that it sounds. Keep doing that, but make sure you're practicing all points of the skill -- full body tension, hollow position, keeping the shoulder anti-shrugged, keeping shoulders and hips aligned, etc.

Counter-height is perfect to practice GTG for most people. Are you able to use a kitchen counter, bathroom, etc?

Bands can be useful, but you have to use them in a way that helps you work on the skill. This can be tricky. A few ways we learned in last weekend's SFB cert to use the band to assist the OAPU:
  • Make your two-arm push-up harder by looping the band around your shoulders from your hands to provide additional resistance
  • Loop the band from a bar or something above you, or hook it to something secure on either side of you like the J-hooks in a power rack, or even two people holding the ends
    • Make your one-arm push-up easier with the band around your chest to slightly lift you. Placement can be specific to the individual and what is hardest for them.
    • Make your one-arm push-up easier with the band around your shoulders like a jacket to slightly lift you.
Post video if you like... will be happy to give you some feedback.

Programming is also key, of course! Details of your current approach, like what you do over a typical week, and how it's working/progressing would help.
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
I can use a counter at home but it is a little more difficult to find something the same height when I leave for work. I am practicing daily the OAPU, Pistol, and Pullup.
Programming wise I am doing something similar to the Fighter PullUp program for all three lifts. Working my way up to a 5x5 on the current progression before moving to a new progression. The reason I am looking at using bands is because I was looking at utilizing Karen Smith 6 Week Program to Master the OA/OAOL Push Up. But I need 3 different progressions. Not sure I have that many different elevations to utilize.
 

Marc

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Some exercises that strengthen the muscles required for the OAPU:
-Diamond Pushups
-Archer Pushups
-Self-assisted OAPU: Use your non-working arm as assistance on your fingertips. The nearer your arm towards your body and the more bent the easier. The further you move your arm from your body and the straighter you keep it, the harder it gets. Also moving from doing it on all 5 fingers to less and less fingers the harder it gets.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I can use a counter at home but it is a little more difficult to find something the same height when I leave for work.
Same or similar height should work. Maybe a patio or stair railing... anything fixed. You can get creative :)

I am practicing daily the OAPU, Pistol, and Pullup.
I'm thinking 1-2 of these should be less than daily -- i.e. the HML scheme you mentioned. The other 2 would be GTG. (GTG of 3 moves is not recommended).

Programming wise I am doing something similar to the Fighter PullUp program for all three lifts.
That sounds like a lot of volume for the 3 lifts together.

Whichever one is GTG, just stick with GTG principles. 50% of your max, as of ten as possible but as fresh as possible. For the OAPU specifically, throughout the day 2-3 days in a row, then take a day off. "Do no other pressing exercises" (from the SFB manual). Another slight variation -- "Pick a moderately challenging variation that enables you to do 5-6 reps if you went all out. Do sets of 2-3 reps, or ladders of 1,2,3 reps."

There are a lot more helpful tips on GTG but if you're interested in dialing that in, it might be simpler for you to describe how you might do it (number of times throughout the day, etc.) and we can see if that matches the principles.
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
Some exercises that strengthen the muscles required for the OAPU:
-Diamond Pushups
-Archer Pushups
-Self-assisted OAPU: Use your non-working arm as assistance on your fingertips. The nearer your arm towards your body and the more bent the easier. The further you move your arm from your body and the straighter you keep it, the harder it gets. Also moving from doing it on all 5 fingers to less and less fingers the harder it gets.
Marc,
I almost abandoned doing "Normal" type pushups just because reading Pavel's Naked Warrior ("only way to do one arm pushups is to do one arm pushups") but I guess I could utilize the ones you suggested.
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
Same or similar height should work. Maybe a patio or stair railing... anything fixed. You can get creative :)



I'm thinking 1-2 of these should be less than daily -- i.e. the HML scheme you mentioned. The other 2 would be GTG. (GTG of 3 moves is not recommended).



That sounds like a lot of volume for the 3 lifts together.

Whichever one is GTG, just stick with GTG principles. 50% of your max, as of ten as possible but as fresh as possible. For the OAPU specifically, throughout the day 2-3 days in a row, then take a day off. "Do no other pressing exercises" (from the SFB manual). Another slight variation -- "Pick a moderately challenging variation that enables you to do 5-6 reps if you went all out. Do sets of 2-3 reps, or ladders of 1,2,3 reps."

There are a lot more helpful tips on GTG but if you're interested in dialing that in, it might be simpler for you to describe how you might do it (number of times throughout the day, etc.) and we can see if that matches the principles.
Anna,

So I should probably do the Pull Ups daily like laid out in the Fighter Pull Up, and work the pistol and OAPU GTG?
I'm not sure how often I could work in throughout the day but I'm pretty sure I could find time to at least do it 2 to 3 times a day. Maybe more.
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
Same or similar height should work. Maybe a patio or stair railing... anything fixed. You can get creative :)



I'm thinking 1-2 of these should be less than daily -- i.e. the HML scheme you mentioned. The other 2 would be GTG. (GTG of 3 moves is not recommended).



That sounds like a lot of volume for the 3 lifts together.

Whichever one is GTG, just stick with GTG principles. 50% of your max, as of ten as possible but as fresh as possible. For the OAPU specifically, throughout the day 2-3 days in a row, then take a day off. "Do no other pressing exercises" (from the SFB manual). Another slight variation -- "Pick a moderately challenging variation that enables you to do 5-6 reps if you went all out. Do sets of 2-3 reps, or ladders of 1,2,3 reps."

There are a lot more helpful tips on GTG but if you're interested in dialing that in, it might be simpler for you to describe how you might do it (number of times throughout the day, etc.) and we can see if that matches the principles.
Anna,

Is it too much volume if I am going up to 5x5?
I could see if I would be following the Fighter Pull Up all the way to 15 or 20 reps.
It doesn't seem like a lot of volume, but I am new to the Strongfirst Website. I would love to attend SFB course but they all either too far away or while I am working.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Is it too much volume if I am going up to 5x5?
I could see if I would be following the Fighter Pull Up all the way to 15 or 20 reps.
It doesn't seem like a lot of volume, but I am new to the Strongfirst Website. I would love to attend SFB course but they all either too far away or while I am working.
Well, I'm new to bodyweight programming so I'm really just doing some thought experiments based on what I learned last weekend, and what I learned from my own training for the SFB. Buyer beware... But, you get it for free. ;) And hopefully others will chime in.

Fighter Pull Up is known to be a great program, so yes I'd say continue with that for the Pull Ups. Karen cautions to NOT exceed the prescribed volume, even if you feel good... for the sake of your elbows. Stop if any popping or pain. Be conservative. Once you aggravate the tendons it can be a long time to recovery.

You could GTG the pistol, yes. That's the easiest one to do anywhere.

The OAPU you could do the A 6-Week Program to Master the OA/OAOL Push-up | StrongFirst. That's basically what I did and it seemed to work well. Read the article thoroughly several times... that includes a lot of what we got in the course!

So with the GTG pistol and OAPU program, adjust to your schedule -- 2-3x/day as you mentioned could work for both to get your daily volume in.
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
Well, I'm new to bodyweight programming so I'm really just doing some thought experiments based on what I learned last weekend, and what I learned from my own training for the SFB. Buyer beware... But, you get it for free. ;) And hopefully others will chime in.

Fighter Pull Up is known to be a great program, so yes I'd say continue with that for the Pull Ups. Karen cautions to NOT exceed the prescribed volume, even if you feel good... for the sake of your elbows. Stop if any popping or pain. Be conservative. Once you aggravate the tendons it can be a long time to recovery.

You could GTG the pistol, yes. That's the easiest one to do anywhere.

The OAPU you could do the A 6-Week Program to Master the OA/OAOL Push-up | StrongFirst. That's basically what I did and it seemed to work well. Read the article thoroughly several times... that includes a lot of what we got in the course!

So with the GTG pistol and OAPU program, adjust to your schedule -- 2-3x/day as you mentioned could work for both to get your daily volume in.
I like the layout of the 6 Week Program I just need to figure out what regressions to use.
I'll give it a shot. I appreciate all the help.
 

Marc

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Marc,
I almost abandoned doing "Normal" type pushups just because reading Pavel's Naked Warrior ("only way to do one arm pushups is to do one arm pushups") but I guess I could utilize the ones you suggested.
Yes, spending most of the time on the lift itself or its progressions/regressions is the most vital part of achieving it. However, oftentimes ot is very useful to complement that with exercises that specifically strengthen the muscles involved.
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
Yes, spending most of the time on the lift itself or its progressions/regressions is the most vital part of achieving it. However, oftentimes ot is very useful to complement that with exercises that specifically strengthen the muscles involved.
I will program the regressions you gave me into the 6 Week Pushup Program.
 

Karen Smith

More than 300 posts
Master Certified Instructor
Iron Maiden
Please let me know what questions you have when working the program. Also one of your progressions for maybe a light day for the OAPU can be a OAOL plank holds for time. Another progression of a OAPU can be just the negative phase and one day of full OAPU on wall or other elevation. :)
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
Please let me know what questions you have when working the program. Also one of your progressions for maybe a light day for the OAPU can be a OAOL plank holds for time. Another progression of a OAPU can be just the negative phase and one day of full OAPU on wall or other elevation. :)
Thanks for the input Ms. Karen. It is greatly appreciated.
It is almost hard to believe how helpful this community is.
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
I know this portion of the forum is all about bodyweight training but any insight on if S&S would be helpful with bodyweight training.
 

George Locke

Double-Digit Post Count
I know this portion of the forum is all about bodyweight training but any insight on if S&S would be helpful with bodyweight training.
With your focus on OAPU, pull up, and pistol, adding some swings on off days seems like a fine way to train your posterior chain and power endurance. TGU's overlap with the stress of the OAPU (both are limited by cross-body and shoulder/chest tension), and my intuition is that you'd be interfering with your stress/recovery/adaptation cycle by working both movements, especially if you're training OAPU every day.

S&S is a program in itself. Combining S&S with an ambitious goal like achieving a full OAPU starting from the wall seems like disorganized training and will probably tax your recovery resources heavily. This goal will take you time and perseverance.
 

Colby Pitre

Double-Digit Post Count
With your focus on OAPU, pull up, and pistol, adding some swings on off days seems like a fine way to train your posterior chain and power endurance. TGU's overlap with the stress of the OAPU (both are limited by cross-body and shoulder/chest tension), and my intuition is that you'd be interfering with your stress/recovery/adaptation cycle by working both movements, especially if you're training OAPU every day.

S&S is a program in itself. Combining S&S with an ambitious goal like achieving a full OAPU starting from the wall seems like disorganized training and will probably tax your recovery resources heavily. This goal will take you time and perseverance.
Time and perseverance. Yes indeed. Lots of Time. Thank you for your input.
 
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