In this Intey Pull-Up Bands review, I want to share how this simple tool is giving me the confidence and skills to do a pull-up! Something I never thought I could do.
Pull-ups have been my weak point for as long as I can remember. Even back in elementary school, when I was much lighter. I could run the fastest mile. I could crank out some sit-ups. I could beat the boys in basketball. But when it came to pull-ups. Fail.
A couple of years ago, when I joined a gym, I tried using the assisted pull-up machine. It didn’t seem tough enough…I could never figure out what weight to use, and I never made any progress. Plus, the machine had handles, not a bar, so my hands were really far apart. There were some assistance bands in the gym closet, but I wasn’t sure how to use them and didn’t want to look like an idiot, so I chickened out. My pull-up failures continued.
After I decided to end my gym membership, I would randomly try to do one on the kids’ park equipment near the house. But I always felt embarrassed. (Clearly, I have a confidence issue!)
I hadn’t really tried doing one for a long time…until we got our Rogue system a couple of months ago. Finally, I could try and fail in the privacy of my own garage!
Adding Pull-ups to My Routine
In addition, my husband ordered me these: Intey Pull Up Assistance Bands. They sat there for a few weeks until I decided to narrow my fitness focus, and go for some new strength goals.
My new routine calls for pull-ups a few times a week, so my husband helped me figure out the assistance bands and how simple it is to just loop them over the pullup bar.
I was nervous that this, essentially, large rubber band would snap under my 150 pounds, but after a few reps, I got comfortable with it.
That Pull-up Feeling
And wow! What a difference! I was able to do an assisted pull-up! It wasn’t too easy, either. It was tough. And my hands, my hands! But I could feel what a pull-up is supposed to feel like in my arms, shoulders and back. I still could only do 1 or 2 that first day. I also took a video of myself and learned I had my elbows pointed too far forward.
Over the next few weeks, using the assistance bands, I continued to do as many pull-ups as I could in my workout. Sometimes it called for six pull-ups in a set. Or sometimes, 10!
(I got some help with my hands: we both use these gymnastics grips by WOD Nation. I will have to do another review for them. They help with my grip a lot!)
Now, I can do six pull-ups in a row…on the first set. After the second or third set, I have to rest between reps until I get six. My goal is 10 pull-ups in a row and then I will move down to the next level.
The green band, which I am pictured using above, gives 50-125 pounds of assistance. The purple gives 35-86 pounds, the black—25-65 pounds and the red—15-35.
What I Learned
What surprised me about pull-ups, which I guess I sort of knew in the back of my head, is how much of an effort your core has to put into the move. Now when I do one, I can feel my core helping out. I think a lot of the issue with not being able to do a pull-up has to do with not knowing what it feels like to do one, and the assistance bands definitely help with that.
The bands feel strong and secure, and so far, I haven’t had any issues.
Not Just for Pull-ups
I’ve also used the lighter-weight bands as stand-ins for machines. For example, if a workout calls for something like lat-pulldowns, I fasten the band up on the pull-up bar and do lat pulldowns. Boom. Done. I like a piece of equipment that can multitask.
If you are like me and have never been able to do a pull-up, I highly recommend you get some bands! These are a great (and an economical option at $38.99 for the set of 4).
Are you a pull-up master? What’s your best tip for us newbie puller-uppers?