Why this exercise is called this name I have no idea. It is also known as “Barbell Inverted Row Holds”.
No matter what you call it this is a great exercise and it’s much harder than it looks.
With Fat Man Pull Ups the goal is to hold your body in a row position for time. Think of this as being the bottom position of your bench press.
NOTE: Fat Man Pull Ups can also be done with TRX straps or any suspension straps. This is a great variation as it allows you to change your wrist and elbow position which is great for most people. I use the barbell version it my own training and with my competing powerlifting athletes because it mimics the bottom of the bench press (see below).
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Here Are 6 Benefits For Adding Fat Man Pull Ups In Your Training
1. It’s Very Simple To Do
Notice I said it’s simple, it is NOT easy. This exercise is much harder than it looks. Even though there is no movement involved it is very hard to do.
2. It’s Very Easy On The Lower Back
I love deadlifts and bent over rows for back, but this variation hits the upper back and rear delts and is very lower back friendly.
3. Great Exercise For Bench Press (especially equipped bench press).
Learning to control the weight on your chest and having a strong upper back is very important for bench press. This applies even more for equipped benching where you use a bench press shirt.
4. Also a Glutes Exercise.
When holding in this position you want to be squeezing your glutes hard. This will also help in keeping your lower back in a safe position. Anytime you can strengthen and work your glutes this is good. As well this can carry over to bench press by using “hip drive”.
5. Great Progression To A Pull Up
Most women lack the strength to do a pull up. Often techqnoue plays a role, but for the most part most women don’t have the upper body strength to do a pull up. The Fat Man Pull Up is a great way to progress and improve upper body strength to get you closer towards doing a pull up.
6. Build Mental Strength
One of the things about holds is they test your will power. Trying to hold on in good form is a mental test as much as a physical one. Give it a try you will see what I mean :).
How to add Fat Man Pull Ups in your training?
You can add these in on your bench press days or back days.
Start off with 5 sets of 10-20 second holds.
Every week try to add 1 set and or 5 seconds to your hold
Week 1 – 3 Sets of 10 Second Holds
Week 2 – 4 Sets of 15 Second Holds
Week 3 – 5 Sets of 20 Second Holds
Week 4 – 5 Sets of 25 Second Holds
Week 5 – 5 Sets of 30 Second Holds
Fat man pull ups are a great exercise with really no negatives. These will improve upper back strength and rear delt strength which is great for any lift or sport. As well it will impact and improve your posture.
Add them into your training and let me know how you find them.
Coach Rob is the creator and owner of Women Who Lift Weights and Heavy Weights Training Center.
He is a Coach, Writer and Competitive Power Lifter.