A Message from the Creator of the Program
“Your First Muscle-Up isn’t your typical program. It’s not only an incredibly effective adaptation tool, developing using scientifically-backed principals, but it also addresses the whole athlete, including their mind. This is something that has been personally frustrating to me about other programs, so I made this one as a response to be better and actually get you results.
Detailed demo videos for every exercise help show you exactly what to focus on in your technique. I was meticulous during the programming process, making sure every ounce of effectiveness was distilled into the program: making this the most time effective way and proven way to learn a muscle-up. I’ve including links to articles, helpful resources I dug up, stats and how they are useful to you and finally getting me to view your videos of successes and attempts.
Lastly, there is specific content written every single week custom for you and this plan. The goal with all of this is to immerse yourself in learning and mastery: the key to success in your endeavor. I used every tool in my toolbox on this one, I’m excited to see your successes!” –Ben Wise, Owner Zoar Fitness
Sample Video Content
Q: For who is the program designed?
A: This program is designed for CrossFit® athletes who are close to having the prerequisite strength and mobility to achieve their first muscle-up. This program is designed to help you build pulling and pressing power, as well as kipping and transition speed and skill. This is not meant to be a well-rounded program, it is intentionally biased to get you the results you need.
Q: Is this program meant to be completed stand alone or with other training?
A: This program is meant to be combined with your other, more general CrossFit® training program. Since this program is designed around training Muscle-Ups it leaves out everything that does not directly improve performance in this arena. As a CrossFit® athlete, you are looking to optimize performance in every facet of your fitness, so you will need to be following a well-balanced program in addition to this one. You can opt to replace three of your workouts every week with this program, or you can choose to treat this program as an add-on.
Q: Should I complete the workouts before or after my normal training?
[For the athlete completing the program in addition to his or her normal training.]
A: Either. Truly it does not matter and adherence and consistency to the program is more important than timing. If both is convenient, complete the section of your training that is more important and valuable to you first, which will likely be this program. If you do this program first, make sure to add a Thermogenic Warm-up (think “Cardio”) before you begin. Five to ten minutes of rowing, biking or ski erg would be best, before you start the workout.
Q: What should I do to warm up or do I just “jump in” to the workout?
[For the athlete completing the program who is using it to replace his or her normal workouts a few days per week. However, he or she continues with their normal training at other days / times during the week.]
You will be initiating each workout without already being warmed up. To avoid injury and perform optimally you should add a Thermogenic Warm-up (think “Cardio”) before you begin. Five to ten minutes of rowing, biking or ski erg would be best, before you start your movement prep.
Q: What happens if my other workouts involve gymnastics as well? Must the workouts be completed in the order shown within a given week?
[For the athlete completing CrossFit® affiliate classes who can rearrange their weekly training schedule.]
A: The three days of the program can be executed as you see fit as you assess the demands of your normal workouts for a given week. For example, if your scheduled workout or class has Pull-ups on Friday, either sub out the pull-ups for another movement or don’t complete this program’s workout on that same day. Furthermore, due to recovery times it would not be ideal to do that workout the day before or after either, depending on the total volume of pulling. As a rule of thumb, it is best to prioritize quality reps (the Your First Muscle-Up program) over fatigued kipping pull-ups (Your CrossFit® affiliate class). It is easiest to plan if you have an experienced coach you trust.
Ideally, these workouts are spread throughout your training week on a regularly occurring basis. Two good examples are Monday, Wednesday, Friday (or) Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Overall, find a schedule that works for you, which accounts for proper recovery and avoids overuse injuries.
Q: What are the odds I get my first muscle-up with this program?
A: It depends on the person. I’ve had athletes who learned in a matter of minutes and observed plenty of others who have been working for years without achieving one. Here are a few of the factors that will make a difference:
- Biological Age: Masters athletes will adapt slower and handle less volume than teen and Open athletes.
- Training Age: Athletes who have been training longer learn new skills quicker and have more prerequisite strengths.
- Body Fat Percentage: Athletes with healthy bodyfat levels (there is a window) will be stronger relative to their weight.
- Strength: Athletes with 5 Strict Pull-ups + 5 Strict Ring Dips will likely get a muscle-up quicker than an athlete with 1 of each.
- Mobility: Athletes who can create torque through a full range of motion will likely get a muscle-up quicker.
Overall, this program is about building a more capable athlete through developing strength, learning skills and bringing up lagging areas. The goal of the program is to get your first muscle-up, and it has worked for many athletes in the past. The vast majority of athletes who have at least 1 strict pull-up and 1 strict ring dip at the onset of the program and complete the full 12 weeks achieve either a bar or ring muscle-up by the end of the program.