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Ring Muscle Up 101

By: Bryan Jenks


DISCLAIMER & COPYRIGHT

All information contained within this document is for Informational and entertainment
purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problems
or diseases - nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician or doctor. No action
should be undertaken solely on the contents of this document. Always consult your
physician, doctor, or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health,
wellbeing, or on any opinions expressed within this style of training. The information
provided throughout this training program are believed to be effective and safe based
on the best judgment of the trainer, but the reader is responsible For consulting with
their own healthcare professional on any matters contained within. Health, wellness,
and strength training information changes rapidly, Therefore some Information
throughout this document may be out of date, Inaccurate and potentially erroneous. We
do not assume any liability for the information Contained within this program, be it
direct, indirect, consequential, special, Exemplary or any other type of damages. Please
see your physician before changing your diet, your exercise Program, or your
supplements of any kind, or beginning any of the aforementioned. The statements made
within this document have not been evaluated by The Food and Drug Administration, or
any administration for that matter. No one may use any part of this publication without
prior consent.

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Table of Contents
Phase 1: The Pull up
-Scapular Positioning

-Bent Body Rows

-Body Rows

-Chin Up Negatives

-Chin Ups

-Pull Up Negatives

-Pull Ups

Phase 2: The Dip


-Support Position

-Knee Pushups

-Pushups

-Bar Dip Negatives

-Bar Dips

-Ring Dip Negatives

-Ring Dips

Phase 3: The Transition


-How To Hold The Rings

-The Ring Chest Scrape

-Transition Movement Pattern

-Transition Negatives

Program

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Who am i?

My name is Bryan Jenks, I am 20 years


old, and I live in Northern California. I am
a certified strength and movement coach.
I have been immersed in movement arts
and strength training for over 5 years
now. I have been involved with and
researching strength, movement, health,
nutrition, performance optimization, and
self improvement methods for the last 5
years, with many more to come.

I’m 6’6”, kind of eccentric; I love


gardening, cats, and doing back flips. Get
me talking about strength & movement
and good luck getting me to shut up.

My passion in life is to instill passion in


others for movement, & physical
expression, and to inspire others to
improve themselves.

MOVE!

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If You Are Reading This

Thank you for purchasing!

You’ve taken the initiative towards acquiring real upper body strength with the
ring muscle up!

Contained within this eBook is a strength program from beginner to intermediate


level body weight exercises you can perform to start building your strength
foundation for the ring muscle up.

Included within this book are the tips and tricks to acquire bullet proof technique
and strength for ring muscle ups in the most efficient way possible.

By purchasing this eBook you’ve shown me that you wish to gain supple body
weight strength without the use of conventional gym training methods and have a
true interest in being Manimal strong.

So in accordance with this book I invite you to join the inner circle of the Manimal
Method community and to learn all you can from this eBook and then from all of
the resources I provide and recommend in the future.

After reading, if you still have questions feel free to contact me

Bryan@manimalmethod.com

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My Gift To You

Below is The link to the Manimal Tribe facebook group for you to connect
with others involved in the same training methods, movement arts, and interests
as you:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/manimalmethod/

In the Manimal Tribe facebook group you have the advantage of

 A community of supportive practitioners and movers to help and


encourage you on your way
 New knowledge and information I discover that could aid you in your
training
 Special deals on future products
 And much more

Entry is free; there is no cost, no sign up, nothing.

Now let’s get strong :)

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Phase 1: The Pull up

So let’s get straight to the meat of the movement shall we?

Because I do not know your exact level of strength I’m going to list the steps from
easiest to hardest and talk a little about each, sound good?

This is a gradual process of strength building that requires you to be strong in 2


main movements, the pull up and the dip and later hooking them together with
that last link in the chain; The transition.

If you cannot perform a pull up or even a chin up, have no fear, I can show you
how to build strength from the bottom level up.

Scapular Positioning
Most average Joes cannot perform even 1 correct pull/chin up.

To perform a vertical pulling motion, and place the emphasis on the right muscles
being used; retract and depress your shoulder blades to emphasize usage of the
Lats. This is how we begin every rep; dead hang, then correct the shoulder
position, THEN pull. Think of it as putting your shoulder blades “in your back
pockets”:

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Your shoulders should not touch your ears during a rep, look where my
shoulders are in each picture, we want the shoulders down and away from the
ears while we are pulling. The shoulders should only touch the ears in the bottom
position.

This is how we will perform EVERY rep, EVERY negative, and how we will begin
EVERY pulling movement.

I think you get the message, haha.

To start building your beastly pulling strength, we start with the first rung of the
pull up ladder;

Bent Body Rows


Bent body rows are a horizontal pulling motion, but if you lack the back strength
to perform quality negatives in the vertical pulling plane of motion, then this is
the easiest pulling progression for you to begin with.

Scapular positioning applies to the body rows as well; you want your shoulder
blades “in your back pockets”.

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You also want to keep the abs and butt flexed, tight, and engaged. You don’t have
to flex them with all your might like you would to show off your biceps, just keep
them tense enough to hold the proper body shape:

The bent body row is a very simple progression, by having your feet planted flat
on the ground you take even more of the weight off your back and arms.

Because this move in being done on the rings, and the rings rotate, we’re going
to begin each rep by turning the rings so our palms face towards our head, this
way it’s like a horizontal chin up, this will get you more strength for the chin up
progressions later on.

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You want your chest to touch the rings.

When you reach the top reverse the movement back to #1 and begin again.

Body Rows
Body rows are exactly like the bent body row except we’re beginning to add more
weight to the movement.

How do we do this? By making your body stiff as a board and as long as


possible, you’re feet will no longer be planted on the ground, your heels will be
the only contact you have with ground.

The same scapular positioning applies to the body row, and remember to keep
tension in your abs and butt to hold the shape:

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Body rows are a bit more difficult than their bent counterparts, but that’s the
name of the game, overcoming challenges and becoming stronger in the process.

Just like a bent body row, you begin in the bottom position, turn the rings so as
to perform a “horizontal chin up”, pull to the top, chest touching the rings, and
return to the bottom to begin the next rep.

You will likely gain strength with this movement very fast if you haven’t had the
strength to master it already.

But just in case you need it, this progression is here to help you get stronger.
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Once you become strong and competent with the rows it’s time to move on to the
vertical pulling movements.

Chin Up Negatives
Negative: A negative is simply the easier part of a movement, but you fight
gravity as long as possible. For chin ups, a negative would be jumping to the top
of the bar/rings, and lowering yourself into the bottom position (remember
shoulder blade positioning throughout the entire movement) fighting gravity the
entire time trying to stay as high up as possible while maintaining good form.

Sorry for that block of text there, here have a picture demonstration:

We want to jump up into the top position and lower ourselves down as slow as
possible while maintaining our shoulder blade positioning, I can’t stress how
important the shoulder blades are in this, I had a client shoot up 2 reps on every
set of his chin ups after I taught him how to put his shoulder blades into correct
position during reps.

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Once negatives become too easy (and by easy I mean you can keep from
dropping into the bottom position for 6-8 seconds on every set), we move to the
next level

Full Chin Ups


Now we include the harder portion of the exercise; the actual pull.

Do not kip during these reps, kipping cheats your muscles out of getting the
tension they need to break down and re-grow stronger to perform more/better
pulling, and without proper strength in place they raise the risk of shoulder and
rotator cuff injuries through the roof. DON’T. KIP.

Kipping is when you thrash about kick, jump your knees, anything to get your
chin above the bar.

If you have to do any of that to get your first rep, it’s back to negatives with you!

Every rep should be smooth (negatives will have you shaking as you fight gravity,
this is okay, but for reps you want the motion to be smooth) to help build good
muscle control, movement patterns, and good habits.

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Now it’s time for pull ups! And where do we start? Negatives of course! Oh don’t
give me that look, you know we’re trying to get stronger from the bottom up and
not rush the process.

“You should be able to do something well, before you do it a lot.”

Pull Up Negatives
Now we get to the harder variation.

A pull up is the actual first movement of the ring muscle up, but if strength is an
issue, we start with chin ups to build the back musculature up in strength.

Chin ups are useful to start with because they add in the biceps to help take
some of the load off the back and allow the back to grow steadily stronger until
we reach this point!

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Now we begin the process over once again, building up a movement from the
bottom up.

Always start with good shoulder blade positioning, and simple drop down to a
dead hang.

Another key point to remember is to not worry about getting your chin over the
bar.

We’re not doing pull ups for the marines here, our goal is improvement in
movement and strength for the ring muscle up not getting the chin over the bar to
count reps.

Once you feel strong with pull up negatives we’ll move on to the final step in the
pulling category:

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Full Pull Ups
Once you reach this stage and you can perform a few reps comfortably with good
form, smooth, controlled, and proper scapular positioning throughout, then you’ll
be ready to perform ring muscle ups.

Of course you won’t work just pull ups and THEN the other portions of the
program, you will be working the movement from every angle in the program, but
the pulling portion is the hardest portion to master.

If performing muscle ups on a bar I’d say the transition is tied with pull ups as the
hardest portion, but with rings the muscle up transition phase is much easier.

So without further tangents, we perform full controlled, smooth, and clean pull
ups

This is not an overnight process, to build up your strength, especially females,


will take time. Don’t worry though, I’ll give you a program to utilize in a later
portion of this book if you require, if not, you’ll have the exercises and the tips &
tricks to program for yourself.
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Phase 2: The Dip

The dip is the easiest part of the ring muscle up.

You will build up strength with this part of the movement the fastest, but it’s the
last portion of the exercise once you’ve completed the pull up and transition
portion of the movement.

But before you can do ring dips and eventually ring dip muscle ups there’s one
thing you will have to master; The Support hold.

Ring Support Position


The ability to hold yourself still and controlled on the rings is obviously important
if you intend to perform the muscle up.

Stabilizing yourself on the rings is not easy at first, but as all your stabilizer
muscles increase in strength and you practice it consistently, it becomes easier.

Practice this while you work on your dips at any level, you’ll want to have the ring
support down pat before you move to ring dips, trust me. Nothing worse than
doing a ring dip and losing one of the rings when it shoots out to the side, youch!

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The best tip I can give you when you begin support holds, is: pull the rings into
your sides as much as possible and keep them there.

To begin our pushing work on our way to ring dips is the basic pushup
variations. If you cannot perform any dip variations, or you get the pain in your
sternum from doing them, then you need to work on your chest muscles and
pushing strength first.

To begin we’ll start from the most basic variation:

Knee Pushups
We’ll begin first with the knee pushups, not only because it’s the most basic
starting progression for strength building for dips, but also to fix faulty form.

Most pushups are performed incorrectly with a straight body, or worse; inactive
core/butt activation leading to the “floor hump” position.

We’re going to start by correcting the form of the knee pushups and then actually
performing them and regular pushups afterwards.

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By rounding (protracting) the shoulders like this, we tense the abs to help
maintain our body’s shape. It will also prevent damage to your spine over time
from the inactive core/dropped hips positions.

To begin the knee pushup, you want your knees BEHIND your hips, not directly
under, look at the pictures above, it’s just like doing a regular pushup except you
drop your knees to the floor.

To drop down and then press yourself up you’re going to need room to move
forward to drop down.

Another key point about any pushup variation is to tuck your arms in. if your
arms and body form the shape of a “T” then you’re at risk of developing a
shoulder impingement, as well as cheating yourself out of your strength gains.

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You want your body and your arms (arms being shoulder to elbow) to form the
shape of an arrow during the entire movement. Do NOT perform “T” pushups,
they will damage you over time and will cheat you out of strength gains.

It may be easier to perform the movement that way, but it doesn’t mean you
should. Always: Quality > quantity

Once you have become proficient with these, or can perform them correctly and
have strength enough to perform the harder progression, then it’s time for regular
pushups!

Full Pushups
The same rules apply for this pushup variation, tuck the arms in, flex the abs and
butt to maintain your body’s shape, and protract those shoulder blades.

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Your pushups should NOT look like any of these:

We want our abs to be sucked up towards the spine, butt is tensed (enough to
maintain the shape, you don’t have to flex with all your might), and the shoulder
rounded (protracted) to engage the abs even more.

Keep the hips away from the floor; if you hump the floor, your pushups need
work.

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The only movement the pushup is the rotating of the shoulders and the bending
of the elbows, everything else is tense or along for the ride.

Pushups are like holding planks in that you need to hold the plank shape the
entire time you are performing any pushup variation.

Maintain body tension, and do not lose your shape or hump the ground!

Once your pushups are up to par, it’s time to explore and work with the dip
progressions.

Bar Dip Negatives


We work support holds at the same time as dip/pushup variations (more info in
the program section).

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The first dip variation we perform is the bar dip on a straight bar like you can see
here (which can be found just about anywhere or improvised).

By performing negatives and reps on a straight bar, you’re forced to have your
shoulders more in front of your body than conventional dips, placing more stress
on your triceps and creating more flexibility in your shoulders to allow for more
strength gains for the movement.

The bar should touch your sternum near your upper chest.

Your legs should be in front of you slightly, not curled up behind you; this will
place more emphasis on your triceps by moving your shoulders back in the
movement.

Full Bar Dip


Once you get accustomed to bar dip negatives which will happen pretty quickly,
you then move to reps.

Remember to keep your legs piked and forward under the bar.

The bar must touch the upper part of your sternum.

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And one last bit of info before the picture, have your thumbs on top of the bar,
you don’t need to grasp the bar like a hammer handle, for the rings, it’s a different
story, but for the bar dips keep your thumb on top.

Now it’s time to get to the real fun stuff;

Ring Dip Negatives


Using rings is fun.

Seriously.

If you workout at a gym you’re bound to get stares and questions.

If you workout at a park you’ll most likely get the same.

At this point you’ve gotten comfortable with performing dips on the straight bar,
and have been working on your support hold on the rings since the beginning
(program for all this later in the book).

You should be able to hold yourself up on the rings safely without shaking and
uncontrolled movements, if not, hammer out those basics first.

The ring dip negative will be slightly different that the bar dip negatives or reps.

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With the rings you can change the position of the rings to allow for a dip in the
same style as the straight bar: Legs forward, shoulders more back more
emphasis on triceps.

And the other variation: Shoulders forward, legs back.

I mainly use the latter, and have depicted only the latter, but both are useful to
use if you hit any plateaus in training and need something to kick you over the
hill.

Remember the good support position, chest up as much as possible, then slowly
lower for the negative. You want to go as deep as possible, shoulders should
touch the rings.

The deeper you go the easier it will be to perform ring dips from this low bottom
position, and it will be easier coming out of the transition phase.

Make sure your control of the rings is on lock before you start doing these.

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If a ring shoots out to the side due to poor control, it might cause an injury to
your pectoral girdle (where your pectoral muscles connect to your shoulder).

I had a ring shoot out on me once, it was NOT a fun experience. Save yourself the
pain and be diligent in your practice of the support hold position.

Full Ring Dip


The final stage!

Once you get your first few ring dips you’re pretty much set for the muscle up.

The pulling portion is the hardest part of the muscle up so a dip at the end of the
movement is not so hard by comparison.

You shouldn’t forgo dip training though, by using rings for dips you will
strengthen not only your prime mover muscles (pec major & minor, and the
triceps) but also all the stabilizer muscles that keep those rings in place (a lot of
which is your forearm muscles, maintain a good strong grip of the rings).

And now we move on to the final phase, the transition between the pull up and
the dip, and the tips and tricks of conquering the transition phase!

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Phase 3: The Transition

Here’s where the secrets of the ring muscle up come into play.

It’s relatively easy to build up strength with pull ups and dips in the long run, but
skill training take tons of practice and work.

In this section of the book I’m going to give you the tips and tricks to take the
short cut (in a good way) to your first ring muscle up.

This is not to say we’re cutting corners, rather, I am giving you all the secrets,
tips, and tricks I’ve found, that I wish I knew what I was first starting, (scapular
positioning was one of them!)

So without further adieu here’s Tip #1:

How To Hold The Rings For A Muscle Up


There are 2 types of grips used on the rings, normal grip, and false grip.

For working your pull ups and chin ups a normal grip is okay, but without a false
grip, ring muscle ups are pretty much impossible, if not dangerous.

Here are the various grips we’ll be using:

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The difference between the 2 is very pronounced; the false grip takes a lot of
forearm strength to utilize effectively, the normal grip does not.

Performing false grip hangs (remember good scapular positioning) is a great way
to build up strength with your false grip.

Here is the main difference between the 2 grips:

The red line is where the ring is placed during a normal grip, the blue is the false
grip.

The reason we use the false grip is because we can seamlessly change from pull
up to dip without having to move our hand placement.

If you tried to do this with a normal grip, you would have to rotate your hand up
180 degrees, on a bar this is annoying but possible, but on rings it can be
downright dangerous.
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Now for Tip #2:

The Ring Chest Scrape


This was the main secret I discovered that got me my first ring muscle up after 3
sessions (with a solid base of strength of course).

This is how ring muscle ups are made easier than bar muscle ups.

Bar muscle ups require you to have enough power to explosively throw yourself
up over the bar to then perform a dip, it’s a blocky, choppy, movement that is
very hard to make fluid and smooth.

Ring muscle ups, because of the false grip and the chest scrape, make the
transition so fluid that the muscle up is one single, seamless movement.

Here are the phases of the chest scrape:

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1. You want the rings perpendicular to your body, touching each other, and in
contact with your sternum
2. Begin turning the rings outwards towards your shoulders and keep them
close to you
3. Continue pulling the rings apart and work your way into dip position
4. You are now in the bottom dip position
5. Transfer a bit more of your weight forward and you’re ready to perform a
dip

From the side:

Can you see how the pull in #1 transfers to a dip by #4, this is the secret to the
transition; the chest scrape.

This is also why the rings are superior to the bar in my opinion, you can directly
work the transition phase with as much weight as needed, with the bar it’s a
much harder task and you’ll probably need exercise bands and it’s just a big
mess.

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As you get stronger with ring muscle ups the chest scrape will no longer be
necessary, but for the beginning stages of the movement it is downright
essential.

Transition Movement Pattern


Now, to build up strength in the transition movement we’re going to “add weight”
to it, you’re going to squat down, toes under your butt/hips and lift as much of
your body weight into the movement as you can handle, this will help get you
stronger with the movement, as well as building the movement pattern that your
brain will remember for use during the actual muscle up; (muscle memory).

You want to make this as hard as possible so that you can get stronger with the
transition; this is the money maker of the muscle up.

Once you reach the dip position, push yourself up enough to lift your toes off the
floor, but don’t complete the whole dip (we’re working the transition not the dip),
and just bounce up then reverse the movement back to the starting position.

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Transition Negatives
Once we engrain a good motor pattern (muscle memory) of the chest scrape
transition, and build up some strength with it, the time comes for the harder
version; a negative.

You’re going to start in the bottom dip position and perform the reverse of the
chest scrape as slow as possible. Negatives are one of the best ways to build
strength with a tough body weight movement.

Even after you acquire ring muscle ups, the transition negative is the key to
cleaner and smoother muscle ups.

Remember, strength is easy to build in the pull and dip, but the skill of the
transition and of the whole movement is the hardest part.

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Putting It All Together
Ignore the fact that my head leaves the last frame like a rocket ship:

With enough time and diligent training you too can acquire the Ring Muscle Up.

Now for the program if you need one!

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Program

If you need a program to follow then I will provide one for you, if you know how to
program, then congrats, you already have the tools and you’re well on your way!

The way I like to perform strength work is 3 days a week, Monday Wednesday and
Friday with Tuesday and Thursday as non strength work days (but that’s MY
program, depends on the individual) and weekends set aside for rest and
recovery.

So for the sake of simplicity the program will be every other day with a total of 3
work days, move the 5 day block to which ever days work best for you.

Day 1 Day 3 Day 5


Transition Transition Transition
Support Hold (if needed) Support Hold (if needed) Support Hold (if needed)
Pull Progression Pull Progression Pull Progression
Dip Progression Dip Progression Dip Progression

Sets & Reps


The program may look simple, but that’s to save you a headache of dealing with
body weight exercise’s penchant for making programming difficult.

This program is built around the assumption that you cannot perform a ring
muscle up, if you can already perform ring muscle ups or acquire them through
the use of this book (which would be fantastic), just continue increasing your
strength with harder pull up, & dips variations and weights, and performing
transition negatives.

ALWAYS warm up before performing any exercises.

 For the “Transition” section, work the chest scrapes for 3 sets of UP TO 8
reps, if you can do more reps than that, “add more weight”. If the scrapes
are too easy, perform 2-4 sets of 1 negative.

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 For the “Support Hold” section, perform 2-3 sets of 1 support hold for time.
If you can control the rings and are stable on them, then this is
unnecessary. if you want to continue building stabilization endurance
proceed with this part of the program.

 For the “Pull/Dip Progression” Section, if you are on a:

Rep variation: 4-6 sets of 3-5 reps. If you can perform more than 5 reps on
the variation for the first set, and 3+ for all the other sets it’s time to move up to
the next level. (if you progress beyond pull ups; begin working on something
more difficult like weighted pull ups, archer pull ups or one arm chin up negatives
(but be safe about it)).

Negative Variation: 3-4 sets of 1 Negative. If you can hold your negatives
for 6-8 seconds for ALL sets, then you’re ready to move up, if you’re unable to
perform the next rep variation, then try adding weight to your negatives if
possible, add more sets (up to 6 maximum), or evaluate your diet or sleep habits,
they are huge factors in your ability to grow stronger.

 Remember to perform false grip hangs to increase your forearm strength


for the movement

Perform the program like this for 3 weeks and on the 4th week drop down to easier
variations and work endurance so 8-12 reps, this will give your muscle fibers time
to recover from the constant damage of strength work, and it will pump in lots of
blood to heal the tissues faster as well as not giving you a break (which leads to
declining discipline), and not allowing your brain to forget the movement
patterns.

A 4 week block like this is 1 cycle, after every cycle attempt to perform a few ring
muscle up to gauge where you are and how much farther you have to go.

By following this program and performing the exercises the way I’ve described
you will achieve your ring muscle up if you stick with it.

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Final Words
I hope you get a lot of use out of this book, I’m always here to help support you
on your journey towards becoming a stronger you, If you have any questions feel
free to email me at Bryan@manimalmethod.com

And if you get your ring muscle up send me some pictures or a video! ;)

Stay Awesome,

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