3 Ways of Finisher – Pull Up Example

Today’s topic is about the Finisher.  Finisher is typically used to finish the workout.  That is a last set (or few sets) arranged at the end of the workout to exhaust your body for maximum stimulation.

We will discuss 3 types of finishers in this video using the back & Pull Up as examples to illustrate.


#1 Super Set

Super Set is that two (or more) exercises are performed in a row without rest.  These exercises can be targeting same muscle group or different muscle groups.  To maximize the gains of the back, we will used two exercises for the same muscle groups.  The former is harder while the latter is easier.  Ensure you are exhausted and sore.

  • Example: Pull Up + Tuck Raise


#2 Drop Set

Drop Set is that you perform an exercise with sets of reducing weight without rest.  You drop the weight and continue until reaching failure.

  1. Example: Pull Up + Australian Pull Up

Australian Pull Up can be performed with bars of different height.  Low bar first (harder),  high bar second (easier),  forming a Triple Drop Set.  Do as many reps as you can and reach failure.


You may wonder:

Why [Pull Up + Australian Pull Up] isn’t a superset, but drop set instead?

Indeed.  It is a super set by definition.

But note that, there’s an another way named “Mechanical Drop Set”.

  • Typically Drop Set makes use of reducing weight to continue the reps.
  • Mechanical Drop Set makes use of different variations to reduce intensity and to continue the reps.   [Pull Up + Australian Pull Up] is just an example.

As we cannot adjust the weight for most bodyweight moves,  thus, Mechanical Drop Set is often used in Calisthenics and serve the same function as typical drop set.  Reduce the intensity and continue to max out for maximum gains.

#3 Train To Failure

Each move consists of 3 muscle contraction states:

  • Concentric Contraction: Lift.  Muscle length shortens.
  • Isometric Contraction: Hold.  Muscle length remains the same.
  • Eccentric Contraction: Negative.  Muscle lengths lengthens.

Fatigue  order: Concentric -> Isometric -> Eccentric.


Example: Pull Up.

  • When you no longer able to pull up for a complete rep  -> Concentric Failure.
  • Then you try to hold it there for as long as possible until you fail -> Isometric Failure.
  • Then you assist yourself with jumping and try to do the negative until you fail -> Eccentric Failure.

At this moment, you are actually exhausted & fatigue.


The above training techniques are meant to exhaust your muscles.  Often act as a finisher set for the workout.  If you are short of time, these techniques can be applied to your workout for maximum gains with little time.

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