The dreaded combo ↑↓ ←→ push ups and pull ups.
These two exercises are fantastic for super setting to really hit the back and chest and no matter how much I change my workout, these two are always included!!
First and foremost ~ they are frickin hard!! Starting pull ups and push ups is not always that rewarding..especially when you can only complete single digit reps :/ .. but you often see awesome gains becasue even doing one more can sometimes double your previous! :)
There are machines, bands, partners, modifications and changes to form to help you get a higher amount of reps (these are called assisted pullups, or assisted pushups) But ALWAYS try to do the original tried and true version first before changing it up.
For example. . Get as many full out pushups (even if it is just 1!!) Before opening your legs to do a GI Jane push up, then do as many as you can be for you go to your knees etc etc. Or try to do a regular pull up before going to the pull up machine that takes some weight off.
Starting back to the gym I was doing one set of 3pull ups. I am now doing 3 sets of 5/6 depending on when I fit them into the chest/back workout...if its at the end im pushing for 3 sets of 4. There is a point as well >> do them first! If you wait until you have done your rows, cable flys, lateral raises, pull downs etc etc and then hit the pull up bar. .you may be dissatisfied with your results.
Don't be intimidated, don't be shy, hit those exercises to see awesome results in muscle tone and strength.