Rings are not *harder* than regular pullups on the major muscle groups involved, but they require a period of adjustment while those balancing muscles strengthen up. It's not that you need that much strength in those muscles, it's more that if you do not do full body exercises, plyometrics, etc.., and are big into isolation, you can end up with a big imbalance (which also goes a long way towards explaining why some guys who looked yoked seem to move so awkwardly.) A 25 lb plate is a lot to put on all at once. I would suggest the 15, then go up from there. You will feel a bit like a pussy when there are guys pulling up with 45 lbs + strapped, but like many of these exercises, it's a matter of getting your body to acclimatize. There is, of course, a plateau, no matter what you do. Otherwise, there would be a lot of monstrously strong people. Anyway, rest day today, but I cranked out 125 yesterday: 10481 + 125 = 10606. Awesome for us to be at over 10K, given how few members are actually doing this. (Where are guys like Nils and Neo who are supposedly yoked up and super strong?) BTW, I weigh just over 175 lbs right now, and I could lose those spare tire, so most guys should be able to do my output.