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How to Increase Your Reps on Pull-ups

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  • How to Increase Your Reps on Pull-ups

    Hey Guys -

    Since people are always asking me how to increase your reps on pull-ups, I made it the subject of my blog today.

    Comments are always appreciated.

    Keep training hard!
    "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

    "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

    My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

    sigpic

  • #2
    <3 it AL! working my way to doing un assisted pull ups right now... I can do 12 w/ 1leg assist... working on getting #13 it does take practice...took me 1month to get to the 1leg assisted pullups... progress is progress...
    The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
    What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

    Converted to PB November 2010
    SW 190lb
    Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
    25 Sep 2011 160lbs
    1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
    GW ~135lbs
    5'3"
    Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Grease the groove

      Grease the Groove: How to Increase Pushups and Increase Pull Ups | Not Your Average Fitness Tips

      Grease the Groove

      Pavel Tsatsouline is a former trainer for the Soviet Special Forces. Pavel came up with a simple equation for getting better at particular exercises:

      Specificity + Frequent Practice = Success

      What does this mean? It means you have to perform a specific exercise over and over again to get better at it. As Pavel says, “if you want to get good at pull ups, why not try to do…a lot of pull ups?” The key is not training to failure. I think this is best explained with an example. If you can perform a maximum of 10 pull ups, then you’ll want to train by performing 5-8 reps, 3-4 times per day, 4-6 days per week. Heck, you could even hang a pull up bar in your doorway and just do 5 pull ups every time you walk through that door. Now that’s practice!

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      • #4
        Yes, doing results in being able to do more.
        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Shijin13 View Post
          <3 it AL! working my way to doing un assisted pull ups right now... I can do 12 w/ 1leg assist... working on getting #13 it does take practice...took me 1month to get to the 1leg assisted pullups... progress is progress...
          Grok on! Keep training hard and you'll get a full pull-up in time.

          Originally posted by Skull Pilot View Post
          Grease the Groove

          Pavel Tsatsouline is a former trainer for the Soviet Special Forces. Pavel came up with a simple equation for getting better at particular exercises:

          Specificity + Frequent Practice = Success

          What does this mean? It means you have to perform a specific exercise over and over again to get better at it. As Pavel says, “if you want to get good at pull ups, why not try to do…a lot of pull ups?” The key is not training to failure. I think this is best explained with an example. If you can perform a maximum of 10 pull ups, then you’ll want to train by performing 5-8 reps, 3-4 times per day, 4-6 days per week. Heck, you could even hang a pull up bar in your doorway and just do 5 pull ups every time you walk through that door. Now that’s practice!
          Well said - thanks for sharing!

          Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
          Yes, doing results in being able to do more.
          Guess I'm preaching to the choir over here.
          "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

          "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

          My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            You forgot the most important tip for the bigger folks - lose weight! I found my pull up capacity went up from 3 in a row to over 30 when I lost 60 pounds.
            "Suffer no guilt yee who wield this in the name of Crom"
            Quote on the Father's Sword

            Comment


            • #7
              What crazy is when I was younger I could bang out 25w/o a problem... but then I could also bang out 150+ push ups w/o problems too... ahhh for the days of youth...and military basic training!
              Now I'm just working on changing body composition, eating well, and building strength and mass...eventually 25 pullups will be in my future...
              The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
              What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

              Converted to PB November 2010
              SW 190lb
              Leptin Reset Redux (1Sep 2011) SW 170lbs
              25 Sep 2011 160lbs
              1 Dec 2011 158lbs!
              GW ~135lbs
              5'3"
              Mother of 2, and wife to a kick ass husband...trying to contain chaos and havoc on a daily basis

              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40609.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Nick the Destroyer View Post
                You forgot the most important tip for the bigger folks - lose weight! I found my pull up capacity went up from 3 in a row to over 30 when I lost 60 pounds.
                Good point!

                Originally posted by Shijin13 View Post
                What crazy is when I was younger I could bang out 25w/o a problem... but then I could also bang out 150+ push ups w/o problems too... ahhh for the days of youth...and military basic training!
                Now I'm just working on changing body composition, eating well, and building strength and mass...eventually 25 pullups will be in my future...
                Keep doing your thing - if you did 25 pull-ups in the past, no reason why you can do it again in the future!
                "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for this, Al. For some reason, I have never been able to crack 10 reps of pullups. With no training, I could do about 6, and gradually worked my way up to 9 (sometimes 10) reps through weight training and what not. I just started training again and these days I can do 7. I will try some of your techniques. It seems that it should not be that hard, but for some reason, for me, it is.

                  As for the Australian pullups - is it more difficult to do them with a higher bar, or lower bar? I'm guessing the lower the bar is, the more challenging, yes?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Buffalo Chip View Post
                    As for the Australian pullups - is it more difficult to do them with a higher bar, or lower bar? I'm guessing the lower the bar is, the more challenging, yes?
                    yes, and to make them harder still you can put your feet on a box
                    I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

                    Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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                    • #11
                      Hey great blog post Al, thanks for sharing!
                      I journal cuz I can: My Primal Journal of Super-ness

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                      • #12
                        Al, what is the safest/gentlest way to work up to doing pullups? I had a separated shoulder, which has healed and is recovering strength. I would like to start working on pullups again but I don't want to risk any more damage. Suggestions?

                        thanks, you are awesome.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          +1!

                          FYI I didn't read the blod post, but another handy way of increasing reps on any exercise is static holds and slow negatives. Grap the bar, get to the top, hold yourself there for ~5 seconds, lower yourself slightly, hold again - lower, hold etc. Or just get yourself to the top and lower yourself in a smooth, controlled and sloooow motion. Do that a few times.
                          The above also goes for getting to the full, dead-hang pullup as was asked about (and made me double-post, do'h!)
                          Last edited by Bissen; 04-07-2011, 11:41 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by elwyne View Post
                            Al, what is the safest/gentlest way to work up to doing pullups? I had a separated shoulder, which has healed and is recovering strength. I would like to start working on pullups again but I don't want to risk any more damage. Suggestions?

                            thanks, you are awesome.
                            Supported one (elastic bands are good). Bodyweight rows (horizontal) are pretty good too, but I find they don't require activation of quite the same muscles. Doing them is still good though!
                            Machine Lat. Pulldowns are another alternative, although we doooon't like machines, haha

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Buffalo Chip View Post
                              Thanks for this, Al. For some reason, I have never been able to crack 10 reps of pullups. With no training, I could do about 6, and gradually worked my way up to 9 (sometimes 10) reps through weight training and what not. I just started training again and these days I can do 7. I will try some of your techniques. It seems that it should not be that hard, but for some reason, for me, it is.

                              As for the Australian pullups - is it more difficult to do them with a higher bar, or lower bar? I'm guessing the lower the bar is, the more challenging, yes?
                              The higher the bar, the easier the Australian pull-up becomes, up until a certain point - then you're just doing a regular pull-up!

                              Originally posted by Aphrodite View Post
                              Hey great blog post Al, thanks for sharing!
                              You're welcome - thanks for reading!

                              Originally posted by elwyne View Post
                              Al, what is the safest/gentlest way to work up to doing pullups? I had a separated shoulder, which has healed and is recovering strength. I would like to start working on pullups again but I don't want to risk any more damage. Suggestions?

                              thanks, you are awesome.
                              Thanks! I would stick with just Australian pull-ups for a while until you can do 10 in a row with the bar around waist height. Then you can try some flex hangs. Check out my article on learning to do a pull-up if you haven't seen it yet.
                              "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                              "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                              My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                              sigpic

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