Pull-up Progression

We have so many people that come into the gym and say, “I really wish I could do pull-ups” or “why can’t I do pull-ups?”

My response is something like this…”well, how many times do you work on assisted pull-ups or a pull-up variation?”

If you only do pull-ups once a week and back work once a week, then I would not expect much progress. A more methodical 3 day program will definitely aid you to get that pull-up or get a stronger back. I love pull-ups cause they are incredibly functional and transferable to life, but don’t put too much emphasis on the pull-up. Just get stronger! Focus on getting stronger and your opportunities for new movements will appear. Try this, mix it in to the normal program and modify where you need:

Day 1-

  1. 8 Assisted Pullups to RPE-8, then 6 reps for 4 sets
  2. 10 TRX Rows or Inverted Rows to RPE-8, then 8 reps for 3 sets
  3. 10 Bench Row each side to RPE-8 for 3 sets

Day 2-

  1. 8 Assisted Chin-ups (underhand) to RPE-8, then 6 reps for 4 sets
  2. :20 second pull-up hold with chin above bar X 4 sets
  3. Dead Hang from bar for 4 sets. (close to failure but not to failure, RPE-9)

Day 3-

  1. 30 Total Reps of pull-ups broken up however you want. Each week add 4 more reps. At week 3 or 4 see if you can reduce the amount of assistance, then return to 30 with less resistance.
  2. 10 Bent over Row to RPE-8, then 8 reps for 3 more sets
  3. Farmer Carry 40 meters with a weight that is uncomfortable X 4 sets

Have fun! Don’t over do it. This is a slow progression and hard to see progress, but you will get there.

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