6 Week GTG Program to Increase Pull-ups Fast

grease the groove pull ups

Over the past few years, many people have asked me for a sample Grease the Groove training program for increasing pull-ups. I usually provide instructions for setting up your own custom program rather than just listing some arbitrary numbers, but I thought it may be helpful to provide a visual example of what a grease the groove program for pull-ups would look like on paper.

So, take a look at the following program I setup for a gentleman named Scott. He couldn’t do any pull-ups when he started this. But he could do negative pull-ups, which is what we had him start off with.

If you look closely, you’ll notice the following program involves increases in the training volume, frequency, exercise selection, and the sophistication (aka “complexity”) of the exercises – over a period of six weeks. In other words, we’re gradually increasing the total amount of work he’s doing via more training volume (i.e. more total reps) and frequency (i.e. more sets and training days). And we’re also increasing the number of exercises he’s practicing and the difficulty of those exercises, all with the goal of building the skill-specific conditioning to work up to full, unassisted pull-ups.

If you take all of those factors into account when creating your own pull-ups workout program, you’ll be off to a great start.

Custom Program for Scott – The Pull-up Solution: Phase 1 (Grease The Groove Training)

Week 1

Week 1, Day 1 – 5×6 negative rep pull-ups (30 total reps)
Week 1, Day 2 – 5×7 negative rep pull-ups (35 total reps)
Week 1, Day 3 – rest & recovery
Week 1, Day 4 – 5×8 negative rep pull-ups (40 total reps)
Week 1, Day 5 – 6×7 negative rep pull-ups (42 total reps)
Week 1, Day 6 – rest and recovery
Week 1, Day 7 – rest & recovery

Week 2

Week 2, Day 1 – 7×7 negative rep pull-ups (49 total reps)
Week 2, Day 2 – 10×5 negative rep pull-ups (50 total reps)
Week 2, Day 3 – rest & recovery
Week 2, Day 4 – 8×7 pull-ups (56 total reps)
Week 2, Day 5 – 7×9 pull-ups (63 total reps)
Week 2, Day 6 – rest and recovery
Week 2, Day 7 – rest & recovery

Week 3

Week 3, Day 1 – 8×8 negative rep pull-ups (64 total reps)
Week 3, Day 2 – 8×9 negative rep pull-ups (72 total reps)
Week 3, Day 3 – 9×9 negative rep pull-ups (81 total reps)
Week 3, Day 4 – 10×9 negative rep pull-ups (90 total reps)
Week 3, Day 5 – 12×8 negative rep pull-ups (96 total reps)
Week 3, Day 6 – rest and recovery
Week 3, Day 7 – rest and recovery

Week 4

Week 4, Day 1 – 5×10 negative rep pull-ups (50 total reps) and 3×3 scap pull-ups (9 total reps)
Week 4, Day 2 – 5×11 negative rep pull-ups (55 total reps) and 4×3 scap pull-ups (12 total reps)
Week 4, Day 3 – rest and recovery
Week 4, Day 4 – 6×10 negative rep pull-ups (60 total reps) and 5×3 scap pull-ups (15 total reps)
Week 4, Day 5 – 6×11 negative rep pull-ups (66 total reps) and 4×4 scap pull-ups (16 total reps)
Week 4, Day 6 – rest and recovery
Week 4, Day 7 – rest and recovery

Week 5

Week 5, Day 1 – 6×12 negative rep pull-ups (72 total reps) and 4×5 scap pull-ups (20 total reps)
Week 5, Day 2 – 6×12 negative rep pull-ups (72 total reps) and 5×5 scap pull-ups (25 total reps)
Week 5, Day 3 – 6×12 negative rep pull-ups (72 total reps) and 5×6 scap pull-ups (30 total reps)
Week 5, Day 4 – 8×10 negative rep pull-ups (80 total reps) and 6×6 scap pull-ups (36 total reps)
Week 5, Day 5 – 8×10 negative rep pull-ups (80 total reps) and 6×7 scap pull-ups (42 total reps)
Week 5, Day 6 – rest and recovery
Week 5, Day 7 – rest and recovery

Week 6

Week 6, Day 1 – 5×3 assisted pull-ups (15 total reps)
Week 6, Day 2 – 5×4 assisted pull-ups (20 total reps)
Week 6, Day 3 – 5×5 assisted pull-ups (25 total reps)
Week 6, Day 4 – 6×5 assisted pull-ups (30 total reps)
Week 6, Day 5 – 6×6 assisted pull-ups (36 total reps)
Week 6, Day 6 – rest and recovery
Week 6, Day 7 – rest and recovery

If you’d like to learn how to setup your own personalized pull-ups workout program that is customized to your unique needs, goals, and circumstances – and will take you right to your edge, and no further – to maximize your results and minimize the risk of injury, then check out my program, The Pull-up Solution: The Complete Pull-up and Chin-up Training System.

Click Here to Learn More About The Pull-up Solution

the pullup solution


About The Author

John SiffermanJohn Sifferman is a health-first fitness coach who has been teaching, coaching, and training people in various capacities since 2006. John is the author of The Pull-up Solution, the complete pull-up and chin-up training system that helps people rapidly increase their pull-up numbers in three months or less.

You can get a free copy of John’s 3-month pull-up training program and download more of his premium pull-up training resource as part of his free 5-day Pull-up Training Crash Course.

You can also learn more about John’s professional background and experience on the About Page.

Photo credit: 1.

What To Do When You Can’t Hold A Flexed-Arm Hang

deadhang or flexed arm hang

QUESTION:

I just came across your website last night, and I’m having a little trouble understanding something.

I’m a big guy (big enough I’d rather not say!) and I came across your site because I’m sick of waiting to lose weight to try to get my first pull-up. I’d rather not keep my strength goals tied to weight loss goals; I’m much better at maintaining training discipline than I am eating discipline (or I wouldn’t be this size to begin with, would I?).

Here’s my trouble, and maybe you can help with some advice. I was reading your 5 pull-ups in 5 weeks program. I don’t expect that’s going to be the case with me, but I’m interested enough because I can already do rows until the cows come home, and I never found it helping my pull-up feel any closer.

In it, on the Test Day, you suggest that trainees ought to try dead-hangs for time. I’ve never done it with my shoulders packed. I was a little nervous! But I got 31 seconds, which was hard, but I did it.

I literally can’t hold a flexed-arm hang for even an instant. It’s just an uncontrolled negative rep.

Should I just keep trying for a flexed-arm hang, and basically keep doing negatives until I can hold it for a second, then two, then five, and so on, until I can hold it 30 seconds or so?

Or should I be focusing on doing dead-hangs until I can get a few seconds in the flexed position?

-Nathan

ANSWER:

Hi Nathan,

Thanks for getting in touch with your question.

The reason why you can do rows until the cows come home, but it doesn’t seem to be helping with your pull-ups is because they’re different movement patterns. Inverted rows are a horizontal pulling exercise. And pull-ups are a vertical pulling exercise. So, it’s true that they target the same general musculature, albeit, in different ways and to varying degrees. But they’re also very different exercises. I get into this in more depth here: Pull-ups VS Rows.

I see rows as supplementary training for pull-ups, and not necessarily a direct stepping stone (i.e. progression) for working up to them. That said, they are certainly helpful for beginners. See more here: How to Use Inverted Rows to Get Your First Pull-ups & Chin-ups.

What you really need to focus on is training as much as you can on the pull-up bar, using the most difficult exercises you can perform with proper form.

So, here’s what I’d do…

Since you can do the deadhang with your shoulders packed, keep practicing that. But you should also incorporate some assisted flexed arm hangs so that you can strengthen the middle and top positions, too.

Here’s an example of a workout you could try:

  • Do 1-3 sets of ASSISTED flexed arm hangs (i.e. supporting some of your bodyweight using a resistance band or just placing some of your weight on a bench or step, or having a partner support some of your weight by holding onto your ankles).
  • Do 2-3 sets of negative reps – assisted, if necessary – as slowly as you can (ideally, taking at least 3 seconds from top to bottom). But if you can’t control the descent, you’re not ready for this yet.
  • Do 2-3 max effort deadhangs to finish your workout.

That’s roughly 5-10 sets of practice per training day, and you could do that 3-6 days per week, if you wanted depending on how much you push yourself (and how well you recover).

The key is that you’re practicing as often as you can, and pushing your limits without exhausting yourself.

I’d also watch the video on my Pull-up Training 101 page to make sure you’re doing the exercises properly and recruiting your whole body instead of just isolating certain muscle groups. That in-and-of-itself could boost your performance right away.

And here are some more resources for beginners who would like to get better at pull-ups…

Want to do More Pull-ups?

Could I interest you in a complete 3-month pull-up workout program that has helped thousands of people increase their pull-up numbers using a unique twist on pull-up training? Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Check it out…

5-Day Pull-up Training Crash Course

-nail your first proper deadhang pull-up
-rapidly increase your reps
-free program and other premium resources
-and much more!

pull-up training crash course


About The Author

John SiffermanJohn Sifferman is a health-first fitness coach who has been teaching, coaching, and training people in various capacities since 2006. John is the author of The Pull-up Solution, the complete pull-up and chin-up training system that helps people rapidly increase their pull-up numbers in three months or less.

You can get a free copy of John’s 3-month pull-up training program and download more of his premium pull-up training resource as part of his free 5-day Pull-up Training Crash Course.

 

Photo credit: 1.

Pull-ups & Chin-ups for Max Biceps Development

7 Tips for Growing Bigger Biceps with Pull-ups and Chin-ups

pull ups and chin ups for biceps

QUESTION:

Hi. While doing chinups, is straight legs or bent legs backward more effective? And after doing 3 chinups my knee naturally goes forward and it makes it easy to do. What should I do to get maximum biceps development ? – Prajol

ANSWER:

Leg Positioning

Hi Prajol, Keeping the legs straight is a more effective technique when it comes to maximal strength recruitment and power generation during the pull-up and chin-up exercises (note: click here for my video that briefly explains why). But what’s more important than your leg positioning is your spinal alignment and core contraction. If you’re contracting your entire core (e.g. “crushing the can”) with a strong exhale and keeping your spine lengthened in both directions with a tailbone tuck and glute contraction, then you’ll be right on the mark (note: like this).

Note: see here for some help with these pull-up form adjustments: Pull-up Training 101.

Exercise Selection

Now, for maximum biceps development, focus on both wide (i.e. but no wider than slightly outside of shoulders) and narrow-grip chin-ups. These are done with an underhand grip (i.e. with your palms facing you – see here: Pull-ups VS Chin-ups).  And if you have a set of parallel bars, mix in some neutral-grip pull-ups, too. Furthermore, I’d also supplement the pull-up training with other rowing & pulling exercises (e.g. dumbbell rows). And if you have more time and energy, some bicep isolation exercises, too (e.g. dumbbell curls). And keep in mind this routine should also be built on a foundation of full body strength training that includes more demanding exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and presses.

Sets and Reps

Keep your repetition numbers in the 8-12 range – using a little assistance or extra resistance, if necessary – and do 3-5 sets per exercise, per workout.

Tempo

Another key is that you keep your repetitions slow and controlled (i.e. no bouncing or kipping pull-ups). You’re looking to maximally stress the tissues of your biceps, and that means you need to avoid any momentum. Pull yourself up under control, then lower down under control.

I’d also slow the lowering phase of every rep to maximize the time under tension during the eccentric contraction, which is what delivers most of your strength and hypertrophy results. You can even do additional “negative reps” after your sets of chin-ups, where you only perform the lowering portion of the exercise.

Mind to Muscle Connection

Work on your mind to muscle connection when performing your pull-ups, actively thinking about contracting your biceps as hard as possible throughout the full range of motion. You can even visualize yourself doing this before stepping up to the bar.

Compensation

If you’re doing a lot of bicep work, you’ll want to make sure you compensate for that specialization so that you don’t run into problems down the road (e.g. becoming “muscle-bound”). A good way to do this is by including some variants of Seal pose in your cooldown routine. You can see my free video on this here: A New Twist on Seal Pose.

And then I’d also recommend some variants of Locust pose, which will more directly target the biceps. You can find a tutorial on that in my program, The Pull-up Solution.

I’ve found that these targeted cooldown exercises are critical for long-term training success, and especially for those who want to maximize their pull-ups potential.

Taking it to the Next Level

If you implement all of the suggestions above, your biceps will absolutely grow. But there will come a point when you need to take things to the next level to continue making progress. And for that, I recommend gradually working your way up to one-arm pull-ups. Here’s my guide for doing it quickly and safely: 5 Smart Steps to Your First 1-Arm Pull-up.

Summary

Choose a variety of exercises that will target the biceps in different ways, program your sets and reps and tempo for hypertrophy, and make sure your training is balanced. Easier said than done, but I think you can do it, if you put your mind to it.

If you’d like some more help, check out the links below.

Want to do More Pull-ups?

Could I interest you in a complete 3-month pull-up workout program that has helped thousands of people increase their pull-up numbers using a unique twist on pull-up training? Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Check it out…

5-Day Pull-up Training Crash Course

-nail your first proper deadhang pull-up
-rapidly increase your reps
-free program and other premium resources
-and much more!

pull-up training crash course


About The Author

John SiffermanJohn Sifferman is a health-first fitness coach who has been teaching, coaching, and training people in various capacities since 2006. John is the author of The Pull-up Solution, the complete pull-up and chin-up training system that helps people rapidly increase their pull-up numbers in three months or less.

You can get a free copy of John’s 3-month pull-up training program and download more of his premium pull-up training resource as part of his free 5-day Pull-up Training Crash Course.

 

Pull-ups VS Rows

pull ups vs rows

Are pull-ups or rows better for back development? Which exercise should you focus on?

Everyone involved in fitness should be performing some kind of upper body pulling exercises. Pull-ups and rows are two of the staples in this category. And for most people, doing a combination of pull-up exercises and rowing exercises is better than specializing in just one or the other.

The pull-up (and it’s many variations like chin-ups, neutral-grip pull-ups, etc.) is a vertical pulling exercise. And the row (e.g. inverted row, barbell row, dumbbell row) is a horizontal pulling exercise. Both are natural, functional movement patterns, making them both great exercises with unique benefits. Most people would be best served by training both regularly because they train the same musculature in different ways (i.e. positions, angles, movements, etc.). This will produce the most well-rounded and balanced strength and muscle development. Both are compound exercises that strengthen your back (especially the lats), arms (especially the biceps), and core musculature (especially the abs), and some other muscle groups to varying degrees.

Plus, having a well-rounded back will usually improve your posture, help prevent aches and pains, and also improve your performance in other exercises (e.g. bench press, squat, deadlift) and physical activities.

Now, bodybuilders will tell you that pull-ups (and other vertical pulling exercise) will improve your back width and rows will improve your back thickness. There’s some truth to this. However, the key factor is that you’re able to activate the proper musculature for each exercise.

So, beginners should start with inverted rows and skill-appropriate pull-up exercise progressions (e.g. flexed arm hang, negative reps, assisted pull-ups, etc.). I might also recommend supplementing with single-arm dumbbell rows, depending on the client. But the main focus should be on pull-ups and inverted rows, which are two of the best exercises for targeting most of the back musculature.

Here’s a discussion on the similarities and differences between pull-ups and inverted rows, which will help you figure out which exercise would be best for you…

Now, intermediate trainees should focus on pull-ups & chin-ups and more difficult inverted rows. You can increase the difficulty of the inverted row by either elevating your feet onto a box or bench, wearing a weight vest, or doing one-arm inverted rows. And there are many other inverted row exercise variations to choose from. The key is that you keep challenging yourself at an appropriate level instead of just doing more and more reps of standard inverted rows.

As you get more advanced, you can start experimenting with weighted pull-ups and even one-arm pull-ups. Advanced trainees and budding strength athletes may also want to include some barbell rows in their program based on their unique training needs and goals. I see bent-over barbell rows as a useful supplementary exercise for weight lifters and other strength athletes, but not not an essential for your average fitness enthusiast. I also consider barbell rows a little riskier than some of these other options. So, it’s important to lay a proper foundation of strength, and in particular, ensure your ability to stabilize your spine, before using this exercise. And always maintain good technique throughout each set, which should be a given for every exercise you use.

The Bottom Line: You’ll get the best results if you use a variety of exercises that are appropriate for your skill and conditioning level. So, do pull-ups and rows. Try to keep getting better at each of them. And balance out all of that pulling with a healthy dose of upper body pressing exercises, too – like pushups and dips. You’ll build a stronger, healthier, more functional body.

Having said all of that, I still think that pull-ups are the best all-around back exercise, for many reasons. So, every serious fitness enthusiast should seek to master them, especially since they’re very difficult for most people. You can learn how at the links below.

Want to do More Pull-ups?

Could I interest you in a complete 3-month pull-up workout program that has helped thousands of people increase their pull-up numbers using a unique twist on pull-up training? Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Check it out…

5-Day Pull-up Training Crash Course

-nail your first proper deadhang pull-up
-rapidly increase your reps
-free program and other premium resources
-and much more!

pull-up training crash course


About The Author

John SiffermanJohn Sifferman is a health-first fitness coach who has been teaching, coaching, and training people in various capacities since 2006. John is the author of The Pull-up Solution, the complete pull-up and chin-up training system that helps people rapidly increase their pull-up numbers in three months or less.

You can get a free copy of John’s 3-month pull-up training program and download more of his premium pull-up training resource as part of his free 5-day Pull-up Training Crash Course.

References: 1, 2.

 

 

How A Young Lady Went From Zero to 10 Pull-ups…Then 30,000!

woman doing chin ups on pull up bar

Awhile back, I received an email from a young lady who told me her story of training herself from zero pull-ups to 10 strict reps.

She wrote, “I just found your article: “How Many Pull-ups Should I Be Able To Do?” and I felt compelled to tell you my pull-up story/journey as you truly seem like someone who would appreciate it. And I especially loved your Totally Unofficial Pull-up Standards Quiz.”

I thought her story was inspiring, and there are some lessons buried in there for those who look. So, I wanted to share it here.

Here’s her story in her words…

“On February 12th, 2016, I started doing pull-ups. And today, I hit a milestone… 30,000 pull ups!! It took me one year three months and nine days!

My personal best was 300 pull-ups in one training session. And my pull-ups are in addition to strength training and cardio. My Pull-Up one year Anniversary, February 12th, 2017, I did over 24,000 pull-ups.

I’ve done the majority of these at home, usually in the dark around 4am or 5am, on my pull-up bar, in boxer shorts and a t-shirt.

I tell very few people about them as no one quite understands and I am not one to brag. I do pull-ups because I LOVE them. I like to think pull-ups found me, I didn’t find them.

The times I’ve popped into some different gyms over this year, I feel like I’ve been the circus act. No one knows what to make of me. Although an Equinox in NY offered me a job on the spot to be a personal trainer, even though I’m not certified.

I don’t post what I do on social media. I don’t use Facebook or Instagram or Blog about them. I just do them because I love them and they make me feel strong, powerful and confident. I am gritty and determined, but I am not a spectacularly gifted athlete. I don’t do CrossFit. I always workout alone and I am happiest swimming in the ocean and hiking in the Santa Monica mountains.  I get no validation/recognition for doing pull-ups except from a few guy friends who understand what I am pulling off, (pun intended).

I’m a former dancer, turned triathlete, threw in marathons, Ultra races, 10K swims.  A solid mid-packer. I’ve always loved training more than racing. I recently lost my mom and I literally swam miles a day to mitigate my grief, the rhythmic breathing became a form of meditation.

When women tell me they can’t do pull-ups, I tell them, I couldn’t do them either, until I could.  Instead of using the Assist Machine or bands around the bar, I just had a friend spot me whenever he came over – as that’s the way my brain works, I had to DO them to understand HOW to do them. I started doing reps of one, waited a minute, then did another one, until I hit 10. I honestly think there’s a massive mental component to them. I just had to BELIEVE I could do them, to do them.

woman doing pull ups on pullup bar at competition

I live in Santa Monica. A few months ago I went to the huge Fitness Expo at the LA Convention Center. At the Marine Recruiting Station, there was a pull-up challenge, divided into Mens/Women division. One pull-up gets you a pen, two a sticker,  etc and etc, until 10 got you the super cool Marine tech fabric t-shirt. Surrounded by the fittest bodies assembled… I was the only woman able to do 10 pull-ups to get the t-shirt. And, I may add, that was after doing 260 pull-ups during my morning workout. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do ONE, let alone TEN, but the power of the cheering Marines in uniform gave me the energy. They were my favorite 10 pull-ups I have ever done.

They gave me the option to do chin-ups, but no friggin way. I do classic, over-hand pull-ups, and if I may say so, with perfect form that I attribute to my days as a dancer.

So… whoever said that women can’t do pull-ups… should talk to me.

Note from John: Agreed. And they should watch this: Women CAN do Pull-ups. Now, before we wrap this up, I wanted to tell you that the young lady has now completed 30,400 pull-ups over 307 sessions with an average of 99 reps per day. Outstanding!

Want to do More Pull-ups?

Could I interest you in a complete 3-month pull-up workout program that has helped thousands of people increase their pull-up numbers using a unique twist on pull-up training? Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Check it out…

5-Day Pull-up Training Crash Course

-nail your first proper deadhang pull-up
-rapidly increase your reps
-free program and other premium resources
-and much more!

pull-up training crash course


About The Author

John SiffermanJohn Sifferman is a health-first fitness coach who has been teaching, coaching, and training people in various capacities since 2006. John is the author of The Pull-up Solution, the complete pull-up and chin-up training system that helps people rapidly increase their pull-up numbers in three months or less.

You can get a free copy of John’s 3-month pull-up training program and download more of his premium pull-up training resource as part of his free 5-day Pull-up Training Crash Course.

How to do More Than 30 Pull-ups (Q+A)

How to Break a Pull-up Training Plateau and Get Beyond 30 Reps

pull ups plateau - man doing chin ups on a pull up bar

Question: Hi John, Thanks for your information. It is really interesting. However, I have been able to hit 30-35 consecutive overhand pull ups for the last five years and therefore feel like I have plateaued. Any recommendations on how to step it up a notch and challenge myself would be very welcome?

Answer: First of all, great work! Very few people are able to make it to the 30 reps range, and fewer are able to maintain it for years at a time.

When you get to this level, endurance becomes another key factor for success. It actually starts to happen on a sliding scale after you’ve reached the 12-15 reps range. And the more reps you can do, the more that endurance comes into play. Now, in order to build your strength-endurance, you’ll need to increase your maximum strength capacity.

Let me explain it this way. Let’s say we have two identical twins who are exactly the same height, weight, and build, and in every other way, too (just hypothetically, for the sake of this example). The only difference between them is that one can deadlift 405 pounds for a single rep, and the other can deadlift 315 pounds for a single rep. So, which one do you think could deadlift 225 pounds for more reps? Obviously, the stronger twin could because he has more pound for pound strength.

Similarly, if you want to increase your strength-endurance in the pull-up exercise, you’ll need to increase your maximum strength to subsequently increase your pound for pound strength. And I’ve found that the best way to do this is to start cycling in some periods of weighted pull-ups while also doing some high-rep pull-up workouts. This requires a long-term approach to pull-up training, which is how we should be training anyway (and you can clearly handle with 5+ years of consistent training under your belt).

So, for you, it comes down to making some strategic changes to your program, and specifically, making good use of periodization, which goes beyond the scope of this article.

For now, make a goal of working your way up to the Advanced Level of my weighted pull-up standards (i.e. doing a pull-ups with at least 50% of your bodyweight in added load). And once you can do that, I’d also recommend incorporating a lot of sub-maximal weighted pull-up training into your program.

So, if you’re a 150 pound male, work your way up to being able to do a weighted pull-up with at least 75 pounds added to your body. A basic linear progression of adding 2.5-5 pounds per week would suffice. It could be as simple as doing 2-3 workouts per week of 3-5 sets of weighted pull-ups with a little more weight every week.

Once you get beyond the 30-50 pound range, you’ll likely need a weight belt (i.e. my preference) or a heavy duty weight vest to continue adding weight. Then, do plenty of moderately-high repetition pull-up workouts with 25-35 pounds in added weight. The idea is that if you work your way up from being able to do 10 pull-ups with 25 lbs to 10 pull-ups with 35 or 45 pounds, the number of bodyweight pull-ups that you can do should also increase.

Here’s a sample workout…

Body weight pull-ups: 50-75% of max reps
Weighted pull-ups: 75% of max reps (use a weight that is about 25% of your 1-rep max)
Weighted pull-ups: 75% of max reps (use a weight that is about 50% of your 1-rep max)
Weighted pull-ups: max reps (use a weight that is about 50% of your 1-rep max)
Weighted pull-ups: max reps (use a weight that is about 25% of your 1-rep max)
Weighted pull-ups: max reps (use a weight that is about 10% of your 1-rep max)
Body weight pull-ups: max reps

Now, as already mentioned, your success also largely depends on the proper use of periodization, which can be programmed many ways and is a bit too complicated of a topic for this short Q+A article. But suffice to say, if you want exceptional results, you’ll need an exceptional program – something that can be personalized to your unique needs, goals, and circumstances.

So, if you’d like me to take the guesswork out of it for you, pick up a copy of my program, The Pull-up Solution. and make sure you grab a copy of the Advanced Training Program, which can help you blow past 20-30 reps and beyond.

Click Here to Learn More About The Pull-up Solution

the pullup solution


About The Author

John SiffermanJohn Sifferman is a health-first fitness coach who has been teaching, coaching, and training people in various capacities since 2006. John is the author of The Pull-up Solution, the complete pull-up and chin-up training system that helps people rapidly increase their pull-up numbers in three months or less.

You can get a free copy of John’s 3-month pull-up training program and download more of his premium pull-up training resource as part of his free 5-day Pull-up Training Crash Course.

You can also learn more about John’s professional background and experience on the About Page.

Photo credit: 1.

7-Point Pull-ups For More Strength & Control

If you want to get really good at pull-ups and chin-ups, you need to be able to control your breathing, movement, and structure throughout the full range of motion.

Now, a good rule of thumb for most strength exercises is that you should be able to stop at any point in the range of motion and hold that position for a moment. This is an indication that you’re strong enough to safely perform the exercise for reps.

So, you should be able to stop and hold any position in the pull-up and chin-up exercises – including the top position, bottom position, and everywhere in between. And the 7-point pull-up is a great way to practice this.

Here’s how to do it…

Basically, you’re incorporating dead hangs and flexed-arm hangs into your pull-up reps so that you’re pausing and holding each of the following positions:

  1. hold passive dead hang (i.e. rock-bottom position)
  2. hold active dead hang (i.e. with shoulders packed down)
  3. hold middle position (i.e. 90-degree flexed-arm hang)
  4. hold top position (i.e. flexed-arm hang)
  5. hold middle position (i.e. 90-degree flexed-arm hang)
  6. hold active dead hang (i.e. with shoulders packed down)
  7. hold passive dead hang (i.e. rock-bottom position)

Cycling through all of those positions equals one 7-point pull-up. By training each of these positions, not only will you bring up lagging areas, you’ll also force yourself to engage the proper musculature throughout the full range of motion. Many people rush through pull-ups, performing them rapidly or skipping part of the range of motion. 7-point pull-ups will fix this and condition you to be strong in every part of the exercise.

Tips

  • Make sure your transitions are slow and controlled, pausing briefly in each position
  • Maintain a lengthened spine and a tight core at all times
  • Keep your shoulders packed from positions 2-6, and your elbows in tight from positions 3-5

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About The Author

John SiffermanJohn Sifferman is a health-first fitness coach who has been teaching, coaching, and training people in various capacities since 2006. John is the author of The Pull-up Solution, the complete pull-up and chin-up training system that helps people rapidly increase their pull-up numbers in three months or less.

You can get a free copy of John’s 3-month pull-up training program and download more of his premium pull-up training resource as part of his free 5-day Pull-up Training Crash Course.