Pull-Up Progressions | Increase Your Max Reps FAST!

The pull-up is a basic movement that yields INCREDIBLE results in terms of muscle and strength. But no matter how basic this movement may be, it is not the easiest to execute for multiple repetitions, especially for beginners.

In this blog you will learn proper form as well as various techniques to build the strength you need to perform multiple pull-ups in a row. 

If you are a beginner and have never been able to complete one pull-up, don’t worry we have a few modifiers to help you as well! 

What if you currently don’t have access to a gym OR you simply prefer training at home? Well, there are many options for you, including the Ceiling-Mounted Pull-Up Bar, the Wall-Mounted Pull-Up Bar and of course, the Doorway Chin-Up Bar which is much cheaper investment!


Variation One: Pull-Up

When performing a traditional pull-up the most important thing to remember is that to maximize as much muscle engagement as possible you need to pull your chin up and over the bar touching it with your chest and coming to a “dead hang” at the bottom of EVERY repetition.  A dead hang is when you fully lockout your elbows at the bottom of the movement.   Keep your core tight and flex your glutes for stability throughout the movement to avoid swaying back and forth as you complete your repetitions.

Variation Two: Assisted Pull-Up

When performing an assisted pull-up you will need to use a piece of equipment designed to assist you, which is common in most gyms, or you can use a bungee strong enough to support your weight.  This variation will help you build the strength you need to pull yourself up and over the bar.  Be sure to fully lockout your elbows at the bottom of every repetition and really take advantage of the assistance.  By this I mean I want you to contract all the muscles in your back as hard as you can as you pull yourself up.

Variation Three: Assisted Pull-Up With Slow Negative


This variation of the pull-up is a great way to build upper body strength when you do not have access to a bungee, but you will need a box (or a chair) to stand on.  What you are going to do is stand on the box off to the side of the pull-up bar.  Once in place, grab the pull-up bar and then jump off the box and hold yourself up for 3 – 5 seconds with your chest as close to the bar as possible.  After 3 – 5 seconds, slowly lower yourself to a dead hang and return to the box for your next repetition.

Variation Four: Beginner Pull-Up

The last variation is one that is great for any beginner looking to build the strength to perform their first pull-up!  Find a bar that is high enough for you to hang from, but when in the dead hang position your butt does not touch the ground.  Having your feet on the ground will help displace your weight and as you begin to perform repetition you can push through your heels for assistance when you start to fatigue.

And remember! Nobody began their weightlifting life by being able to rep out 20 pull-ups in a row. In fact, most of us could not even fathom completing one full repetition, all the way up and all the way down. So, be patient, persistent and focused…and as always, get your mind right.

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