How to get better at pullups

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Torak, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. Torak

    Torak Orange Belt

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    Im currently working out 4 days a week (upper, lower, upper, lower body). For my back Im doing pullups on both days 4-5 sets and then BB or DB rows. I feel like my lats are not getting enough work during those sets of pullups. Its because I can do only about 3-4 reps. In my first set I can do 6 reps then my grip starts to weaken, I jump down for second and back up and I can do 2-3 reps more. Then even if my grip is stills trong I just cannot pull myself up anymore.
    I feel like I should do a least 10-15 sets of pullups to actualy feel it in my lats (yeah, Im doing pullups with correct technique). Its due to the low reps my sets consist of. If I could do 15-20 reps, maybe even 3 sets would be more than enough. But not now...

    What should I do to improve my pullup strength? I thought about doing pullups also on off days because I have pullup bar at home (and actually it feels more comfortable doing pullups on that one than on the one in the gym). But wouldnt that be overtraining?

    My goal basically is to get very wide back, develop my lats to its maximum potential and evolve to the stage of pullup strength when I will be able to do many advanced pullup variatiations and hold that position effortlessly.
     
  2. Nuclearlandmine

    Nuclearlandmine Shreddin' Double Yellow Card

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    Try ladder method pull up.
    For example, a normal set of 3x3 pull up = 9 pull ups

    A ladder set would be:
    1
    1 2
    1 2 3
    1+2+3 = 6
    3 ladder set x 6 reps = 18 reps

    A ladder method set allowed you to get more volume in while not stress you too much. If you can do 3x3 ladder successfully, add another step. Now the ladder will be:

    1
    1 2
    1 2 3
    1 2 3 4

    Alternatively, do pull up every day, but sprinkled through out the days. Like 12 reps per day for example.

    From what i've read, body reacts rather badly when you do pull up to the point of failure. So these two methods help you get some volume to improve your pull up but not to the point of failure. I use both with my pull up negative and so far i'm closing in on my goal to do a few set of successful dead hang pull up.
     
  3. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    "greasing the groove" works well for me.

    I have a pull-up bar in my place and I'll do a rep every time I walk under it. Same idea when I walk around the city because here's pull-up bars every where.

    You could also try that recon Ron (or Rick I forget) program.

    I don't really mess with programs, l just do a set of 10 then u walk past a pull-up bar, and random ones in the house. I shoot for 100 a day spaced all throughout the day and never really take it to failure.
     
  4. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Halloween Belt Platinum Member

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    High Frequency Training; this is basically Chad Waterbury's version of Greasing the Groove.

    You take one Body Weight Exercise and perform it twice a day, every day, in addition to your normal workouts. The key is to start low; if you can do 10 dead hang Pull Ups, then on the first day, you do only 5. And that is split into two workouts. So you do 3 Pull Ups in the morning and 2 at night. The second day you do 3 reps in the morning and 3 in the evening. On day three you do 4 in the morning and so on.

    The idea is to progress slowly so that your tendons and joints have time to adjust to the increasing volume. Waterbury claims he went from 5 Pull Ups on January 5th 2011 to 180 Pull Ups by July 5th of the same year. These were broken up into sets throughout the day. And because he'd started with such low numbers, he experienced no joint pain.
     
  5. Torak

    Torak Orange Belt

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    Wow that sounds awesome, I need to try it out. Thanks.
     
  6. Torak

    Torak Orange Belt

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    I dont completely understand how the ladder method works. In first set I do one rep, then in second set I do one rep , rest for a bit and do two reps, etc? Or how it is?
     
  7. Tebowned

    Tebowned Boise Dime.

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    1st set: 1 rep.
    2nd set: 2 reps.
    3rd set: 3 reps.
     
  8. KILL KILL

    KILL KILL Gold Belt

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    What worked for me, and the Marines under me, was the grease the groove method. Hang up some pull up bars and crank out a sub max set every time you walk by. If you can only do 10, then crank out sets of 5-7. Up the amount slowly over time.
     
  9. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Halloween Belt Platinum Member

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    You're welcome. Good luck.

    One final point; Waterbury emphasizes that you should use perfect form on whatever exercise you choose. Since you are starting very low, there is no excuse for not performing the exercise correctly.
     
  10. BASSER911414

    BASSER911414 Blue Belt

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    I used a spotter until i could start doing pull ups myself. Then kept increasing reps until I got to the point where i could do pull ups with weights.
     
  11. YukisHeart

    YukisHeart Brown Belt

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    Lots of good posts ITT. If I might make a suggestion, though, if TS's main goal is lat hypertrophy, might he not consider sprinkling in some lat pulldown work...?
     
  12. deadshot138

    deadshot138 Red Belt

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    Try McGill pull ups
     
  13. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    Yes, for volume. I've personally had good luck with the transfer. High-rep pulldowns were the primary method i used to build up from a BW chin-up to bw +45lbs.

    If you're using chins as your pullup method, bicep curls as assistance might not be the worst idea ever either.
     
  14. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    Recon Ron and Armstrong are two good pull-ups programs that you have you doing them 5 or 6 days/week. I made some good progress with Armstrong a few years back.
     
  15. YukisHeart

    YukisHeart Brown Belt

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    What would be a good rest period between the sets in these ladders?
     
  16. Nuclearlandmine

    Nuclearlandmine Shreddin' Double Yellow Card

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    ^In between each rungs of the ladder i usually rest 1 min and 2 mins. After a ladder is done I usually rest about 3 to 5 minutes based on how i feel.
     
  17. YukisHeart

    YukisHeart Brown Belt

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    Cheers man. A full minute's rest after one pull-up on the first rung, then?
     
  18. Nuclearlandmine

    Nuclearlandmine Shreddin' Double Yellow Card

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    Yeah. My personal rule of thumb is one minute per pull up but YMMV
     
  19. DrBdan

    DrBdan Something clever

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    One minute per pull up? So If you did a ladder up to say 5, you'd rest for 4 minutes after doing a set of 4 before doing the set of 5? That seems a bit long. Armstrong has you rest 10 seconds per rep which seems more reasonable though sometimes feels a bit short.
     
  20. Nuclearlandmine

    Nuclearlandmine Shreddin' Double Yellow Card

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    ^Your mileage might varied. I'm still doing negatives, mind you. And they are taxing for a 225+ guy. If you can already do a few deadhang pull up with no worries, feel free to cut the rest short. This is mainly a volume thing, so i don't think that rest impact the exercise that much as long as you get the volume in.
     

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