Double Your Pull-Ups with these Simple Steps
Pull-ups are one of the most badass exercises. Being able to lift your body weight is pretty cool. Not only are pull-ups cool, they help you build functional strength. Imagine an apocalypse where you’re hanging off a cliff and the only way to survive is to pull yourself up.
Pull-ups also help you with building aesthetics. If you want a broad, V-tapered back, pull-ups are your best bet. Not a lot of people can perform pull-ups from the moment they step into a gym, and a few others want to build strength and endurance so they could do more reps.
Since you’re reading this article, we’re assuming you want to improve your pull-ups. Not only do pull-ups help in developing strength and size in your upper back but they are also a great core exercise.
Pull-ups help you in developing relative strength. Meaning, once you get better at this exercise, you’ll gradually become better at other athletic exercises like running, jumping, vertical jumps, and weightlifting.
There are no magic tricks to doubling your pull-ups. It will take a lot of practice, patience and determination. The right pull-up bar will help you double your reps with consistent exercise and will improve your strength, endurance, and neurological efficiency.
If you want to improve at a certain exercise or a certain body part, you should be training it often. CT Fletcher famously trained his biceps and arms every single day as he loved doing it. Performing pull-ups every day to failure might not be the best way to achieve your results.
If you’re looking to increase the number of reps, the best way would be to perform a certain percentage of your maximum reps for sets, and perform it frequently – frequently enough to exceed your current max.
Performing the pull-ups frequently will help you build a greater number of reps, and your strength, endurance, and proficiency improve as a by-product. Arnold Schwarzenegger used to do pull-ups as a warm-up exercise on every upper body training day.
Doubling the number of pull-ups you can do will take some time. We have laid out a six-week program which will help you with incremental gains in strength and endurance so you could double your pull-ups in 42 days.
Week 1 and 2
Perform six sets of 50% of your current max (M), split throughout the day. At the end of the day, perform a single set of 75% of your current max. Perform this routine three days a week spread out evenly.
Example – If you can perform 20 reps of pull-ups at most, perform six sets of 10 reps (50% of M) spread evenly throughout the day. At the end of the day, perform a set of 15 reps (75% of M).
Chances are you won’t be able to perform the 15 reps in one set at the beginning of the first week. However, by the end of the second week, you should be able to achieve or be close to achieving the goal as your strength and endurance will increase.
Your training will change a little during the third week. Perform 60% of your current max (M) for seven reps, split evenly throughout the day. At the end of the day, perform a single set of 90% (M). Repeat this routine three days a week. Re-test your maximum reps at the end of the third week.
Example – Perform 7 sets of 12 reps (60% of 20 reps), split evenly throughout the day. At the end of the day, perform 18 reps. You will most probably be able to hit 18 reps on the second day of this training split as your endurance will have improved. At the end of the third week, take three days off and then re-test your maximum.
The results: You will have improved 25% according to this program which is not bad at all!
The Way Forward
Once there is a 25% improvement in your strength, endurance and results, you will be certain this program is working for you. All you need to do is, repeat the training all over again until you double your pull-ups. For this we will start week 4, using 25 as (M).
Week 4 and 5
Everything remains the same as Week 1 and 2, only the numbers change. Perform six sets of 13 reps (50% of 25), split evenly throughout the day. At the end of the day, perform a set of 19 reps (75% of M). You’ll have no trouble performing the 19 reps by the end of the second week.
For Week 6, you will perform seven sets of 15 reps (60% of M), split throughout the day. Perform 23 reps (90% of M) at the end of the day for a single set. Then take three days off, and retest your maximum. We’re confident once you re-test your max, you’ll be able to do 35 or more reps.
This isn’t an easy program to follow, but it certainly works.