Pullup Program

Improve Your Pulling Strength With Less Than 10 Minutes Per Day!

This progression is built for athletes who would like to increase their pullup capacity – for those who want to get their first strict pullup to those who can already do consistently big sets! Building a foundation of consistent STRICT pull ups will transfer over into kipping, TTB, chest-to-bar, and muscle ups!

This progression is designed with two objectives in mind: time and consistency.

  • Time: Most of you are lucky to carve out an hour for exercise – and I know you don’t have a ton of time to sit around at the gym playing on the rig. Each of the “sessions” should take you no longer than 10 minutes (or so) before or after class!
  • Consistency: As with any worthwhile goal in life, success likely won’t happen overnight. However, if you stick with this for even a few weeks, I believe that you’ll be shocked at how much improvement you see!

Also, keep in mind this is just ONE of many great pull up progressions out there, and you can certainly scale and modify this program as needed, And, as always, talk to one of the coaches about it, and we can definitely help you along the way!

6-WEEK PULL UP PROGRESSION(S)

Overview: Each 6-week progression has a Current Ability Level definition, a Goal, and an Objective. You will notice that we use the term “Day 1”, “Day 2”, etc. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily sequential days. For example, Day 1 might be Monday, Day 2 is Tuesday, and Day 3 is Friday.

Sequencing: Each Phase has Weeks 1/3/5 and Weeks 2/4/6. Each week you will alternate your exercise selection for a total of 6-weeks.

PHASE 1

  • Current Ability: 0 strict pull ups
  • Goal: 1 strict pull up
  • Objective: Strengthening muscles involved in completing a pull up. Primarily the lats, biceps, rhomboids, and various muscles in the shoulder.*
  • Do at least 3-4 workouts a week.
  • Move to Phase 2 once you can complete 3 strict pull ups in 1 minute.

Weeks 1/3/5:

Day 1

3 sets of 5 jumping negatives. Jump up to position with chin over the bar and SLOWLY lower to full extension. Use a box to jump up if needed. If you cannot lower slowly, use a light band!

Day 2

5 sets of 15 second active hang on bar, then 5 challenging ring rows. Hold 2 count at the top.

Day 3

3 sets of 5 vertical hanging ring rows. If you are able to do more than 5 reps, then scale up to 3 sets of 8-10 reps. A vertical ring row consists of arms and back hanging straight down from the rings with palms facing out. Pull up with heels “dragging” the floor. If you struggle to get 5 reps in this position, step back until 5 reps can be completed.

Day 4

8 Struggle Ups Struggle Downs. Begin hanging on the bar. Pull yourself up by activating your lats and shoulders as much as you possibly can. Struggle for 5 seconds. At that point, step on a box to do a jumping pull up. Once chin has cleared the bar, perform a slow negative pull up. Slowly lower yourself to full extension. Attempt to do so for a 10 count (10 second lower).

Day 5-7

If you have time, motivation, etc. to perform pull up practice and exercise more than 4 days a week, perform 5 sets of 3 challenging reps on days between.

Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

3 sets of 5 jumping negatives. Jump up to position with chin over the bar and SLOWLY lower to full extension. Step back on box and repeat.

Day 2

Accumulate 25 challenging ring rows. If you can string together 10 or more, they are not challenging enough. Make them more challenging by moving your body more parallel with the floor.

Day 3

3 sets of 5 vertical hanging ring rows. If you are able to do more than 5 reps, then scale up to 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Day 4

3 sets of max hang from pull up bar with 1 minute rest between sets. Cash out: 5 reps 7 second struggle up.

PHASE 2

  • Current Ability: 1 strict pull up at any time consistently
  • Goal: 5 strict pull ups in a row with no kip
  • Objectives: Every week do more pull ups than the last. Develop a good technique for kipping. Become stronger in the hollow rock position.
  • Do at least 3-4 workouts a week.
  • Move to Phase 3 when you can do 3 sets of 5 strict pull ups in 3 minutes.

Weeks 1/3/5

Day 1

5 minute EMOM 2-5 strict pull ups (increase up to 5 strict pull ups per minute)

Day 2

Tabata kips (8 rounds, 20 sec work, 10 seconds rest). Try to stay consistent within rounds. If you can perform a solid kipping pullup, do these instead. Make sure you squeeze your shoulder blades down when you kip!

Day 3

Tabata hollow rocks/hollow hold. Then accumulate 30 challenging ring rows. Have body as parallel to ground as possible.

Day 4

As many strict pull ups as possible in 4 minutes.

Day 5-7

Focus on kipping form and kipping practice

Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

Same as week 1 (lengthen EMOM by 2 minutes each week)

Day 2

Same as week 1 (increase amount of pull ups per tabata round)

Day 3

5 sets of 2 negative pull ups. Pull up until chin passes over bar, then lower yourself down on a 10 count if possible.

Day 4

4 sets of 10 challenging ring rows, followed by 45 second hollow hold (increase for week 4).

PHASE 3

  • Current Ability: set of 5 strict pull ups at any time consistently
  • Goal: Men – 10 strict and 20 kipping pull ups in a row, Women – 7 strict and 15 kipping pull ups in a row
  • *Phase 3 challenge – both men/women able to string together a few butterflys
  • Objectives: Develop stamina for higher reps
  • Do at least 3-4 workouts a week.

Weeks 1/3/5

Day 1

5 minute EMOM 2-5 strict pull ups (each week add 2 minutes to EMOM)

Day 2

3 sets max rep kipping or butterfly pull ups with 2 minutes rest between sets

Day 3

4 sets max strict pull ups. Rest 2 minutes between sets

Day 4

As many kipping/butterfly pull ups in 5 minutes

Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

20 kipping/butterfly pull ups as fast as possible in least amount of sets as possible.

Day 2

Accumulate 40 challenging (parallel body) ring rows (add 10 more for week 4) 1 minute hollow hold each time you break

Day 3

Same as week 1 (try to beat score)

Day 4

5 sets of 5 negative pull ups. Do a strict pull up, then lower yourself down on a 10 count if possible

Day 5-7

If you have time and energy, do butterfly work and practice.

PHASE 4

  • Current Ability: Men – 10 strict and 20 kipping pull ups unbroken. Women – 7 strict and 15 kipping pull ups unbroken. Both men/women able to string together a few butterfly pull ups.
  • Goal: Men – 40 butterfly pull ups. Women – 30 butterfly pull ups
  • Objectives: Build pull up capacity.
  • Do at least 3-4 workouts per week

Weeks 1/3/5

Day 1

4 minute EMOM of 20 seconds unbroken kipping/butterfly pull ups (if you are proficient at butterfly by this time, you should be shooting for 18-22 reps for at least the first set) – increase EMOM to 6 minutes in week 3.

Day 2

3 sets of 5 weighted strict pull ups. Rest 2 minutes between sets. (increase #2.5-5 in week 3)

Day 3

60 pull ups as fast as possible (increase to 75 in week 3).

Day 4

Tabata hollow rock/hold, 5 minutes butterfly work

Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

Same as week 1 (increase to 5 minute EMOM)

Day 2

Accumulate 50 ring rows (increase to 60 in week 4). 1 minute hollow hold any time you break.

Day 3

Same as Week 1 Day 2 (increase weight if possible)

Day 4

5 sets of 10 negative pull ups. Do a strict pull up and lower yourself down on a 10 count if possible.

Day 5-7

If you have time and energy, do extra core and butterfly work.

PHASE 5

  • Current Ability: Men – 40 unbroken butterfly pull ups. Women – 30 unbroken butterfly pull ups.
  • Goal: Men – 100 pull ups in under 4 minutes. Women – 100 pull ups in under 5 minutes.
  • Objectives: Capacity, volume, efficiency, and consistency
  • Do at least 3-4 workouts per week.

Weeks 1/3/5

Day 1

Tabata kipping/butterfly chest to bar pull ups. Count lowest score. Try to increase each week.

Day 2

5 sets of 5 weighted strict pull ups. Rest 2 minutes between sets. Increase #2.5-5 per week.

Day 3

5 sets of max unbroken pull ups (do not go over 20 pull ups per set – the goal is 5 sets of 20 pull ups unbroken). Rest 1 minute between sets.

Day 4

Accumulate 75 challenging (parallel body) ring rows. 1 minute hollow hold any time you break.

Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

Same as week 1

Day 2

Same as week 1

Day 3

5 sets of 10 negative pull ups. Do a strict pull up, then lower yourself down on a 10 count.

Day 4

100 kipping/butterfly pull ups for time.

Day 5-7

If you have the time and energy, perform extra core and butterfly/kipping work