Workout Tips

How to Improve Your Pull-Up Technique

Fix your routine for better results. This better not be broken.

How to Improve Your Pull-Up Technique

Nick B. from Hamden, CT, wrote in to us asking how he could improve his reps on pullups. See his plan below, then ours.

Nick's Old Workout:

WEIGHTED PULLUP
Sets: 3 — Reps: 5

WIDE-GRIP PULLUP
Sets: 3 — Reps: As many as possible

CLOSE-GRIP CHINUP
Sets: 3 — Reps: As many as possible

Lat Pulldown
Sets: 3 - Reps: 12-15

M&F Rating: D

Our Advice:

Try alternating the load you use each set. Do five sets of pullups. Start with a weight you can manage a little more than six reps with, but do only six. On your next set, increase the load to something you could do three reps with, but stop at one. Now go back to six reps but use a heavier weight than you started with. Finally, do another, heavier single. For your fifth set, bang out as many reps as you can with body weight. You’re bound to do a lot more than normal because your nervous system is fully activated.

You’ll need practice with higher reps, too. Three days later, perform pullups again using a band for assistance. Do sets of 10–15. Get a strong loop band (pick them up at elitefts.com) and attach it weight you have to lift. Now you can perform high reps with good form, grooving pullup technique.

Nick's New Workout:

WORKOUT 1 - PULLUP

■ Sets: 5
■ Reps: 6,1,6,1, as many as possible

WORKOUT 2 - BAND-ASSISTED PULLUP
■ Sets: 3
■ Reps: 15
As you improve, lower the band loop closer to the floor, or switch to a lighter-tension band that provides less assistance.

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