Pull-up Program

Alright everyone you voted and we will be starting a pull-up program in conjunction with class! Participants will be separated into two categories: first pull-up (FP), and more pull-ups (MP). The FP group will consist of those who are focusing on getting their first pull-up, while the MP group will be those who want to increase their number of pull-ups. This program can either be done at the beginning of class as part of your warm-up or on your own outside of class.

The program that I have laid out below is developed and adapted for our class from a Gold Medal Bodies program found here “Get Your First Pull-up“. I will start with the program for the FP group and then continue to the MP group.

First-Pull-up Group

Right from the start:

When working up to your first pull-up, you should attempt a full pull-up once a week. Do no more than 3 attempts, resting 2 minutes between attempts.

This will give you a good baseline to see where you are starting and how you are improving.

In this program there will be 4 movements that we will work with: the pulling prep, the reverse row sit-back, negatives, and of course the pull-up. For the first three there are videos found on the website above that explain what we are trying to accomplish with each and how to perform each correctly. The reverse row sit-backs you can do either with the TRX straps or the Air-Fit straps in the dynamic area if you do not have access to rings at the right height.

Every Friday will be “Test Day” The program below should be completed 3 days/week before class or during your warm-up and on Fridays take 3 attempts to do a pull-up with 2 minutes to rest between sets instead of performing the negatives prescribed in the program.

Week Exercise Sets Reps
Pulling Prep 3 6
Reverse Row Sit-Back 3 6
Negatives 5 1
Pulling Prep 3 8
Reverse Row Sit-Back 3 8
Negatives 6 1
Pulling Prep 3 10
Reverse Row Sit-Back 4 6
Negatives 5 2
Pulling Prep 4 6
Reverse Row Sit-Back 4 8
Negatives 6 2
Pulling Prep 4 8
Reverse Row Sit-Back 5 6
Negatives 5 3
Pulling Prep 4 10
Reverse Row Sit-Back 5 8
Negatives 6 3

Now for the More Pull-ups Group

This program was adapted from the “Twenty Pull-ups Challenge” program that is aimed at helping you achieve 20 pull-ups in one set. The outline below is to be used in conjunction with the program above for those of you who can perform 3-5 pull-ups already.  If you can do more than 5 pull-ups the document found here (Twenty Pull-ups Challenge) has more progressions with higher rep counts that you can use.

For the purposes of this program we will be using the prescribed pulling prep from the FP group to help with muscle activation as a warm-up for our pull-up volume. The pulling prep prescribed in the program above should be performed before the reps and sets in the MP program below.

Week Exercise Sets Reps
Monday 5 2/1/1/2/3
Wednesday 5 2/2/1/2/3
Friday 5 2/2/2/2/max
Monday 5 3/2/3/2/3
Wednesday 5 3/3/2/3/3
Friday 5 3/3/3/2/max
Monday 5 4/3/4/3/4
Wednesday 5 5/4/3/4/5
Friday 5 6/5/4/3/max
Monday 5 5/4/5/6/7
Wednesday 5 7/6/5/6/7
Friday 5 8/6/5/4/max
Monday 5 4/5/6/6/7
Wednesday 5 8/7/8/7/8
Friday 5 5/6/8/9/10
Monday 5 5/6/7/8/9
Wednesday 5 8/9/10/11/12
Friday 5 13/11/9/7/max

Remember this is a process and a pursuit of improvement! Don’t get discouraged if you get bored or don’t show as much improvement as someone else in class. Keep your eye on the prize and get that first pull-up, or more pull-ups!

A downloadable PDF for this program can be found here: Intensity Pull-up Program


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