How To Do More Pull Ups


I am sure you have heard stories about guys that are in super shape and all they do is pull ups, push ups, sit ups and other body weight resistance type moves. It is really true! You can look great and also increase strength, by just doing those exercises, but there are a few issues.

Since the title of this post is “How To Do More Pull Ups” I am going to focus on that!

Pull ups are one of the toughest exercises to do because if you cannot even do one pull up, how are you supposed to get better at it? Well don’t worry… you will get better at it in time.  By time it all depends. If you are new to pull ups and can do 3 or 4, I would almost guarantee I can help you double your pull ups in as little as 2 weeks! For Realz!!

How Many Pull Ups Can You Do? Find Your Baseline

  • You need a baseline so you can track your improvement. Not just a baseline of how many pull ups you can do, but also how long can you hold onto the bar and hang… can you pull up and hold your arms at 90 degrees?
    • Test this out and just write down how many pull ups you can do, how long you can just hang onto the bar for, and if you can pull up how long you can hold your arms at 90 degress for.

Let’s Assume You Can Do 3 – 5 Solid Good Form Pull Ups

  • Here is our goal…. 20 Pull Ups & 20 Curl Ups – Pull Ups “Palms facing away” – Curl Ups “Palms facing at you”
  • Do as many pull ups as you can rest 30 seconds then do as many curl ups as you can.
  • Repeat this under  you have completed 20 of each.
    • You might be able to do  3 -5 at a time for the first set or two, but it will get harder. So even if at one point you are only able to do 1 then just keep going under you hit 20. It might take you 10 -15 rounds of this to do it, but trust me if you keep this up you will be a pull up pro in no time!

Let’s Assume You Cannot Do Even One Pull Up Or Can Barely Finish One

  • You are going to need some help. An assistance band or one of those assisted pull up machines at the gym will help.
  • These will help take off some of your weight and give you “assistance” in completing your pull ups.
  • Pick a band or a weight that allows you to still work hard, but will allow you to get in a solid 4 -5 pull ups. You don’t want to feel like you are just bouncing up and down.
  • You can use the same principals I mentioned above.
  • Also focus on negatives “coming down slowly for a 3 -5 second count” and pausing at certain points and holding yourself there for a 3 – 5 second count.
  • Jump Pull Ups – you can also attempt this. Basically stand under the bar and jump. Use the momentum from the jump to grab the bar and pull yourself up.

Hit The Weights

  • Don’t forget about using weights?
  • If you are a beast with your pull ups then add a weight vest or a dumbbell in your feet to get more resistance and get stronger.
  • Pull Downs – Start performing pull downs… go light, go heavy just keep track of your sets, reps and weight used.
  • Biceps Curls – Hit the curl bar and beef up those biceps. This will help with  pull ups overall especially the curl ups.

Hit The Playground! Yeah Seriously

  • Playgrounds are awesome places to get better at body weight resistance moves. I have 3 boys so whenever we hit up a play ground I am looking for the monkey bars, rings, pull up bars, etc… pretty much anything I can hold onto and swing from.

How Often Do I Do This?

  • Depending on how you are attacking it with these methods I would shoot for at least 2 times a week if not there, or you could do something like this.
  • Monday – Pull Up Bar Work | Wed – Weights/Pull Downs/Back | Friday or Saturday – Pull Up Bar Work

That is the cool thing about getting stronger with these types of exercises. You can really start to have some fun out there and do cool stuff you never thought you could do, like impress  your 7, 4, and 2 year old by being the coolest dad at the playground 😉

I hope this gives you some ideas going forward with getting better at pull ups. I would love to hear some of your ideas, exercises, experiences or whatever that can help us get better at pull ups and/or other body weight resistance exercises.




FitDad Chris

Father of 3 awesome boys and husband to 1 awesome wife. I like to stay active, hanging with my sons, doing Spartan Races, and internet marketing. I write for my own blog Fit Dad Chris and for Fitness Life Change. I hope you enjoy my writings.

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