Can't Do A Pull Up Yet? This Article Will Show You In 6 Easy Steps How To Achieve Your First Ever Pull Up In Less Than 12 Weeks
You have to admit, seeing anyone do a Pull Up in the gym when you can’t?
You kind of envy them, it's such a bad ass move.
You wish you were strong enough, actually, what you’re probably thinking is ‘I wish I was light enough to be able to lift my body off the floor’
I remember when Naomi walked through the door on her first day. Although she was never overweight she simply didn’t have the required strength to be able to hang from the bar, let alone do a pull up.
With most things, it takes a while and it requires a whole lot of patience and practice. In the space of 8 months, yes, 8 months, Naomi was able to manage 10 pull ups relatively easy.
Suddenly, everyone started talking about her, she grabbed attention and when she done a set in the gym? Everyone turned their heads.
Above all though, and this might seem a stupid thing to say, getting your diet in check and losing weight so you don’t have to lift as much weight makes it a whole lot easier.
If you need to sort your diet out and have quite a few lbs to lose, follow this.
Once you’re losing weight, it becomes a whole lot easier.
On top of that, work your back more often. Always incorporate two pulling exercises for every pushing exercise into your gym routine.
I've crafted an awesome gym routine for you here, that you can add alongside the plan below
Step 1: Improve Your Posture
One big problem I see is that we don’t have the required mobility to even be able to perform a pull up in the right way.
More often than not our desk jobs have taken it’s toll on our posture, resulting in hitched shoulders and a rounded back.
A few simple exercises, to help put your posture right are
Using these exercises are a great way of improving your posture, allowing for the movement of the pull up. Because if you physically can’t lift your hands up fully straight, locking out at your elbows, how can you expect to pull yourself up?
Step 2: Bent Over Rows
The most basic of exercises and if you’re just starting out?
Then this is the GO TO exercise. What’s really important is progressing your lifts. That means increasing the weight you use / the sets you do or the reps you do. Incorporate bent over rows into your gym plan at least twice a week. Aim for a solid 8 reps to start with.
A simple regression of a barbell bent over row is a three point row. It's a great exercise to build strength on both arms
You can progress the bent over rows by incorporating Pendlay Rows too, which allow for more weight to be used.
Step 3: Inverted Rows to Increase Bodyweight Strength
Now you’ve mastered bent over rows, you can move on to inverted rows. Inverted rows are great because they allow you to lift your bodyweight, much like the pull up. It’s practically the best exercise to develop pull up strength. Not only that but the stronger you get, the harder you can make the exercise.
Again, when starting out on this move keep the bar high, and the stronger you get? The lower you can put the bar.
Similar to above, shoot for around 8-10 reps. It’s key you keep your knees, hips and shoulders in one nice straight line and don’t sag at the hips. You can do this by imagining theres a £100 in-between your butt cheeks that you don’t want to let slip out! 😉
You’ll master this exercise when you lower the bar so your body becomes almost parallel to the floor and you can easily complete 4 sets of 10 reps.
If you don't have a bar, you can always use a TRX if your gym has one.
Step 4: Banded Assisted Pull Ups
Now you have the posture and relative strength you can begin to master the banded pull ups. You can grab them here and they’re a great way to get you into the position without you lifting your whole bodyweight. There’s different bands and thicknesses you can buy. I’d suggest starting with a thicker band, before moving on to a lighter, thinner band.
All you need to do is put one foot in, the other one over the top and lift.
It’s important that we really squeeze our butt and abs here so we don’t sway too much. A common problem that happens when you don’t engage your core enough.
Can you complete 4 sets of 10 relatively easily on one of the thinner bands?
Awesome, time to move on...
Step 5: Negative Pull Ups
Super hard exercise that will be virtually impossible if you haven’t mastered the previous 5 steps. So make sure you revisit them before you move on to this one.
Negatives are an awesome way to build back strength, and forearm grip too. It’s super important you remain in control of the movement here, so brace your abs as much as you can to reduce the amount of swaying you’ll do.
Grab a chair, or a box and step up on it. You want to jump above the bar, before lowering yourself down for 3-5 seconds.
If you’re a little on the larger side? Then this will probably be a challenge. Make sure you’re consistently losing weight to make the lowering part a little easier for you.
Shoot for 4-6 reps for 4 sets here.
Ready? Now you should be
Get out there and go smash a couple of pull ups up. This routine above should at least last around 12 weeks if you’re just starting out.
There’s no need to rush, patience is key.
Bonus: Do Pull Ups more often
Stupid point really but if you want to improve them? Do them more often
Work on the points above at least 3 times a week instead of just once. The more volume the better.
I mentioned a little while ago on my emails that imagine if your kid got kidnapped and the only way to get them back was to back squat 100kg in a month.
You’d squat every day right? You wouldn’t do it just once a week.
You’d spend every minute of every day working on your squat in order to achieve the target.
Well take this as seriously.
I’m always after bigger arms myself as my genetics suck (it’s what I tell myself anyways) and the only way I can improve them? Is by training them more frequently and getting more volume in.
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