On March 4th we will begin our next challenge. This challenge will be to see who can increase their amount of pull ups performed in two minutes! There are many things you can do to improve your pull up performance. Here are just some ideas.
Negatives are especially useful for beginners that can’t do even one pull-up because we can all lower more than we can lift. Finish up each of your pull-up workouts with a few sets of negative-only pull-ups. Stand a box or chair, and jump up to the top of the bar with your chin over and try to hold that position as long as possible. Squeeze the bar as tightly as possible, tighten your biceps and back, and don’t let go of the bar. Fight it for as long as you can and lower yourself slowly to the bottom position. Once fully extended release the tension on your arms gradually. Done correctly these should leave you feeling exhausted.
10 Sets of 50% Max
Say your max number of consecutive pull-ups are 4, start with 10 sets of 2. Increase your numbers until you can do 10 sets of 4. Once you can do 10 sets of 4, your max should be around 8. Test your max and then start it over.
Increase Time Under Tension
If your max pull-ups are 5 do your 5 and perform a negative (lower yourself for 30 seconds) on the way down from your 5th rep.
30 Pull-ups For Time
See how long it takes you to do 30 pull-ups. Try to lower your time and number of sets each time you repeat it.
Once you can perform 12 pull-ups it’s time to add weight. You can use a weights vest or have a friend provide some resistance on your feet. To ensure improvement add a little weight on to your pull up every week. Play with different set x rep schemes, 8 sets of 3, 5 sets of 5, etc.
During this challenge it is important to practice and work on your pull ups at least twice a week. Neglecting training your pull-ups is just as bad as neglecting your squats. Pull-ups make your deadlift, press, and yes even your squat improve. Pull-ups are a compound movement that use a ton of upper body muscles. Pull ups have the ability to strengthen a whole slew of muscles including: latissimus dorsi, brachialis, brachioradialis, biceps brachii, triceps brachii [stabilizer], teres minor, teres major, deltoids, infraspinatus, rhomboids, levator scapulae, trapezius, and pectoralis minor. Our bodies will benefit as well as our WOD performance from working on and improving our pull up strength.