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Best Method to Do As Many Pull-Ups as you can in one set?

I want to be able to do as many pullups as I can in one set. I see a lot of different routines all over the internet (and this site) and I’m just wondering if anyone has any personal experience with any of them and which one worked best for them.

Armstrong: http://openbah.com/marine-ocs-articles/armstrong-pullup-program

I used it to go to 30 dead hang, USMC standard pullups. Probably could have gone for more, if I cared, but I just wanted to be comfortably above 20. Scientific? Probably not. Could you get better results with grease the groove or recon ron’s pullup program? Maybe. But this worked for me.

PS: Use a wide overhand grip (not a chin-up). You might start out weaker, but that grip has the greatest potential for development. I’ve never seen anyone break 20 using a narrow chin up grip.

holy shit. Funny you mention that program.

I’d initially started out with that program but dropped it because after I did some digging I couldn’t find any proof that this ‘Charles Lewis Armstrong’ ever existed.

Then I saw a video of this guy

And I wanted to see how he did it so I found this article.

And found this quote: During the official attempt, most sets consisted of 3 or 4 repetitions, the numbers which I found to work the best for me, even though many athletes (including my father who also set this record once) find larger sets to be more efficient.

coincidence? I think not.

I like the recon ron program if only for it’s simplicity,

I like Pavel’s GTG, like was mentioned above. Many programs will work but bottom line is be consistent and have a plan. Do negatives and dead hangs for time until you can do at least one rep.


Now that you can do one repetition it is time to Grease The Groove.

There are a couple ways you can do this. The first way is to do one rep,
rest 30-90 seconds and perform another. Continue until you are pretty sureyou can’t do another one. Repeat the every day or every other day.

The second method is to do a rep between every set of your regular workout.

For example, if you are doing a bodyweight Strength Circuit it would look like this:

Push-ups x20, Pull-ups x1, sit-ups x20, Pull-ups x1, Lunges x20, Pull-ups x1,

and so on and so forth for the entire workout.

The third method is to use the timed method. Set the timer on your watch for

15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes. When it goes off, do a rep. Continue all day.

Any of these methods will render results in short order. Test your self each week.

When you can do five or more its time to shift gears.

Now we can begin to get serious about big numbers. Here are a couple of proven methods.

First we have The Spetsnaz Ladder method. With a partner or simulated partner (you figure it out),

do one rep, and then your partner does one. You do two, he does two and so it continues.

When one of you is close to failure, stop and start over.

It will look like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 -Rest- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc? This is far more effective

that the Pyramid method which looks like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Method two is the weighted method. Add 5-10 lbs to your body and do any of the methods

listed above. Alternate workouts so one day is weighted, the next is bodyweight only.

Do not exceed 15 lbs added if you are looking for numbers.

anyone have thoughts on the 7 weeks to 50 pullups or 50pullups.com?

A few years ago, I could not do more that 8. Now I can hit 25 dead hang wide grip pull ups fairly easily.
I don’t have a special program that I followed, but I have developed a routine that has worked pretty well for me, even though I have been pretty inconsistent in getting my proper allotment of gym time.

I will simply give you my routine and hope that it helps:
After benching, and a shoulder warm up, I will do a pyramid of pushups and pull ups all the way to ten reps and back down (one pushup, then one pull up. I also prefer to do my push up off of a exercise ball). If I get too tired to finish I will do negatives. Then I rest my back ( I will usually do my shoulder workout at this point). Then I do rows- 8x180 8x200 8x220 8x240 8x270 8x270 wide grip, and a narrow grip t-bar (right now I am still experimenting with the t bar to figure out the number of sets and weight that I prefer. Right now I really like four sets of fairly heavy weight. I will also do weighted pull ups. 8x bodyweight 8x10+bw 8x25+bw 8x35+bw 8x45+bw.
I always mix up the grips and number of sets/weights, but this post gives a pretty good example of what my back workout typically looks like. I would also strongly recommend doing dead lifts on your next lift day after doing this workout. Always use a wide grip pull up, and always try to touch your chest to the bar.

Yeah, I can’t verify the accuracy of the Armstrong back story, but it’s the standard pull up plan that we used to give to our OCS candidates before they shipped to Quantico. Never had any of them come back, so I guess it worked well enough to keep them pulling 300 PFT’s throughout training.