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Can A-l-m-o-s-t Do a Pullup

I’m getting leaner and stronger. I’ve been doing rows, dips, lat pulldowns and assisted machine wide-grip pullups (among other things). After my workout yesterday I tried and could almost do a complete pullup (and I was pretty wiped at that point).

I really want to do these and was wondering the best way to proceed. Pullup vs. chinup? Hand position? Grip width? I have another month of my current program (upper/lower body split 4 days) before I change things up again and would like to definitely incorporate pullups in my new routine. Should I just continue with what I’m doing until next month? Should I just try a few at the beginning of each workout for a few weeks?

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

experiement with hand positions. Palms facing you will be a little easier, more bicep activation.

If you really want to get to be able to do them you might consider doing them first 3 times a week.

Also, focus on the negative. Jump up, stand on a bench, whatever, but get to the top and then lower yourself down as slow as you can.

You’re doing what you need to do. Keep it up. I’ve said this before I genetically had a weak upper body and through much of my life struggled to do one pull up.

After I got serious about lifting I kept working on just doing the standard pull up along with what you are doing rows, and some deads, as well as heavy squatting, and worked up to fifteen pull ups at a body weight of 210 pounds at my best.

For me that was a huge accomplishment considering where I started. So, keep it going and the number will grow!

Great work. Keep it up.

I agree add in the negative work. Jumping up to the top point and slowly lowering your self. Do two or three of these at the end of every w/o and in no time you’ll be pullin away.

Another option is to buy a small/medium band and do them band assisted for a bit. Then slowly working inmj the unassisted version.

Once again great work,

Keep it up, next thing u know you’ll be doing bible chins

-Zeb… I mean Xen

As stated great work! You’ll find as the weight you need to pull up decreases the number of pull ups will increase. Patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Venus :wink:

Awesome goal, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. I think you should focus on doing negatives and weighted negatives (chinups) to build your strength.

CT covers just about everything in his “Keep your chin up” article, even providing a newbie routing for someone how can’t perform one chin up yet:

That’s awesome Jillybop!

Here’s what I did with my father to help him go from 0 pullups to 3 on his own in 12 weeks.

I had him on a basic 5x5 routine three times a week. He increased the weight every week on all his core lifts (bench, squat, row, stiff-legged deads, etc.). I started him out doing 5x5 of chins with me assisting him. All I would do is have him cross his legs and then he would put his feet in my hands/arms to push off me as much as needed to pull himself over the bar.

I had him use a supinated grip about shoulder width apart or a little closer (chin up). This is usually the “strongest” chin position for most people, so I wanted him to progress on these before doing pull ups.

Each week, he would push a little bit less and use less and less of me as a spotter. At the end of the 12 weeks, I tested him, and he did three complete pullups on his own. He was still overweight at the time (he did lose 10lbs in those 12 weeks, from training…not his diet, as I had been trying to get him to eliminate more of the bad stuff in his diet). But he still managed to do them.

So, if you can, rather than using the chin-assist machine, go to a free standing chin bar and have someone spot you in a similar way. With more fat loss and more strength increases, you’ll achieve multiple reps in the chinup in no time.

Thanks a bunch, everyone! After my regular workokut this morning, I did some pulls & chins on the power rack bar set at shoulder height (using my feet) and focused on the negative. I think I’ll “play” with these after my regular workouts for the next month and then really focus on them in my next routine.

Thanks for the article, Vic, I hadn’t seen that.

[quote]Jillybop wrote:
and focused on the negative.

Negative,positive,neutral…Nah! I couldn’t do it.
Mrs Incredible, can I borrow your mask? : )

Learn to start your pull up as your hand touches the bar. The longer you hand stays on the bar before you start the harder they will be. Also do not think of a pull up as lifting your body. Think of it as making your bicep touch your forearm. When you can do 3 reps try the 1 rep with added weight, 3reps without weight. I think 2 sets like this 3 times a week is good. The added weight rep may be only 5# at first. Remember it takes time to make great things happened. There is nothing that makes a person feel better than to tell someone I can do ? pullups.

Looks like you are doing a good job yourself already :slight_smile: Keep up your dedication and you will surpass your goals eventually.

I know this was already mentioned earlier, but I figured I’d add in my own personal two cents.

Something that really allowed me to get stronger in this area was getting my boyfriend to push me all the way up to the top and he helped me come down over a very tough 15 seconds.


No new advice here. This is a “I share your goal and feel your pain” post.

Been trying the chin-ups and pull-ups for a while now.

I’ve generally been focussing on the negatives and I’ve had a spotter to help me.

I can now do 1 chin-up (close, supinated grip). My “short-term” goal is to be able to do ten.

I still can’t do a pull-up - arghh! (wide, pronated grip aka military style pull-up).

A guy at the gym told me that as a female that I’d never be able to do even one military style pull-up. Personally, I think that’s bull%*&t and intend to keep working on this!

Keep it up! We can do this!

[quote]en7i7y wrote:
A guy at the gym told me that as a female that I’d never be able to do even one military style pull-up. Personally, I think that’s bull%*&t and intend to keep working on this!

Keep it up! We can do this![/quote]

That’s bullshit! I dated a girl that could knock out pull-ups and chin-ups for a good 5-10 reps! It was impressive. I asked her to do them for me every now and then because it was awesome to watch.

Good work Jilly!

I hit the gym this afternoon and tested my widegrip chins out on an assisted machine. I was able to do 5 with only a 15 lb assist. You’ll get there in no time if you follow the advice already given above. :slight_smile:


Awesome work! Just keep plugging away. Be persistant and soon you will be doing regular sets of pullups.

Prior to being pregnant I was doing regular sets of at least 10 full pullups and chins in a row. Now, post pregnancy, I am working hard to get that strength back, so I can relate. Right now I can do 2-3 in a row, but my strength is coming back pretty quickly.

Keep us posted!

BS about gals not being able to do them…my gal can do more chin ups than most guys…started at only 2-3…now can almost do 10…keep at it, they only get easier if you do them. good job so far.

[quote]Jillybop wrote:
Thanks for the article, Vic, I hadn’t seen that.
Glad to help Jilly, just keep us updated when you succeed because I’m sure it won’t be long.


Before you know it, you’ll be doing one-arm pullups.

What is a “Pull-up?” Is that anything like a Pulldown on a machine?

I love machines :slight_smile: