T Nation

Help with Weighted Pull-Ups

I need help trying to properly program strength-progression for weighted pull-ups.

I don’t care about the number of reps I can perform, I want to perform pull-ups in the 6-10 rep range with as much weight as possible.

Right now I can do 15 pull-ups. I do them with a neutral grip typically, but I change them up.

I weigh 185 lbs and can do 8 reps with 35 lbs added. My endurance is bad, since the next set is 6 and then it drops to 3.

Can anyone offer me some help? I have seen other threads, but these are my specific numbers.

I use 5/3/1 for bench/squat/deadlift/press so I would also like to add another “pull” type of movement.

thanks guys.

Well I like to add them in at the end of my workouts, I’ll usually do them after squatting or DLing. One day will be strictly just BW pullups for as many sets and reps it takes to get to 80 reps. Then on weighted days ill just do sets of 5 till I get to a heavy set. Be sure to mix your grip up, use a good ROM and vary the weight like anything else. Best Ive done is bw+90lbs for 3 reps, and i weigh around 250.

Try a more systemic progression.

35lbs 3x5
35lbs 2x5, 1x6
35 lbs 1x5, 2x6
35 lbs 3x6
35lbs 2x6, 1x7…

…and so on adding a rep per week. Until your in to the 3x8 range. Then up the weight and start over at 3x5.

Or maybe just apply 5/3/1?

I train weighted pullups similar to training a power lift using 5/3/1, I work up to one top set for as many reps as possible. I vary the intensity weekly using a 10-15 rep weight, 5-7 rep weight, and a 1-3 rep weight. No planned deload. If doing singles/doubles/triples, I’ll do a few sets then a backoff set of 10-15. I make weighted pullups a priority exercise; I no longer consider them an assistance exercise, and I give them their own day and train them once a week or every other week trading with db rows, which I program the same way. I’ve made good gains in strength doing this.

[quote]LarryH wrote:
Try a more systemic progression.

35lbs 3x5
35lbs 2x5, 1x6
35 lbs 1x5, 2x6
35 lbs 3x6
35lbs 2x6, 1x7…

…and so on adding a rep per week. Until your in to the 3x8 range. Then up the weight and start over at 3x5.

Or maybe just apply 5/3/1?[/quote]

I like this method, however, I would apply 5/3/1 something like this:

If you can do your bw +35lbs (220 total) for 8 reps, that would put your estimated total weight pulled for a 1RM at around 280. 90% of that is 250-255. Run 5/3/1 using that as your 1RM and follow a normal 5/3/1 progression. You will probably have some sets where the weight used would be less than 185, in which case, just use your bodyweight. I’ve done this in the past and it worked for me; give it a shot.

articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/pull-up-101-part-i/
articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/pull-up-progression-part-ii-super-heavy-weight-edition/