T Nation

Learning Do a Pull Up


#1

i bought a pull up bar two weeks ago and i still can't do a pull up. since i can't do a chin up or a pull up i have been doing Australian pull ups and negatives 4-3 times a week. my workouts are 5x15 and about 10 negatives. when ever i try to do a pull up or chin up i just hang there. i cant even move up.

i have also been doing some ab workouts like flutter kicks and planks. i am also trying to learn how to do handstands and l sits.

How long will it take me to learn how to do a pull up or a chin up.


#2

Key bits of information missing. How heavy are you and roughly how much muscle do you have?

Also, ab work has practically no relevance to improving pull up capabilities.


#3

By either jumping or standing on a bucket or whatever-- try starting at the top of the pull-up with your chin at or above the bar. Lower your self halfway down and see if you can do “half rep” pull-ups. Do these, and every couple weeks see if you can go lower and lower. So, basically instead of starting at the bottom, start at the top and find where you can pull yourself up at.

Also, if you have some rope, webbing, or something-- tie a loop around the bar hanging down and put your foot in it. Use your foot (or knee) for assistance. If you are not comfortable with this, it can potentially be dangerous for obvious reasons if you loose your grip. Then take your bucket, chair, stool or whatever and use that for assistance.

Be inventive. The more ways you can actually do the actual pull-up motion the faster you’ll progress. I hope this helps.


#4

i weigh about 163lbs


#5

i way 163lbs and i am mostly tall and lanky. im 6ft 1in


#6

Right, so by “learning” to do a pull up you mean “getting strong enough” to do one.

Aside from the suggestions Evolv has provided, band assisted pull ups or even using a lat pulldown machine would be beneficial here, depending on what you have access to.

And remember, since in your case you need to put on muscle, make sure your diet is in order.


#7

When i was training for them, id put a chair in front of me, legs on that, it takes away little bit of weight, try them like this?

You can have legs straight ahead of you, or the chair directly under you, and knees bent on it, soles of feet on the bench, but still so that your ass won’t touch the bench. Lower yourself as low as you can, and concentrate on pulling with back muscles. My native language isn’t english, so hope you understood what i was trying to say.

Also when i was training for the wide pullups for first times, i could only do them to about halfway, i just did them to there, after a couple weeks, i got couple full ROM reps, so even little bit helps.


#8

Make the negatives slow. Also, don’t come here and complain that nothing’s happened after 2 weeks! The only kind of progress one could possibly see after two weeks is with weight loss. Make it your goal to do at least one nice pull up before May.


#9

[quote]libanbolt wrote:
i have been doing Australian pull ups and negatives 4-3 times a week. my workouts are 5x15 and about 10 negatives.[/quote]
Stick with the Australian pull-ups/horizontal rows once or twice a week. Those are a good start for building basic strength, but if you can do 5x15, it’s time to move on to a more challenging variation. Ben Bruno has written a ton about them. You want something that makes 6-10 reps tough to get through - elevate the feet, find a way to add weight, pause for a 2-count at the top, something.

For the pull-ups, go with a neutral-grip (palms facing each other). That’s going to bring the arms more into play and put you in a stronger pulling position. Instead of 10 negatives 3-4 times a week (negatives are hard on the system and aren’t appropriate for high frequency work), try 3x3-5 negative neutral-grip chins using a 5-count to lower yourself, once a week as the first exercise of the day.

What does your entire training week look like? What days, exercises, sets, and reps did you finally settle on? That’s really more important than just addressing one or two exercises out of context.


#10

im in track and field and 5 days a week i do sprint workouts like 2x400m sprints 2x300m sprints, 2x200m sprints and 1x100m sprints.

when i get home i do push ups and ab workouts one day and Australian pull ups and handstands the next day.

i use a push up app on my phone and it has been helping me a lot.


#11

[quote]libanbolt wrote:
i use a push up app on my phone and it has been helping me a lot. [/quote]

What does a push up app do? Seriously, I don’t actually understand what an app for pushups could do.


#12

Stick with the horizontal rows and negatives. Maybe add bent arm hangs for a max hold at the end of your workout, focusing on squeezing your upper back muscles nice and tight.

Once you’re able to get one or two I suggest you using Pavel’s grease the groove method. Basically set up your pullup bar in a high traffic area of your house (basically any room you walk in and out of a lot during the day). Every time you pass the pullup bar do as many as you can without going to absolute failure. Do this every day and you’ll go from 1 or 2 to double digits in no time.


#13

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]libanbolt wrote:
i use a push up app on my phone and it has been helping me a lot. [/quote]

What does a push up app do? Seriously, I don’t actually understand what an app for pushups could do.[/quote]

i have an app that i downloaded that gives me a push up workout. when i first started my max push ups was about 7 but now i can do way more. it tracks the amount of push ups i do a day.


#14

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Make the negatives slow. Also, don’t come here and complain that nothing’s happened after 2 weeks! The only kind of progress one could possibly see after two weeks is with weight loss. Make it your goal to do at least one nice pull up before May.[/quote]

that sounds like a good plan


#15

[quote]libanbolt wrote:
im in track and field and 5 days a week i do sprint workouts like 2x400m sprints 2x300m sprints, 2x200m sprints and 1x100m sprints.

when i get home i do push ups and ab workouts one day and Australian pull ups and handstands the next day.[/quote]
Any reason you’re not doing any weight training, especially after all the other threads you’ve been through?

I think you’re in-season or pre-season now, right? Your weight training workouts at this point should be complementary to your practices, but the stuff you’re doing won’t really have any major effect on your running one way or the other. It’s not making you a better runner and it’s not well-designed to build strength and muscle through your entire body.

It’s a bummer, but I think (again) you should consider following a lifting plan by someone like Dan John, Jim Wendler, or JoeDeFranco. You’ll improve your pull-ups along the way with the neat added bonus of actually getting stronger, more muscular, and becoming a better athlete.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
What does a push up app do? Seriously, I don’t actually understand what an app for pushups could do.[/quote]
I know Martin Rooney put one together that describes a bunch of push-up variations, has several push-up-based workouts, and can track the day’s totals.


#16

[quote]SteveX wrote:

Once you’re able to get one or two I suggest you using Pavel’s grease the groove method. Basically set up your pullup bar in a high traffic area of your house (basically any room you walk in and out of a lot during the day). Every time you pass the pullup bar do as many as you can without going to absolute failure. Do this every day and you’ll go from 1 or 2 to double digits in no time.[/quote]
Did this starting in 5th grade because I could only do one pullup and wanted to do more and have been doing it ever since. At first I put it in my bedroom doorway and every time I went in I did a pullup and every time I went back out I did another one. Now I do 5 every time in and 5 every time out which equals out to plenty throughout the day.

Looking back it’s amazing what we thought of as kids people have put a name on and called it their method. They were smart or greedy enough to make money off of what is essentially a simple concept that I would consider just a child playing around.

*Not saying Pavel did that here. It is just a general all around statement


#17

Also like the deck of card thing for push-ups and sit-ups. If I had trademarked shit like that when I was 10 I would be a multimillionaire by now haha