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Pull Ups and 5/3/1


This post is just to ask about people's opinions and experience with 5/3/1, and how they would consider integrating specific pull up work.

I have to take a physical fitness test that includes pull ups. In order to stay competitive, I need to maintain the ability to do 20 strict form pull ups. At the moment, my programming includes tons of them. As in, 2-3 days a week, doing pull ups.

Would it be outrageous to do pull ups as accessory exercise two or even three days a week while doing 5/3/1?


For what it's worth, I think this would be best placed in the 5/3/1 forums, where Jim will probably answer himself.

I've incorporated pull-ups into 5/3/1 for months at a time without a problem by doing low volume sets between every set of main lifts, racking up 50-100 per session. I did all of mine on rings to minimise joint stress.


I know Jim LOVES pullups. if your body can recover from it, I'm sure it'd be fine. One way to do it would be to vary the set/rep scheme, like so:

on press days: work up to a weighted 5rm
on deadlift days: 3-5 sets of submaximal reps, pause each rep at the top for 1-2 seconds
on bench days: 3 sets of max reps

Of course, this is just a suggestion.


I like nighthawkz answer though if I'm reading right you can regularly do 20 rep pullups?

If this is the case then you are most likely in the top 5 % of endurance pullupers on this site.
Doing strength work wont really help you at all. It will make you stronger of course but all you are after is doing a shit load of pullups.
20 reps of a compound exercise in my opinion means its far too light and you need to add some weight but there are some tests that make you do such absurd things so I guess this is one of them.

According to Chad Waterbury going to concentric failure is what made his pullup numbers go up. Stopping a rep or 2 short adding volume was good for hypertrophy but did nothing for his rep numbers.

So go to failure 2 or 3 times a week and you should be fine.


It is not outrageous. Jim usually recommends lots of chin/pullups. Usually people do them between all sets of pressing and sometimes squats a deads as well. The common recommendation is 50-100 a workout depending on your goals and ability.

EDIT: I forgot about this article but you can check it out if interested. Just google "weighted chins Jim Wendler". The article has one day of volume, one day of weighted, and one day of max reps.


Thanks for the responses, guys!

Should I post a new thread in the 5/3/1 section, or will a mod move it?

I like the idea of integrating weight/volume/failure day into the routine. I've been doing something similar already with my other lifting schedule.

Any idea as to what would happen if I added 50-100 pull ups a day (as per the article) while doing 5/3/1? I feel that kind of volume without rest would stall the fuck out of 5/3/1 gains.


I wouldn't do 50-100 everyday (some people do though and it works for them).
The article only mentions one day a week doing 50-100. If you do that it's really not bad on recovery I've found. I typically do 10 sets of 5-7 spread out over the hour I'm in the gym (two sets of every grip at my gym).