I think you need to reverse the order of her workout. Put pullups first, followed by pullup assistance exercises (though I doubt they’re needed), then everything else. If she’s doing supersets on her legs, working her back with rows, etc, then dowing pullups she’s going to be too damn tired to concentrate on what she needs the most improvement.
Follow all the other advice in this thread but be sure she does all that in her workout when she’s fresh, after a light warmup of course.
I would agree but we have other things that have to be achieved to pass the test as well. There are like 6 - 7 categories and pull ups is just one of them. I don’t want to focus only on pull ups and have her fail the overall test while receiving excellent on pull ups. She also has to pass a body fat, VO2, sit up, pull ups, push up and run.
I don’t think anyone is trying to tell you that you should only focus on Pull-ups with this client. They are trying to say that; if her weakest link is pull-ups, then that should be your first priority, and therefore should be the exercise that you have her work on first in her workouts.
There have been a lot of great suggestions given on this thread concerning how to achieve that ellusive first pull-ups. I would have to agree with Zeb though, that using the lat pulldown machine is not a good way to go about this. I personally would much rather use the assisted pull-up machine since it much more closely resembles the actual mechanics of a pull-up.
Might I suggest that if you have sufficient time, you try using Poloquin’s “1-6 principle” to see if you can get her to the point where she can do a single bodyweight pull-up. You’d of course have to use the assisted pull-up machine to do this, but in theory if you could get her to the point where she could do more than 1 pull-up with only 10 lbs of assistance, then she should be able to get 1 unassisted.
Once you can get that 1st pull-up down, then I’d suggest having her “Grease the groove” with pull-ups. This means have her perform a single pull-up whenever possible through out her day. Just make sure that she does not go to failure, and gives herself plenty of rest between reps.
I’ve been working on 1 arms for a little while now, and I will say that negatives are great. I can do a slow controlled negative with either arm, and can stop myself at any point in the descent. But I can only pull myself up 2/3 of the way with my right arm, and just over 1/2 of the way with my left.
I did see an improvement from doing negatives, but I think you’ll need to use other methods as well if a 1 arm is your goal. How much added weight can you chin? Or, perhaps a more appropriate question would be, what percentage of your bodyweight can you chin?
I’m not really sure that you would need to be able to chin with 100% of bodyweight added. But, if you could get to that point, you should definetely be able to get a 1 arm.
Good luck and good training,