The pull-up, still viewed by most as the gold standard of upper body strength and once you can do one two is only around the corner…the problem is getting that first pull-up! 

There is no way around it the pull-up is a tough exercise but let’s be honest for a second being able to lift your own bodyweight is not some skill that should be reserved only for the gym elite, but something we all should be able to do…yet for most of us we can’t!

Continuing with my honest theme do you want to know the reason why?

It’s Hard

Not just the exercise itself but the time and patience required to develop the skill and strength turns most people away. The thing is you can’t just walk up to a pull-up bar jump up and hope for the best.sure the odd person can get better this way but they are normally someone who is already physically active, has a good base of strength or has a labour intensive strength (aka farm boy strength) and given that more of more of the population works seated, desk orientated job we are going to need a little more practice first.

Now the odd person can get better this way but they are normally someone who is already physically active, has a good base of strength or has a labour intensive job (aka farm boy strength) and given that more of more of the population works seated and desk bownd we are going to need a little more practice first.

WARNING
If you are looking for just another 5-minute fix you are in the wrong place but if you are serious about mastering the pull-up and are ready to put in the time and practice required then read on…

Progressions & Regressions

This is not some complicasted training philosophy reserved only for strength coaches, personal trainers, and fitness junkies but a way of looking at any exercise and knowing how to make it easier (regressions) or harder (progressions).

In this case the strict pull-up is our main objective and as it stands we can’t perform a single repetition yet (note the word YET, it’s important we distinguish this just a tempory status of your current body strength and something that CAN be improved).

We need to regress the pull-up into a smalelr chunks that we can currently perform with good controlled form.  Now for some this might be starting at the beginning (the high row) and others may be able to start a little higher. Here is a breakdown of the strict pull-up:

[easiest] High ring rows → Low ring rows → Scapular pull-ups → Monkey hangs → Box assited → Band asssited → Negative’s → Iso holds → Strict pull-ups [Hardest]

*Don’t worry all exercises are shown in a video below.

It’s important we start at the level where we can confidently and safely perform that exercise. If you are not sure I would always recommend starting with an easy exercise and building up, trust me this is not time wasted!

Once we have built up that skill and feel confident you can progress to the next level and systemically over time you can go from doing rings rows not being able to perform a single pull-up to multiple sets for reps.this is where the persistence and patience kicks in. I’m not going to lie for most people this process takes time, how much time really depends on how often you practice and your current strength level.

Now this is where the persistence and patience kicks in. I’m not going to lie for most people this process takes time, how much time really depends on how often you practice and your current strength level.

Find Your Starting Point

Here is a video starting from the basic high row and building up to the full strict pull-up. Finding your starting point and get to work; that body is not going to get stronger all by itself!

If you have found this helpful or know someone who would like it please like & share this post I would really appreciate it.

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Hi, I'm Jamie. My mission is to help busy men and women like you discover that strong, fit and healthy person hidden within so you can grab life by the horns and live with confidence and a smile.
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