This Will Help You Do More Pull Ups

See best tips and training methods that will help you increase your max number of Pull Ups.

June 17, 2016
This Will Help You Do More Pull Ups

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Pull Up is one of the best muscle building exercises ever. Here are top tips and training methods for increasing your max number of Pull Ups.

*If you can't do a Pull Up yet, follow the same advice using Negative Pull Ups exercise.


Don't train till failure

Contrary to popular belief, squeezing out one more rep with bad form is not making you stronger. As soon as you start losing form, finish the set. Check out training methods below to see how you can increase Pull Up reps without sacrificing form.

Hang, hang, hang

Let's say you want to do 25 Pull Ups, but can you even hang long enough to do it? If you dream of doubling your Pull Ups try to double your hang time. Easy? Try doubling the time you can hang with your chin over the bar.

Correct start

A strict Pull Up starts with straight arms. But most people make the mistake of starting from a "dead hang position" with their body completely relaxed and the shoulders almost up to their ears. Before you do a Pull Up always pull your shoulder blades together to feel tension in your back muscles.

How about doing your first Muscle Up? Check out a pack full of tutorials for advanced moves here. Or get a workout plan in your Madbarz App with the Madbarz Premium.


Pick a method and practice it for a month to see how much you progress. Perform a Max Pull Up test before and after. Tips for performing the test are at the end of article.

1. "Grease the groove"

How often: 5-6 per week, 1-2 rest days

How to train: During training days, frequently do Pull Up sets throughout the day. Never go till failure, stay just below your max number of reps.

The number of sets and reps per day is individual, it depends on your max number of Pull Ups. In total, everyday your goal is to do more Pull Ups than yesterday. You can add another set, or some reps. Don't do more than 60% of your maximum reps per set (example - if you can do max 10 Pull Ups, do sets of 5-6 throughout the day). The more sets you do per day, the less reps per set.

No matter what you do - don't go till failure or make your muscles tired, and always respect good form!

2. Pyramid sets

How often: 2 days per week, 1 or more rest days between training days

How to train: This method is based on two types of workouts, Single and Double Step Pyramids. Do each workout type once a week. Always skip at least one day between two workouts to make sure you are well rested.

Workout Type 1: Single Step Pyramid - Work up to your max number of Pull Ups by adding one rep each set. For example if your max is 5 Pull Ups then:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (max), 4, 3, 2, 1 = 25 total Pull Ups

Workout Type 2: Double Step Pyramid - Work up to your max two reps at a time. For example, if your max is 10 Pull Ups then:

2, 4, 6, 8, 10 (max), 8, 6, 4, 2 = 50 total Pull Ups


Test yourself before and after at least one month of training. Make sure to follow this advice before testing the max number of Pull Ups you can do in a row:

  • Take 2 days off any kind of pulls before testing
  • Get enough sleep and make sure you are hydrated
  • Include a full body warm up session for the mobility of your joints
  • Do a short Pull Up set at very low intensity, just to get your technique set for the test, avoid getting tired at all costs!

Good luck and post your progress in the comments below!

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Post a comment

  • Thanks ! November 12, 2016
  • Nilliño H. 18 workouts (level 11)
    How much time are we supposed to pause between repetitions? October 04, 2016
  • Manuel Schulze 107 workouts (level 23)
    I want to try "Grease the groove" but how much overall Pull-ups should I do per day? Let's say I'm able to perform max 10 reps per set. Then I want to do 4 sets during the day. How much should I do per set? How about doing 8 sets or 6. How does this affect the number? I'm a little bit confused by 'The more sets you do per day, the less reps per set.'. Is there a total percentage value I should target? Like 200% of max pull-ups? So 20 over the day that means with 4 sets I perform 5 and with 5 sets I do 4 per set? July 29, 2016
  • shambhala 460 workouts (level 74)
    I'll try that Double step Pyramid this week June 27, 2016
  • grga20vt 233 workouts (level 94)
    How much rest between exercises? June 24, 2016

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