There's a saying that I got from Strength Coach & Senior RKC Dan John that has stuck with me ever since I heard the words…
“If it's important, do it EVERYDAY.”
Because of that, I've been doing some variation of pull-ups almost everyday for the past few years. It's a skill that I practice and as a result of my practice, I am now a lot better at them and can consistently do over 20 of them on any given day.
But, there will always be the odd exerciser who will take the “Do it Everyday” advice and translate it themselves into “Go HARD Everyday and Don't Stop Until You're Sore”. And he is the reader that I am most worried about.
If you recall from my previous posts about how I'm building up my pressing strength, the same concept can be used for building up your chin-up and pull-up numbers.
If you combine that style of “Grease the Groove” training with the “cheating methods” that I told you about on Tuesday, then you'd be well on your way to doing 20 chin-ups with ease in a matter of a few weeks.
For example, say that right now you're a little more advanced than the average exerciser and you can 10 pull-ups (as an aside, did you know that only about 5% of the world's population can 1 pull-up?).
In order to get to the magic number of 20, I would implement the following plan…
- Monday – Ladder Sets using bodyweight of 2, 3 & 5
- Tuesday – Medium Band Assistance Cheating – 2 sets of 10-15 straight
- Wednesday – Kettlebell Pull-Ups (attach a kettlebell to a belt or put your foot through the handle and let it hang off your foot RKC-style!) sets of 2-3 reps
- Thursday – Thick/Heavy Band Assistance Cheating – 2 sets of 15-20 straight
- Friday – Ladder Sets using bodyweight 2, 3 & 5
Perform this plan for a few weeks (like 4-6) in addition to your regular training schedule and then re-test your max pull-up numbers and you should be pleasantly surprised.
There is one big problem. HEALTH is of the utmost concern when you're doing this workout and in order to save your elbows and shoulders you MUST vary the hand position that you're using when you perform pull-ups everyday.
Use a traditional pronated (pull-up) grip one day, then use a supinated (chin-up) grip the next and use a neutral grip (palms facing each other) the third day.
Even better, if you have access to a set of gym rings, then use those. The beauty about using gym rings is that they let your shoulders, elbows and wrists move naturally because each arm is moving independently of the other. They're not stationed on a fixed bar.
If you don't have access to rings, then I filmed this video for you to show you how to vary your pull-up exercises…
…And don't forget to pick up my friend Shawna's Challenge Workouts Program. Shawna, a 49-year-old mother-of-2 can consistently bang out 25+ pull-ups and she's put her methods down on paper and is offering it for less than 20 bucks…