The Pull Up is a highly athletic movement, is at least as important as any other upper body exercise, and is one of the best tests of all around fitness. In this article, I’m going to explain the significance and importance of the Pull Up, and give you some tips to help you do more.
If one can do a large amount of consecutive Pull Ups (let’s quantify that number at 20 just for the sake of argument), it’s almost impossible to be unfit. For one, you need a solid strength-to-body weight ratio to do this amount of Pull Ups; so you’ve got to be at a healthy body weight. You also need a very strong core to do lots of Pull Ups (Pavel talks a lot about this specifically in his book The Naked Warrior).
Additionally, there’s really no good replacement for Pull Ups (Lat Pull Downs are a weak substitute). So if your Pull Up numbers aren’t where you’d like them to be, and you don’t have any physical limitations that keep you from doing them, you need to be working on doing more!
Here are 5 tips to help you do more Pull Ups:
1. Be patient
Let’s say you can do three Pull Ups right now. Don’t expect to be able to do ten in two week’s time; be patient with your training, and accept slow and steady progress.
A lot of folks start a Pull Up program, stick with it for a couple of weeks, maybe see their Pull Up numbers go up by one or two, decide that it’s too hard, and give up. Don’t be one of those people Accept that a little progress each week will add up to a lot over the course of a few months.
2. Practice the movement
To get good at doing Pull Ups, you have to do lots of Pull Ups. Aside from training adaptations like improving strength endurance, etc., think if it like practicing a skill: The more you do, the better you’ll get (to a point). Doing a set or two of Pull Ups every day is a great way to quickly boost your Pull Up numbers.
(Just remember – it’s practice, and we’re not trying to create muscle damage with this method – so make sure if you do this you’re not going to muscle failure)
3. Utilize the Pull Up Ladder
Here’s a great workout that will help you do more Pull Ups:
1. Do 1 Pull Up. Rest 30 seconds.
2. Do 2 Pull Ups. Rest 45 seconds.
3. Do 3 Pull Ups. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat the sequence two more times.
*For more details on this specific workout – and how to integrate it with your kettlebell training – see Pavel’s Enter The Kettlebell
4. Utilize negatives in your training
To perform a negative Pull Up, hop yourself up over the bar and then slowly lower yourself down.
One can handle approximately 30 percent more weight on the lowering, or eccentric, phase of any given exercise, so this training method allows you to further overload the muscles and get your Pull Up numbers up fast.
5. Lose weight
Seriously – you’re pulling up your own body weight when you do a Pull Up; so to do more, you have to either get stronger, lose weight, or do both. If you’re carrying around extra fat, it’s not (among other things) helping your Pull Up numbers.
In conclusion, Pull Ups are one of the best indicators of all around fitness. If you’re looking to increase your Pull Up numbers, take the tips in this article and get to work! And good luck in your trianing efforts!
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