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Pull-Up Tips

Stew Smith, CSCS

This week, getting better at pull-ups is the subject of many people’s concern. As with the Pushup-Push Workout (linked below), this idea makes little sense physiologically, but it works. You never want to have an extended period of repeating the same exercises day after day, but you can do this workout for ten days, rest for three or four days of no pull-ups – then test on day 14 or 15. There you will find your increase to be as high as 50-100% from your previous max pull-ups. Here is the question from a Marine Reservist wanting to max his PFT of 20 pullups.

Where can I find your pull-up routines outlined. I am stuck at about 7 pull-ups and would like to get to 10-12.

Related Articles:

Pushup Push

PT Pyramid

Pull-up Article

Since the unbelievable success from the Pushup – Push Workout where people doubled their pushups in two weeks, I did the same test with students young and old with similar success on pull-ups. This workout works best on folks you can do 3-10 pull-ups. Many raised their pull-ups to 10-20 in two weeks.

Here is what you need to try for a two-week period:

Do your regular workout program, but for 10 straight days do an additional 25-50 pullups

If you can do less than 5 pull-ups – do 25 pull-ups for your daily plan below:

If you can do more than 5 pull-ups – do 50 pull-ups for your daily plan below:

If you can do more than 10 pullups – do 75 pullups for your daily plan below:

ODD DAYS: Supersets OR pyramids:

10 supersets: repeat 10 times pullups – max pushups – 20 dips – 5-10 abs of choice – 30

pyramids: – see PT Pyramid article above

pullups – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 – rest with pushups – 2,4,6,8,10,12,14….2 abs of choice 5,10,15,20,25,30,35….5 alternating with NO rest from one exercise to the next


25- 50-75 pull-ups anyway you can throughout the day or in a single workout. Do small repetition sets until you reach 25- 50 pull-ups.

Rotate for the next ten days from odd day workout options and even day pull-up supplement, then take three-four days off from doing ANY pull-ups. Test on day 14-15 and let me know your results. I am trying this for some female Marines at this time with the Flexed Arm Hang (FAH). If you want to try the same but applied to the FAH, here is what you do:

Do 25 or 50 or 75 seconds of FAH in as few sets as possible on ODD Days and add supersets of FAH for TEN sets of 15-30 seconds.

Good luck with the Pullup-Push Workout. Push yourself and you can quickly perform better on your pull-up test. You can fit this type of program into your present workout plan by just adding 25-50 pullups on your rest days so you do a ten-day routine of pull-ups.

Want to improve your workouts? Visit Stew Smith’s FireLink Fitness Store for customized, downloadable ebooks written specifically for public safety officers.


See more articles related to: Workout Guides

Breathing During Exercise and Daily Activity
Cardio Alternatives
Cardio Exercise and Resistance Exercise – Which to Do First?
Interval Training – What Is It and How Do You Do It?
Run Faster
Situp and Curlup Tips
Stuck on Pushups? Try the Pushup Push Workout

See the full series of Stew Smith Fitness Articles…