The ultimate routine to improve your pull-up number

Certainly doing a pull-up is a goal or desire of many people. It is arguably the exercise that perhaps everyone at some point has wanted to do, and yet almost no one ends up doing it. The reason? It is very simple: almost no exercise presents a challenge like lifting the whole weight of your body, being in essence the upper torso squats.

Most people know that they need to do it to get into good physical condition, but few really know how.

Know the ideal routine to get stronger when executing your pull-ups and impressing your fellow gym members.

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Routine to be stronger in chin-ups

Refusing to include a few pull-ups in your exercise routine is meaningless and ineffective. Beyond the obvious visual benefits that this exercise can bring, which are certainly remarkable, this exercise brings great benefits to your physical conditions, such as being able to lift your own body weight (thus extending your load capacity) as well as a way to make other exercises easier, like the deadlift.

The benefits don’t end there; Being more specific, it will allow you both a much stronger grip on your hands and a more than complete muscular development in your arms , shoulders and chest, thus being one of the most complete exercises if what you want is to work the upper part of your body . For this and much more, you will need the following routine to improve your body and reach limits that you never imagined.

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Weeks 1 and 2

If you are one of the people who can barely do a pull-up with the minimum required technique, no problem; this routine starts from scratch. You will initially start with a level of repetitions for beginners, all in order to avoid muscle damage that is quite frequent if the difficulty of the exercise is not taken into account.

Try to avoid the use of wristbands (both for exercise and lifting), because they will give you a false sense of strength and will prevent you from developing the natural grip of your hands. If in this case you need more strength, consider doing certain exercises beforehand to improve the strength in your wrists. To get started, follow these steps:

  • Train pull-ups at least 2 times a week, on non-consecutive days. Start with 10 total reps. Your goal is to reach the total for each session. It doesn’t matter if it takes you one, two or 10 total sets, since you are just starting out.
  • Rest 1 to 2 minutes between each set; although keep in mind that this time should decrease as the weeks go by.
  • If you are also weight training, make sure you are doing the main lifting exercises (such as barbell, dumbbells, T-bar row, high lifts, and deltoid and rear-trapezius exercises). All of this will help increase the strength and power in your pushing ability, as well as better stability in all areas of your back, vital for pull-ups.
  • Try to keep the work of your biceps to a minimum, as it can distract you from the other muscles that you should be training and de-intensity the routine.
  • Always use the proper form and technique for pull-ups. Simply put, this means keeping your back vertical and arched as you lift yourself up, and avoiding swaying during the exercise at all costs. Also, try to lift your body with your elbows instead of your biceps; This will allow your back to pull harder, and your arms less.

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Weeks 3 and 4

For the following week, you will increase the number of repetitions and the frequency of the chin-up exercise , all in order to increase the physical demand and tone the body more and more. Of course, the increase is justified, since at this point you should notice a slight increase in strength and load capacity and resistance to exercise; So much so that you should be able to achieve a few reps in each set more comfortably than at the beginning of the routine. Therefore, follow the following steps

  • Increase the number of reps to 20 per set.
  • Increase the amount of exercise to three times a week.
  • Decrease the rest time between sets to just one minute.
  • Keep your body in shape, adding other exercises and maintaining a good diet. This is not the time for you to loosen up your physical condition.

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Week 5 and 6

For these next two weeks, you will follow the same pattern as before, which in other words would be to increase the number of repetitions and the frequency with which you execute the exercise. You can also start varying your grip on the pull-up, with different lengths between your arms to increase the challenge and see how much you’ve improved with the training shown.

Follow the next steps:

  • Increase the number of reps to 30 per set.
  • Increase the frequency to 4 times a week; although try not to do the exercise consecutively: looking for a rest space between the 4 could help you.
  • Decrease rest to about 45 seconds per set.
  • Try different grips; Either a grip with the arms wide apart, such as one with the hands close to each other, or even making the grip with the palms towards your body.

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Week 7 and 8

The last two weeks will be challenging both physically and mentally. At this point the Pull-ups will be more intense than ever, and you’ll have as little time between reps as possible to take the routine to a new level of demand. At the same time, your body should already be in good physical condition, and your pull-up technique should already be completely refined.

This is what you should do:

  • Finally increase the number of repetitions to 40 per set. Ideally they should be completed between four or five series.
  • If you have time and ability, increase the amount of exercise to a quota of 5 times a week.
  • Try to reduce your rest time to about 30 seconds.
  • Keep using different spaces between your arms and different types of grips.

After these eight weeks of intense exercise, you must have already developed considerable pull-up strength . At the same time, you should also have the side effects of this exercise, such as an increase in muscle mass in your upper body as well as a general feeling of having more strength than before.

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Always remember that the more body mass you have, the more difficult and demanding the exercise will be; But don’t let this stop you from doing pull-ups and sticking with this routine, as this exercise will always be beneficial for your body and the results are rewarding efforts.


  • Borland, B. 8 Weeks To Mastering Pull Up Power. For Breakingmuscle [Reviewed January 2017].