Pull-Up – Level 1 – How to do pull ups for beginners

Current ability: 0 strict pull-ups

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Programming

Workout A Workout B Workout C
Volume Day Assistance Day Intensity Day
3 x 8-12 banded pull-ups. If you go over 12 move to a band with less resistance. If banded pull-ups are too difficult you can do self-assisted pull-ups until you are capable to progressing to the band. Tempo: x130.  5×5 Self-assisted pull-ups. Move fast on the way up and control for 3 seconds on the way down. Use as little leg assistance as possible. Tempo: x130  4-6 x 3-5 band pull-up. If you can go over 5 reps scale up to a more difficult progression.Tempo: 31×1
Accumulate 25 ring rows. If you can string together more than 10 in a row make the movement more difficult. Be sure that your chest touches ring for a full second. Tempo: x130 3×8-12 curls with a barbell. Tempo: 1131.  3 sets of a max hang from a pull bar with 1-minute rest between. You will be jumping up and holding onto the pull-up bar for as long as possible. This is to help build grip strength. If you are able – you can jump up with your chin above the bar and do a max hold while at the top of the pull-up. You should be able to do this well when you're nearing your first strict pull-up.
Accumulate 20 banded face-pulls. Move up 3-5 reps a week until you move to level 2. Tempo: 1130 -

Current ability

0 strict pull-ups.

How to progress

Move to Level 2 pull-up when you can perform 1 strict pull-up relatively easy. You should be confident in your ability to get up every time and able to control yourself on the way down. What you may find is if one day you can do a strict pull-up and then the next day you can’t. That happens and is normal. If it does happen, it will take 1-2 weeks of staying in level 1 pull-up programming to get to the point where you can perform a strict pull-up with certainty and consistency.

Suggested scale during WOD’s:

Band pull-ups.

Movement videos for this level

Notes about all non-kipping pull-up progressions:

  • Every movement should be full range of motion. This means that you start from a locked out position at the bottom of a pull-up to chin all the way over the bar at the top.
  • On the way down of each movement make sure that it is controlled taking 2-3 seconds. This will help you build strength faster than if you just drop quickly.

Banded Pull-up from foot

  • When you can do more reps than your current rep range calls for move to a smaller band.

Banded Pull-up from knee

  • This is a good option if a band around the foot is too easy but the next band up is too difficult.

Ring Row – 45 degrees

  • Adjust body angle to be more parallel to the ground as you get stronger with this movement.

Ring Row Parallel to floor

Ring Row Feet elevated

Band Pulls

Self Assisted pull-ups in squat rack – Chest Level – 2 Feet Under shoulders

Self Assisted pull-ups in squat rack – Chest Level – 1 Foot Under shoulders

Self Assisted pull-ups in squat rack – Chest Level – 2 feet on box – Low Box

Self Assisted pull-ups in squat rack – Chest Level – 2 feet on box – Low Box + weight

Self Assisted pull-ups in squat rack – Chest Level – 2 feet on box – High Box

Strict pull-up

Curls

 

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