Do you get embarrassed seeing guys in the gym doing endless pull-ups? Have you tried matching with them but failed to do even a single pull-up? I understand but there's nothing to be worried about. This article is at your rescue!
So, let's see a stepwise approach on how you can build your way to your 'first-ever pull-up':1. Leg Assisted Pull-Up Machine (available at the gym)
Believe me, half of your job is done. You just have to put in real work now. This machine works the opposite way - the heavier the weight in the stack, the easier it becomes to complete the Pull-up. Same way, the lighter the weight in the stack, the harder it becomes to the complete the pull-up.
Select a weight with which you can easily perform a pull-up. If you haven't done a single pull-up in your life, the most suitable weight would be the 3/4th of your bodyweight.
- E.g. If your weight is 80kgs, you can put the pin in the 50-60kg plate of the stack and experiment from there.
- Stand on the side platform and hold on the handles.
- Place both your knees on the pads and pull yourself up.
- While pulling yourself up, your upper body & stomach needs to be tight and stable.
- Slowly lower yourself down.
- Complete around 8-10 controlled reps with this weight.
- In the coming workout session, decrease the weight with 1 plate (this will make your exercise harder) and perform the given reps.
- Continue decreasing the weight in the stack with every session, combined with sound nutrition plan and sleep.
- The day you perform strict 10 reps with 1/4th of your weight (with 20kgs in this example), you're ready for the most important day of your mission.
- The Final Day – Perform the unassisted pull-up. If you're not able to perform it. Take your money back!2. Leg Assisted Pull-Up Machine (NOT available at the gym)
Even if you don't have an assisted pull-up machine in your gym, we're not leaving you disappointed. Follow the mentioned steps regularly and you'll be able to perform the pull-up soon. Here's a week-by-week plan for you:
Work on your grip strength – Dead Hangs:
- Jump on to the pull-up Bar and hang yourself with straight arms for around 5 seconds for 3 sets.
- You can use the bench if you struggle to reach the pull-up bar
- Do this every alternate after your normal workout is done.
- Increase the number of seconds with every session.
- This will increase your grip strength which is necessary to perform a pull-up.3. Negative Only Pull Ups:
- Just like you did in Dead Hangs, hop on to the bar using a bench.
- Now resist coming down and try to hold yourself for the amount of time.
- Land on the bench, and continue the same cycle again.
- Do 5 reps for 3 sets on these.
- Continue doing the same and increase the reps in every session.
- Do these in the next week of doing Dead Hangs.4. Dead Holds:
- The setup has to be same as Dead Hangs & Negative only pull-ups.
- However, here you have to hold yourself at the top for 3-4 seconds.
- This will be difficult, however, you have to remember your end goal.
- Continue doing these for 5 reps of 3 sets on these.
- Do these in the following week of completing 'Negative only Pull-ups'.5. Leg Assisted Pull Ups (without the machine):
- Set the barbell on the squat rack as shown in the picture.
- Don't feel shy in doing this. Remember your end goal.
- Place your feet on the ground and hang on the barbell as shown.
- Pull yourself up and perform 8-10 reps for 3 sets of this.
- If you feel that's easy, move your feet away from your body and perform the set.
- Progress to a level where your feet is farthest from your body and perform mentioned reps and sets.6. The Final Day (conquer it!):
- The day for which you were working so hard week by week has arrived.
- Enter the gym, do some upper body warmups like Arm Swings.
- You're ready to go!
- the first pull-up of your life.
- Thank me later.
About the Author – Rachit Bir:
A strong believer of the no-nonsense approach when it comes to fitness, he has been fortunate enough to learn from the brightest minds in the industry. A supporter of KAIZEN - Continuous Improvement, he's on a mission to bust and improve the scammed Indian Fitness Industry. For fitness queries contact – www.instagram.com/birafit