Tactical Fitness: Quick Sets of Pullup Workouts

Tactical Fitness: Pullups testing.


 I get through most of my preparation routine for the Marines but sometimes find I have to stop due to time. Do you recommend breaking workouts into two a days if you do not have time, or do you have a quick way to get reps of calisthenics in so at least I can match the rep requirement for that particular workout? 

From a future Marine Raider (I hope!)

Maxing pullups in the USMC should be a goal for every poolee.  Since you are in the mid-teens in your pullups, here are some advanced pullup/second workout options for you. Here are some options for you:

Quick 100 Pullups

I actually did this one this morning.  The goal is to try to get 100 pullups in less than 10 minutes. Every 20-30 seconds do 5 pullups until you completed 20 sets = 100 pullups.  If you go every 20 seconds you can finish in 7:30-8:00. Every 30 seconds will get you done in a perfect 10 minutes. This is not hard at all for the first ten sets and not an overly horrible workout if you are in the high teens or 20's already, but, it is a very fast way to get your reps in. It is pretty fun too. You can do the same for pushups and situps too. But it is good to do larger rep sets so you still have the muscle stamina to push your maxes in these exercises.


Yes, a second workout of the day always works to get all the workouts into one day. It will also make for a better second hour of training intensity as opposed to doing 2 back to back hours of training. You may find your reps, times, and strength a little better after a break and some food during your second workout. I usually will break it up so I do the PT and cardio in the AM and maybe the weights and longer cardio (rucking / swimming) in the PM.

Good luck with quick fixes to your workout plan. In the end, it is all about quality and volume. You can get the reps required in a day, even if that is spread into two different workouts.

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles on Military.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

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