Pull-up Push Workout

Workouts that can help you do more pull-ups
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Macy Benjamin, 355th Contracting Squadron contract administrator, performs a pull-up at the Haeffner Fitness and Sports Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Aug. 25, 2016. (Airman 1st Class Ashley N. Steffen/U.S. Air Force)

Getting better at pull-ups is a subject of concern for many people. As with the "Push-up/Push Workout," 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 10 days, rest for three or four days with no pull-ups, then test on day 14 or 15. Then you will find your increase to be as high as 50%-100% from your previous max pull-ups.

Here is a question from a Marine reservist wanting to max his physical fitness test of 20 pull-ups:

"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."

After the unbelievable success from the "Push-up Push Workout," in which people doubled their push-ups in two weeks, I performed the same test on pull-ups with (young and old) students with similar success. This workout works best on folks who can do 3-10 pull-ups. Many increased 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 pull-ups.

-- If you are only able to do fewer than five pull-ups: do 25 pull-ups for your daily plan below.

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

Related Video:


Odd days (supersets or pyramids):

Supersets (repeat 10 times):

-- Pull-ups -- max

-- Push-ups -- 20

-- Dips -- 5-10

-- Abs of choice -- 30

Pyramids (see PT pyramid article above)

-- Pull-ups -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rest with

-- Push-ups -- 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 ... 2

-- Abs of choice -- 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 ... 5

-- Alternate with no rest from one exercise to the next

Even days:

25-50 pull-ups any way 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 10 days from odd-day workout options and even-day pull-up supplement, then take 3-4 days off from doing any pull-ups. Test on day 14 or 15 and let me know your results.

Good luck with the Pull-up-Push Workout. Push yourself and you quickly can perform better on your pull-up test. You can fit this type of program into your present workout plan by just adding 25-50 pull-ups on your rest days so you do a 10-day routine of pull-ups.

Related Articles:

Try the Push-up Push Workout

 The PT Pyramid

 Perfecting the Pull-up

 Tips for Better Pull-ups

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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