Bodyweight Fighter pull up program - tips, and a question

Rednov

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello all!
I was directed to try the fighter pull up program and have been seeing some good results. I started at 5RM. However I have a question. (Btw, I am 25f and training for the USMC PFT. )
Q1) my form would vary often, sometimes with the final rep of the first set to be questionable. As you can read, it got worse this week. Should I, if I fail to get that last rep with decent form and chin all the way past bar, like with 7s, go back a week to 6rm? Or continue to push, and just repeat the week of 7s again?
I’ll take any pointers, tips. I feel kind my body responds to this volume well. But I want to keep going.
Below is my log and thoughts after doing the workouts.
  • Day 1 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 around 3-4 minutes rest before a cf workout, while stretching warming up - felt easy. Doing Fran with a band.
  • Day 2 5, 4, 3, 2, 2 +3x1 of top bold position, middle hold to dead hang for rom. today the first five were rough. Did the first five on my over the door pull up bar (I prefer my legs out below me not crossed behind me), with little stretching. Had more time between each set due to time restraints (today is a cardio day=no gym for a nice bar, but I did 4,3,2 outside on my outdoor, thicccc pull up bar that I built)
  • Day 3 5, 4, 3, 3, 2 fifth rep felt rough. Doing this with a gym workout. Low amount of rest, probably 4 mins each ending Rep (5th, 4th, 3rd) was a challenge that I took. 2nd set of 3 and 2 were easy. Did some lat activation work today along with light bar, high rep deadlift and bench
  • Day 4 5, 4, 4, 3, 2 woke up and wanted to get my 5 out of the way in the morning because I had to go to work. Didn’t not stretch or warm up. Only got 4. Went to gym in afternoon (a fasted workout) and decided to put that morning 4 out of mind and start over, it felt like the easiest five I have done yet!!!. Today’s workout (all thursdays for me) includes a HIIT circuit type workout with bw workout. Instead of running today I will do a low impact cardio.
  • Day 5 5, 5, 4, 3, 2 second five should have had more rest but I was feeling it. Then that fifth rep was disgusting. Focused more on form for the rest. 4, 3, 2 felt smooth as butta
  • Day 6 Saturday and Sunday off (attempted day 7 and failed after a hard workout on Saturday including weighted ruck and a run/bw workout)


  • Day 7 (20) 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 if the sixth rep counted, it was nasty and a gift from whomever would be judging me for the PFT. Depending on how the other 6s go, might have to repeat this week twice. Will focus on perfect form for the rest of the reps. I asked a question about this. No really straight answers. It said to back off a week, but does that mean go back to the beginning of week one? Go repeat day 5?
  • Day 8 (21) 6, 5, 4, 3, 3 this is def the first unofficial six, meaning I for sure got over the bar but my legs came up a little, but definitely better than yesterday
  • Day 9 6, 5, 4, 4, 3 SIX FELT EASY BOYS
  • Day 10 6, 5, 5, 4, 3 did six outside on a wet monkey bar and the sixth rep was brutal, not as smooth as yesterday. Did first set of five on my phat bar, but then, later, 5 inside. The thinner over the door bar 5 was much easier and smoother
  • Day 11 6, 6, 5, 4, 3
Day 12 Off x 2

  • Day 13 7, 6, 5, 4, 3
  • Day 14 7, 6, 5, 4, 4 that seventh rep sucked. I don’t really want to count it. Might repeat this day
  • Day 15 7, 6, 5, 5, 4 did not complete this day (5th and 4th rep neglected due to lack of time)
  • Day 16 7, 6, 6, 5, 4 did seven in morning, missing 7th rep. Then did 7 later, felt the easiest seven yet. Missed six and did five.
  • Day 17 7, 7, 6, 5, 4. The second set of seven was gross.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Personally I would have started with 3RM; making sure that all reps were solid.

How much time do you have?
 

Rednov

Level 1 Valued Member
Personally I would have started with 3RM; making sure that all reps were solid.

How much time do you have?
Didn’t have much guidance on the matter, but, as I said, my body seems to respond best to volume.
End of March/April will be a very important test.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I second @offwidth It is generally better to do less reps, with perfect quality.

I would ask a couple of question more:
- how much rest do you take between sets ?
- depending on the time you have to prepare, did you consider doing FPP on alternate days ? Indeed, some declare better results that way because there is more time to recover.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Didn’t have much guidance on the matter, but, as I said, my body seems to respond best to volume.
End of March/April will be a very important test.
What exactly will the test comprise of?

Oh yeah... and welcome to SF
 

Rednov

Level 1 Valued Member
What exactly will the test comprise of?

Oh yeah... and welcome to SF
It’s a PFT, so max set of strict pull ups, crunches and a 3 mile run. Usually in that order.

Hello,

I second @offwidth It is generally better to do less reps, with perfect quality.

I would ask a couple of question more:
- how much rest do you take between sets ?
- depending on the time you have to prepare, did you consider doing FPP on alternate days ? Indeed, some declare better results that way because there is more time to recover.

Kind regards,

Pet'
Rest was never consistent. Usually listened to my body and gauged rest from there. Smaller reps (4/3) I could easily do 3-5 minutes. I usually lift/HIIT/ 3-5x a week, so a lot of it would depend on timing; if I am lifting at 9:30am, I would bang out my first set finishing the warm up, then depending on how I felt following whatever the strength was, hit the next, sometimes having to wait until after my workout is completed. On other days I run, sometimes do both.
Would alternate be more like tues/thurs/sat? And bump it down to three, or just do one day on one day off?

now that work/school has started, I’ll be by a bar almost all day I can easily escape to every hour or so.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
It’s a PFT, so max set of strict pull ups, crunches and a 3 mile run. Usually in that order.


Rest was never consistent. Usually listened to my body and gauged rest from there. Smaller reps (4/3) I could easily do 3-5 minutes. I usually lift/HIIT/ 3-5x a week, so a lot of it would depend on timing; if I am lifting at 9:30am, I would bang out my first set finishing the warm up, then depending on how I felt following whatever the strength was, hit the next, sometimes having to wait until after my workout is completed. On other days I run, sometimes do both.
Would alternate be more like tues/thurs/sat? And bump it down to three, or just do one day on one day off?

now that work/school has started, I’ll be by a bar almost all day I can easily escape to every hour or so.
So then... do you have a ‘target’ value for pull-ups that you are looking for?
And...since you have been asking about pull-ups, I am assuming that is what you consider to be your ‘weak-link’ in your upcoming test?
 

Rednov

Level 1 Valued Member
So then... do you have a ‘target’ value for pull-ups that you are looking for?
And...since you have been asking about pull-ups, I am assuming that is what you consider to be your ‘weak-link’ in your upcoming test?
You assumed right. My target, which is maxing out and getting 100 points, is 11 strict pull ups. (I don’t want to stop there though, but going from zero this time last year to what I have accomplished now makes me realize I can get that number with more guidance ).
also, thank you for the welcome. I really appreciate the is feedback and knowledge.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Rednov
First, you can also asses how many "clean" bodyweight pull ups you are able to do. Obviously, FPP may increase this number. I will not make you change the routine, because you already have something relatively well dialed in. However, just in case, I'll drop below a routine which works well:

As the name states, this is a test so you know the exact events. Once a week, I would also do the whole PFT, because I do not think you will have a lot of rest between events.

As far as rest between sets goes, there are two strategy:
- a fixed number of minutes of recovery (do not be shy, 5 minutes is great for strength)
- trusting the body (you tackle the sets when you feel (and are sure) you can pass easily)

The 2nd option is really more feeling based, but also require "experience". Both work, but the first one is easier to track and more precise. I would choose this option because your test sounds serious and the results will have consequences.

If you really feel you performance stalls or even decrease, days after days, then training the pull up on alternate days can be done with good results.

As you ask only for pull ups, I guess crunches and run are ok. Aren't there push ups ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Rednov

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello,

@Rednov
First, you can also asses how many "clean" bodyweight pull ups you are able to do. Obviously, FPP may increase this number. I will not make you change the routine, because you already have something relatively well dialed in. However, just in case, I'll drop below a routine which works well:

As the name states, this is a test so you know the exact events. Once a week, I would also do the whole PFT, because I do not think you will have a lot of rest between events.

As far as rest between sets goes, there are two strategy:
- a fixed number of minutes of recovery (do not be shy, 5 minutes is great for strength)
- trusting the body (you tackle the sets when you feel (and are sure) you can pass easily)

The 2nd option is really more feeling based, but also require "experience". Both work, but the first one is easier to track and more precise. I would choose this option because your test sounds serious and the results will have consequences.

If you really feel you performance stalls or even decrease, days after days, then training the pull up on alternate days can be done with good results.

As you ask only for pull ups, I guess crunches and run are ok. Aren't there push ups ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
Great feedback here!
I have found success come a lot easier with working on what we deem marine “crunches” (Though planking is an option at 4:20 for a max, Crunches are much much easier for me) and my run has continually improved. I have seen stews stuff before, but I’ll keep that page earmarked.
Do you think I should go back and start the whole process over of the fighter pull up program at 5/3 and work strictly on form, maybe even adding in weighted ones? Or just go back a week, such as to 7s and just every other day crank them out and see if that works better?
we do have a check up PFT this February (unknown to when) but generally have quite a bit of time between due to amount of people and one bar. My last PFT I got 5 pull ups. So I definitely want to show my improvement.
Pet’, I really appreciate all of this.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Rednov
First off, you are welcome.

I guess you already made some progress overtime. So, my idea would be to reassess your max. Indeed, if it increased, you will reap more benefits because you'll do FPP with heavier weight.

Then, I would start with a 3RM version, and keep the rep very solid, as @offwidth said earlier. Do not be shy on rest. 5 minutes between sets. Strength loves rest ! Do not do other heavy pull motion. Manage recovery carefully to follow the best you can. If some day you find the session really difficult, for this time, do not hesitate to take let say 6 minutes rest. Then, do not train the day after.

Assuming you start on Monday, this is a 1 month program so it should leave you room to manage rest. Training with poor form could lead you to injury and make you unable to properly perform the test.

5 pull ups is not necessarily bad. You are not that far !

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Rednov

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello,

@Rednov
First off, you are welcome.

I guess you already made some progress overtime. So, my idea would be to reassess your max. Indeed, if it increased, you will reap more benefits because you'll do FPP with heavier weight.

Then, I would start with a 3RM version, and keep the rep very solid, as @offwidth said earlier. Do not be shy on rest. 5 minutes between sets. Strength loves rest ! Do not do other heavy pull motion. Manage recovery carefully to follow the best you can. If some day you find the session really difficult, for this time, do not hesitate to take let say 6 minutes rest. Then, do not train the day after.

Assuming you start on Monday, this is a 1 month program so it should leave you room to manage rest. Training with poor form could lead you to injury and make you unable to properly perform the test.

5 pull ups is not necessarily bad. You are not that far !

Kind regards,

Pet'
I do fear though that going down in volume could hurt me as 3, 2, 1, 1 is a very severe downgrade from my current numbers. Do you have any a suggestions to this? Should I see if I can go back to 5RM with perfect form? Even before I did this program, I could do 4 sets of 3 with decent form with about 4 minutes of rest...
So on that note, could I try to redo the week 7 and just try every other day and see if that alleviates any struggles, and if it doesn’t, then go back to either 3 or start from beginning of 5?
Just trying to have a solid plan and not lose any gains I have had, even with iffy form, I would say my max is now 7.


Next week, Monday, reassess my max.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

In this case, if you have a training log (or good memory !) you good start a few days before you really lost form. Keeping rest at 5 minutes everytime. It can be enough to start again. Indeed, it is possible you only needed rest.

Otherwise yes, go back to 3.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Rednov

Level 1 Valued Member
Not everyone will agree with this one, but... if you are really solid on the 3RM version, then try the 3RM version weighted. Even more so to pay attention to rests as per @pet'
Definitely going to add in more weighted pulls. Is it ok to possible double the program? Like I could do morning 3-2-1-1 weighted and then evening add more bw pulls?
 

Rednov

Level 1 Valued Member
Welcome @Rednov. Interesting thread topic as I've been kind of stuck on five myself. Good luck on your pft.
My experience was similar to that. I was stuck on five for about three months. Then doing Pavel’s program, I’m now up to 7. But seven proved to be quite hard to put the effort into to complete said week. That’s why I came here.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Definitely going to add in more weighted pulls. Is it ok to possible double the program? Like I could do morning 3-2-1-1 weighted and then evening add more bw pulls?
Well... that’s a lot of volume...
It’s possible of course, but I think recovery would be an issue. You are young and ‘might’ get away with it...

Have you experimented with GTG pull-ups?
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Rednov
Be careful on the joints (elbows and shoulders). Indeed, you already do a lot of volume with fairly heavy loads. Therefore adding other training can be tough if one is not used to high rep training. In addition there will also be simple muscular fatigue which will set in.

Higher rep with light weight or bdw is beneficial for joints and ligament but this is built over [extended] time.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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