How I got my first pull-up and more

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
Hi, I just wanted to share how I got my first pull-up, this might help others like me with whom the usual progressions didn't quite work.

In the past I had practiced active hangs, flexed arm hangs, ring rows, chin-ups and slow eccentrics but I was never quite able to do 1 good pull-up.

On a very good day I could sometimes do 1 but that was it. Training singles seemed to put me way too close to a 1RM and my body/brain was probably too close to panic mode for them to work.

So I decided to try and do them with my feet on the floor with a lower bar or with one foot on a chair to lessen the weight I had to lift. This allowed me to get a decent amount of volume to get some hypertrophy and strength in muscles that weren't strong enough or inactive before. I mostly did 5x5 or ladders, doing my max number of reps only once a week, doing lighter days also. I was also able to use the exact amount of assistance that I needed to stay within GTG parameters. I was never good at recruiting lats in chin-ups, doing this variant really allowed me to feel the pull with the lats.

I also kept doing short 15 second holds of active hangs while practicing assisted pull-ups, usually doing 2-3 holds as warm up. These allowed me to keep working on my hollow position while on the bar.

Although GTG calls for a more regular practice, I did only 2-3 days a week, it still worked very well for me. I can now do 3 solid pull-ups and I am looking forward to doing more of them!


 
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Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for the report! Back when I gor my first chinup I was doing a mix of
- slow negatives
- partials (at bottom and top position)
- top holds
- feet assisted pullups (low rep as a warmup, high rep as a back-off set)
- bw rows

I think partials for reps were the most important part for me. But maybe it was the partials?

IIRC, Pavel recommends partner assisted pullups (pushing the mid back, I think) as the perfect entry exercise, as the partner can accomodate the assistance and enforce proper technique from day one.
 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
IIRC, Pavel recommends partner assisted pullups (pushing the mid back, I think) as the perfect entry exercise, as the partner can accomodate the assistance and enforce proper technique from day one.
It's what we did (partner assisted) at a bodyweight workshop I took with my local SFG. But it doesn't work well without a partner. I found the assisted pull-up with feet to be the most important contributor for me. All the other drills surely helped but never led me to 3 full pull-ups as easily.
 

godjira1

Level 5 Valued Member
The old school ways that I learnt in the military: make them do jumping negatives and/or buddy assisted. Before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eventually most people (assuming not greatly overweight) will get it.
 
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