Stuck at 15 pull ups

Marco Franzreb

My Third Post
Hi everybody,

Im writing this because I just tested my pullup max, and its the same as 2 1/2 months ago, 15. Im 19 years old, 190cm (6′ 2.8″), and 73kg(161 lbs). My current program, which I have been doing since I last tested my max (2 1/2 months ago), consistently except for 2 weeks at the beginning of october :
  • Day 1: 3 explosive pull ups (as high as I can) every minute for 13 minutes, switching the grip between close and and normal (bit more than shoulder width).
  • Day 2: 5-3-1 x2 with aprox 10kg, also switching grips.
  • Day 3: rest.
  • Repeat.
I usually do some push ups as well, but my main focus is pull ups, and the only other sport I do is running. I dont really know why I havent improved, since I am getting better at the exercises I do, for example, I started barely finishing 2 pullups a minute for 20 mins, and I now can do the 13 sets quite well. I havent increased the weight since I started, but I do feel it is easier. My current goal is 20 pullups. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Hi everybody,

Im writing this because I just tested my pullup max, and its the same as 2 1/2 months ago, 15. Im 19 years old, 190cm (6′ 2.8″), and 73kg(161 lbs). My current program, which I have been doing since I last tested my max (2 1/2 months ago), consistently except for 2 weeks at the beginning of october :
  • Day 1: 3 explosive pull ups (as high as I can) every minute for 13 minutes, switching the grip between close and and normal (bit more than shoulder width).
  • Day 2: 5-3-1 x2 with aprox 10kg, also switching grips.
  • Day 3: rest.
  • Repeat.
I usually do some push ups as well, but my main focus is pull ups, and the only other sport I do is running. I dont really know why I havent improved, since I am getting better at the exercises I do, for example, I started barely finishing 2 pullups a minute for 20 mins, and I now can do the 13 sets quite well. I havent increased the weight since I started, but I do feel it is easier. My current goal is 20 pullups. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Follow either:
  • FPP (Pavel)
  • MPP (Steve House)
 

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I am getting better at the exercises I do, for example, I started barely finishing 2 pullups a minute for 20 mins, and I now can do the 13 sets quite well. I havent increased the weight since I started, but I do feel it is easier.
I dont really know why I havent improved,
It sounds like you HAVE improved.

My current goal is 20 pullups.
If your goal is to increase your max bodyweight reps, you are not going to get there by doing sets of 5 or fewer. You have to systematically build the length of your sets.

Increasing max strength for low reps will have some carryover to max bodyweight reps -- to a certain point -- and in my experience that point is 15 reps (although I'm sure it varies by individual).

I've never specifically practiced to increase BW reps, but I have worked up to BW(185lbs)+110lbs for 2 reps of chinups and BW+90lbs for 2 reps of pullups. At that time, I could do sets of 5 pullups with BW+50lbs all day long. My max BW reps? 15.

Match your programming to your goal.
 
Last edited:

Chrisdavisjr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@Marco Franzreb Welcome to the forum and nice work on hitting 15! I know a lot of tall guys use their height and lever length as an excuse for not being good at pull-ups so it's good to see someone bucking the trend!

The Fighter Pull-up Program (FPP) as mentioned by @offwidth is popular here: The Fighter Pull-up Program Revisited | StrongFirst

You might also like this article by SFG Alex Tanskey:
How to Increase your Pull-ups by 50 Percent (at Least) | StrongFirst

Let us know how you get on.
 

Marco Franzreb

My Third Post
Thank you guys for the great feedback! I think i'll do the FPP, since it gave great results at the beginning of my pullup journey. Thanks again for your help.
 

Kyle Kowalczuk

Triple-Digit Post Count
Hi Marco,

Besides the FPP that I believe will work for you, I believe that grease the groove (GTG) is the key to high reps. Like if your goal is over 20 bw reps. I use this about 2 months before every TSC and I usually PR or match my PR around 32 pull ups. I am 5'7" and 167 pounds. I will usually do a set to when I start to feel the pump then rest about an hour. Usually I'll accumulate between 80 and 150 per day doing this.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Hi Marco,

Besides the FPP that I believe will work for you, I believe that grease the groove (GTG) is the key to high reps. Like if your goal is over 20 bw reps. I use this about 2 months before every TSC and I usually PR or match my PR around 32 pull ups. I am 5'7" and 167 pounds. I will usually do a set to when I start to feel the pump then rest about an hour. Usually I'll accumulate between 80 and 150 per day doing this.
And your name is usually up there near the top of the leaderboard! Good advice.
 

Marco Franzreb

My Third Post
Hi @Kyle Kowalczuk , thanks for taking the time to help me out. I actually have already tried GTG, but didnt get good results. I usually did 6 reps every hour, which was half my max, and after a few weeks I tried to add a rep, but ended up feeling too tired at the end of the day. After 1 1/2 months of doing GTG my max only increased by 2 reps, was I doing something wrong?
 
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