Increase your pull-up numbers

The pull-up is a fantastic exercise. It has a simplicity like few other exercises yet it does wonders for your upper body. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked and skipped out on. Few people at the gym will actually do pull-ups as part of their workout. Perhaps this is partly because many people can only do one or two consecutively and figure it isn’t worth the bother. Well I beg to differ - pull-ups are definitely worth the effort. You just have to work at them.

When I started doing pull-ups regularly at the gym, I was terrible. Without assistance, I’d attempt to wiggle my way up to the bar, legs spasming with a grimace on my face. Within a period of about 4 months, however, I was able to do 3 sets of 10 unassisted pull-ups without a problem. What was my secret?

First of all, I incorporated pull-ups into nearly every workout I did. Mostly, I’d work at 30 pull-ups as a warm up. Initially I did them on the gravitron. I was able to begin with the gravitron set to 40lbs. This was enough of an offset weight to let me do 10 reps in a row, albeit still struggling.

After several weeks, they started getting easier. I moved down to a 20lb offset on the gravitron. At this point, I also started doing 2 sets of assisted pull-ups, followed by a single set of unassisted pull-ups. The unassisted pull-ups were really broken and I was probably only doing one at a time, but I was finally doing them. It was a good feeling. Some workouts, I’d also attempt 100 jumping pull-ups - that is, hold the bar with feet on the ground or box and jump into the pull-up. In these instances, I’d work primarily on the negative, or jump up and then slowly lower myself.

Eventually, I moved completely away from the gravitron and I haven’t used it again since. To this day, I still include 30 pull-ups into my warmup or add them into a circuit of some sort.

Some people suggest lat pull-downs to prepare yourself for pull-ups, but I disagree. The key to increasing your pull-up numbers is to just keep at it. Work at them as much as possible. The more you do it, the stronger you get and the easier they will become.

More Crazy Upper Body Strength

Yep, another youtube video showcasing a guy with some crazy upper body strength and control.

His name is b-boy junior. and he’s incredibly good at break dancing. These break dancing guys all seem to have some serious upper body strength. And it’s needed too, in order to pull off those fantastic moves.