Increase your pull-up strength and power with this simple program.
Suck at pull-ups? Work them with frequent training. Start every workout with a total of 20 pull-ups (strict) done in as little time as possible using "mini-sets" of half your current max effort. If you cannot do more than 1 strict pull-up at a time then use a small assistance band to allow you to do several at a time. Then measure your max effort set using that same band. Use a clock to track how long it takes to complete the 20 reps and try to beat that time each time you workout. The best strategy is to NOT hit failure on any of the mini sets since it would require too much rest between sets and thus would take longer to complete.
Heres how it looks:
Lets say you current max is 4 or 5 pull-ups. Start with mini-sets of 2, resting as little as possible between each set, about 20 seconds is plenty depending on your conditioning level. When doing the second rep becomes a grind, extend the rest to 30 seconds.
When the second rep becomes tough again even with longer rest, move down to doing sets of 1 with 15-20 seconds of rest until you hit your total (20 reps) for the day.
As you become stronger, you'll be able to use more than 2 reps for your mini-sets, but be very gradual about increasing them. Monitor the time it takes you to complete the 20 reps to gauge if your strategy is adequate. When you increase the reps per set, your total time should continue decreasing. Ideally, in 8 to 10 weeks you'd end up hitting 20 reps in just 2 sets of 10 with about 20 seconds of rest. When that happens, you'll likely be able to hit 15 good pull-ups in a row.
Progression method: 30 total reps, then add weight:
Once you can complete 20 total reps in just 2 mini-sets with no more than 30 seconds rest, increase the target total 30 reps and resume the progressions. Eventually, when you can hit the 30 reps in just 2 sets with less than 20 seconds of rest, go back down to 20 total reps, but this time add 15 pounds to your waist and resume the progression all over.