The pull up method by charles lewis armstrong to increase your pull ups

The 7 Day Charles Lewis Armstrong Pull Up Method That Got Him To 1,435 Repetitions

What is it with those pull ups?

You just don’t seem to be able to increase them.

While everyone around you is doing muscle ups.

You are still struggling on the pull up progression.


There is nothing wrong with that, you just wish it were a bit faster.

You got your few first pull ups by surprise, but those few pull ups have made you want it even more.

And you are addicted to that feeling of progress – beast mode.

You know that in order to do more pull ups, you need to do more pull ups, but you feel like there should be more ways – a way to shock those muscles into overdrive.


Thankfully you aren’t the first one.

Somebody cracked that code already.

Many years ago.



Use the armstrong method to increase your pull ups


The Simple 7 Day Routine To Increase Your Pull Ups


If you are reading this you should be able to do at least 1 pull up.

If you can’t do this yet however, replace your pull ups with pull up negatives.

This routine to increase your pull ups is based upon the Charles Lewis Armstrong method.


A method developed by the guy who goes by the same name and is resposible for multiple pull up records, performing a whopping 1,435 repetitions in under five hours.

He must have been doing something right.


Before I show you the 7 day full routine, let’s make sure we are adopting the same terminology to prevent miscommunication.

A repetition: The number of times an exercise is repeated

A set: A specific number of repetitions

So 1 set can consist of 8 repetitions, if you have completed those 8 repetitions it means you have completed 1 set.

A set can also consist of any number of repetitions from 1- infinite.


Now that we both know what we are talking about, let’s start with the fun part.

So here is what Charles Lewis Armstrong Week looks like and what you need to do the coming 7 days to increase your number of pull ups.



The Preparation: Find The Right Music


Since your workout will start every single morning for the coming 5 days I want you to have something to boost your motivation.

You want to be put into that right mindset.

Here is one of my favorite videos to get motivated.



Get more motivational songs here.

While these songs might give you the feeling that you can run through a brick wall, I don’t recommend you to try it ;).



Charles Lewis Armstrong Increasing pull ups


Stick to push ups instead.

Still, these songs will give you that extra bit of willpower which you might need in that final rep, when your arms start shutting down and your body wants to stop.

I’m actually listening to those songs right now and I’m going to do some push ups while typing this blog post.



You might be wondering: “Did he actually did that?”, yes I did and it felt pretty damn good.


But I’m wandering off, because we are here to increase your pull ups.

Let’s do this!

One inch at a time.



Day 1 – 5: Maxing Out On Push Ups


To develop more upperbody strength your first assignment is to perform 3 max sets of push ups every morning.

This will increase your basic upper body strength and hit most of the muscles which you need to get those pull ups in check.

Make sure you have 60-90 seconds of rest in between sets.

And burn till you drop.



Day 1: Maxing Out On Pull Ups


After your morning routine of push ups you max out 5 sets of pull ups later on the day.

Make sure there is enough time between your maximum amount of push ups and pull ups.

Preferably more than 3 hours.


Rest 60-90 seconds in between your sets.

Make sure every set is a maximum effort.

Don’t cheat yourself.



Day 2: The Pyramid Day


Which is referred to as the ‘Pyramid Day’.

You basically start with one repetition, rest for 60-90 seconds, go on to two repetitions, rest and you continue until you are not able to increase your repetitions any more.

That will be your maximum amount of pull ups for this day.

Once you have achieved your max, you do one more maximum amount of repetitions.

Only now you rest for 10 seconds between each repetition.


This would look like this:

1 rep > 10 seconds rest

2nd rep > 10 seconds rest

3rd rep > 10 seconds rets etc.

Until you reach you maximum for the day and continue until you finish that final rep.


It might take a few seconds.

A few minutes or even a few hours.

But I’m confident that you are one of the few people who is capable of doing it.

That’s why you are on of the few people reading this.



Day 3: Changing Grips


During this day you will add a bit of variety.

The number of repetitions per set is determined by your max.


On this day you will have 9 training sets based upon your max of day 1.

If your max is let’s say 9, it means you will have 1 pull up per set.

Basically you divide the total number of pull ups by the number of sets.


1 repetition per set being the bare minimum.

If your pull up maximum is 6-7-8 or less make sure you do 1 repetition per set.


Now for the overall execution:

Start with 3 sets of normal overhand grip pull ups, so your palms are facing the bar.

After that you do 3 sets of underhand grip pull ups, meaning your palms face you.

And then you do 3 more sets of wide grip pull ups.

Instead of holding your hands at shoulder width, you increase your width by approximately 1/2 arms length and execute your pull ups with an overhand grip.


Rest 60 seconds between each set.

Remember that it’s better to complete all the sets than to set your amount of reps too high in the first sets and end up not being able to do the last few.

Don’t set your reps too high, but don’t set them too low either.



Day 4: Maxing Out In 9 Sets


On this day you want to do at least 9 sets of pull ups, which means you will have to divide your maximum amount of pull ups by 9 and make that your number of pull up repetitions per set.

Let’s say your maximum amount of pull ups is 9, this means you will have 9 sets of 1 pull up with strict form.

If you feel like you should be able to do 2 repetitions per set, increase your number of repetitions just make sure you are able to make it to the final set with strict form.


On this day it’s all about maintaining a strict pull up form while at the same time getting in all those repetitions.

Achieving these 9 sets should not be easy, you should be able to barely get to them.

If half way your sets you realize it’s getting too easy, increase the number of reps by 1.

Do as many sets as possible until you can’t do a single pull up.


This will by far be the most challenging day, especially mentally.

If you aren’t able to break through this mental barrier of really maxing out you won’t get those results.

It really comes down to mind over body.

Who is stronger?

Your body saying: “STOP” or your mind saying: “Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”.


I guess we both know which one is stronger in us.



Day 5: Repetition


On this day you want to repeat the day you found the hardest.

This will most likely be day 4.

Remember to keep maxing out those push ups every morning these 5 days of working out.

Don’t skip a single day, because every day brings you one step closer.



Day 6 & 7: Rest And Recover


You can wake up in the morning with all the muscle ache from the previous days and finally be able to stay in bed for a little longer.

Well deserved, I’d say.

During these coming 48 hours allow your muscles to recover.


Get enough sleep and on the first day of the next week, don’t do any push ups in the morning, but max out on your pull ups to see how much you have improved.

Make sure you download the workout sheet for every day here.





Time To Become A Pull Up King


If you choose the right methods, you will be stunned by how quickly you can improve.

Because you see, it’s easy to become better at something.

But it’s also easy to stay on that horrible I-feel-like-I’m-getting-nowhere-plateau.


Charles Lewis Armstrong got 1,435 consecutive pull ups with this method in 5 hours.

Now I’m not saying you are going to blast out that number of pull ups, but you will set your own record.

In fact, by simply doing these 5 days of consecutive workouts, you probably already set a record in total amount of push ups, pull ups and times you said: “$!!$, I’m not going to give up, not today”.

That’s something to be proud of already.

Because to get the results you have never had, you have to do the things you have never done.


The question is…was it worth it?

By how much can you really increase your pull ups?

The answer…

You’ll have to find out for yourself.


Beast Mode ON!



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40 thoughts on “The 7 Day Charles Lewis Armstrong Pull Up Method That Got Him To 1,435 Repetitions

  1. Hey Rich, I like that you promoted the same method that Barstarzz promoted. I did this method for 1 month, got from 2 pull ups to 11. But then I hit a plateu, dropped to 8 max pull ups and then 6 which is kinda my max now. I will start doing this routine again for an additional month in hope of reaching 15 pull ups with strict form.

    I am still here, waiting for new posts everyday, keep it up!
    Regards, Istabrak

  2. Great! I want to go try this out.

    So I’m assuming that one would add this on to their current routines?

    I’m currently doing the barbrothers beginners workout and I’d like to add this. So would you advise that I use this routine in regard to my pull ups and keep the rest of the workout as is?

  3. Hey brah! Nice post. I definitely took it right away to the test. My max was 11 reps with a pull up grip (14 with chin up grip). Today is day two and im excited. I’ll let you know how it went next week. Those “max sets” excercises are really good for the brain. “How much do you want it? One more, one more”:D

        1. Hey bro,

          Haha great job. Let’s put that into perspective. You increased your pull ups by almost 40%! In addition, because you have been doing more pull ups, you are more aware of your execution and the dynamics of a pull up, so you also need to take this into account and even though it isn’t measurable it intersects with a lot of other new and existing skills.

          Summarized, impressive! Keep it up ;).

          Beast mode ON!

          1. Hey dude. I decided to take the pull up program back in use but this time I thought that I’d do more than just one week, don’t know yet how much more though. Anyway, I could use a little help about what comes to the other workouts. If I am doing this program everyday (except weekends), how should I train other body parts? Basically I mean should I do pushups in my workouts or are those three max sets per day enough? Of course if I do workout consisting pushup, they’ll eat up the power from next days pushup sets… Aaaanyway, any thoughts on how to adjust other workouts next to the pull up program?

  4. Thanks man, i’ve been following your blog science months. I must thank you for all the inspiration and the info that you provide to us. Actually i started calisthenics thank’s to you, and know u los like 8 kilos. I’ve never felt thos good in my life!! I still have a long journey but thank’s to you i am doing it. Salutefrom Argentina

    1. Hey Santi,

      Reading your message fills me with joy bro! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment!

      8 kilos is #!@!@ impressive man, keep it up :D.

      People like you are the reason why I made this blog, so I’m happy to have been able to help you.

      Beast mode ON!

  5. Hey, if been having a problem with strength growth. I’m 3 weeks into the 12 week program, and I’m not getting any stronger. I can still do the same amount of push-ups(10), pull-ups(1) and dips(0). Should I be doing something else? In a video, it was said that I should be able to do the reps of exercises assigned. I can’t yet. What do I do? Should I take a break and do something easier? Please help.

    1. Hey Michael,

      Don’t worry about it. Remember this…even if you don’t see any visible changes, it doesn’t mean stuff isn’t changing ;). As with anything, your body has an adaptation period and real significant strength increases are usually after 4-6 weeks.

      What you can do is have week where you do something completely differently. Such as this method. To shock your muscles and make them think: “Shit, we need to start waking up again”. Sometimes you have to try a different approach. Don’t get discouraged, because guess what…you are still lapping everybody who is sitting on the coach and who is not following the 12 week program.

      Read this blog to understand how growth really works:

      I can tell you this, I have weeks, sometimes even months, where I feel like I’m getting nowhere and then BOOM, I realize how much stronger I have gotten. It’s not a lineair process. Read the blog post, it will make things more clear to you.

      Here is what you can do:

      1) Change your routine for a week and then go back to the system
      2) Give yourself a few rest days and focus on your nutrition

      Try this and keep me posted.

      Beast mode ON!

  6. Hi, maybe I missed something but I’m a bit unclear what the rest period should be between sets on day 4. Did my first week of this programme last week and loved it so going back for more first thing tomorrow morning.

    Thanks for the great blog, it’s really appreciated.


  7. Hey bar brothers
    I cant thank you enough for your great effort in this fantastic website . Your blog helped me a lot all in each aspect of my life . Using this method my max increase from 3 to 7 pull ups in two week . It works as magic
    I really apreciate what you do . Keep it up !

  8. hi bro ! i have a little problem .i cant do much pull ups just (3 repetition in one sets ) is that inafe or should i do the asisted pull ups with an elastique ? thankx

  9. hello richard . i have 22 years old and i want lose weight .i realy love peunauts butter can i eat it ? if yes when ? before or after training ? ^^

    1. Hey Mari,

      Good question!

      Well, you can eat peanut butter, but take note that it’s really calorie dense which means that the more you eat the less likely you are to get into a caloric deficit, which you need to be in if you want to lose weight.

      If you want to lose weight you need to BURN more than you EAT in addition to having a good hormonal balance, if you want it to be healthy. So to answer your question: “Yes, both before or after, BUT keep an eye on your overall caloric intake”. If you don’t know what that is, check out the free diet plan.

      Beast mode ON!

  10. Hi Rich…
    It is great way to check out pullups when you start thinking you can’t inclrease them anymore. I am stuck at 15-16 max in set. Now doing this..i will post how far i reach. I have a question: I do it very early in morning say at 5:00 AM and do pull ups at8 PM . Is it okay if i don’t eat anything in between because i don’t feel like eating that early ? Is it required to eat to give body energy required for pull ups ? Or can have a big recovery meal after pull ups ?

    1. Hey Sachinder,

      Haha, it’s a great challenge. Definitely!

      Even though 15-16 straight form pull ups are pretty darn impressive already.

      You don’t need to eat that early, training in a fastened state even has a wide range of benefits.

      I assume you mean 8AM? because it would mean you don’t eat at all ;).

      Beast mode ON!

  11. Hi Rich,
    Thanks for.motivation .
    Today is last day of 7 day pull up and on 4th day my max was 9×10 . So i consider my upper body strength is good but size gain is not much i have defined cut but not big size on arms (i want some extra inches).which one you suggest from following or add your suggestion:
    1.Increasing reps of current pullup/chinups
    2. Add more wieght to my light body wieght(128lb) to increase muscle size
    Offcourse i would like to.take care of calorie surplus.

    Also if you can send me 30 days routine more focused on core and legs will be awesome.
    Beastmode on !

    1. Hey Sachinder,

      Thanks for the positive message!

      Definitely a good base to have 9-10 solid pull ups.

      You cannot expect to gain size over a period of a week. Even body builders who inject muscle building hormones don’t grow considerable in 1 week, let alone if you follow a natural path. Your diet needs to be in check and your workout needs to be in check in addition to multiple other things. It will come, but it takes time. Visible results take at least 4-6 weeks.

      Stick to an 8-12 rep range (4-5 sets) for the most significant hyperthrophy gains.

      Don’t add more weights, move on to a more difficult progression, this will give you far more benefits in terms of strength, neurological improvements and crossovers to other exercises. For example from 20 pull ups go to 10 muscle ups or from 10 push ups go to 10 decline push ups. If you are really looking for only hyperthrophy, you can add weight to the basic moves such as pull ups, dips, squats etc. I wouldn’t recommend it however, especially if you are a beginner, because your muscles are still far away from their genetic potential and you are more likely to injure yourself.

      Bigger arms…don’t focus on 1 muscle group, because you will eventually pay the price, it’s best to focus on a bigger upper body. Everything needs to be in balance.

      Unfortunately it would take me a lot of time to write a precise 30 day routine. There is enough free information on this website for you to make your own 30 day routine. More individualized advice is only possible at a charge.

      Beast mode ON!

  12. Thanks for detailed feedback .. Still sturuggling with1st muscle up after 50 days … I am motivated to be patience and will keep working hard. Figuring out various aspect that keep going wrong in practical implementation.
    Beast mode on !

  13. Hi Rich,

    Great site, I’m glad I stumbled upon it, there is so much great information on here. I’m currently on month 2 of the 6 month plan, but I want to take a week out to do this as pull ups is my weakest exercise.

    I have a question on Day 1. It says “After your morning routine of push ups you max out 5 sets of pull ups later on the day.”

    Does this mean on Set 1, say i do 12 reps, then 2nd set might be 9 or 10 reps and probably by set 5 will be much lower as I tier. So do I just do as many as I can for each set? The reason I ask this is because of what it says on Day 3:

    Day 3 says: “On this day you will have 9 training sets based upon your max of day 1.”

    Will this Day 1 max be the first set that I did on Day 1?

    Many thanks in advance for you help.



    1. Hey Michael,

      Thanks a lot of your comment! I truly appreciate it. Definitely always fun to just try something else for a while, just give the body something else.

      Yes, you are completely right. Day 1 you go until failure. On day 3 you basically divide your highest rep amount by 9 sets. So if you have 12 reps max on day 1, divide 12 by 9. Which basically means you would want to aim for 1-2 pull ups per set. Make sure you have clean form.

      Hope this makes things a bit more clear ;).

      Beast mode ON!

  14. I’m on day 4 of this challenge.. while looking at the pdf check-off list, I’ve noticed something. On the pdf, it has “Max effort 3 set” on everyday of the challenge, but that is not mentioned on your website content.. So was I supposed to be doing max effort 3 sets everyday before I do the pyramid and the change grip? I’m slightly confused now and beginning to think I’ve been doing it wrong.

  15. hey rich
    i dont understand the day 4. my max pullup is 17. if i divide 17 to 9, its about 2 pullups per set but its too easy for me. should i do 9 max sets pullups

  16. You said in one comment that we could set a week for only pull-ups. I’m wondering, isn’t it better to have a rest day between training for the muscles to rebuild and strengthen?

    1. Hey Abe,

      There are different methods to use. All have there advantages and disadvantages.

      See them as tools in your toolbox which you can use as you wish.

      So to answer your question, it depends on the method and the person. If you feel like you need some extra rest, by all means do so.

      Beast mode ON!

  17. Hi there!

    I’m currently stuck at day 1 of week 5 the system where a variety of pull ups – circle chin up, extra wide, archer pull ups and explosive up and slow down chin ups – to name a few, is required. A total of 5 sets and 7-10 repetition of each variation is needed to finish the workout. However I’m struggling to finish by the 3rd set and by the 4th set I practically had to cheat my way up.. I say I can hit a clean 14-15 pulls ups at the start.

    How do I improve on this? :/

    1. Hey Josh,

      Great question.

      There are multiple reasons why you might not be able to do all the reps yet. Usually the major reason is improper execution in the prior weeks.

      The worse your foundation the more difficult it will be to progress in future weeks. Take a critical look at your execution, see what needs to be corrected.

      If your execution is perfect however, regress to an easier variation of the exercise you are doing. So from regular pull ups to pull up negatives for the remaining reps. That way you still get in those reps and squeeze out your final strength.

      And patience, everyone has a different recovery rate. Depending on your sleep, nutrition, genetics etc. Some people -like me- need more time to recover, so that’s just something you might also need to take into account.

      Keep up the good work!

      Beast mode ON!

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