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.
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 ;).
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.
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?
You’ll have to find out for yourself.
Beast Mode ON!