Pull-ups are a cornerstone exercise in strength training, they are simple and have a massive impact on upper body strength. This is an incredible exercise because it works on your back, arms and core at the same time. Many people overlook the benefits of this exercise because they cannot perform many pull-ups but we will show you how to increase your pull-up strength and the number of reps you can perform with this simple program below.

Importance of Grip Strength in Pull-Ups

Grip strength is one of the most important things when it comes to pull-ups. Your ability to perform pull-ups effectively diminishes without a firm, comfortable grip. If you want to perform 20 pull-ups, you need to be able to hang on to the bar for the time it takes to perform 20 pull-ups and ideally, you want to make sure that it is not your grip strength that fails first. One way to improve your grip strength is to incorporate Angles90 grips to your exercises as they help increase your grip strength while you perform other exercises.

The Fighter Pull-Up Program

Adapted from the Fighter Pull-Up Program by Pavel Tsatsouline, this workout plan is a progressive journey to increase your pull-up count. It starts with a manageable number of pull-ups and gradually increases in intensity. This method not only builds strength but also instils discipline and perseverance in your training routine.

Before you start the program, you will need to find out the maximum reps you can perform. You can do this with or without Angles90 grips but try with the grips and see how many reps you can do before failure. Depending on the max number of reps, you can find a suitable program below. 

Key things to remember when doing this program are to make sure you start from the day that starts with your max reps. E.g. if you can do 15 reps, you start from Day 1 of the 15 rep max program. If you can perform 7 reps, you start from Day 13 of the 5 rep max program. Take the days off to rest, if you need more time to rest then listen to your body and rest up. You might find that you need more rest days once you get onto the 15 rep max and 25 rep max programs. Once you have completed a 30 day program, always take a few extra rest days to let your body recover and adjust. Then test how many reps you can perform in a row and mark the difference.

The 15 rep max pull-up program

The list below shows how to progress from 15 pull-ups to 25 pull-ups in 23 days.


Day

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

Set 5

Day 1

12

10

8

6

4

Day 2

12

10

8

6

6

Day 3

12

10

8

8

6

Day 4

12

10

10

8

6

Day 5

12

12

10

8

6

Day 6

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 7

14

12

10

8

6

Day 8

14

12

10

8

8

Day 9

14

12

10

10

8

Day 10

14

12

12

10

8

Day 11

14

14

12

10

8

Day 12

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 13

16

14

12

10

8

Day 14

16

14

12

10

10

Day 15

16

14

12

12

10

Day 16

16

14

14

12

10

Day 17

16

16

14

12

10

Day 18

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 19

18

16

14

12

10

Day 20

18

16

14

12

12

Day 21

18

16

14

14

12

Day 22

18

16

16

14

12

Day 23

18

18

16

14

12


You should now be able to perform 25 pull-ups and are ready to progress to the 25 rep max program.

The 25 rep max pull-up program

If you are already able to perform 25 pull-ups then the program below is for you. Do it for 30 days to improve the number of reps you can perform.


Day

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

Set 5

Day 1

20

16

12

8

4

Day 2

20

16

12

8

8

Day 3

20

16

12

12

8

Day 4

20

16

16

12

8

Day 5

20

20

16

12

8

Day 6

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 7

22

18

14

10

6

Day 8

22

18

14

10

10

Day 9

22

18

14

14

10

Day 10

22

18

18

14

10

Day 11

22

22

18

14

10

Day 12

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 13

26

22

18

14

10

Day 14

26

22

18

14

14

Day 15

26

22

18

18

14

Day 16

26

22

22

18

14

Day 17

26

26

22

18

14

Day 18

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 19

30

26

22

18

14

Day 20

30

26

22

18

18

Day 21

30

26

22

22

18

Day 22

30

26

26

22

18

Day 23

30

30

26

22

18

Day 24

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 25

34

30

26

22

18

Day 26

34

30

26

22

22

Day 27

34

30

26

26

22

Day 28

34

30

30

26

22

Day 29

34

34

30

26

22

Day 30

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off


The 5 rep max pull-up program

If your max reps are between 5 to 9 then this is the program for you. Start from the first day that lists your max rep count and progress from there until the end of the program.

Day

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

Set 5

Day 1

5

4

3

2

1

Day 2

5

4

3

2

2

Day 3

5

4

3

3

2

Day 4

5

4

4

3

2

Day 5

5

5

4

3

2

Day 6

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 7

6

5

4

3

2

Day 8

6

5

4

3

3

Day 9

6

5

4

4

3

Day 10

6

5

5

4

3

Day 11

6

6

5

4

3

Day 12

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 13

7

6

5

4

3

Day 14

7

6

5

4

4

Day 15

7

6

5

5

4

Day 16

7

6

6

5

4

Day 17

7

7

6

5

4

Day 18

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 19

8

7

6

5

4

Day 20

8

7

6

5

5

Day 21

8

7

6

6

5

Day 22

8

7

7

6

5

Day 23

8

8

7

6

5

Day 24

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off

Day 25

9

8

7

6

5

Day 26

9

8

7

6

6

Day 27

9

8

7

7

6

Day 28

9

8

8

7

6

Day 29

9

9

8

7

6

Day 30

Off

Off

Off

Off

Off


The 3 rep max pull-up program

Start from here if you can perform 3 or less reps. You can also use this program to gain strength by adding load while performing pull-ups. Use a dip belt and add some weight that still allows you to perform the reps with good form and see the results after going through the program.

Day

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

Set 5

Day 1

3

2

1

1

-

Day 2

3

2

1

1

-

Day 3

3

2

2

1

-

Day 4

3

3

2

1

-

Day 5

4

3

2

1

-

Day 6

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Day 7

4

3

2

1

1

Day 8

4

3

2

2

1

Day 9

4

3

3

2

1

Day 10

4

4

3

2

1

Day 11

5

4

3

2

1

Day 12

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest


You are now able to perform 5 pull-ups and can move on to the 5 rep max workout plan.

These programs can also be used to increase strength by doing low reps. For example, you can take the 3 rep max or 5 rep max programs and add weight with a dip belt to make it harder. This is a great way to build strength and muscle. You should do a program with added weight, then take the needed time to rest up and test your max reps without any weight. If you follow these programs your pull-up count will increase.

FAQs

What if I can perform 10 pull-ups, which program should I do?

Start with a similar way of 5 sets with 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and increasing one rep like in the programs above. Once your set starts with 12 reps in the first set, move on to the 15 rep max program.

What if I can’t perform any pull-ups yet?

Don’t worry! If you are not able to perform a pull-up, start by adding a resistance band to the bar and perform assisted pull-ups. You can use these programs with a resistance band until you can perform 3 pull-ups without assistance and then move on to the 3 rep max program.

23 janvier, 2024 — Robin Bade