One productive way to approach strength training isn’t by focusing on the ultimate shape or physique of your body, but by reaching clearly set and defined goals that are attainable. That way, you know the work you put in the gym is paying off, regardless of appearance. Completing a set of 20, 30, or even 50 pull-ups isn’t an easy task and involves a fully functioning and in-shape physique to get you there.
In this post, we’ve included 5 way to help you reach a higher pull-up count, which will ultimately result in a much healthier, stronger, and more desirable body. By focusing on these following aspects, you’ll find that making bigger leaps in improving your physique on the road ahead to be a lot easier. These methods should motivate you more than ever to reach that pull-up count you’ve worked so hard towards.
Your gradual pull-up count increase will also serve as a motivator when it comes to reaching additional goals. One of the most important things you can do to increase pull-up count is buy a set of neoprene or adjustable dumbbells, a pull-up bar, and/or power tower for your home, so you can adapt to performing quick exercises on a daily basis.
Here are some tips on how to perform and increase your number of pull-ups!
#1. Use Proper Form & Technique
There’s nothing more important than utilizing the proper pull-up technique in order to achieve higher pull-up counts. If you’re not using the right form, not only is your pull-up count taking a hit, but so is your productivity in regards to building strength. Advice for performing the proper pull-up include:
- Using your full range of motion.
- Not letting your elbows flare.
- Tightening back muscles by depression & retraction of shoulders, as shown in the video.
- Making sure back is arched and that you’re raising your rib cage towards the bar.
#2. Weight Loss & Dieting
One of the biggest factors that could be holding you back from performing higher pull-up counts could be a result of excess fat. Try shedding off just 10-pounds to see how that affects your pull-up count. You should find it much easier to perform a pull-up after having lost that 10-pounds. One of my favorite techniques for weight loss is intermittent fasting, which involves going for long periods without eating, but works unbelievably well and does not come without its own array of health benefits.
Imagine being able to cut 2,000 calories in a single day, all by going on a 24-hour fast, and as bad as a fast without any food might sound, the diet certainly gets easier and helps teach discipline in the process. When going on an intermittent fasting plan, it’s important to not eat during the duration and to only drink water, coffee, or tea, without sugar or additives.
We should also mention that intermittent fasting actually preserves muscles rather than wasting it, as would occur with most other diets. It in-fact even has the power to increase levels of testosterone, which makes this diet and weightlifting go hand-in-hand. Here’s an awesome guide on intermittent fasting for women, and another amazing post of James Clear who made awesome gains in his 1-year intermittent fast plan.
#3. Focus On Back & Bicep Building Exercises
Since pull-up performance relies heavily on the muscles of the back, it’s important to build a strong foundation in the process. In order to efficiently build up muscles in the back, it’s important to work on a variety of compound exercises that will simultaneously build both arm and back strength.
One great guide for building up the posterior side of your body is this one by Military.com, in which they recommend working on bent over dumbbell rows, bicep curls, body weight rows, assisted pull-ups, negative pull-ups, pulldowns, and chin-ups. Here are some additional exercises you can do for building the back and upper body.
For those who have yet to complete their first pull-up, try performing workouts such as the chair method, resistance band assist method, partner knee spot, and cable pull-downs as exemplified here.
#4. Focus On Building Stamina & Endurance
One great way to reach 100 pull-ups a day is by building up stamina and endurance. By increasing your threshold of failure, you’ll be able to much more easily perform a larger set of pull-ups at once. While building up stamina and endurance, it’s important to also focus on building strength and cutting down fat.
In a recent post, we went over 5 methods for building up endurance, which we highly recommend reading. The first tip included building endurance with HIIT training and working with short bursts of energy at maximal capacity, followed by a duration of rest. Our second tip was to focus on progressive overload training, which involves gradually building up the amount of weight you lift from week to week.
If you performed a set of bicep curls with 7.5-pound set this week, try doing the same set with a 10-pound weight the next, which is great at forcing muscles to grow. Other essential tips included incorporating new activities like boxing, swimming, etc., and eating correctly before and after endurance workouts.
#5. Switch Up Your Technique + Use Different Equipment
When it comes to performing pull-ups, the best way to keep your body guessing is to use a variety of forms and techniques. The first technical aspect to focus on is your grip. Grips where your palms face each other is a chin-up. When your palms face away from each other, you are performing a pull-up.
Make sure you are using a combination of the two, while also performing both wide and narrow grips, as these will help build up different areas of the back and other upper body muscles.
You also want to focus some days on building up endurance with a higher rep range, while doing lower reps on other days for building up maximal strength. Other pull-up recommendations include building up grip strength, which can also be effectively accomplished with kettlebells.
Equipment To Help You Perform More Pull-Ups:
- Pull-Up Bars
- Power Towers
- Grip Strengtheners
- Fat Gripz
That’s it for now! Hope this post helps you on your journey to doing more pull-ups. What do you currently do or have done in the past to increase your pull-up count? Let’s hear your thoughts down below!
References & Citations:
“Intermittent fasting.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation.
“6 Things That Happened When I Tried Intermittent Fasting For A Week.” Prevention.
Kuoppala, Ali. “Intermittent Fasting and Testosterone: Does IF Increase Test Levels Naturally?” Anabolic Men. Anabolic Men.
“A Woman’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting.” Breaking Muscle.
Clear, James. “Intermittent Fasting: 12 Lessons Learned from 1 Year of Fasting.” James Clear.
Smith, Stew. “Tips for Better Pull-ups.” Military.com.