When it comes to measures of fitness and strength few things can come close to the pull up. Pull ups are fantastic for demonstrating strength, as you’re using nothing but your own body and can perform them anywhere. This is an exercise that is very easy to learn and almost impossible to master.
What’s more is that it’s functional, it’s useful and it’s cool. This is the kind of move you could legitimately use in a real world situation to climb a tree or mount a wall – and it requires an excellent ‘strength to weight ratio’.
So how do you get to the point where you are just boss at pull ups and can beat any guy in a pull-up competition?
One of the most accomplished pull up champs on YouTube is no doubt Corey Hall and it turns out he wasn’t born that way – he has a rather intensive training regime he uses to create that pull up endurance and strength. Here is what it looks like:
15 Pull Ups With Weights
20 Pull Ups Without Weights
Corey starts off by performing 15 pull ups with 15lbs of weight. This is more than a lot of people can do to begin with! From there, he then drops the weight off and immediately dives into 20 reps of regular pulls ups, making sure to lock the arms out on each rep.
For the initiated, this of course will be familiar: it’s a drop set. What’s more, it’s a drop set with a high rep range that really tests endurance and tests how far you can go.
12 Wide Pull Ups With Weights
10 Wide Pull Ups
Next up, Corey drops the weight to 10lbs and performs the same thing with a wider grip. This involves the lats more and straight after the above, it’s going to really test endurance even more.
8 Pull Ups With Heavy Weights
Now Corey goes for power and puts the weight up high. In his case, he goes to 35lbs. If you’re reading all this and thinking ‘not in a million years’, keep in mind that you don’t have to use the same weight – just the same level of challenge. You can do this same workout with half the weight and with fewer reps, as long as it’s challenging your power and endurance. The trick is to keep trying to ‘one up’ yourself.
8 Explosive Pull Ups With Slow Negatives
After that, you’re going to be nearly done. Follow up with explosive pulls ups with a slow descent. This will train the fast twitch muscle fiber for real power as well as increasing that negative strength and encouraging some hypertrophy and microtears.
Pull Ups to Failure
Finally, finish off with pull ups to failure. Just do as many as you can do. Hopefully, if you did everything else right, then you shouldn’t be able to do too many without collapsing in a pool of sweat…
Tip: Corey keeps gloves on to help get through this workout. But if you want this to be truly functional strength? Leave them off!
Make sure to lock out