How Many Pull-Ups Can You Do?

TJ JTJ J skratta pa klocka
edited February 2013 in Athletic Performance
Pull-ups used to cause pain in my left shoulder, so it's an exercise I have always avoided. Now that my joints are not so inflamed I've been attempting more pull-ups. It doesn't cause me any pain but I'm not improving much.

 

To improve my max I'm going to shift more of a focus to pull-ups when I'm at the gym.

 

-I am going to work on different styles of pull-ups ie. behind the neck, climbers, sternum, standards, weighted and chin ups.  I'm going to do about 4 sets of 80% max rotating between these exercises. Is that enough?

 

-Once I find out the style that causes me most difficulty I will focus on that more often, with assistance (chin up machine).

 


The lowest amount of male pull-ups that still made it to the world record holders website is 37.   http://www.recordholders.org/en/list/chinups.html


 

The Marine fitness test considers 20-25 perfect score. Today I did 3 sets of 7 standard pull-ups. I'm estimating that my max, if fresh is about 10.  Any tips for improving this number? How many pull-ups should a person be able to do? Is it possible for me to do 20?

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Comments

  • BrianHKerrBrianHKerr Quantified Biohacker

    You do negatives... slowly lower yourself down from the pull up... over and over... as slowly as possible... someone who cannot do one pull-up trains this way... all muscle growth happens from the negative motion... start there.


     


    My max is 20 at the moment.  I went up from 5 to 10 in a week and 10-20 in a second week.  Get a pull up bar and do it for fun inbetween whatever the hell you do at home.... exe.  watch tv... every commercial break, do max pull ups.


     


    A person should be able to do as many pull ups as they deem correct - For me... that # is 20.  For most people... 10 seems to be a good goal.


  • I've always liked weighted pull ups. I can do about 10 normal ones.


  • M. ThomasM. Thomas A Stick of Butter a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.
    edited February 2013

    I learned to do pull ups with a chair in front of me or something similar when I first started.  Now I can do several sets of 20 with no big sweat at my own body weight but I usually do them weighted.


     


    Something similar to this is what I recommend:


     


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhwyHYZD0v4


     


    and before you know it you'll be cranking them out like Hannibal himself:


     


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1jMyzmtiI4


  • Thanks Jason.  That would be me.  I think I can do about 2 maybe 3 if I grunt a lot.  That's what being 47 and 30-40# overweight will do to ya.


     


    Going to stay away from the gym for a while and let the BP - IF work.  Was working out daily (cardio w/ some weights) and believe that stalled my lass.  But will probably try your method once I return.


     


    Do you have a weight or bf in mind where I should resume the gym?  I'm currently 6' and 208#.  My last bf was 28%.  There are a lot of posts out here for and against exercise so it's kind of confusing to me.  I don't need to be ripped, but I never want to get back to the 250# slob I was either.


     


    Thanks.


     


    Frank


  • M. ThomasM. Thomas A Stick of Butter a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.
    edited February 2013

    You should check out the book Body by Science if you all you care about is maintaining your health and living a long life.


  • edited February 2013

    I do this as my routine:


    5x Pull Ups


    15x Situps

    10x Push Ups


    20x Squats


    And I set my timer for 20 mins, and do as many sets as I can.

    I'm up to around 8 rounds in the 20. I can do more, but time runs out. I'll be trying to pick up the pace soon.


  • Thanks Jason and Mark.  Good info.


  • TJ JTJ J skratta pa klocka
    edited February 2013

    Today, along with kb swings and my "7 minute marathon training", I did pull-ups like this:


     


    1-2-3-4-5-6-7(f)-6-5-5-4-4-4-3-3-2-2-2-2-1-1-1-1-1 ... On the final 1-1-1 I did max duration negative let downs. I can already feel delayed onset muscle soreness setting in.


     


    I am planning to do this again on Sunday evening going up to 8. I've set my goal at 21 pull-ups, fresh.


  • I find that doing curls along with pull-ups leads to rapid gains in reps.


     


    I’m 33yrs old, 5’9” 190lbs and can do sets of 30 pull-ups.





     


  • projectearthprojectearth Contributor

    I rockclimb and on the side every other day I do 100 pullups in 25 reps 4 sets. I just got the bulletproof whey protein, how much table spoons do you guys take? The package says 2


    Enjoy the journey

  • edited October 2013

    I can do only 9( For some reason its very hard for me to do pull ups, even though I don't have problems with the most of other exercises. I've read about the muscles used for pull ups and chin ups and I think I just lack technique.


  • When comparing pullups it'd be beneficial to list your weight, as power to weight is a much better indicator of strength. Those skinny 140lb rock climbers can do a ton of pull ups :0


     


    I would suggest incorporating some sort of overhead press into your routine as well, if properly done it'll help with shoulder issues. Check out starting strength by Mark Rippetoe.


     


    My max is 14 BW, but I prefer doing them weighted and doing less.


  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress

    For someone who can't even do 1 pull up, I'd suggest doing some lat pull downs Body By Science style on a lighter weight to build up strength.


  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress

    ^ even better!




  • That's the one I gave you right? That was a while ago, you're sure getting better at it.






    I was getting better at it, but then I moved and stopped exercising for a while. Now I'm doing BBS stuff once every 7 to 12 days.

  • I focus on:


    - maintining a strong based spine (pull abs to ass / squeeze abs), squeezing my glutes, pointing my toes, ensuring armpits are forward arms are straight


    - that puts me in the strongest, braced, anatomically correct position in order to generate maximum pull.


     


    I do:


    - 20 second pull ups - 10 seconds on the way up, 10 seconds down


    - smooth transaition,


    - no jerking, no spinal faults / arching/ chest popping, neck arching etc


    I can do 5 of these at the moment - works out at 1minute and 40 seconds of pull ups. - try it... you will get massive benefits from this.


  • We talking pull ups (palms out, arms wide) or chin-ups (palms in, arms close)?


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • I bet we're talking about chin ups.


     


    When I do chin ups I prefer to touch my chest to the bar, AND NO KIPPING.


  • jason, you can do 18 weighted pull-ups? How much weight. I'm doing weighted with between 22-55lb, but low reps. as in 3-5.


     


    I can manage around 18 strict chin-ups. Good wide pull-ups, maybe 12-14 before form goes. Don't really do them for quantity (well that's my excuse) ;-)


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • how many times a week do you guys do pull ups/chin ups? i usually do them 3 times a week, every other day  with sunday off basically. how much time do you guys wait between sets?


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited October 2013

    I do them twice a week. 3x10 close grip using a pull down attachment over the pull up bar. Strict and high, try and touch my shoulder each side of the bar. Then I do wide grip pull ups, 5x3-5 weighed reps a few days later during a heavy lifting session.


     


    Jason, I think I can match your 18, but I'm guessing the quality won't be as good :wink: Never tried a 1RM.


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • I can do 3 wide grip pull-ups with 25kg (55lb) on a good day. Must be around 185lb at the moment, so I might be good for 240lb. reckon I could maybe do 260lb (75lb around waist), but I'm guessing it might not pass your quality control ;-)


     


    We talking wide grip, so can we go shoulder width?


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • Pull-ups. The ultimate exercise. Freestyling between different pull-up and push-up exercises for 30 minutes is my favorite workout ever. A few months ago I could knock out 30 in a row and then stopped working out. On the path to getting back there. 


    MrHerget.com

    Instagram: @MrHerget

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    Email: [email protected]

  • Wide grip I can do 20+


    Standard grip I presume 30ish, maybe?  


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited October 2013

    shit, like to see the form on those. I can't get 20 chin-ups in a row!


     


    You guys are either impressive or cheating :wink:


     


    Off topic a little, I managed 5 sets of 5 Dips with 55lb around my waist. at least 90° on each dip and a heavy leg brace on......


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • RekaReka ✭✭✭
    edited October 2013

    3 at the moment in one set, 4 sets but I can usually do only two reps for the last, and the second one is only  half rep. Then I add two sets of 3-4 negatives by jumping up and lowering myself slowly. Once a week. Should perhaps do twice? I have two strength sessions per week, one for pulling motions and one for pushing motions (more or less). I don't want to get bigger at all, I want to use my existing muscles better.


    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.

     

    Is your social worker in that horse?

     

    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • 6 sets of 8 wide grip chins with 60 lbs assistance and between 12 and 20 breaths as the measurement of time between sets.  This is done twice a week.  I never had much use for shoulder width pull ups, it doesn't seem like a natural movement to me.  I likely have to lower the amount of assistance now as I am not failing any longer on the last two sets.  I weigh about 185 at 5'10 now and my legs are quite big so I ain't exactly one of those wiry guys who can climb like a monkey.  I heard long ago for chins/pull-ups either you go very wide or very close depending on the muscles targeted.


  • interesting point about how wide it should be. Really depends upon the adaptation you want. for example, do you want:


    - body building adaptations? if so - vary your grip width and overhand / underhand and hit as many muscles as possible, and have loads of volume by reps / negatives etc


    - to be stronger at pulling your own bodyweight up? narrow grip, and try overhand (pull up) and underhand (chin up) - think of climbing a tree or rope - you would not manage this with a wide grip. narrow grip, armpit forward shoulder back > It's the natural and stable position of the shoulder to be able to pull upwards, not wide.




  • 3 at the moment in one set, 4 sets but I can usually do only two reps for the last, and the second one is only  half rep. Then I add two sets of 3-4 negatives by jumping up and lowering myself slowly. Once a week. Should perhaps do twice? I have two strength sessions per week, one for pulling motions and one for pushing motions (more or less). I don't want to get bigger at all, I want to use my existing muscles better.




     


    If I were you I would never concerned about becoming 'too big'. it's not possible.

  • Can anyone do a one-finger pull-up?


    This amazing girl can:



     starts at 4 minuters and 24 seconds

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