Do More Pull Ups Fast (simple 30 day plan)

Are you tired of sucking at pull – ups?

Been stuck at the same number for way too long?

Here is a simple – but POWERFUL – plan to help you get more pull ups in just 30 days:

1 – On day one, do one all-out set with perfect form, and see how many pull ups you can do.

It’s very important to do this and establish a baseline number for yourself, so we can test at the end and see how you’ve improved.

2 – For 30 days, “practice” your pull ups frequently (3-5 times per week, do a couple sets of chin ups or pull ups).

You can do these any time – at the beginning of your current workout routine, between sets of other exercises, at the end … if you have a pull up bar set up at your house, you can even just hop up and crank em out at any point during the day.

3 – Do NOT go to failure! Always leave a rep or two “in the tank”.

This is important. A lot of folks, in an effort to do more pull ups, get to the point where they are going to failure at EVERY session and are always trying to beat their personal best. DO NOT do this. We are training the nervous system with this method, and part of the idea is to train your body NOT to fail and to do reps with perfect form. IF you go to failure, this method will not work.

4- Mix it up from day to day.

Some days do standard pull ups. Some days use band assistance / a slight jump assist w your feet on a box / etc and go to higher reps. If you are strong enough, some days do weighted pull ups and work in a lower rep range. Mix up your grip – pull up, chin up, parallel grip, etc.

A good idea would be to keep a log of exactly what you did on each day, so that you can make sure to switch it up each time you do your pull ups and keep things balanced out.

5- At day 27 or 28, REST and STOP doing pull ups completely for two or three days.

6- Re-test at day 30 and see how many more pull ups you can do in one all-out set!

So there you have a simple plan to do more pull ups in 30 days. It’s simple, it’s straight-forward, but it WORKS.

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II, PCC

PS - The pull up exercise is a staple of body weight strength training. And that’s why pull up training is a huge part of Body Weight Strong.

To triple your strength, gain lean muscle and get body weight STRONG in just 12 weeks, check out the NEW Body Weight Strong 3.0 system:


We’ve added a full set of follow-along videos to the program for 2015 … it’s like having me there as your trainer, taking you through each and every workout in real time.

Plus, the full set of coaching videos – just in case the follow-along format isn’t your thing – are included, AND 12 MORE weeks of body weight / minimal -equipment workouts.

Click here now to grab your copy of Body Weight Strong 3.0 at over 50% off, this week only!

Posted in body weight exercises, body weight workouts | Leave a comment

3 Rules for Building Strength Without Weights

Just got back from an AMAZING weekend in the San Diego area at the Progressive Calisthenics Certification.

We learned and trained body weight exercise for three full days – including:

– push ups
– pull ups
– human flags
– muscle ups
– squats
– back bridges
– ab work – everything from L sits to dragon flags to hanging leg raises
– front and back levers
– floor levers
– handstands

And MUCH more.

Not only was the instruction top notch – I now have literally YEARS of progressions to work towards – it was an awesome, positive, encouraging environment. LOVE the
direction that Dragon Door is going with this.

I went in not knowing what to expect honestly … my build (6’5″ / 245 pounds) is pretty much the most unfavorable you can get for this type of training ;) … but I
felt like I fit in right from the beginning, and I was at least able to try the *basic* versions of all the harder moves, which was REALLY cool.

If you have ever considered attending this event, I highly recommend it.

Now one of the things about body weight training is how versatile it is. You can use just your own body weight as resistance to accomplish a WIDE variety of fitness goals – strength, muscle gain, fat loss, conditioning, and much more.

HOWEVER … the way you PROGRAM your training makes all the difference when it comes to reaching your goals.

As you may or may not know, my “thing” is training for muscle and strength with body weight – and so I wanted to give you three “rules” to help you accomplish this goal.

Follow these rules, and you’ll be on your way to getting big and strong with body weight exercise … neglect them, and you’ll likely have a hard time reaching your

3 Rules for Building Strength Without Weights

1 – Stick to the basics

Cool calisthenics moves and tricks are AWESOME – my personal goal list for the year includes these exercises:

– solid clutch flag on both sides
– elbow lever
– free handstand

And a few more.

HOWEVER … when it comes to actually gaining STRENGTH and MUSCLE, these moves are not going to help a ton. They are more “skill” oriented if you will … and are GREAT exercises … but not perfect for getting big and strong.

You need to be focusing on things like:

– push ups and advanced variations
– pull ups and advanced variations
– squats and advanced variations
– jumping
– sprinting

To gain muscle and get strong with your own body weight.

2 – Do the “right” amount of volume

If you are training for skill – practicing handstands is a great example – you want to go LOW reps, and do a lot of them, frequently, and NOT to failure. It’s like PRACTICE more than anything.

But let’s say you’re going for hypertrophy, like we do in phase one of Body Weight Strong … you want to pound those muscles with some volume.

Now you don’t have to go old-school, “golden age” bodybuilder-style and do thirty sets for each body part … but here is an example of what a workout might look like:

(NOTE: workout does not include warm up, skill work, metabolic “finisher” at the end, etc)

push up progression – 30-45 seconds, as many reps as possible
vertical jump progression – 30-45 seconds, as many reps as possible

four sets total of each move


pull up progression progression – 30-45 seconds, as many reps as possible
one leg squat progression – 30-45 seconds, as many reps as possible

four sets total of each move

3 – Higher reps for size, “medium” reps for strength

A lot of folks thing these two things are one in the same … and while there is without a doubt a relationship between the two, training to get big is actually
different than training to get strong.

As you can see in the workout above, you end up getting around 8-12 reps of each exercise … this is generally best for that muscle size goal.

If you’re going for STRENGTH … like we do in phase TWO of Body Weight Strong … you want to move towards a little lower in the rep range, like 3-5 ish … this is best for raw strength.

So there you have three “rules” of body weight strength. Follow these rules, and you’ll be well on your way to getting big and strong with body weight exercise … neglect them, and you’ll likely have a hard time reaching your goals.

Train hard, and until next time -

- Forest Vance
Certified Progressive Calisthenics Instructor

PS - Got Body Weight Strong 3.0 – the NEW version of this best-selling program, now with follow – along AND full coaching videos – on sale for you this week! Click HERE for more info and to save over 50% on the program for the next few days.

Posted in body weight workouts, general | Leave a comment

San Diego Body Weight Workout

Headed down to the San Diego area this weekend for the Progressive Calisthenics cert … looking forward a TON of body weight exercise over the next three days, as well as lots of learning and connecting with like-minded fitness folks!

Check out this video to see what the PCC is all about:

Been chatting with clients, friends, etc over the last couple days about the cert and exactly what we’ll be doing while we’re there (it’s all about progressions and body weight exercise for all levels, but we’ll work up to some pretty advanced stuff) … and it’s got me thinking …

If your goal is to be a fit, athletic person who can call themselves “in shape”, I believe you should have a mastery of the body weight basics.

You don’t need to be able to do one arm pull ups and human flags … but things like:

– full squats
– push ups
– pull ups
– handstand holds on the wall
– hanging knee raises
– lunges in all directions
– running
– jumping
– etc

Should be in your skill set, if you want to call yourself “fit”.

If you CAN’T do all the stuff on the list above, you need to:

1) Get stronger

Start working on and building up your strength. It’s a matter of practice and putting in the time to get better and stronger at pull ups, handstands, one leg squats,etc.

Start with the tons of free body weight training tips, workouts, etc I have posted on my blog here:

And if you want a full training course, we got brand new follow along videos for the Body Weight Strong program FINALLY done …. and we’ll be making them available at the ‘presale’ price tomorrow! So pumped!! Keep an eye on your email inbox if you’re interested :)

2) Drop some weight

If you are carrying around extra lbs, losing body fat is something that will help your body weight training BIG time . It’s just that much more “dead weight” you have to lift and move around.

I’ve lost about four pounds and two and a half percent body fat over the last six weeks or so since I’ve really been training seriously for this coming weekend, and

I’m amazed at the difference just this small amount makes when it come to doing the basic body weight exercises.

Work on getting your DIET dialed in if you’re trying to get your weight under control.

Again, visit my blog and see lots of free meal planning and healthy eating tips in the archives … OR you can check out the ‘official’ FVT Fat Loss Meal Planning system HERE.

So that’s it for today – I am off to my cert. Just a quick message to get you thinking for the weekend – and beyond – about your own fitness and body weight exercise goals.

Thanks for reading, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

Posted in body weight exercises, body weight workouts, videos | Leave a comment

How to Get Better at Burpees (part 2)

In the first installment of this ‘How to Get Better at Burpees’ series, we covered two tips – avoiding the “ground hump” and fixing the “awkward feet tuck” – to improve your burpees.

That first post was super popular, so today, I have another video for you to help you get better at burpees.

If you have a hard time transitioning from the push up / plank position on the ground to the point where you are standing up, this tip will help you a LOT.

That being said, you also want to be working on improving our form as outlined in part one, so that you DON’T have to use today’s tip forever. This is as much a modification as it is a tip to improve.

And finally, this tip is simple, but VERY powerful. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing it because you think it’s too basic.

All you are going to do is elevate your hands a bit while you do your burpees.

This could be on a bench if you need a bit more assistance, or dumbells if you need less. I use a Lebert Equalizer and a small tire in the video below. The idea is to shorten the distance you have to move through to get your feet back and back up. This helps you use good form even if your mobility and / or strength isn’t quite where you want it to be yet.

Watch this video to see me demonstrate what I’m talking about above:

That’s it for today’s tip. If you are looking to get better at burpees – and make the move safer and more effective for you if you’re still working up to the full version – try this simple modification to the exercise. And I think you’ll be very pleased with the results!!

Thanks, and talk soon -

- Forest

PS - Don’t forget – when you pick up a copy of my friend Dennis Heenan’s “Superhero Body – Body Weight Edition” this week, I’m going to send you a copy of my Road Warrior training program, FREE:

This program has simple but powerful coaching tips just like the one I’m sharing with you in today’s article / video, but as part of a logical progression and complete program.

Just click HERE to order Superhero Body – Body Weight Edition, forward your purchase receipt to my assistant at, and we’ll send over your bonus!

PPS - If you missed part one of the how to get better at burpees series, you can see that here

Posted in body weight exercises, videos | Leave a comment

Zero Equipment Conditioning / Mobility / Flexibility Circuit [new video]

I like to workout. You probably do too, at least to some degree.

BUT … there are some types of training that without a doubt, I enjoy more than others.

Personally, I like lifting heavy and training my upper body the most.

I do NOT like (as much) doing “cardio”, stretching, and training my “core”.

I also know that working only the stuff I like is a recipe for disaster. This is what MOST people do, left to their own devices … and they end up NOT getting the
overall results they’d like … not to mention they get injured eventually too.

A great solution is to work in the stuff you don’t like as much in to a “format” that is more enjoyable for you. For example, a conditioning / mobility / flexibility circuit like the one in today’s video. I do something like this at least once or twice per week … in place of a cardio day … and I also get some work on my flexibility and core snuck in there too. And I can tolerate it much more than sitting on the stationary bike for 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of mobilizing and stretching ;)


BTW … when you pick up a copy of my friend Dennis Heenan’s “Superhero Body – Body Weight Edition” this week, I’m going to send you a copy of my Road Warrior training
program, FREE:

This program has workouts just like the one I’m sharing with you in today’s article / video, but put together into a logical progression and complete program.

Just click HERE to order Superhero Body – Body Weight Edition, forward your purchase receipt to my assistant at, and we’ll send over your bonus.


Zero Equipment Conditioning / Mobility / Flexibility Circuit

Do as many reps as you can of each exercise in 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds between movements. Do three rounds of the circuit total.

– Jumping Jacks / X Jacks / Seal Jacks
– Reverse Prisoner Lunges (alternating)
– Push up w/ Superman
– Low Squat Hold


I hope that his short (12 minutes to be exact) conditioning / mobility circuit helps you sneak in a little extra work on stuff that you might not LIKE, but know you
NEED, in to your life ;)

Let me know how it works for you!

Thanks, train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest

PS - When you pick up a copy of my friend Dennis Heenan’s “Superhero Body – Body Weight Edition” this week, I’m going to send you a copy of my Road Warrior training
program, FREE:

This program has workouts just like the one I’m sharing with you in today’s article / video, but put together into a logical progression and complete program.

Just click HERE to order Superhero Body – Body Weight Edition, forward your purchase receipt to my assistant at, and we’ll send over your bonus!

Posted in body weight exercises, body weight workouts, videos | Leave a comment

56 “Trouble Fat Spot” Body Weight Only Workouts

EVEN if you are in relatively good shape … if I had to guess, I’m sure that you could point to an area (or two) on your body that needs a little more focus, and a little more work.

IF so, you will love these 56 “Trouble Fat Spot” Body Weight Only Workouts.

There are:

- ab workouts
- glute workouts
- calve workouts
- back workouts
- leg workouts
- chest workouts
- arm workouts

And each program contains 7 different workouts you can use for TARGETED results.

PLUS … the workouts are 100% body weight, and take less than 15 minutes to complete.

=> Get the 56 “trouble fat spot” workouts here

Here’s a sample arm workout for you to try from the program:


Workout #3 – Superhero Arms

Complete each exercise below back-to-back without rest. Between full rounds, rest 30 seconds and complete 4 TOTAL rounds!

- close grip push ups – 15 reps
- pull ups – 10 reps
- wide grip push ups – 15 reps
- chin ups – 10 reps
- dips – 10 reps
- outside mountain climbers – 10 reps each side


Last thing – these workouts are available ONLY this week, as part of my friend Dennis Heenan’s Superhero Body: Bodyweight Edition program.

If you have at least one “trouble fat” area on your body, this bonus will be a life saver ;)

=> Get the 56 “trouble fat spot” workouts here

Thanks, train hard, and talk soon -

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

Posted in body weight exercises, body weight workouts | Leave a comment

“Mad Scientist” Body Weight Exercises – Interview with Nick Nilsson

If you are looking for some creative new body weight exercises – to add some variety to your current routine, kick – start your progress, etc – you’re going to LOVE today’s FVT Expert Interview.

Today, we’ve got with us the one and only “Mad Scientist” of muscle, strength and fat loss, Nick Nilsson.  When it comes to training, Nick is, according to his website, is “slightly insane”, creative, and always thinking of news ways to to do things.

It this interview, Nick talks about his drive to experiment and push boundaries with his training, what exercise methods he’s studied and how they have influenced his work, how he personally went from zero to fourty consecutive handstand push ups in a three month period, and even shows us how to do a cool and unique body weight exercise called the “one arm bench outrigger push up”.

Let’s get right into it!


“Mad Scientist” Body Weight Exercises
Interview with Nick Nilsson, author, “The Best Bodyweight Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of

1 – Nick – your body weight training methods are very unique. I can honestly say that many of the exercise you use, I have never heard of or seen before. What drove you to create and perfect your training system?

I’ve never been satisfied with the status quo. I’ve always been personally driven to create, experiment and push boundaries with training. I don’t accept that you have to follow any absolute “rules” when it comes to exercise and that shows in how I train.

Many people simply don’t understand why I do what I do…after all, there are a LOT of great bodyweight exercises already out there.

My goal, however, has always been to find ones that are BETTER, not just different.

Because here’s thing…”normal” training doesn’t always work for everybody. It didn’t always work for me, so I found better ways.

And when I get feedback from people telling me how an exercise I created or a program I put together worked for them when NOTHING else did, THAT is what drives me to keep going.

It’s really one of the key reasons I put together my bodyweight exercise book (The Best Bodyweight Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of). I kept getting feedback from people that the normal exercises they were using either weren’t working as well as they should or that they were getting too easy and they needed more variety in their training.

And honestly, with bodyweight training, it can be very easy to fall in to a rut and keep working with the same exercises for long periods of time. New exercises and movement patterns can really challenge and motivate you to push harder in your training.

2 – What exactly are your training methods all about? How would your training concepts work and/or fit into an individual’s overall routine?

My training is all about results without regard for rules. It’s very much along the lines of Bruce Lee’s philosophy of learning what works, discarding what doesn’t, then making it your own.

My programs and exercises are put together for the sole purpose of achieving a particular goal. I don’t use things just because that’s what everybody else does or because it’s the “right” way to do things. In fact, I’ve often found that doing things completely “wrong” actually works much better!

My training concepts can very easily be incorporated into any routine. It can be as simple as substituting one or two exercises directly in place of other similar movements (a la carte!), all the way to a complete program overhaul based on all my methods.

3 – What exercise methods have you studied, and how to they influence your work?

I’m basically a student of movement…I like to study ALL forms of exercise and training, ranging from simple bodyweight exercises to Olympic lifting, to Strongman training to gymnastics and other athletic movements. They all have value and there is actually a LOT of commonality between how they function.

Similar to an engineer taking apart a watch to see how it works, I’ll sometimes dismantle a movement or exercise in my mind and pull out the components that I think are most valuable to the movement…then I’ll put it back together with particular tweaks or changes made to enhance the movement.

And sometimes I’ll have an idea in my mind about a particular muscle or movement pattern I want to work…then I’ll create an exercise or resistance pattern based on that goal.

I may even just limit myself in a workout to a particular piece of equipment or apparatus and challenge myself to work a particular muscle group or movement pattern using it…especially if it’s not intended for that purpose!

In fact, I HIGHLY recommend you do that regularly in your own training, whenever you find yourself getting into a rut…just force yourself to get creative, limiting yourself to one piece of equipment to do an entire workout with…even something as simple as a backpack full of rocks.

In terms of training programs, I combine my scientific background with my gym experience to put together programs that are essentially like “sledgehammers” towards a specific goal. I don’t leave it to chance or deal with nuance. I design my programs to ATTACK whatever goal I set for them so that I’m absolutely sure they’ll work.

4 – What kind of results have folks experienced with your methods? Can you provide a few examples?

I’ve had some pretty stunning success stories…using one of fat loss programs, I had a friend of mine lose 50 lbs of fat (ALL fat) over 5 months while building muscle and basically change his entire life.

Using one my muscle-building programs, I had one person gain 120 lbs on their max deadlift, in TWO weeks. (It sounds insane but the program IS insane…and it works).

I also used one of my specialization programs for handstand push-ups and took myself from 0 reps (controlled negative) to being able to do a set of 40 reps within 3 months.

5 – Would you be kind enough to provide a sample exercise / workout for my readers to try at home?

You bet. This one is a push-up variation that solves one of the BIGGEST problems people have with the push-up…it gets to be too easy and doesn’t build much more muscle or strength.

The push-up is a great exercise, but you’re obviously limited in the amount of resistance you have available to you, i.e. your bodyweight.

When you get to the point where you can easily do 20 to 30 reps of the push-up, you can move on to one-arm push-ups…however, the problem then becomes the hand and body position necessarily focus on the tricep of the working arm. This leaves your pecs lagging.

That’s where the One-Arm Outrigger Bench Push-Up comes in…and all you need to do it is a chair or bench.

Get into your normal push-up position with the chair just about a foot or so beside you to your left. Now set your left hand on the seat of the chair, like an outrigger on a canoe.

NOW do a push-up from there. Your left arm keeps your balance so that you can work the PEC on your right side while forcing a LOT more resistance onto it. You’ll get a good stretch on the left pec as well, but the idea is basically to just have it there to keep balance while you work the other side.

Even if you’re strong with push-ups, this will challenge you. It’s extremely effective and very easy to setup and do.

If you’d like to see pics and video of this exercise in action, I’ve got those posted here (exercise #2 on the site).


Awesome stuff Nick, THANK YOU so much for taking the time to do this interview for FVT readers!!

You can find an entire library of 85 unique body weight exercises that Nick has put together here:

=> The Best Body Weight Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of

Thanks for reading, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

Posted in body weight exercises, body weight workouts, guest posts and expert interviews | Leave a comment

How to Get Better at Burpees

Burpees are an amazing total – body conditioning move. You can do them anywhere with zero equipment. They are hard, and as a result are a fantastic way to build mental toughness.

On the other hand, they are tougher to do RIGHT than most people think or give respect to. They require both flexibility / mobility AND strength in the right places to do safely and correctly.

If you think your burpees could use some improvement, here are two quick tips to get better at burpees:

1 – Avoid the “Ground Hump”

This is when you kick your feet back into the push up position and you sag your hips to the floor.

This is bad because it adds stress to your lower back, and also makes the move less efficient.

Strengthening the core is the key to fixing this mistake. And the plank exercise is a great way to do that.

Here is a video that shows you how to plank properly:

2 – Fix the “Awkward Feet Tuck”

This is where you go to hop your feet forward from the bottom / feet back position, and you land in an awkward way – on your toes, with your feet either super close together or super wide, etc.

This is bad because it adds stress to the back and knees, and it makes the movement MUCH harder overall.

This many times is due to lack of flexibility and / or strength. Improve this is the right places and the awkward feet tuck we often find goes away on its own.

A great stretch you can do to help with this is called a “walking groiner” – here is how to do it:

Burpees really are a great exercise, but there are a lot of elements to getting them right, and you want to make sure you do them correctly to get the most benefit and safely to avoid getting injured.

I hope these two quick tips help you get better at Burpees!

Thanks, train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II


Additional resources: – Full 12 week program to get STRONG with body weight – only training – 33 Kettlebell Challenge Workouts you can do in 20 minutes or less with a single kettlebell


Follow me on Facebook at


Subscribe to my YouTube channel at

Posted in body weight exercises, videos | Leave a comment

Halloween Body Weight Cardio Workout (burn 229 calories in 15 minutes)

We have a whiteboard at our gym where every couple of weeks, we put up a new body weight – based cardio / conditioning workout for folks to do outside of their
regularly scheduled boot camp sessions. It has been a big hit.

People really like the idea of getting some extra work in outside of their two, three or four boot camp workouts every week. And it’s a lot more fun – and productive!
- to do a workout like the one it today’s article, instead of more “traditional” cardio training like running on the treadmill or peddaling away on the eliptical

Today’s article is from my friend Ben Teal, and in it he talks about how to replace cardio and get more work done in less time with something called Metabolic Shred

Enjoy! And Happy Haloween!!

- Forest


How to Kick Cardio to the Curb, Have More Fun And Target Your Fat Zones
- Ben Teal, 7-Day Simplified Fat Loss System

Here’s the deal. I would much rather do Metabolic Shred circuits than cardio. They’re more fun. And they take less time.

But one question I get often is “How can I replace my cardio routine with these shred circuits?”

That’s like asking me “How can I take my current workouts and cover them with a thick layer or hot and spicy awesomesauce?”

What if I told you that you could burn more calories and get a bigger metabolic boost in less time?

And imagine what how much easier life would get if you didn’t need to spend hours in the gym (or even go to the gym at all).

How would you use your newly found free time?

And how would you show off your new, slim, sexy body?

Think about that for a second.

Now, here’s the exact workout I did to burn 229 calories in less than 15 minutes (without equipment).

This one is called “The 9′s”. This is not an easy 15 minutes – but it’s a lot more fun than staring at a treadmill screen for an hour!

You simply want to do each exercise in succession – one right after the other – with minimal rest between exercises (I usually rest about 5 to 10 seconds – just enough
time to move to the next exercise).

Do 9 reps of each exercise (there are 9 exercises).

Rest 30 seconds after each round. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

– Prisoner Lunge
– Seal Jacks
– Pull Ups
– “Perfect” Push Ups
– Jumping Jacks
– Prisoner Squats
– Feet Elevated Push Ups
– Full Body Extension
– “Frogger” (this is a fun exercise – you simply pretend you’re a frog and jump forward. Saying “ribbit” is optional!)

I did this workout in just under 15 minutes and incinerated 229 calories.

*Forest here – check out the video below to see ME going through a round of the workout – so you can see how to do all of the exercises:

Why is this type of workout so effective?

It’s a study in productivity. You can crank up the intensity without killing any one muscle group. This allows you burn more calories faster because you are cycling
through all of the muscle groups.

This type of metabolic workout also cranks up the after burn effect much, much higher than slow cardio on the treadmill so you burn more calories once the workout
has stopped.

Give this workout a try today to burn some extra calories and get an extra workout in over this holiday weekend, and let me know how it goes for you!

And Happy Halloween!!

- Ben Teal, author, 7-Day Simplified Fat Loss System

PS - If you want to maximize success, you need to do workouts like this not as a “one-off” sort of event, but as part of a comprehensive plan. You need to fit a
workout like this into an overall training scheme. You need to make sure your nutrition is dailed in. And more.

I have a comprehensive program that will help your reach your fat loss goals, called the 7-Day Simplified Fat Loss System. Click below to learn more about it:

=> Get the complete 7-Day Simplified Fat Loss System Here

Posted in body weight exercises, body weight workouts | Leave a comment

Conquering the Pull Up – a 4 Step Progression

I’ve got an awesome guest article for you today from my friend Callie Durbrow, who’s a fat loss expert and the owner of Durbrow Performance Training in Somerville, MA.

She’s got a amazing facility over on the east coast … she’s actually helping and giving me some ideas and advice as we plan out our new FVT training center here in Sacramento.

Callie has got an article for you today on the topic of coquering the pull up – and she breaks it down into a great four step progression.

Thanks -

- Forest


Conquering the Pull Up – a 4 Step Progression
By: Callie Durbrow, CSCS, author, Strong and Sexy in 25

Up until about 3 years ago I was struggling with Pull Ups. For a long time I just did them using assistance bands and sort of came to terms with the fact that I just wouldn’t be able to do more than one stand alone rep.

Then I started doing some research and saw a couple of my fitness colleagues rocking them for multiple reps. I made it my mission to start crushing Pull Ups and Chin Ups.

Now I’m rocking 8-10 reps for multiple sets and 3-4 reps with a weight belt for multiple sets.

Why are Pull Ups awesome?

– They are a bad ass exercise
– They sculpt your upper back and give you that V shape that men and women both love
– That sculpting effect makes your waist look smaller (bonus)
– They are a great fat burning exercise (they work a lot of muscles in the body which means more calorie burn)

Today I wanted to share a few progressions that both men and women can use to build up their Pull Up prowess.

1 – Perform Isometric Hangs

This may seem totally “unsexy” but this is one of the best ways to improve your grip strength and get your body comfortable being over the bar.

It also strengthens your biceps and lats to hold you in that top position, which is the toughest to achieve.

How it’s done:

– Jump up onto a pull up bar (make sure you’re not working to get up there, the work is done on the hold portion)
– Set your hands shoulder width with palms facing away from you
– Set your head above the bar and hold yourself in the top of the pull up position
– Hold for 5-10 seconds and then drop down
– Perform 3-5 reps and try to add 2-3 seconds every week

2 – Perform “Negatives”

This is another great drill to improve grip strength, body control and strengthen your lats, the major muscle needed for a great pull up.

How it’s done:

– Follow steps 1-3 from the previous exercise
– When you get to the top, instead of holding, you are going to lower your body down with a 5 second count until your arms are straight
– Jump back up (don’t use an extra energy on this part) and repeat for 4-5 reps
– Perform 2-3 sets of 4-5 reps using the 5 second count on each rep

3 – Use Band Assistance

I’m not a fan of the Assisted Machine that you see in a lot of gyms, or of a partner helping you because the resistance is not consistent.

Using a band under your knee or foot (I’ll explain more below) will help to reduce the amount of your own body weight that you’re lifting on each pull up.

Here’s how it’s done:

– Take a resistance band (you can get them from EliteFTS or Perform Better- the thicker the band, the more resistance so if you have a few bucks to spare, I recommend
getting a thick one, a medium one and a thin one to progress) and loop it over a pull up bar and slide it through so it makes a loop
– Put your foot or your knee in the loop
– If you put your foot in, straighten your leg and wrap your other leg around it to tighten your abs
– If you put your knee in, this gives you less overall resistance but is sometimes easier to get into if you don’t have a partner to pull it down for you
– Once you’re in the band, set your hands shoulder width on the bar and palms facing away from you
– Squeeze your shoulder blades together and visualize driving you elbows down to your rib cage as you come up over the bar
– Lower down slowly and repeat for 5-10 reps
– Complete 2-4 sets of 5-10 reps

4 – Add Resistance

For those of you that can perform multiple reps and need a challenge, add some resistance to your pull ups

Here’s how it’s done:

– If you have a weight belt, strap a dumbbell or kettlebell to the chain and perform your pull ups
– You can also use a thick resistance band a loop it through a weight plate or dumbbell for the same effect as above
– Other options- chains, weight vest

To wrap it up, the Pull Up is one of the best exercises to sculpt lean muscle, improve your athletic physique and burn fat over the long run. It’s intimidating and often hard to progress but now that you have some basics, give it a shot.

If you liked this post, you can find my full training program at the link below:

=> Strong and Sexy in 25 Minutes

- Callie Durbrow, CSCS
Owner, Durbrow Performance Training

Posted in body weight exercises, guest posts and expert interviews | Leave a comment