Best Bodyweight Exercises: Five Secrets to Bust Through Your Pull-up Plateau

Do you feel like you’ve hit a wall with your pull-ups? The pull up is a great indicator of overall strength, is at least as important as any other upper body exercise, and can be challenging at all fitness levels. In the article below, I will explore the pull up’s importance and share five secrets to help you bust through your pull up plateau.

It’s almost impossible for a person to be unfit if they are able to do a lot ( lets say 20) of pull ups in a row. This is because you need a strong strength-to-body weight ratio in order to do so many Pull Ups. In short, this means you’ll have to be a healthy body weight. Also, you’ll need very strong core muscles to knock out a large set of Pull Ups (Pavel talks a lot about this specifically in his book The Naked Warrior).

Pull ups are unique in the muscles they target, so there is really no good replacement. As a result, if you don’t have any physical limitations that keep you from doing them, the only way to increase the number you can do is to work harder and do more!

Here are 5 secrets I have found to help you bust through your pull up plateau:

1. Utilize the Pull Up Ladder

You can use this workout to help you do more Pull Ups:

1. Do 1 Pull Up. Rest 30 seconds.
2. Do 2 Pull Ups. Rest 45 seconds.
3. Do 3 Pull Ups. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat the sequence two more times.

*For more details on this specific workout – and how to integrate it with your kettlebell training – see Pavel’s Enter The Kettlebell

2. Lose weight

This may seem like a joke but remember – you’re pulling up your own body weight when you do a Pull Up. Therefore, if you want to be able to bust through your pull up plateau, your options are to either get stronger, lose weight, or do both. If you’re having to lift extra weigh, it makes it harder to do a pull up and may be working against you as you try and increase your pull up numbers.

3. Practice the movement

The best way to get better at Pull Ups, is to do lots of Pull Ups. Think of it as practicing any skill: The more you do, the more you’ll improve (to a point). Working through a set or two of Pull Ups every day is a great way to boost your Pull Up numbers quickly.
(Just remember – it’s practice, and we’re not trying to create muscle damage with this method – so make sure if you do this you’re not going to muscle failure)

4. Utilize negatives in your training

Hop yourself up over the bar and then slowly lower yourself down to perform a negative Pull Up.

A person can handle approximately 30 percent more weight on the lowering, or eccentric, phase of any given exercise, so this training method allows you to further overload the muscles and increase the number of Pull Ups you can do fast.

5. Be patient

If you can do three Pull Ups right now, you shouldn’t expect to be able to do ten in two week’s time. Be patient with your training, and accept slow and steady progress.

A lot of people see their numbers increase at first, but then get discouraged quickly. Don’t be one of those people. Accept that a little progress each week will add up to a lot over the course of a few months.

In conclusion, Pull Ups are one of the best indicators of all around fitness. If you’re looking to increase your Pull Up numbers, take the tips in this article and get to work! And good luck in your trianing efforts!

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