This week there was an announcement made by the Marines stating that they are reconsidering the Pull-up standard for women because 55% failed to do 3 pull-ups. They are thinking about reducing the requirement and I find that to be complete garbage. At Method, we have women clients that can do 3 pull-ups and more! In fact, Level 7 women ages 16-35 have to do 5 to achieve their status and women 36-55 have to do 3! I know that we will have 6-8 women passing that Level in the next 6 months. The reason many women are not meeting their goal is due to a lot of things - nutrition, conditioning, laziness and more. I could go on and will....later! I will teach you how to do a pull-up in this article.
Pavel, in his book the Naked Warrior - Mastering the Secrets of the Super Strong using only Bodyweight Exercises, describes a formula to get super strong through various squats and push-ups. At Method, we have taken this and applied it to the pull-up. As a result, our clients are progressing to the point of being able to do pull-ups beyond the traditional standard of 3 - 5.
The number one thing to know is that you have to learn and get better at the actual skill required to do a pull-up. The formula is easy - all it takes is practicing the technique. In the gym we do pull-ups during at least 1 session per week. Here is how the program works:
1. We start with 1-3 sets of 15 manual jumps using a 2-inch JumpBand . This will help increase muscular endurance and allow you to get the feel of your body weight. As you increase endurance and the ability to control your body, we take away the jump. This should feel like a near maximal effort for the entire 45 reps.
2. The next step is to lower the resistance from the JumpBand by going to a 1 -inch band and lower the reps to 8-10..The next step is to take away the jump and work on full range pull up with your neck over bar, then all the way down to a dead hang.
3. The last step to doing a pull up is to utilize a 1/2-inch band – this is almost no help and should be 80% of your 1rep maximum. Perform 1 rep and wait 1 minute or 90 seconds till you are fully recovered. You should be doing 5 sets of five. As this get easier to recover, reduce rest time until you can get 5 full range pull-ups without having to stop.
By working on the above steps, you should now be able to do one dead hang pull up, rest and repeat step three. Once you are able to do 2-3 pull ups, it is time to practice that sill everyday through out the day. How do you practice at home? Hang a pull up bar in a doorway of your house and do 2-3 each time you pass the bar - you will be doing 5-10 dead hang pull ups in no time!