A Training Plan to Perform Your First Pull-Up

Follow this program to build the foundation you need to finally perform your first Pull-Up.

The Pull-Up is a defining symbol of strength—especially for female athletes. You want to be able to hit at least one Pull-Up, right?

Women are at a disadvantage when attempting Pull-Ups compared to men, because most of them lack additional muscle and strength in their upper bodies. Since Pull-Ups are hard to perform, it's even more rewarding when you can knock out your first Pull-Up!

RELATED: Do Your First Pull-Up With This Simple Workout. Guaranteed.

Many athletes try to perform their first Pull-Up by performing Pull-Ups. This simply doesn't work. The key to performing your first Pull-Up is to take a step back and regress the exercise so you can develop the foundation of strength needed to execute your first Pull-Up.

This method works especially well for female athletes, but it's appropriate for anyone who is struggling to perform Pull-Ups.

Each of your pull-up phases has three different types of muscle contractions, in accordance with the Tri-Phasic Training model popularized by University of Minnesota strength and conditioning coach Cal Dietz and progressed in a linear periodization fashion.

RELATED: Perfect Pull-Up Technique

1 – Eccentric Emphasis

This type of contraction builds phenomenal strength and sets the foundation for the next two types of muscle contractions.

2 – Isometric Emphasis

This builds strength at the top of the Pull-Up—typically the most challenging part for many women.

3 – Concentric Emphasis

You cannot do a Pull-Up if you don't overcome gravity, so this is the actualpullingpart of the exercise.

(Sets x Reps or Sets x Duration)

Phase 1 - Pull-Up Program (Weeks 1–3)

Pull-Ups for Women

Feet on the ground (Eccentric Emphasis)

  • Week 1 – 3 x 6-8
  • Week 2 – 3 x 8-10
  • Week 3 – 3 x 10-12

Phase 1 - Pull-Up Program (Weeks 4-6)

Feet on the ground (Isometric Emphasis)

  • Week 4 – 3-4 x 20 seconds
  • Week 5 – 3-4 x 30 seconds
  • Week 6 – 3-4 x 40 seconds
  • Add additional load if necessary
  • Make sure your upper body is doing all the work

Phase 1 - Pull-Up Program (Weeks 7-9)

Feet on the ground (Concentric Emphasis)

  • Week 7 – 3-4 x 15
  • Week 8 – 3-4 x 20
  • Week 9 – 3-4 x 25

Band-Assisted Pull-Up

Band-Assisted (Eccentric Emphasis)

  • Week 10 – 3 x 6-8
  • Week 11 – 3 x 8-10
  • Week 12 – 3 x 10-12
  • Use as little band assistance as possible

Phase 2 - Pull-Up Program (Weeks 13-15)

Band-Assisted (Isometric Emphasis)

  • Week 13 – 3-4 x 20 seconds
  • Week 14 – 3-4 x 30 seconds
  • Week 15 – 3-4 x 40 seconds
  • Use as little band assistance as possible

Phase 2 - Pull-Up Program (Weeks 16-18)

Band-Assisted (Concentric Emphasis)

  • Week 16 – 3-4 x 15
  • Week 17 – 3-4 x 20
  • Week 18 – 3-4 x 25

Phase 3 - Pull-Up Program (Weeks 19–21)

Bodyweight (Eccentric Emphasis)

  • Week 19 – 3 x 6-8
  • Week 20 – 3 x 8-10
  • Week 21 – 3 x 10-12

Phase 3 - Pull-Up Program (Weeks 22-24)

Bodyweight Pull-Up

Bodyweight (Isometric Emphasis)

  • Week 22 – 3-4 x 20 seconds
  • Week 23 – 3-4 x 30 seconds
  • Week 24 – 3-4 x 40 seconds
  • Add additional load if necessary

Phase 4 - Pull-Up Program (Week 25)

Bodyweight (Concentric Emphasis)

  • Week 25 – Do your Pull-Up!

Now it's your turn!

We've pieced together the program and professed the coaching points. Now you have to do the heavy lifting and the work!

Conclusion

This pull-up program is designed to be incorporated into your normal training routine as a piece of the entire workout puzzle. To expedite your results, perform this workout up to two times per week, especially in the off-season.

RELATED: These Exercises Will Help You Do More Pull-Ups

If Pull-Ups get monotonous, switch your grip. You stimulate different muscles by using different angles with your varied grip.

We recommend (easiest to hardest):

  • Chin-Up (palms facing you)
  • Overhand Pull-Up (shoulders with grip, overhand)
  • Wide-Grip Pull-Up (hands outside shoulder-width)


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PULL-UP | UPPER BODY | BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES