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

If you're ready to stop making excuses for why you can't do Pull-Ups, Major Misty Posey has a workout for you.

Posey, who taught herself Pull-Ups through months of trial and error, has developed a program that can teach anyone to do a Pull-Up. Most of her students complete their first one in a few days. Once that happens, many add a Pull-Up a week to their max by following the progression below.

Exercises

Posey uses four basic exercises to help her students get their first Pull-Up, and all of them involve the pull-up bar:

Negative Pull-Ups: Use a platform to get above the bar, then lower yourself as slowly as possible all the way down.

Jumping Pull-Ups: Stand on a platform beneath the pull-up bar. Complete most of the Pull-Up by jumping, then finish by pulling yourself up with your arms. Maintain control the whole time.

Half Pull-Ups: Stand on a platform tall enough to allow you to hold onto the bar with a 90-degree elbow bend. Complete the top half of the Pull-Up from this position.

Partner-Assisted Pull-Ups: Perform a Pull-Up with a partner providing just enough of a boost to get you over the bar.

Guidelines

  • Do Pull-Ups 3 to 5 times a week.
  • The key to making consistent gains is to do lots of Pull-Ups with moderate intensity. To reach your volume goals, spread your Pull-Ups throughout the day and stop before reaching failure. You should reach failure on only one day per week maximum.
  • Since you'll be doing a lot of Pull-Ups, protect your skin by wrapping your thumbs.

Pull-Up Workout Plan

See cheat sheet below for target numbers for each ability group.

Week 1

Monday (Baseline and Volume)
Max set of Pull-Ups to determine baseline
Pull-Up Ladders for max volume x 4-6 ladders (Negatives for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Wednesday (Volume and Grip)
Pull-Up Ladders for max volume x 3-5  (Partner-Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Dead Hangs Ladders (15, 30, 45 seconds) x 2
Friday (Volume and Intensity)
Pull-Up Pyramids x 3-4 (Partner-Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)

Week 2

Monday (Volume)
Pull-Up Ladders x 4-6 (Jumping Negatives for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Wednesday (Volume and Grip)
Pull-Up Ladders x 3-5 (Partner-Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Dead Hang Ladders (15, 30, 45 seconds) x 2
Friday (Intensity)
Elevators x 4-6
For Elevators, athletes must hold the position their coach calls out: basement (standing on the ground); bottom floor (dead hang), middle floor (halfway up), top floor (chin above bar), roof-top (chest to bar, kipping allowed). Elevators work best as a competition among athletes with similar abilities. Last person on the bar wins.

Week 3

Monday (Volume)
Pull-Up Ladders x 4-6. Pause for three seconds with your arms at a 90-degree angle on the descent. (Pausing Negatives for those who can't do Pull-Ups.)
Wednesday (Volume, Grip and Core)
Pull-Up Ladders x 3-4 (Partner Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Modified L-Sit. Straight legs at 45-degree angle)
Dead Hang Ladders  (10, 15, 20 seconds) x 2
Friday (Intensity)
Escalators. Increase your repetitions by one every minute, on the minute, to failure. (Negatives for those who can't do Pull-Ups)

Week 4

Monday (Volume)
Pull-Up Ladders x 4-6 (Weighted Negatives for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Wednesday (Volume and Grip)
Pull-Up Ladders x 3-5 (Partner Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Thick Bar Dead Hangs (10, 20, 30 seconds) x 2
Friday (Intensity)
Max set of Pull-Ups x 4 with 3 minutes of rest between sets. (Jumping Pull-Ups for those who can't do Pull-Ups)

Week 5

Monday (Volume)
Pull-Up Ladders x 4-6 (Weighted Pausing Negatives for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Wednesday (Volume and Grip/Core)
Pull-Up Ladders x 3-5 (Partner Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
L-Sit. Straight leg at 90-degree angle
Dead Hang Ladders (5, 10, 15 seconds) x 2
Friday (Volume and Intensity)
Pull-Up Pyramids x 3-4 (Partner Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)

Week 6

Monday (Volume and Intensity)
Weighted Pull-Up Ladders x 4-6 (Weighted Negatives with a pause at 90 degrees for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Wednesday (Volume and Grip)
Straight sets x 15 minutes (Partner-Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Friday (Intensity)
Elevators x 4-6

Week 7

Monday (Volume)
Weighted Pull-Up Ladders x 4-6 (Weighted Negatives with a pause at 90 degrees for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Wednesday (Volume and Grip)
Pull-Up Ladders x 3-5 (Partner Assisted for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
L-Sit. Straight legs at 90-degree angle.
Dead Hang Ladders (10, 15, 20 seconds) x 2
Friday (Intensity)
Escalators

Week 8

Monday (Volume)
Pull-Up Ladders x 4-6 (Half Pull-Ups for those who can't do Pull-Ups)
Wednesday (Grip)
 Dead Hangs (10, 20, 30 seconds) x 2
Friday (PR and Intensity)
Max set of Pull-Ups x 4 with 3 minutes of rest between sets. (Half Pull-Ups for those who can't do Pull-Ups)

Pull-Up Cheat Sheet

RELATED: 3 Exercises To Help You Do More Pull-Ups and Build a Stronger Back

Topics: PULL-UP | INTENSITY | JUMPING

Dustin Brady Dustin Brady - Dustin Brady is the Web Manager at STACK Media and an avid runner. He received his bachelor's degree in communications from Pensacola Christian College in 2008.
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