Mastering the Weighted Pull-Up P2
From Zero to Hero
If you followed the procedures above and still cannot complete one pull-up with your body weight, do not despair. View your pull-up as you would your PR (personal record) for the dead lift. If you had a barbell loaded with too much weight that you could not lift off the floor, you’d simply keep removing plates until you lightened the load to the point where you can lift it. The same holds true with bodyweight pull-ups. We’re going to reduce the load by using pull-up assistance bands. These bands are thick and strong, 40” long, and come in widths of 21/2”, 13/4”, 1” and ½”. I highly recommend picking one of each width size. Attach the appropriate sized band to the pull-up bar. Step into the band and secure your grip.
Follow the proper pull-up procedures as outlined above. As long as you can perform 1-2 pull-ups in good form, then you have the correct band size.
Perform 3-5 sets with a 3-5 minute rest in between.
Continue to use the same size band until you can perform 3-5 sets of 5 reps.
Drop down 1 band size and repeat the process. Note: Allow approx. 2-3 weeks on each band size. Train pull-ups 3 times a week.
Once you get to the point where you’re to perform 3-5 sets of 5 reps with the ½” band, then you’re ready for full body-weight pull-ups!
When you get to this point, warm up one set of 5 reps with the 1” band then do a second warm up set with the ½” band, then perform 3 working sets with your body-weight only.
Again, once you can perform 3-5 sets of 5 reps with no bands, it’s time to start adding weight! It’s really that simple.
It’s been said that practice makes perfect. Actually, practice makes permanent. Whatever you practice, good or bad, will eventually become a permanent movement pattern. Never sacrifice perfect form for more weight or reps. Treat your strength training as a practice session, pay attention to detail, be consistent, and you’ll begin to make remarkable strength gains. I don’t think it’s possible to get to strong at pull-ups. The bigger the reserve of strength you can build the better. My recommendation for the tactical community is working towards a 1 rep max goal of your body-weight plus 90 pounds. It’s not unreasonable. Without strength, other factors such as endurance, flexibility, agility and skill cannot be used effectively. I can think of several instances where an officer’s safety and the success of a mission directly hinged on the ability to pull his gear-laden body up, over or through an obstacle. Zero to hero, triumph or tragedy… being strong is a choice and the choice is yours.