Learning The Pull-Ups

Jul 12, 2012 by



Hello my Darlings,

This week I wanted to switch things up a bit, cause every week I only post workouts, so I thought it was time to break up the routine and create another improvement program for you. Today it’s pull-ups, I know a lot of you guys have been waiting for this for a while.

Pull-ups can be very intimidating, but in reality they are like fuzzy little kittens once you master them LOL.

I am using a Pull-Up bar that I got on ebay for under 30 dollars. If you don’t want to invest into a pull-up bar just yet, you can use any door at your house, so no excuses ;).

Watch the video and then check out the program



Complete Beginners


Before you begin learning how to do pull-ups you need to have some upper body strength. You should be able to do at least 10 regular push-ups. If you can’t do that yet, I recommend you trying my Push-up program to get stronger first.

Install the Pull-Up bar in your doorway and don’t take it down. For the next 2 weeks all you are going to be doing is hanging on it every time you walk by that doorway.

Begin by hanging for as long as you can hold it, at fist you will only be able to hold it a few seconds, but if you do it every day several times a day, you will work up to 30 – 40 seconds within a week. This will help you to build your grip strength as well as get use to your bodyweight.


Always warm-up your upper body with dynamic stretching.


Beginners Program


You will be using a chair throughout the whole week. I recommend you not doing any upper body workout for this week, because you will need to focus on your pull-ups only. Start out by only using neutral grip ( palms facing your body ), this is the easiest way to do pull-ups.

Your goal is to try to get your chin above the bar, but at this stage if you are not able to do that, it’s ok do your best but DO IT!


Monday – test day

Set your timer to count down 1 minute interval. Using a chair you will do as many assisted pull-ups as you can within that minute, all of your reps should be controlled. This is your base number, write it down because you will need it throughout the week.

Now set your timer as a stopwatch. Hang on the bar, keep your shoulders down. Hang for as long as you can. The amount of seconds you are able to hang on a bar is your Hang Base number.


Today you will do 4 sets of pull-ups ( using a chair ) with 2 minutes break in between. The first set you will do to failure ( as many as you can until you can’t do anymore ). The last 3 sets is going to be your base number ( the number you got on Monday’s test ). Take 2 minutes break in between sets.

After you completed all 4 sets, you are going to proceed with just hanging on a bar. Set your timer for the amount of your Hang Base number. Complete 4 rounds, with 1 min break in between. Try not to swing while you are hanging.



Today I want you to do 5 sets of your base number throughout the day ( not all at once like we did Tuesday ). At the end of each set, I want you to hang on the bar using your Hang Base Number.

Today you will do all the sets at once. You will do 2 sets to failure with 2 minute break in between ( still using a chair ). Then you will do 2 more sets of your base number, but you will add 3 extra reps to your base. Example, if your base is 10, then you will do 13 pull-ups per round. Take 2 minute break between rounds.

After you’ve completed all of your rounds, you will again hang on the bar using your Hang Base Number, but you will add additional 5-7 seconds.

Today you will be very sore, but you are gonna need to push through it, don’t worry it’s normal.



Today you will do all sets at once like we did on Tuesday.  You will do 2 sets to failure with 2 minute break in between rounds.  Then you will do 2 more sets of your base number, but you will add 3 extra reps to your base.  Example, if your base is 10, then you will do 13 pull-ups per round. Take 2 minute break between rounds.

After you’ve completed all of your rounds, you will again hang on the bar using your Hang Base Number, but you will add additional 5-7 seconds.



Today, you will repeat the same thing you did on Wednesday. But adding extra 3-4 reps at the end of each set. So six sets throughout the day total.

Don’t forget do hang on a bar at the end of each set, you will hang 5-7 seconds above your Hang Base Number. If you can hang longer – do it!



Today you will do 4 sets to failure with 2 minutes break in between. After you finish your sets, you will hang on a bar for 10 seconds longer than your Hang Base Number, for the total of 4 rounds.



Complete Rest Day



Take your test again

After this, you will need to take 3 complete days off for your upper body only. Then you can proceed to your normal workout schedule.

At this stage you can also begin to do the hanging move that I showed you in the video, the move that simulates as if you were about to do a pull-up. You can do that whenever you are walking by your pull-up bar. Keep your pull-up bar in the door way and use it when you can.

Repeat this program with different grips. Wide grip is the hardest.

Another thing I want you to start trying is to use a chair to pull-up and then lower down by your self. Give it a try, if you can do at least 5 reps like that, then you are ready to do the intermediate program. You can also begin to try to not use a chair at all, just jump up and slowly lower down.




In this program we are only going to do Negative Pull-ups.  You can try to do regular pull-ups during the week 1-2 reps at a time whenever you have a chance, that is if you can. 

At this level you should already be able to jump up and slowly lower down ( that’s a negative pull-up ). Negative pull-ups really help you to build strength.

I recommend you not doing any upper body workout for this week. You can work on different grip one week at a time. But space it out, do the program with one grip for a week, then take one week off and do your regular training. Then proceed to learning pull-ups with another grip variation.


Monday – test day

Set your timer to count down 1 minute. Do as many negative pull-ups as you can. This is your base.

Take 2 minute break and set your timer for 1 minute again and just hang on a bar for as long as you can.

If you can hang the full 1 minute – bravo!  If you can hang for less amount of time, write down that number. This is going to be your Hang Base Number.



Today you will do 5 sets of pull-ups ( negative ) with 1-2 minutes break in between. The first set you will do to failure. The last 4 sets is going to be your base number ( the number you got on Monday’s test ).

After you completed all 5 sets, you are going to proceed with just hanging on a bar using your Hang Base Number.  Complete 4 rounds, with 1 min break in between.



Today I want you to do 6 sets of your base number throughout the day ( not all at once like we did Tuesday ). At the end of each set, I want you to hang on the bar using your Hang Base Number.

At the end of each set I want you to hang and simulate a pull-up move like I showed you in the video at least 8-10 reps, just hang and rise up just a bit. You can do this move every day, this move really helps you to overcome the ” I can’t do this ” thing.



Today you will do all sets at once, with a break in between of course. You will do 2 sets to failure with 1-2 minute break in between rounds. Then you will do 2 more sets of your base number, but you will add 3-4 extra reps to your base.  ( Example, if your base is 10, then you will do 13 pull-ups per round ).  Remember we are still doing negative pull-ups.

After you’ve completed all of your rounds, you will again hang on the bar using your Hang Base Number, but you will add additional 10 seconds.

You already know the drill, you will be sore as hell but you have to push through it.



Today, you will repeat the same thing you did on Wednesday.  But adding extra 4-5 reps at the end of each set. So five sets throughout the day total.
Don’t forget do hang on a bar at the end of each set, you will hang 10 seconds above your Hang Base Number. If you can hang longer – do it!

At the end of each set again I want you to hang and simulate a pull-up move like I showed you in the video at least 8-10 reps, hang and rise up just a bit as high as you can.



Today you will do 4-5 sets to failure with 2 minutes break in between. After you finish your sets, you will hang on a bar for 10-15 seconds longer than your Hang Base Number, for the total of 4 rounds.

At the end of each set I want you to hang and simulate a pull-up move like I showed you in the video at least 10-12 reps, hang and rise up just a bit as high as you can.



Complete Rest Day



Take your test again using negative pull-ups. Now try to see how many regular pull-ups you can do.

Like I said above, if you have a pull-up bar in your doorway, it’s always good to just keep it there. Everytime you walk by hang on it just a bit, try to do a pull-up or 2, do this all the time and you will be able to increase your pull-up strength more and more every day.


Have Fun!


PS – I got my tights on ebay.

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  • Ya solo te falta subir los videos también en español Tati jejeje seria genial 😛

    • Tengo que aprender español, no lo hablan en absoluto 🙁

  • Trish

    I love these instructional posts. My pistols are getting much better thanks to you Pull ups are not my forte either, I must admit! When I learned them, I found doing them from a door at first helped, because your body can’t flail around as much as when hanging from a bar. At the moment, I don’t have a pull up bar up in my house, do am back to using the door!

    • The door is a perfect alternative 🙂

  • Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! Is doing this pull-ups plan during my week of rest a good idea?

    • Ohh no, a week of rest needs to be a week of rest.

      • I knew so, even I post the question. Old habits are hard to break

        • Yes I do understand, but you have to try. We are filming a new lower body routine tomorrow, it’s gonna be super tough ( I tested it already ), in the video I’m gonna talk a little about resting and and old habits, as well as about training 5-6 days a week and goals. I want to start doing little mini vlogs before workouts.

          • So far, I’ve been successful with breaking old habits. The old workout junkie “me” would have just done the pull-ups plus my regular workouts. The pull-ups will be a great way for me to ease back into working out after resting period. I can’t believe I’m in my 4th week of solely doing your routines.

  • marysunny verdi

    hi tatianna, i wonder if this can be done together with the pistol squat challenge? or do you suggest to do one thing at a time? thanks byeee

    • marysunny verdi

      ok maybe was my connection i thought i couldnt post. never mind. thanksss

  • steffi_dk

    That´s just what I needed:) Awesom!!

  • Rmary69

    Awesome Tati!!!!! thank you so much for this tutorial!!

    Does the strength come from the back only or from both the back and the arms? I am a bit confused. And if the back is engaged, is it the upper part of the back, the middle or the lower part? How can we feel the correct muscle? I am going to start both the pistol challenge and the pull up bars challenges next week. Shall I consider the pistol as my lower body workout and the pull ups the upper body workout? or shall do a normal workout routines and I include the challenges after the workout? I love your workouts Tati!!! I can feel positive results after one month only. I never did the proper form before and I realized that it’s everything. I was bodyrocking for 7 -8 months and hardly noticed a better result after all this time. I was rushing and tried to do as many reps as I could and beat Sean or Lisa scores which is totally incorrect. With you I learned THE proper form!!! and your workouts are so challenging!! Thank you for what you do and share your experience with us!!!


    • Hi Romy, I suggest you don’t do any workouts if you are going to do one leg squat and pull-up program, cause you will be close to overtraining and a twitching eye LOL.

      With pull-ups depending on the grip you are using, your upper and middle back is engaged all the time. How you use your muscles depends on the grip, but the power will come from both your arms and your back, you will also notice your abs working. If I am doing a wide grip pull-up I am feeling it more in the back of my shoulders and back, neutral grip more in front of my shoulders and back, regular grip I am feeling more in the back of my arms the most and my back, chin-ups you will feel it in your biceps and back.

  • Esal1

    Nice Vid Tati!!
    I have been working on my pullups for a while and has gotten to the point where I just enjoy them. For those that don’t have a bar, go to the park, use the toys, monkey bars, swingsets, whatever is there. I have the ability to do them in my house but almost never do, really enjoy getting out and “playing” around. I have have an ongoing battle with Mother Nature, I will not be denied my Park time because she is feeling a little grumpy. The sense of accomplishment only grows when you complete your WO in the middle of a rain and wind storm. I usually get in 100 pullup burpees nightly (I have changed that to 2 days a week since I am on the Tati plan) along with all kinds of other fun. You will also motivate kids, moms, dads and anyone else watching you at the park. It has been an AWSOME thing for me, probably more mentally then physically, but I can assure you the physical benefits have been tremendous.

    • Ohh yes playing outside is super fun, but I always have a hard time if people are watching me

      • kharla

        me too 🙁 they bother me with weirdo looks like I’m crazy or wanna show up 🙁

        • Well sometimes it all depends on how many people are at the park, if there are only 2-3 I just ignore them, one time we shot outside and there was this mom and her daughter who just parked their car right in front of us, got out and just stood there and stared at me the whole time while I was working out. I just pretended they were not there, I guess I got that from my circus performing days.

  • midimidi

    i think my other post didn’t post, 43 seconds, 14 base max 20, 14,14,14 super hard hanging for 43 seconds 4 times,

    • You are pretty strong! I think something is going on with Discuss, I updated it just now I hope the comments will start going through.

      • midimidi

        it was my computer! these pullups are negative pullups but thank you! i used to not be able to do one pushup. i think the body is amazing how it adapts to what you ask it to do. it’s almost more neurological as strength. like once your body goes through the motion it accepts it and makes the adjustments.

  • Eto ne moya muzika, svou ya poka ne vistavila, snachala hochu zaregestrirovat vse svoi pesni potom budu vistavlyat 🙂

  • Tangie

    Hello Tati, this is my first comment here even though I found your blog over a month ago. Great tutorial, it will help me overcome my fear of bulking up too much with pullups. The idea of doing assisted ones is fantastic!!
    I have read an interesting article that I’ll link below and I think your blog should be mentioned alongside the good ones because you always take time to answer our questions and help us with our training.

    • Hi sweetie,

      Thank you so much for your kindness, welcome to Loving Fit :). Let me know if you ever have any questions, thank you for the article, I am going to go check it out now 🙂

  • Kate

    Hi, I know you mentioned in your video to use the neutral grip and to switch around the grips to get strong on all of them but which one do you recommend using to do the whole program? Neutral? I’m very excited to try this

    • Hi Kate,

      I recommend for you to use Neutral first, it will give you a good foundation, once you will be able to do pull-up with neutral grip, others will be much easier to learn.

  • KirryKaatje

    This is awesome. Last week I started to practise my pull ups, since I have always wanted to master them. Now I can use your training program, so this is perfect timing! I will begin this on monday, since the program matches my week perfectly. 🙂

    Thanks so much, Tati! <3

    • You’re very welcome sweetie, let me know how you progress 🙂

  • inmotion

    ? ?? ?? ?????????? ??????? ????????? ??? ????? ??????????? (15+ ???)? ? ???????? ????????? ???? “50 pull-ups”, ?? ??? ??????? ??????… ? ?????-?? ?????? ?????? ? ????? ? ???????? ???????? ?? ??? ???????????? ??????, ??? ? ??? ?????????.


    • Konechno mogu podskazat mister InMotion 🙂

      Ya vam sovetuu sdelat mou programmu dlya Intermediat no vmesto Negative Pull-ups delat obiknovennie. Sama programka budet rabotat tochno takge. Garantiruu chto cherez nedelu budet bolshoe prodvigenie 🙂

      • inmotion

        ???????, ????????! ???? ?? ?????? ???????: ? ???? ???????? (15 ~ 16 ???) ????? ???????? ?? ??????. ?.?., ?? ??????????? ?????, ?? ????????? ??? ??? ???????? ?????? 5 ???????? ?? 15 ??????????… ?? ? ?? ????? ????, ??? ??? ??????????. ???????????? ?? ?????????, ?????? ????????? ?????? ????? ? ?????? ?????? ?? ???? ?????????? ??????. ?.?. ??? ???? ???????, ? ?? ????? ??????? ?????? ??? 15-12-10-8-6 ??? ????? ?????. ???? ?? ? ???? 5 ??? ????????? ????????, ??????, ??? ??? ?? ???????? :-).

        • Znachit togda kogda uge ne mogete delat vse 15 podhodov, podstavlyaem stul i prodolgaem delat poslednie 2. No prodolgaem ne ponigaya kolichestvo raz, imenno tak i nabiraetsya sila. Toest esli dage tretij raz polnosenno sdelat 8 raz, to posle 8 raz poslednie 7 delaem so stulom. Etot podhod sportivnij, vseh akrobatov uchat podtyagivaniyam imenno tak. Vi dolgni obyazatelno poprobovat, garantiruu chto cherez nedelu budete silnee. Moj muj sejchas moget delat 30 podtyagivanij v horoshoj forme.

          • inmotion

            ??????? ?? ???????????! ? ?????, ?? ??????? ??? ????, ???? ????????? ?????. ???????????, ? ??? ????? ??????????? ???? ?? ?? ??????????… ?? ?? ????????, ? ?? ??? ?????! ??? ????????? ??????. ??? ?????? ????? ????????? ?? ?????? ?????? ?????.

            ??????????? ????????… ? ?? ??????? ????? ??????? ????? ?? ??????, ?? ???? ???? ????? ?????, ??? ??????.

            ?????? ????? ????? ????? ?????. ? ????? ?????? ?????? ?? ???? ?????, ?? ?? ???????? ??????, ??? ?? ????? ???????????? 30 ???. ? ????? ? ??? ?????? ????. ???? ?? ??????, ??? ?? ?? ?????????? ?.?. ?? ???????????????? ?????, ??? ????? ??? ???? – ??? ??????

          • Ne za chto 🙂

            Ya obogau vash umor 🙂

            Moj mug professionalnij acrobat. On rabotaet v Cirque Du Soleil v shou La Nouba, v polete ( trapesia ). On sam iz semie sirkochej uge 5 pokolenie. On u menya chto tolko ne delaet, i na batute prigaet, i tumbling delaet i na velosipede moget sdelat back flip v reku. Esli vi kogda nibud budete v Orlando to prihodite na show, moj mug vam dast skidku s biletov na 50% a takge pokaged back stage 🙂

  • erlingtonjames

    Hello Tatianna, well today I started the challenge so my assisted pull up’s is only 4 (yeah that’s I could do) and hang on the bar 23 seconds. Hopefully I can do a bit more by the end of first week. I was like this with the push up challenge but now I can do 10 full push up’s which is good. I will let you know how I do. Thanks again for this challenge Tatianna x

    • Girl you will definitely do more, way more!!! It is a very hard exercise but trust me you can do it. When I started I couldn’t even hang on the bar for 5 seconds, now I can’t even believe how far I’ve came and you will too 🙂

  • Chrissy

    I can’t wait to do this when I get a pull-up bar. I only got my dip station in February and before that, had never done a pulling exercise once in my life. I am going to get a pull-up bar once I get better at pullups on the dip station. Pulling exercises are so important. I was not able to do a pushup on my toes until I started practicing pulling exercise on the dip station.

    • Pull-up bars are fun! I love having it in my office and every time I walk by I do something on it.

  • Evaleen

    Your info in this vid is simply great! Every possible detail was addressed, so I haven’t a single question to ask. Just awesome to finally have a proper and truly helpful tutorial for these, so thank you lots!!! 🙂

    Tested my base today, did 5 half-assisted (no chair for the negative) then 5 fully assisted pull-ups for the one minute. My base hang was also a minute… okay, technically it was 58 seconds :p but I nearly slipped off the bar for it.

    A HUGE obstacle for me though is to finally break out of the dead hang…. I can pull myself all the way up (at least once at a time) but NEVER without bent arms first. 🙁 So, really gotta work on that. I just hope my hands get toughened up for all this, cause they are huuuuurtiiiiiing. Am getting callouses even through my gloves… bloody cream palms lol.

    • You are doing great Evaleen, I noticed a lot of you guys can hang on a bar for a while, which means you will progress a lot by the end of the week.

  • midimidi

    i hung for a minute yesterday! wooo hooo!

    • Wow that’s great, that means you will have a huge progress by the end of the week.

  • KirryKaatje

    Today I’ve started the pull up program. I’m doing the intermediate level, since I’ve been practising before.

    Base number of negative pull ups in 1 min: 8
    Base number hanging time: 1 min. (phew, was tough!)

    • The third day is going to be the toughest, so hang on tight!

      • KirryKaatje

        I know, lol! I’ve even put in my notes: “You will be sore.. push through!!”

  • inmotion

    ? ???? ???? ??? ???? ? ???? ?? ?????????? :-). ? ???? ????????, ??, ??? ?????? ??? ???, ????? ???????! ?????? ? ??????? ?????? 30 ????????????… ? ??????, ???? ?? ????????, ? ???? ?????? ?????????? ?? ?????? ? ??? ????? ??????????? ???????????? ???????.

    ??????? ?? ???????????! ?????????? ?????? ???? ???, ?? ? ???????? ????? ??????? ???????? ?? ???????. ? ??? ?? ??? Corteo ? ??????? ? ???????? – ??? ???, ? ????????????, ????? ??????? ????? :-).

    ??? ??? ???????… ? ????? ????????????? :-).

    • Ne za chto 🙂 budem gdat vas vo Floride :). Da u nih pochti vse akrobati bivali na Olimpijskih igrah i mnogie s medalyami.

  • Great start Lindsey!

  • Hi Tatiana, thanks a lot for the pull ups program. I have been trying to improve my pull ups and this is very useful. I had recently started using resistance bands for assisted pull ups and I liked them over using a chair for assistance because they give you a feel for the entire motion of the pull up, and if you keep only very little resistance then they are also very hard. If I use very little resistance (thin resistance band) then I can do only about 4 pull ups before my my arms give up. But I can obviously do more if I increase the resistance (2 bands for example or if I use a chair). So my question is, for practice, is it better to do more number of pull ups using greater assistance or fewer number of pull ups using as little assistance as possible? I can do about 12 negative pull ups in a minute and yesterday I did a dead hang for 1:32 before my forearms gave in.

    • Hi Anne Lee,

      For you I recommend to start with more negative pull-ups, and within that week you will be able to gain strength to do regular.

      • thanks for replying, Tatianna. As per your advice, I did 4 sets of negative pull ups and 4 sets of dead hangs today.

  • KirryKaatje

    Idd, that hang! I thought: “Oh, easy breasy” *flips hair* Definitely not! When the clock hit 48 seconds I was holding on to bare life!

    • OMG yep it always seems so easy breezy until we actually try it 🙂

    • Lindsey Shepard

      Haha, your *flips hair* comment made me laugh so much 🙂

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    thought I’d give this a go today after weight training legs. what are your thoughts on using the neutral grip if my shoulder is still a bit wonky? I used regular wide grip this morning, but felt a bit hindered. I’m at a full stretch so jumping up to negative was hard!!!!

    anyway, my base was 12 and I can hang for the full minute

    • Gerri use the grip that doesn’t hurt your shoulders.

  • midimidi

    so i still can’t do a pullup from hanging but i can at least move upward! i can do one if I hang and swing a bit but that’s cheating! I think this is going to take a few weeks but I see an improvement. thanks! so this week off from this and next week we try another grip?

    • Hey Midi,

      Next week do your regular training but once in a while when you have time keep trying pull-ups. Then the following week you will do a different grip.

  • Today I did Glam Booty Wo and 2nd day of learning pull ups for intermediate. What can I say? I hate pull ups 😀 My arms are sore now and I do not wait for tomorrow for the 3rd day. I can’s think about it 😀 My NPL test number 10 and today I had a huge challenge to do 4 rounds of 10. I wanted to quit after the 2nd round. Then I started to do assisted pull ups (one leg on the chair but with the jump). The worse thing was hanging. Yesterday I could hang for a minute, but today 4 rounds of 1 minute… OMG I wanted to die. The next 3 rounds I could hang only about 20-15 s, a little rest and then again 15 s. And after that all I had 0 energy. Want all evening only to sleep.

    • Keep hanging on, after the 3rd day passes it gets easier 🙂

  • Lindsey Shepard

    I know they say “no pain, no gain” but I’m pretty sure you’re trying to kill me! The second day was SOOOOOO tough! My arms are almost in a state of permanent bend because my biceps won’t stop firing! (Does this mean I’m using too much bicep?). I’m glad tomorrow is stretched out over the day!

    • The third day is the toughest and then it get’s much easier

  • KirryKaatje

    Captains Log #91281:

    Today has been day 2 in the Pull Up Challenge. It was quite the tough one as expected, after staring in utter disbelieve in my notebook: 5 rounds: 1 round fatique, 4 rounds base. After close inspection and some pondering I decided to play some music, something I rarely do, but this new challenge required some inspiration, some needed courage.. some ‘oompf’ as the young kids may call it.

    I decided to choose Marina & The Diamonds, picked the song: ‘Power and Control’, since it matched my mood and from here my mission began. While the sweet voice of Marina tried to encourage me, I have to admit my mind flinged some curses at her imaginary head, while I was trying to push through round 5. When part one of my new adventure was done, I was incredibly happy, waved my arms lose like a starfish on crack, but then realised part 2 was about to begin….I died a little inside.

    With slight anticipation, yet combined with a flinter of fear, I started to hang on my pull up bar for one whole minute. This was my base hang time from Test Day.. Test day must have been delusional, because.. oh…my… god! It was so hard! My muscles were screaming like they have been injected with some alien acidity and were about to evaporate! In round 2.5 I had to come up with a keen plan to lessen the fatique and to keep going, so I decided to use my tippy toes to give a little stability. Eventho the fatique in my muscles wore heavy, it was durable and I succeeded! I’m pleased to announce that I’m no ‘Red-shirt!’

    Day 2 was quite the journey. I do have one key advice for any other Pull Up Space Adventurers out there: DO NOT TRY TO SHAVE your legs afterwards, unless you want them to look like patchworked poodles with bald spots.

    • You’re so funny girl – Poodles with bald spots he he he

    • Evaleen

      LOL, make it sound like you’ve been to war. :p Know the feeling though, pushing against mental barriers can certainly feel like it… specially when someone’s a natural-born wimp like me. xD

      And indeed, the initial result from the hang test feels meaningless now lol. Started on my 4 rounds today after all the pull-ups sets, but my fingers kept giving out after 20 seconds. 🙁 At least I could attempt them this time I suppose… on day two I skipped the hangs altogether cause my palm blisters were swelling with pain after all the pull-up sets (found some thicker gloves the next day though, thankfully).

      • KirryKaatje

        Well, then we’re two natural wimps together, trying to beat this darn pull up! My palms also look like the hands of a construction worker, but I kinda like it.. scars of the effort, you know. 😛

        Hang on there! ..lol We can do this!

        • Evaleen

          “Hang on”, pun intended? Haha– anyway, I’m with ya!!! xD

  • sedindriuke

    Good program I would try but I do have stupid doors with stupid wooden decorations around and I cant put pull up bar (first i bought it and then i saw my wooden decorations :D). And i tried on the doors the negative pull up and it is quite dangerous and restricted to move… But I will be doing pull ups during the day on uncomfortable doors, because I so wanna be able to pull up myself 🙂 like last year i even could not do push up and now I can do more than 20 (i think i need to try your PU program ;)) But still nice to have a target in fitness – pull ups 😀 Tomorrow is off fitness day but i will do pull ups on doors 😀
    p.s. I always have been hanging on the doors (or pull up bars in the gym) after working out for 7 years – my trainer tought it that it is good to strech the core after workout like this and then after this hanging you can not sit suddenly, if you wanna sit down you have to be slow to let your spondyles of back to settle after stretching (not recommended to sit down after this long hanging 30 minutes… ). And maybe that’s is why i got 1 cm plus my height 😀

  • KirryKaatje

    Captains Log #91282:
    Today was day #3.. I’ve just finished round 2 for today.. 4 more to go.. Lord, have mercy!

    • Third day is the hardest but after that it just gets easier.

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    day 2, switched to neutral grip on the bar, easier on my shoulder. put a small stool in front of me to help jump up after 2 rounds, like i said, I’m at full extension so can’t get much of a jump up in and am actually lifting myself halfway up as well a very slow descent. for the 4 sets of hanging I only managed to do 60 seconds, 50 seconds, 50 seconds, and 35 seconds, and back on to finish 10 seconds. My hands kept trying to slip off and this is with gloves on…lol…I felt this most in my elbows and forearms…oh, I also managed to shed my 2 rings in my first one minute break and get my gloves back on…rings and hanging from the bar don’t mix

    • Gerri Lee Schafer

      oh, I also finished with 3 sets of bench press, 12 reps with 90 lbs…3 sets of overhead tricep extension, 12 reps with 20 lbs….and 3 sets of alternating bicep curls, 12 reps with 18 lbs

      • Hey Gerri, I think it’s best if you don’t do any upper body this week and leave all your strength for pull-ups. You will get better results this way.

        • Gerri Lee Schafer

          I just felt unbalanced after all the pull ups…could feel my lats, shoulders and biceps a bit..trying to balance the muscle work a bit

          • OK, as long as you don’t overdo it 🙂

          • Gerri Lee Schafer

            trust me, I controlled myself…lol….was planning to do a full chest and arm weight session….actually proud of myself for keeping it to one exercise per part :))))

          • I’m proud of you too 🙂

      • Lindsey Shepard

        So, I hit the number next to the reply button on accident, not sure what that does. Anyway… Gerri Lee you are INSANE! And I admire your strength 🙂

        • Gerri Lee Schafer

          why thank you….I’ve been weight training for a long time, but have a bad shoulder right now, so my reps aren’t what they could be…lol….I’m also doing a slow 5 count descent on the negative pull ups, takes longer, but uses more muscle

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    day 3….did one set negatives plus one minute hang plus 8 half pulls…Ab Ripper X….another set of the pull up routine…. 5 minutes 10/20 high knee skip plus 5 minute 10/20 high knees…another set of the pull up routine…breakie shake…made lunch…salad today is cucumber, tomato and avocado…mmmm …surfed a bit…did another set of pull up routine..now I just have to convince myself to do 2 more sets after work…lol

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    Tatianna, I just noticed that Wednesday you say 6 sets and Friday you say repeat Wednesday, but 5 sets total?????

    • Hey Gerry,
      Thank you for noticing and letting me know, I will fix it right away. I am so thankful that now I have all of you guys to tell me if something is off, cause in the beginning there was whole bunch of weird things going on and I would only notice way later.

      • Gerri Lee Schafer

        so are you changing it 5 sets????? PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

        • He He He, you totally wish I did :), but nope 6 sets it is 🙂

          • Gerri Lee Schafer

            dammit!!!!! lol I did finish my 6 rounds of day three today, 2 after work, but didn’t do the 60 second hang on the last one :((( my elbows hurt??? plus I have to unload 2500 lbs worth of stock tomorrow at work, all pieces weighing at least 35 lbs plus each…my lats are soar!!!!!!!

          • It’s fine, don’t worry about the hang, you still finished all your sets 🙂

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    hey Korena, stretch !!!!!! grab onto something solid in front of you at about shoulder level with one arm, gently lean back and bend over a bit, move your body around and you will feel the stretch all through your lats and arms…keep doing this throughout the day, and before you do any pull ups…hope that helps :))))

  • Yes it usually get’s pretty hard on day 3, it’s normal. But tomorrow you will feel a lot less sore.

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    Day 4 complete, did my 2 sets to failure plus 2 sets of base with 3 extras….the hanging base plus 10 seconds i had to touch down twice real quick to get a better grip on my bar

    • How are you feeling on day 4?

      • Gerri Lee Schafer

        pretty tight…day 5 might be a battle…lol..I didn’t feel too bad this morning, but I’ve been non-stop at work all day, plus unloading a pallet of stock…no time to stretch, we’ll see

        • You will feel pretty good on day 5, it’s the 3rd and sometimes 4th day that can be hard, after that is somewhat easy breeze 🙂

          • Gerri Lee Schafer

            I find the “spread through the day” thing hard, I have mornings to work out, go to a very physical job, home with maybe 20 minutes before eating, then I’m too full and lazy to want to do more, but doing 6 sets before I leave the house is a no go…maybe with out the hang time…dunno

          • How about if you do 3 sets before you go to work, and then 3 more when you get back right before eating. My husband always says ” Just knock it out quickly “. Or you can just skip the hang.

          • Gerri Lee Schafer

            heh…thinking of skipping the hang and just doing the pulse ups…we’ll see how I am in the morning…been a while since I challenged pull ups like this, but hey were chair assist, not a jump up and 4 count down

          • Yeah you can definitely just do the pulse ups without the hang

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    OK Tatianna, day 5 done…mostly…I wanted to get it all in this morning, so took your advice and skipped on the hanging. Here is what I did as a circuit, no rest except getting back and forth to the stairs. 6 rounds total of the following

    1/ 25 swiss ball crunches
    2/ 17 negative pull ups
    3/ 8 pulse ups on bar
    4/ 25 swiss ball crunches
    5/ 10 sets of running the stairs = 16 steps

    I did throw in one 70 second hang at the end…might try a few more after work today

    thanks…I think….LOL

    • I can’t wait for your Monday test 🙂

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    so I’ve got part one of Purrfect Abs down for the am along with day 6 of pull ups and probably some cardio too…I think I’m going to have to come back to this program once my shoulder is better, getting pretty soar after 5 days, plus I would like to try it with regular wide grip style

    • Yes recover if you have to, cause you don’t want to make your shoulder more stressed.

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    Day 6 in and done!!!!! I’m amazed, my lats and arms weren’t soar at all this morning, my bad shoulder on the other hand…not so good. My weak link right now. Had to pass on the hanging today, hurts the shoulder too much. Did 4 sets to failure, plus 10 pulse ups. I also did the plank part of your Purrfect Abs WO as a warm up, going to pass on cardio today, might go for a hike.

    • Nice to read your posts on the pull ups training. You’re giving me fear/hope that I’ll survive it when I give it a go after my rest week. I’m wooting on the sideline for you. Whoot!!!

      • Gerri Lee Schafer

        Tatianna really helped urge me along too, I was the stiffest on day 3 and 4. I want to try this routine once my shoulder is fully healed. It definitely held me back. The key is to push through, and do lots of stretching through out the day. Looking forward to reading how you do!!!!

  • Evaleen

    Did my final 4 sets to failure today, followed by the hangs. I had delayed a couple days because I was going to use the rest times to alternate with one-leg squats (also 4 sets to failure)… though that didn’t happen cause of the muscle strain I mentioned, so just did 30lb weighted goblet squats instead (in straight sets of 20).

    1st set: 10 negative (best improvement so far), 5 fully assisted
    2nd set: 5 neg, 10 full-assist
    3rd set: 3-4 neg, 6 full-assist
    4th set: 3 neg, 12 full-assist
    **Hard to give a report for the hangs… kept slipping off, and after a short break would get back on during all rounds after the first (made it to 45 sec on that one).

    All this did provide a nice long workout today– all the pull-up and squat sets followed by interval skipping and some sliding core moves (pull-ups, hangs, holding a jump rope, then working from a push-up plank = forearm death lol).

  • tee_w

    Hi tatianna! I think I will try this pullup program this week. I have a question though. I just have a bar, not one like you have so no neutral grip, just chinups or pullups. I can do maybe 2 chinups full, but can’t quite get up all the way doing shoulder width pullup and only about 1/4 way up for wide grip. I’m guessing I should do intermediate program but should I start with chinups? (since that is easiest for me?)

    • Gerri Lee Schafer

      Tee, be prepared for a very soar upper body on day 3 and 4, but push through!!!!

    • Hey Tee,

      I recommend you doing just a regular grip pull-ups, or you can switch between regular grip and chin-ups.

      • tee_w


  • Lindsey Shepard

    Well, I did the test again today and I went from 12 negative pull-ups to 19! Woo HOo! And that was with skipping the Saturday workout (yeah, I dunno what happened… I fell off the wagon). This was great. I wish I had done Saturday because I wasn’t sore anymore but I’ll take an improvement of 7! I plan to do this one again but I want to do the push-up improvement first. Thanks Tati!

    • Congrats on your improvement Lindsey!

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    OK, took the test again today. Tried to do a very slow controlled descent with at least a four count like I did for the initial test. Went from 12 to 17. And at 17 i wasn’t at failure, just out of time :)))) I will have to wait for my shoulder to get better before i tackle this again though. I did try to do a pull up, and can, but notice that I’m lifting mostly with one side, not good form.

    • Nice progress, I bet when your shoulder heals you will blast through those pull-ups like crazy!

      • Gerri Lee Schafer

        I’m actually looking forward to trying when I’m healed up. I can do full hang chin ups even now, only about 4 or 5 though.

  • tee_w

    Did my test this morning, feeling a little wimpy compared to some others – Gerri Lee! lol I got 8 in before I started dropping too fast and only 32 seconds on hang, seemed like forever! lol

    • Gerri Lee Schafer

      good job Tee, you will want to quit after day 3 and 4 but push through

      • tee_w

        I’m sore after the test! lol

        • Gerri Lee Schafer

          stretch …. grab something solid about shoulder height, lean back gently and bend over, let the weight of your body stretch out your lats and arms by moving around…this will hurt, but help :))))

          • tee_w

            yah I know, did weight training for years! lol not that sore yet, but been periodically hanging off the door knobs ha ha!

  • Hi Tatianna, I finished a few days ago but didn’t have time to post!

    I did the intermediate program and I went from 8 (+2) to 10 (+3) negative pull ups 🙂

    The () are the extra ones I managed where I didn’t get my chin over the bar. I am short which means that if I bend my legs much then I can’t touch the bar! This means I have to pull up about the last 20%, and I can only do that so many times.

    My hang time went from 35s to 25s, but that’s more to do with delicate skin on my hands than anything else (although I have some callouses now!). I found the hanging the hardest and I might try the challenge again in a month or so without the hangs.

    I can do many more mini-pull ups now that I’ve done your challenge, and I can get about twice as high with them. I can feel a lot of extra strength in my arms and back and I am much closer to being able to do a full pull up 🙂

    Thank you!

    • I am very happy you have improved with this program, I recommend you getting back to your regular training for 2 weeks and then try the program again.

  • tee_w

    day 1 done! I only managed to do 8 on failure, rest of sets only managed 5 before dropping too fast. hangs – first round almost got to 32 sec, fell off then beep. next 3 sets coudn’t last had to keep getting back on, finger grip dying!

    • That is really good Tee, 8 pull-ups is very very good

  • tee_w

    couldn’t do day 2, couldn’t come down slow so taking day of rest between, thinking I might change this challenge a bit. hmmm get back to you tomorrow!

    • Gerri Lee Schafer

      maybe try using a chair assist?

      • tee_w

        ha chair assists are too easy and too hard at the same time! lol I find it too hard to assist the right amount and I tend to make it too easy! ha ha! I’m thinking I will just do the pullup I can, take a rest, and continue that way for several sets. It will be a combo between Tati’s program and the ones from 100 pushups.com see how it goes!

  • tee_w

    OK this is what I did for day 2!
    5 sets, one minute rest between sets.
    1/2 pullup
    1 full pullup
    1/2 pullup
    1/2 pullup
    max reps – 1.5 pullup
    4 sets of hangs for 42 sec one minute rest between sets (after a workout)
    had to drop out but kept getting back on, my weak point is still my fingers slowly uncurling from the bar! lol
    though it seemed kind of goofy doing only partials today, I felt stronger and more accomplished than trying to do the negatives. well, will see how this goes, I was much stronger on the hangs today!

    • Hey Tee 🙂 try to grab onto a bar with your palms more forward, that will prevent you from slipping. Also I hope you are using gloves, they really help with the grip.

  • Lindsey Shepard

    Hey Tati,
    Just thought I’d share with you that my almost 16 month old likes this program too. She’s done a few pull-up bar hangs, some as long as 10 seconds and loves it! 🙂

    • That is just so cute 🙂

    • Now, I’m jealous of a 16months old:)) It’s amazing seeing little kids hang on monkey bars inplaygrounds, they make it look so easy.

  • I sense this will be hard for me.
    Day 1: 4 assisted in 1 min
    Hang: 11 secs
    Strangely, I felt this more in my arms than shoulder. I’m not sure if my posture was incorrect.

  • I went into day 2 very sore; I was able to do 3 sets of based test and hanged on bar for 1 round. Day 3 is a complete different story, I did just one set today. I’m way pass soreness; my shoulder, forearms, back of neck ( I think even my fingers are sore). It starting to occur to me that starting swimming class yesterday was not a good move. For sure, this soreness is not all from pull-ups 🙁

    • Yes the swimming will do it for you. With the challenges it’s always harder on day 3 for me, but but on the 4th day its’ alway easy breezy 🙂

  • I was still sore yesterday, so I took a break and didn’t do Day4. I went back to day 3 today and completed 5 sets of by base, I skip the hangs. Hopefully, I’ll do day 4 tomorrow.

  • Kane

    I am doing this challenge this week. Tati, you are going to kill me! My base is 30 regular pullups (yes, I am a guy). I am doing so many pullups this week it’s not even funny. OK, it’s kind of funny 😀

    • Hey Kane,

      How is the challenge going?

      • Kane

        I just finished this challenge!

        Not much of an improvement, numbers-wise:
        30 regular pullups in 1 minute to 31
        Hang base increased from 51 seconds to 54 seconds

        But over the whole challenge (including both tests) I did 731 pullups!

        You learn some things about yourself when you do 731 pullups. You learn that you’re a lot tougher (and probably a lot stupider) than you think.

        It was really quite the journey. I got blisters on both hands – even though I was wearing gloves!

        I’m still not sure what the point of this challenge was. I feel a lot stronger now, but since I won’t be doing 731 pullups every week, I wonder if I’ll just lose all the gains I made.

        Also, a challenge like this obviously isn’t in line with your “split routine, muscles need rest to grow” philosophy. The logic seems to be massive overload for short-term gains – but, again, I wonder what the long-term value of a challenge like this.

        Regardless, I had lots of fun doing this terrifying challenge. I found myself dreading each day’s pullups – probably the most scared I’ve ever been of any athletic challenge. In a way, this challenge spoiled me, because I am noticeably more fit than when I started, and now I want every week’s workouts to be “731 pullups” tough.

        I should seek more of these extreme journeys beyond my comfort zone, because my strength gains from this challenge were so great. It’s weird to grow muscles in just a week, but that’s what happened to me.

        • Hey Kane,

          Yes normally when I am against daily training without breaks, but for challenge like this or any other challenge such as push-ups it is OK to train 7-10 days in a row, but not all the time and you have to take a break after. I call this a spike, and if you do it correctly you will gain a lot of strength in a short period of time. Our skating trainer used to make us do spikes like that all the time, every other month or so.

          Now, 30 pull-ups in a row that is pretty amazing I must say, my husband is an acrobat and he does 30 pull-ups, and I believe he is the only one in the show right now who can do that many, so that is quite an amazing number, and 731 a week, let me just say again – wow, I am taking off my hat

          I think you are really strong right now, if you get any stronger you will become a superhero!

          • Kane

            So I did this challenge again with wide grip chin-ups instead of pullups, and improved from 25 chin-ups to 30, and 1:00 hang time to 1:05 😀

            I have a question, though. Is it possible to apply this challenge method (sets, reps, etc.) to other exercises? Can I use the same timing and schedule with, say, squats or shoulder presses or whatever?

  • hi Tanyusha , I can not find those leggins on e-bay , could you help,tnx

  • ??????? ??? ?????, ????? ?????????? ??? ?? ?????????????? ? ??????? ,

    • Net, oni ne prosvechivautsya, ya obogau pokupat legginsi na ebay, tam stolko vibora i seni ochen niznkie.

  • Hey Tara,

    You can switch to a harder level, but also try to take a week off the challenge in between and just do your regular training.

  • Isa

    Eeek Tati, I need your advice. I have a pull up bar now – just a single bar between the doorframe and its all fine and dandy. I can hang on it just fine for a little while but attempting to lift myself up is very frustrating. Its like trying to wiggle my ears – I concentrate very hard but nothing happens….Should I do the push up challenge before even though I can do 10 pushups in a row?

    Thanks xo

  • Hi. I want to do this program but I’m a bit confused with how to fit it in with the rest of the workouts. You recommend not doing any upper body when doing this, so does this mean i would be doing the lower body workouts every other day then, plus this pull up program for a week? Thanks!

    • You will still do 2 lower body workouts that week, and the rest of the day just the program.

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  • I just can’t stand teachers telling you what you “can’t”. There is no can’t or impossible. Nobody should ever listen to these people. I’ve never been really sporty either (but now I am) and yesterday I did 40 push-ups in a row 🙂 I would say no girl in my school is able to do that ^^

  • Hi Jessica,

    Welcome to Loving Fit 🙂

    You can definitely achieve way more than one pull-up. Years ago I couldn’t even do 1 pull-up my self, and I’ve learned in about 3 weeks or so, but I practiced every day. You have to believe that you can do it and then you can do anything, mind over matter always 🙂

  • Jessica

    I’m so glad you answered me, thank you so much !

  • Michelle

    I’ve strted this today – and my arms are so sore! Looking forward to be able to do the real pullups in about a month 😉

  • Mary Lou

    This may seem like a silly question, but is it ok to do planks on lower/core days while learning how to do these???

  • Johanna

    Hi Tatianna,

    Just found your blog! I really like it so far. 🙂

    I’d like to hear your opinion on this one. I’ve been doing band assisted chin-ups for a few weeks now, starting with no upper body strength, like I couldn’t even hang from the bar for 30 seconds. By now I can do 3 or 4 sets of 6 with one thin band that supports 20% of my weight, and I can hang from the bar (without bands of course) for 2:20. But I can’t for the life of me do a chin-up on my own!
    How would you graduate from band assisted to bodyweight? It seems too big of a step for me to just do them without the band. There is one more lighter band than this that I could purchase, but I don’t want to spend more 🙂 Would doing negatives for one week, as you recommend in the intermediate program, get me past the missing 20%?

    How long (slow) should the negatives be? I thought the longer the better, but then there is a maximum number I can do in one minute when I test. I can do three negatives of 20 seconds like I used to do, or 12-15 faster, but still controlled ones. Or even faster, but does that make sense? I used to do negatives before starting out with the bands, but not since, and my coach told me to do them slow.

    Thanks! Johanna

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  • Hi Tati, I follow your pull ups program for 2 weeks, and now I can do 2 unassisted chin ups but I can´t do pull ups. These are very hard for me:(

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  • Hi Tati! I’m finally going to tackle this. Starting my pull up challenge today!! Very excited! 😀 But I cannot complete one pull up, even with a chair or step assisting me! The funny thing is that I CAN do about 30-40 push-ups without stopping. A friend of mine thinks I’m pretty strong and that I just have a mental block. Hahahahaha. Do you think that’s possible?