Caution: This blog post is for the super strong, the super curious, and the super determined types. If you are NOT proficient with your pull up training just yet, please refer to our previous posts on how to train for the tactical pull up. This post has been written under the assumption that you, the reader, are capable of doing AT LEAST 5 dead hang tactical pull-ups rep for rep. Pay special attention to the training modules in this post, especially with regards to your total work volume. Pull up training can become very intense over time especially when doing weighted pull ups. You are responsible for listening to your body and taking appropriate recovery measures when necessary. Never train unsupervised and always seek the advice of a trained professional when lifting heavy weights.
Today, I wanted to take some time to discuss weighted pull up training and how to strategically get stronger with weighted pull ups over time. To date, I have been able to work alongside some of the world’s strongest instructors and have FINALLY gotten this weighted pull up training down to a science. Before you even think about adding weight to your pull ups, be darn sure you are able to complete 5 tactical dead hang pull ups with precision, rep for rep. The reason for this is to be 100% certain that your movement patterns are dialed in well enough to sustain heavier weight. To quote Karen McDowell Smith, Master SFG, on this directly. .
“Pattern the move. Practice the move. Perfect the move. Then, and only then, load it heavy!”
Once you are able to complete 5 dead hang tactical pull ups, you are clear to start adding weight to your pull ups. Individual strength levels will vary on this lift, but if there is one thing I have learned over the past few years as I have worked on my weighted pull ups its this: you should start conservatively on your weighted pull up training. Training too heavy too quickly will inevitably lead to a lot of frustration, not to mention potential injury. To be quite honest (and you may not like my opinion on this), I recommend starting from scratch with just an additional 10 pounds of weight around your waist once your pull ups are solid. Again, you want to be sure you pattern the movement well and incrementally add weight over time. As a reference to why you should start really light with your pull ups, please read Artemis Scantalides’s pull up training article here. I had the pleasure of seeing Artemis not too long ago and we spent some time reviewing my training for my 24kg pull up (I will be showing you that training below in this post). Artemis is a level II SFG and REALLY knows her stuff with weighted pull up training (and she’s an Iron Maiden so there is that). While Artemis’s article is tailored more towards women, you fine men will learn just as much on how to train pull ups well from Artemis just the same. Listen to her words.
Weighted pull up training takes time, and a ton of consistent practice. To train your pull ups well, I recommend doing 4-5 days worth of training on them week after week. every 3-4 weeks please take a solid 5 days off before returning to your next round of pull ups. To be ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY 100% SURE that you are making the appropriate strength gains over time, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE that you add no more that 5 pounds worth of weight at the end of each monthly training cycle. I hope I have made myself clear ;). I say this only because you want to train in the most sustainable fashion to save your joints a lot of wear and tear. Trust me on this folks, you don’t want your elbows giving out from too many pull ups. Start with just 1 rep for three sets and add repetitions over 3-4 weeks. Here’s an example training schedule.
Monday- 1 rep x 3 sets
Tuesday 1 rep x 3 set
Wednesday 1 rep x 3 sets
Thursday – off
Friday 2 reps x 3 sets
Saturday 2 reps x 3 sets
Sunday – Off
When you move into week 2, you will start back up with 2 reps and work up to three that week. On week three you will start with 3 reps and work up until you reach 4 consecutive weighted pull ups. Below is a video of myself performing two consecutive weighted pull ups at a fairly light weight, 20 pounds.
Over time, you will be increasing weight. After you are able to do 4 consecutive weighted pull ups with a light weight, add 5 pounds and test your new max. PLEASE NOTE: Once you reach 20-25 pounds (8-12kgs), drop the rep scheme to just 3 weighted pull ups. The reason for this is to save your joints. Weighted pull up training can become intense over time and you want to train in a manner that you can easily get stronger while remaining injury free. Below is a video of me doing an easy practice with a single rep of a 12kg kettlebell (roughly 26 pounds).
Over the past few weeks, I have been working with one of our clients, Coleton Baggett. Coleton is a very strong type and is working towards doing a weighted pull up this month with the Beast Kettlebell. In the video below, he is able to easily pull the 40kg (88 pounds) with a smile on his face.
Ready for more?
Register today for just $47 to join our Pull Up program kicking off June 5th! I’ll see you on the forum once you register! I cannot wait to have you press on into a whole new level of strength!Register today for just $47 and get everything you need to master your grip strength, your lat power, and all the more strength to make you a pulling machine! Whether you are looking for your first pull up, maximum reps of body weight pull ups, or weighted pull ups, I have your guides for the very training that will unleash your pulling beast no matter what level of strength you have! Registrations will cease on June 2nd, 2017 and all coaching and training will commence on Monday, June 5th! Don’t delay! Register for Pull Up Mastery TODAY!