7 Week Pullup Program (May 2022)

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      WEEK 6

      6 Sep

      Pull / Chin / Pull / Chin / Pull – 25+5,15,10,15,15 (240 secs)

      My second failure.. I sense a pattern emerging.

      8 Sep

      Pull / Chin / Pull / Chin / Pull – 20+5+5+3,16,11,13,15 (240 secs)

      I wondered if rushing the first reps is using more power than I need and if I start slow I could do better. This was very wrong and I was lucky to reach 20. I’ve been doing some other arm work this week and it immediately showed, my arms are really fatigued now and the final set was meant to be 16 reps minimum.

      11 Sep

      Pull / Chin / Pull / Chin / Pull – 25+5+5,10,11,10,20 (240 secs)
      Hollow Rock – 3 x 30 secs

      I needed an extra day and since I was at a wedding yesterday I didn’t have time for pull ups anyway. I had a nap this afternoon and trained early evening, so not peak strength. Very pleased with the session, trying a very slightly wider grip and going fast from the first rep. I expected a decent number at the end given the lower reps in the middle so 20 was excellent.

      Next week it’s 3 sets instead of 5 with a big gap between each one. Having ended this week with a 20 rep effort I’m more confident about hitting 20+ next week. This whole week was below my best given the extra training I’ve been pursuing, so I’m confident I can get into the 30’s with my max effort once the program comes to an end.

      Here’s the 25 reps in set 1 from today.


        WEEK 7

        14 Sep

        Pull / Stretch / Pull / Stretch / Pull – 25+5,22,18+4 (8 mins)

        The final week is only three sets, with the others replaced by resting or stretching. I tried tricep and lat activations though most of the 8 minutes was rest. Surprised myself with the second and third sets, I expected to fade faster.

        16 Sep

        Pull / Stretch / Pull / Stretch / Pull – 25+5+4,20,21 (8 mins)

        Seems like 25 reps is a sticking point. I don’t have DOMS as such, but I can tell when my arms need a rest and that’s been a case for a number of weeks. I remain optimistic that I can go beyond 30 reps but at this point 50 reps seems beyond me.

        19 Sep

        Pull / Stretch / Pull / Stretch / Pull – 24+7+4,24,18 (8 mins)

        Third set was disappointing, I usually hit 18-20 in a row before dropping down to singles, but that set I did 18 reps then couldn’t do anything more. My grip definitely plays a part, some of the people doing 50 reps can hold for 7-8 minutes at once and my best was only ever 2 minutes.

        The end. Of course I have testing, I’m away with work 21st-23rd so I’d tactically shifted my sessions by a day or two so that 3-4 days rest didn’t leave me testing when away. Honestly I could take a full week off given how overworked my arms feel. As I said, no real soreness but having done full time sprint training for several years I know when a muscle group is long overdue a rest.

        I’m going to a spa on Wednesday evening which will hopefully lead to an enormous sleep that night. I will do some light stretching and prepare myself for a caffeinated max. reps attempt this weekend or soon after.


          21 Sept

          Indoor climbing wall – 45 mins
          Sauna & cold immersion – 40 mins

          The sauna was great but a late meal and early start completely ruined what I’d hoped was a hugely restorative sleep.

          23 Sept

          Climbed Mount Snowdon (1086m) in 3 hours

          I’m putting this here because while it isn’t upper body, it was taxing on my body and required some additional rest.

          25 Sept

          Pullup Retest – 25 reps

          I still had a sense that my arms weren’t fully fresh, so while I’d hoped for more reps I’d like to give it a few more days and try again.

          1 Oct

          Pullup Retest – 25 reps

          It’s actually quite impressive that I fail on exactly the same rep each time. That must be 6 or 7 efforts that have stopped at 25 and no further. I’m going to write up a review and publish an article and YouTube video on the experience.

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