How To Do More Pull Ups

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Feeling stuck at a certain number?

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing where I’m at on my own personal pull up journey and what I do when I hit a plateau or fall short of my goal.

I’ve done a few other videos on Pull Ups…

You may have seen one or a few of these ones:

5 steps to your First Pull Up

How To DO Your First Pull Up

Make Your Pull Ups Easier

And even 7 Pull Up Substitutes to do without a Pull Up Bar

You’ve probably noticed that Pull Ups are one of my favorite exercises and one that I’ve been working on for many years.

Why do I love Pull Ups so much?

Pull ups are the most EMPOWERING exercise I have ever done.

In my opinion and experience, there is no other exercise that feels as rewarding, or as functionally fit at the pull up.

If you were dangling from a cliff wouldn’t you want to have the strength and confidence that you can pull yourself up?

That feeling when you reach the top, get your chin over the bar and look below is unlike any other feeling. To me it’s the feeling of STRENGTH.

When I first attempted a pull up….

I just hung there and started laughing.

Because despite pulling my hardest I just wasn’t even moving up at all.

It felt as if I had ZERO strength.

I didn’t even know where to begin.

But the one thing I did know:

I wanted to be able to do pull ups. And not just one, but a set of 10 pull ups.

And I believed it was possible.

I just knew it was going to take a lot of hard work and time.

So I got to work. I did the research, watching people, reading, and searching about ways to build back strength, exercises to do, methods, training schedules, etc..

and I committed to the goal.

Achieving that goal wasn’t linear though. I ran into a lot of trouble with over-training injuries, then under training and spacing my practices apart so far that I never saw improvements.

I don’t want you to get the impression that this was easy for me.

It took me about 6 to 8 months to go from zero to 1 unassisted rep.

And more than just time, it took a lot of grit, frustration, pain, soreness and all of the struggle.

If you want to know what finally worked for me I put it all down in a guided program, complete with explanations, videos, and step by step workouts for you to follow:

This is the program I wish that I’d had when I first started.

Pull Up Babe

30 Day Program to achieve your first pull up

If I would have followed a well structured thoughtfully planned program like this one I know I would have achieved my goal sooner and with less pain and struggle.

I share in this guide how important beliefs are.

If you think “I can’t do it” then you’re already proving yourself right.

Simply shift that to “I can do it”..even if it’s not today..then eventually you will be right.

And how your progress will not be linear, but more of an ongoing journey full of ups and downs.

My greatest talent is that I just won’t quit

If you really want to achieve a goal you’ll have to be willing to do whatever it takes, go through the highs and lows, and persist for however long it takes.

No one can give you a definitive answer on how long or how much effort it will take.

It’s up to you and it depends on so many factors that are both within and outside of your control.

So this brings me to sharing with you where I’m at on this present day.

Right now it’s April of 2021.

I had achieved my ultimate dream pull up goal back in 2015, the same year that Brad and I got married.

Fast forward a bit… I got pregnant that year and gave birth to our first child in 2016. And then was pregnant again 2.5 years later with our second child.

For both of these pregnancies I slowed down my training in general, paused on my pull up training, lowered my intensity, and focused on healthy happy and safe pregnancies.

I do not recommend pull ups during pregnancy.

Fast forward again… I’m now 2.5 years postpartum after my second child.

Although I am still strong and fit and “Livin the Lean Life” I’m still not quite back to the strength I was 5 years ago pre-pregnancies. Getting there though!

I started testing my Pull Ups in December 2020. I was able to achieve 6 reps.

Then in January I achieved 7 reps

In February, 8 reps

In March, 9 reps

Then April 2021 rolls around and I felt excitement but also pressure and nervousness.

Because of the steady incremental increase I was just “expecting” to be able to do 10 reps… like as if that just made logical sense.

So I tested it.

On April 2nd I put myself to the test to see if I could do 10 reps.

I didn’t make it. I got only 8 and a half.

So what happened?

I hit a plateau. A slight regression.

Plateaus and regressions are a normal part of the journey.

Plateaus, and even regressions are a normal part of every fitness journey.

Whether your goal is weight loss, or muscle gain or anything else, it’s not logical to expect a linear progression.

We are not robots or laboratory experiments in a controlled environment.

Life is messy, we are humans, and our progress is a reflection of so many factors, some in our control and others not.

I wanted to share this with you for a couple reasons.

  1. You need to know that it’s okay to plateau or regress. It doesn’t mean it’s the end. Don’t give up no matter how many times you hit a wall or go backwards. Just go forwards again.
  2. There’s such thing as an “after-after”. Don’t let other peoples success stories lead you to believe they just stay successful forever with no additional effort. Even if/when you achieve your ultimate goals, it takes work to maintain. Maintenance is a goal in itself.
  3. Pull Ups are hard! I didn’t even start training them till my mid twenties. If you haven’t started yet it’s all good. Never too late, never too early. I believe you can achieve pull up strength too, but only if you want to.

If you are interested to begin or improve your Pull Up journey I hope you’ll find my Pull Up Babe guide to be helpful.

Drop us a note in our accountability group to share your goals, ask for advice, or just interact with a community who cares and wants to support each other. (You can also see my April Pull Up fail video in there 😉

In the mean time just know I’ll continue my own strength journey and of course always KEEP LIVIN LEAN 🙂

I hope you will too.


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