This is no secret or magic trick, increasing your pull ups isn’t as difficult as many people believe it is. The reason why many people struggle is because they’re training and doing the wrong things. This technique has been proven to work and I have used it myself and with my clients to increase their pull ups, its called “grease the groove (GTG)”.
The majority of the fitness industry is all about H.I.I.T , cardio, bodybuilding or training until you puke. I’m not a fan of this, not because there’s anything wrong with these types of training but because this is all we’re exposed too. There’s so many different ways to train and your training should always match your goals. The goal I’m covering here is increasing the number of pull ups you can complete consecutively, so those styles I mentioned wont work!
Another method I have experienced myself to be ineffective (takes to long) is the general 3 sets of 5–10 reps. With this method your attempting to increase the number of reps you do each week, 3x5, 3x6, 3x7, etc. What normally happens is you can do the 1st set fine but in the 2nd and 3rd set the reps have a big drop off and fast! Eventually people hit a plateau and get stuck around the same number of reps which leads to frustration.
Now let’s dive into what GTG is. Throughout the day you do 4–7 sets of pull ups, at 50% of the max number of pull ups you can do consecutively. This means if you can do 4 pull ups then do multiple sets of 2 (If your max is 1 then do 1 rep). Rest for a minimum of 1 hour between sets. You do this 5–7 days a week. After 2 weeks test your pull ups to see how many you can do.
I know that this might be hard to fathom because I’ve had that feeling as well. I’m pretty much telling you do less to get more pull ups. We’ve been programmed to think that more is better and I’m not just talking about fitness but life. More is not better and can actually be detrimental and not lead to any productivity.
In the case of GTG you’re reducing the intensity while increasing the frequency. This reduces fatigue and then you can actually practise the skill and get more reps under your belt daily, instead of only it training 2–3 days in the gym. Remember frequency/ consistency is king when it comes to learning.
You can do G2G in addition to your regular training but avoid doing anymore pull ups in those sessions. Make adjustment if you’re feeling any fatigue when performing your pull ups. After the 2 weeks add the pull ups back to your regular training sessions and avoid the G2G for a week or 2. When you want to use the G2G again you can do the pull ups or pick another exercise. It’s best to do 1–2 exercises with this technique.