The Beginner Pull-Up Program: Adding Volume and Variety

Justin Lind


Kettlebells, Gymnastics, CrossFit


The Beginner Pull-Up Program is designed to help you achieve your first strict pull-up. If you already have a pull-up or two, this program will help you progress your strength toward more extended sets and more advanced pulling movements.


This program is broken into five weeks, each focusing on a different aspect of the pull-up. Each week brings a new sequence of exercises to be repeated 3-4 times in the week. These are 15-20-minute pull-up specific programs meant to supplement your regular regimen.



See the rest of the series here:


Part 4 – Adding Volume and Variety

The first three weeks of this program have built a solid base of pulling strength and mechanics. The work in this week’s program will challenge that base with a significant amount of volume. The first several weeks have prepared you well to both handle and thrive on the challenges this week.


In the first block, perform pull-up negatives to failure. Only hold two seconds at the top, just long enough to establish control before beginning the 3-5 second lower phase. Repeat these until you can no longer maintain the controlled hold at the top or the 3-5 second descent.


The program this week concludes with several different ring row variations meant to bring variety to the pulling loading that your shoulders see. It's beneficial to give your shoulders a more balanced workout when adding significant volume to pull-up loading.


The program concludes the jumping pull-ups to add a bit more low-resistance volume to finish.



As with last week, repeat this work only three times this week, being sure to take a full day of rest between sessions.




Beginner Pull-Up Program - Week 4

Block 1



Negatives to Failure
2+ sec hold, 3-5 sec lower


*Rest as needed for quality

*Failure = cannot maintain above time schemes


Block 2


Two rounds:

Max Effort Set - Parallel Grip Ring Rows
Max Effort Set - Alt. Bent Arm Fly Rows
Max Effort Set - Alt. Straight Arm Fly Rows


*Place feet for ten rep minimum each set


Block 3


Jumping Pull Ups
Max Effort Set (up to 12 reps)


* Bar 6-8 below max vertical reach

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