How to get good at Pull Ups - Program

One of the most common question that we get in the gym is "How do I get better in doing pull ups?"  Below is one of my most favorite training programs, designed by Dan John.

"Pavel Tsatsouline introduced me to the idea of the Russian fighters' pull-up program. It's a multi-week program that involves "sneaking up" on reps. Six days per week you'll perform 5 sets of pull-ups using a very specific rep scheme. If your max is five strict pull-ups, do this:

The 5RM Russian Pull-up Program

Day 1: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Day 2: 5, 4, 3, 2, 2

Day 3: 5, 4, 3, 3, 2

Day 4: 5, 4, 4, 3, 2

Day 5: 5, 5, 4, 3, 2

Day 6: Off

Day 7: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2

Day 8: 6, 5, 4, 3, 3

Day 9: 6, 5, 4, 4, 3

Day 10: 6, 5, 5, 4, 3

Day 11: 6, 6, 5, 4, 3

Day 12: Off

Day 13: 7, 6, 5, 4, 3

Day 14: 7, 6, 5, 4, 4

Day 15: 7, 6, 5, 5, 4

Day 16: 7, 6, 6, 5, 4

Day 17: 7, 7, 6, 5, 4

Day 18: Off

Day 19: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4

Day 20: 8, 7, 6, 5, 5

Day 21: 8, 7, 6, 6, 5

Day 22: 8, 7, 7, 6, 5

Day 23: 8, 8, 7, 6, 5

Day 24: Off

Day 25: 9, 8, 7, 6, 5

Day 26: 9, 8, 7, 6, 6

Day 27: 9, 8, 7, 7, 6

Day 28: 9, 8, 8, 7, 6

Day 29: 9, 9, 8, 7, 6

Day 30: Off

Rest a few days and test the new max number of pull-ups.

What If I Can Do More Than 5 Reps?

If you can do more than five, add load. The test would be max reps for three. So, if you can do three reps with, say, 15 pounds around your waist, follow the simple 12-day program below. Use the same load for the duration of the 12-days.

Day 1: 3, 2, 1, 1

Day 2: 3, 2, 1, 1

Day 3: 3, 2, 2, 1

Day 4: 3, 3, 2, 1

Day 5: 4, 3, 2, 1

Day 6: Off

Day 7: 4, 3, 2, 1, 1

Day 8: 4, 3, 2, 2, 1

Day 9: 4, 3, 3, 2, 1

Day 10: 4, 4, 3, 2, 1

Day 11: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Day 12: Off

Rest a few days and test the next max number of pull-ups with load."