Go From 0 To 10+ Pull Ups In A Row FAST (3 Steps)

Pull ups are a great muscle building exercise. But there’s a reason why so few are able to accomplish this impressive feat of strength and unable to do enough reps to truly maximize the muscle building benefits of this exercise. In this video, I’ll explain why that is, how to improve your pull ups, and then give you a full pull up progression workout designed to quickly take you from 0, 2, 4, 8 — or wherever you’re at in your pull up journey — to 10 pull-ups in a row and beyond. Yes, this is essentially a tutorial covering “how to do pull ups” for beginners!

Let’s begin by covering why pull ups are so difficult in the first place. First, with pull ups, whether you weigh 150 or 300 pounds, that’s the weight you’ll have to overcome with each rep. Second, pull ups are not just a back exercise. No matter how strong your bigger back muscles or biceps get, if you have weak links in the chain, it will limit you from improving your pull-ups. There are 3 steps to solving these.

The first step is to change the way you train your pull ups for strength improvements. If you currently can’t do any pull-ups or can’t do more than 4 in a row, we will use 2 other exercises to quickly build your strength. The first exercise is the inverted rows. The second exercise that trains your body in a vertical manner (like the pull up) is the assisted negative pull ups.

Once you’re able to do between 5 to 7 pull-ups in a row, that’s when you’re ready for your pull up progression. You’re going to do sets of anywhere between 2-5 reps (at least 2 reps away from your max effort). You’ll do a set, rest for 30-90 seconds, do another set, and repeat until you reach a total of 20 reps. The goal is to overtime comfortably reach a total of 30 reps. Next, get yourself a few resistance bands. Loop one around the top of a bar just like this and put your feet into it. The band will exert force upwards as long as you stand on it, effectively reducing the amount of resistance you need to overcome with each rep. Choose a band that enables you to do between 6-12 reps.

So, once you get to 8-9 reps in a row yet can’t quite break through 10, you’ll simply use the same routine as the 5-7 group but with more difficulty. For the bodyweight pull-ups, add a 5lb weight either with a weight belt or a dumbbell between your feet. For the banded pull-ups, switch to a thinner band or take one foot out to lessen the support.

The next step in how to improve your pull ups is to strengthen common weak links in the chain. The first is the core; to best replicate the intense demands placed on the core from pull-ups, we can use what’s known as a long lever rocking plank. The second is the lower traps; we’ll use scapular pull ups to train it.

Here’s the game plan (i.e., THE pull ups workout program suitable for beginners). Reference your current pull up ability — and progress accordingly from there.

0-4 Pull-Ups:
Inverted Row: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Negative Pull-Ups: 5 sets of 5 reps (progress to 5 second descents each rep)
Long Lever Rocking Plank: 3 sets (aim to hold for 60-120 seconds)
Scapular Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 8-15 reps (2 second holds at top position)

5-7 Pull-Ups:
Pull-Ups: Sets of 2-5 reps staying 2 reps away from failure (aim for 20-30 reps total)
Banded Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 6-12 reps
Inverted Row: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Long Lever Rocking Plank: 3 sets (aim to hold for 60-120 seconds)
Scapular Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 8-15 reps (2 second holds at top position)

8-9 Pull-Ups:
Weighted Pull-Ups: Sets of 2-5 reps staying 2 reps away from failure (aim for 20-30 reps total)
Banded Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 6-12 reps
Inverted Row: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Long Lever Rocking Plank: 3 sets (aim to hold for 60-120 seconds)
Scapular Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 8-15 reps (2 second holds at top position)

It can easily be used as a full back workout performed once a week, or if you train back twice a week, you can plop in a couple of the exercises into each day. As you use this plan, you’ll also want to re-test your max pull-ups every month and then move on to the next level as your strength improves.

Even if you can’t do any pull ups right now, use this workout, stay consistent, and just like countless others have experienced from my past pull up videos, you’ll be blown away with just how quickly your pull ups increase. That’s the true power of science.

And if you’re looking to apply this science-based approach to the rest of your training to make faster gains and build a body you’re proud of, take the analysis quiz to discover which science-based program would be best for you and where your body is currently at below:


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30 thoughts on “Go From 0 To 10+ Pull Ups In A Row FAST (3 Steps)

  1. Jeremy Ethier says:

    Here’s the link to the free pull-up workout: https://builtwithscience.com/pullupPDF/ . Comment below how many you can currently do, give this routine a shot, and you’ll quickly see that number improve! Hope you enjoyed this one! See below for the links to the main studies included in the video:

    CORE MUSCLE ACTIVATION DURING PULL UPS: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331402880_A_Comparison_of_Muscle_Activation_during_the_Pull-up_and_Three_Alternative_Pulling_Exercises

    LOWER TRAPS ACTIVATION IN PULL UPS VS CHIN UPS: https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/fulltext/2010/12000/surface_electromyographic_activation_patterns_and.27.aspx

    LAT PULLDOWN VS PULL-UP STRENGTH CORRELATION: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19620915/

  2. Vytil says:

    8:24 Do this for 2-3 months before even trying pullups. This scapular pullup is super important because if you dont get this down you will be doing hunchback pullups and will regret it in the future.

  3. Levil says:

    Jeremy is literally the best. Thanks for helping all of us change lives for the better !

  4. Hallþór Walahfrid says:

    I hope I will be able to do this one day. I am still really weak but I feel like I am progressing slowly. I am working so hard recently and my diet is definitely on point after I got a meal plan from Next Level Diet. The most important thing is I believe in myself.

    • acoolxss says:

      Very motivating words brah 🙂
      Keep it up and never stop! One day we will all make it

    • margaretha 3 says:

      The Sweet-Girl.Uno

      siempre en mi corazón
      mañas no se la.
      Son unos de los mejores conciertos..

    • John Rambo says:

      Do the negatives he recommended,that worked fir me…one day youll just be like i think i can do it and youll try it msy be a sloppy at first but before yoh know it you’ll be busting em out…dont let your body slam down when dking the negative portion either messes up shoulders

    • Adam Madam says:

      It is only pull ups, but you need to such motivationial bullshit. XD Do you need to believe in yourself, really?

  5. Stephanie Fitness says:

    I’m learning to do pull ups at 43 . I’m able to do 3 in a row. Thanks a lot for this video. It is very helpful as usual

    • warjunky says:

      Do 2 sets a day untill failure for 30 days
      1 set in the morning 1 set in the evening
      For 30 days
      Keep a note of how many reps you do
      Day 1 morning 3 day 1 evening 4
      Compare notes from day 1 to day 30
      I will guarantee progress

  6. Abdullah Chil says:

    Feeling this!! I used to be fairly decent at pull ups. Reckon I’d struggle to do 1 at the moment. This video legit has given me encouragement to get back there. Thank you.

  7. Anes H says:

    I have a thicker resistance band but I’m at level 1 at the moment, do you recommend using the band for pull ups or sticking to negative pull ups as advised for level 1?

  8. Av says:

    This channel has incredible videos, the information is so rich and it’s delivered perfectly

  9. The Earl of Yoinkcester says:

    I started resistance training 10 weeks ago. couldn’t do a single pull-up. I’m now doing 3×10 every morning, less than 3 months in. If I can do it, you sure as hell can. Keep at it yall! <3

  10. John Rambo says:

    Good video..i remember when i first started i couldnt do 1,but i started doing the negatives like you recomended and woulf fight all the way down….fast forward to today now i can put 2plates on a chain belt and bust out 3solid pullups..goodluck to all

  11. Makoto Sakai says:

    I am a big fan of using bodyweight rows and kneeling lat pulldowns. But I also do practice supinated and archer banded pull-aparts. You introduced me to these exercises and I am willing to give these a try soon. But really keep up the great video.

  12. sony says:

    Just what I needed! Im stuck at doing 7 reps on my 1st set of pullups and then gradually doing less on the following sets. And im wondering why im not improving. Thank you for this.

  13. Matt says:

    Jeremy !!! What do you think about the pull up variations when your feet are on the floor (almost like an Australian pull up but a more vertical body position)

  14. Tyler Vincent says:

    I’ve been working out consistently for about 2 years. Never pull ups though. Only rows. I could get about 3 x 4 perfect reps of wide grip pull ups, 3 x 7 shoulder width pull ups, and 3 x 7 chin ups. Possibly more but being my first time I’m definitely not trying to go to failure. Decided to switch to all bodyweight exercises for a couple months to give my joints a rest from heavy lifting. Kind of like a deload in a way, while still focusing on progressive overload.

  15. SomePolishDude says:

    I think people also underestimate how much grip strength it takes to hold onto the bar while performing multiple pull ups.

    Essentially, the more you do at once the longer it takes and if your eccentric is slow + you rest while hanging, your forearm muscles might give in.

    This is what usually happens to me.

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