Pull-ups either a favorite of many or hated by many. Reason being is they are not easy to do. If a person can perform one single pull-up, they are in good shape. If they can do 10 or more, they are most likely in great shape. The pull-up is a huge determining factor for anyone’s overall fitness level.
Many big people who are strong when it comes to bench pressing, squatting, or even deadlifts struggle doing a single pull-up. This is mostly in part because of the body weight they have to heave up when doing a pull-up. This shines light on a huge issue with anyone trying to get better at doing a pull-up. Most people think about building their strength up, but never focus on losing weight to make it easier to get their chin over the bar. Yes, strength is necessary of course to do a pull up, but why not make it easier on yourself and get your body a little lighter in weight.
If you struggle to do a single pull-up, no worries, there is hope for you. Anyone who works hard enough and stays consistent can do anything in fitness. How long will it take for a person to do a pull-up? That depends on the person. People have different starting points when it comes to the pull-up game, but never count yourself out from doing one.
When looking at the muscles a pull-up hits, we look at the:
- Upper-back (traps and lats)
- Arms (biceps)
- Abs (they assist in keeping the legs from swinging)
Pull-ups are all upper body. They are amazing with back development, especially in the lats. A person who can do 25 pull-ups is sure to have some well-developed biceps and also have good core strength to boot. Pull-ups are so intense also that if a person can only do 1, that is doing a lot for their body.
So, from a strength approach, it would be a benefit to do some isolated training for the lats and biceps. Pull-ups train every pull muscle you have. A little breakdown of movements to do and for how long for anyone trying to do one pull-up would look like this:
- Bent over rows (lats) 3 sets of 8-10 reps/4 weeks
- After 4 weeks of rows, include inverted rows on a bar (lats and traps) 3 sets of 8-10 reps/2 weeks
- After 2 weeks of rows, add in doing assisted pull-ups or negative pull-ups (starting with chin above the bar and slowly lowering yourself down)/4 weeks
With this little breakdown you are looking at 10 weeks of just the strength side of things. Remember, losing weight will just make things easier for you as you attempt to get that chin above the bar.
Before you know it, you will have done your first ever pull-up!