Get Your First Pull-up or Chin-up! 30-Day Pull up Development


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Pull-ups are my favourite train of all time.

However what if you may’t do a pull-up but?

The reply: learn this final information on getting your first pullup ASAP!

Here's a gif of a pull-up in perfect form.

We’ve got helped lots of of On-line Teaching Purchasers get their first pull-up, and we’ll cowl our precise methods under! 

As a part of our Power Coaching 101 sequence, we provide you with an actual plan to comply with main you to your very first full pull-up:

If you happen to can already do a pull-up (woot!), you may need to take a look at our article on correct pull-up kind, though we’ll cowl numerous the identical materials right here.

Let’s do that thang.

Recommendations on Easy methods to Begin Doing Pull-Ups

Within the video above, Coach Jim walks you thru the precise development system we use with our teaching shoppers who need to get their first pull-up (or chin-up).

Earlier than we get into workout routines to progress right into a pull-up, let’s chat about some basic methods.

Think about the next three factors when making an attempt to get your first chin-up or pull-up:

#1) This could hopefully be apparent, however the extra you weigh, the extra you need to carry with a purpose to full a pull-up.

If you happen to’re actually severe about finishing a pull-up, begin by getting your food plan underneath management. 

As we are saying right here at Nerd Health, 80-90% of weight reduction comes all the way down to what you eat (#4 within the Guidelines of the Rebel).

Listed below are some sources that will help you with weight reduction:

#2) MAKE YOUR “PULL” EXERCISES A PRIORITY. Lots of people do each different train earlier than doing any back-related workout routines, in the event that they do any in any respect.

After warming up correctly, your first train ought to at all times be the stuff that you simply need to work on essentially the most – on this case, it’ll be your again muscle groups.

Till you get your first pull-up finished, deal with the again workout routines detailed within the ranges and exercises on this information.

#3) The development we define is a path that works for most individuals, however does NOT must be adopted to a T.

We give pattern units and reps and when to maneuver up, however if you happen to really feel like you may progress sooner or need to strive doing full pull-ups prior to we advocate, that’s OKAY.

That is the slower development technique, the place some individuals will need to do fewer reps and progress to the following ranges sooner – that’s okay.

We advocate shifting as much as the following stage when you are able to do 3 units of 8 reps of a specific train. If you would like the accelerated path, transfer on up as sooner as you are able to do 3 units of 5 reps. You do you boo.

You can follow our path for a pull-up but feel free to make it your own!

Need somebody to construct you a custom-made development plan for doing all of your first pull-up? Our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program will just do that, plus your coach can overview your actions by way of our app so that you’ll know your coaching appropriately and safely.

Stage 1 Pull-up Exercise: Bent Over Dumbbell Rows

Do a dumbbell row as a great beginner exercise to get strong enough for a pull-up!

We’re going to begin with bent-over dumbbell rows, essentially the most primary of again workout routines, in case you’re ranging from ABSOLUTELY sq. one.

Stage 1 Pull-up Exercise:

What weight must you begin out with initially?

No matter lets you get to at the least 5 reps a set.

As soon as you are able to do 3 units of 8 reps (every arm), it’s time to select up a heavier dumbbell.

It will mean you can get stronger and stronger. 

Be sure you give your self at the least 48 hours till you do the Stage 1 Dumbbell Rows once more, so you may embrace these dumbbell rows in your exercises on:

As quickly as you are able to do 3 units of 8 reps, it’s time to maneuver as much as a heavier dumbbell.

  • As soon as you may carry a 25-pound (10kg) dumbbell or heavier, think about shifting as much as the subsequent stage.
  • If you’re a bit bit larger than the common bear, you may need to keep on with this step till you lose a bit bit extra weight and get stronger – perhaps go to 35 or 40-pound (18kg) dumbbells.

Need assist designing your personal exercise routine? I’ve bought two choices for you.

The primary is to go over to “Construct Your Personal Exercise Routine” and get your fingers soiled. Our information will stroll you thru constructing a full-body train program in 10 easy steps.

The second is to have a Nerd Health Coach do all of the heavy lifting for you (probably not, you continue to must carry stuff), by having them construct you a tailored exercise routine:

Stage 2 Pull-Up Exercise: Inverted Body weight Rows

Inverted rows are a great exercise to work on doing your first pull-up.

Body weight rows are the PERFECT precursor to pull-ups – they work the identical muscle groups, and have you ever lifting your personal body weight, simply at a distinct angle.

For this stage, we’ll offer you two choices: It’s also possible to make changes.


You may comply with the remainder of this exercise as a part of our 6-Stage Fitness center exercise information, which can provide help to go from whole fitness center beginner to pull-up progressing badass!

At your fitness center, discover your Smith Machine and set the bar at about chest top. 

A better bar makes the train simpler to begin:

Start with inclined inverted rows for your pull-up workout. Then drop lower for more required effort.

And as you get stronger, you may set the bar decrease:

As you get lower, like this, the row will be harder to do. Great way to progress into a pull-up.

Right here’s a complete publish I did on inverted body weight rows.

Right here’s how you can do an inverted body weight row:

  1. Set the bar at a top the place it’s difficult so that you can full 3 units of 8 reps with two minutes of relaxation between units.
  2. Clench your butt and maintain your abs tight and physique straight all through the train. 
  3. Pull your shoulder blades down and again in the direction of one another (such as you’re making an attempt to pinch a pencil between them behind your again).
  4. Focus your thoughts on PULLING together with your arms.
  5. Pull till your chest touches the bar (not your neck).
  6. As quickly as you may full all 3 units of 8 reps, set the bar heigh decrease to make the train tougher.

If it helps, here’s a video demonstration with gymnastic rings, however you can begin with a bar as displayed within the pictures under.

If that you must make the train much less difficult, bend your knees and put your ft flat on the bottom:

Bending your knees like so can be helpful to start doing inverted rows.

Stage 2 pattern exercise routine:

  • Monday – 3 units of 8 reps of overhand body weight rows

Alternate between an overheand and underhand bodyweight row.

  • Wednesday – 3 units of 8 reps of underhand body weight rows (fingers reversed)

Alternate between underhand and overhand when doing bodyweight rows.

  • Friday – 3 units of 8 reps of overhand body weight rows

(After which go underhand, overhand, underhand the next week)

As quickly as you’re doing body weight rows the place your physique is at a 45-degree angle or decrease, you may progress to Stage 3.


You might have 4 paths right here:

1) Buy a door body pull-up bar, grasp a pair of gymnastic rings from them. After which comply with the identical recommendation as above!

2) Use your kitchen desk for rows (BE CAREFUL):

3) Do inverted rows between a pair chairs, as we stroll you thru in Easy methods to Do Pull-ups With no Bar:

This gif shows Jim doing a row on chairs

4) Transfer as much as Stage 3 and progress with warning there.

If you’re combating rows, you’re unsure you’re doing them appropriately, otherwise you’re unsure how you can progress to the following stage, take a look at our 1-on-1 teaching program

It’s the kind of program that helped single mother Leslie lose 100+ kilos and begin coaching with gymnastic rings and handstands! 

How did Leslie transform? Strength training. with pull-ups

Stage 3 Pull-Up Exercise: Assisted Pull-Ups

Steve doing an assisted pull-up, a perfect precursor to a regular pull-up!

Okay! It’s time to get to ACTUAL pull-ups right here! Personally, I don’t like utilizing the assisted pull-up machine in a fitness center because it doesn’t provide the full feeling of a pull-up, however it’s definitely higher than nothing.

As an alternative, I like to recommend doing one in every of these options:

#1) Assisted Pull-ups with a chair

A chair can be a great tool to help you get your first pull-up.

Both one foot or two on the chair, relying in your wants. Your ft are ONLY there for assist, use your higher physique as a lot as potential.

It’s also possible to use a field or similar-sized object for a similar end result:

A box can be used instead of a chair for a pull-up.

#2)Assisted Pull-ups with train band: 

Staci using a band for an assisted pull-up.

You may get various kinds of train bands with totally different ranges of power, or a spread pack for straightforward development.

Put your foot within the train band and pull your self up.

#3) Assisted pull-ups with a associate:

A friend can be a great asset when you're trying to do a pull-up.

Have a pal maintain your ft behind you and provide help to full every rep. Have them use the least quantity of assist potential to get you thru your exercises.

Right here’s how you can do an assisted pull-up:

For an additional reference, Coach Jim and Staci present you how you can do a variation of assisted chin-up proper right here:

That is most likely the TOUGHEST stage earlier than getting your pull-ups. If you happen to get caught on “assisted pull-ups” and “assisted chin-ups”, you’re not alone. That is the place most individuals get caught.

We work hand-in-hand with individuals such as you to get them their first pull-up in our On-line Teaching Program. If you happen to don’t know how you can match these actions into your exercises, otherwise you simply need anyone to provide the precise exercise to comply with each day, we bought you!

Lastly, a exercise that features Stage 3 pull-up workout routines

  • Monday – Assisted Pull-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Wednesday – Inverted Body weight Rows – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Friday – Assisted Chin Ups – 3 units of 8 reps

It will provide help to ramp as much as Stage 4.

Stage 4 Pull-Up Exercise: Prime holds and Bar Hangs

Coach Staci showing you the bar hang

Alright, so we’ve began off nice! We’re working these pulling muscle groups and assisted variations – however an precise chin-up may really feel miles (or kilometers) away.

Heck, simply even holding onto the bar could also be a problem with out some help.

What ought to we do now? 

How about we work on holding onto the bar!?!

Earlier than we work on doing full vary, unassisted chin-ups or pull-ups, it’s actually useful to be robust and assured in holding unassisted components of the motion.

That is the place Prime Holds and Bar Hangs are available in!

#1) A Prime Maintain is precisely what it seems like – we maintain the highest place of the chin-up or pull-up for a number of seconds (5 to 10). You’ll possible discover holding the highest of the chin-up (palms dealing with you) simpler than the pull-up.

Coach Jim holding at the top of a pull-up

That is positively one thing that you simply need to first do assisted. We’ll then work to switch extra weight – little by little over a number of exercises – off our ft and onto our arms till we’re holding ourselves unassisted on the high.

Utilizing a band is an efficient choice for assisted chin-ups, however utilizing a field, bench, or one other sturdy object might be a greater choice right here.

It’s going to mean you can shift that weight onto your arms a bit simpler.

That mentioned, if all you might have is a band for this train then that’s okay! Look to make use of thinner and thinner bands, whereas lifting the ft and knees up a bit to additional cut back help (because the band gained’t be stretched as far).

#2) On the opposite facet of the motion, we’ve the Bar Grasp…which is just about what it seems like too!

Staci showing you the simple yet effective bar hang.

To carry out a bar grasp:

This gif shows Coach Jim doing assisted then unassisted hangs.

To additional supercharge this train: as soon as you’re hanging unassisted, work on retracting your shoulders down away out of your ears.

Like so:

Coach Jim doing a shoulder retract, shown from the back

And so:

Coach Jim doing shoulder retracts, shown from the front.

This small motion is TOUGH (and you may even apply it assisted) however getting robust right here will set your shoulders in a fair higher place in your first chin-up/pull-up.

We’ll look to hold from the bar (assisted or unassisted) for a complete time of 30 seconds to 1 minute. At first this time could also be damaged up into a number of units (e.g., 10 seconds, 10 seconds, 10 seconds), however it’s best to ultimately work as much as one full set.

So how ought to we combine both of those into our coaching?

#1) For the Prime Holds, do that initially of your exercise (after your warm-up) for 3 units of 5 seconds. Be sure you give it your all! Actually squeeze the muscle groups tight and put as a lot weight on the arms as potential!

With all that effort, you’ll need to give your self 30 seconds to a minute relaxation in-between. I do know that seems like so much for simply 5 seconds of labor – however if you happen to had been working exhausting sufficient, you’ll want it!

#2) For the Bar Grasp, do that on the finish of your exercise for 30 seconds to a minute. Once more, look to finish this in as few units as potential, whereas making the train as difficult as potential. Transfer from assisted to unassisted, with the shoulders retracted downwards.

You can start your gymnastic ring training by simply hanging from the rings!

If you need to take a break throughout the bar grasp time, then take sufficient relaxation in order that the following maintain is productive.

Right here Are the Workouts You Can Embody for Your Stage 4 Exercise Routine:



Friday –

Whenever you’re capable of carry out the Prime Holds and Bar Hangs unassisted, then it’s time to maneuver to the following stage!!!


Coach Staci showing you the front plant

What’s this??? Secret hidden workout routines?

I simply needed to deliver your consideration to an incredible addition to any of those exercises – particularly as issues actually ramp up.

Prepared for it?

It’s . . . the entrance plank!

This gif shows Coach Jim doing a front plank

The entrance plank (or any of your favourite midsection stabilization workout routines) is a superb train to do, ought to holding a Prime Maintain or a Bar Grasp show robust.

If you happen to haven’t already felt it throughout the earlier pull-up exercises – your center must be concerned too!

Throughout a pull-up or chin-up, if we squeeze by way of the midsection and glutes, the close by muscle groups are capable of contract stronger by way of a phenomenon generally known as muscle irradiation.

Apart from sounding like one thing the Unbelievable 4 encountered in area, this cool “trick” might help engaged close by muscle groups within the midsection, together with these massive again muscle groups that pull us up!

A picture showing the latissimus dorsi muscles

You may see muscle irradiation for your self if you happen to’ve ever been requested to flex your biceps for somebody. You’ll instinctually squeeze your hand tight, as a result of it helps the biceps have interaction stronger!

If wanted, throw in some entrance planks work close to the tip of your exercise.

You may even begin in your knees:

If you can't do a normal plank, start with doing them on your knees until you can advance.

Look to carry 30 seconds to at least one minute of whole time.

Alright, again to our common scheduled programming!

Stage 5 Pull-Up Exercise: Detrimental Pull-Ups

Staci jumping up to do a negative pull-up.

Okay! We at the moment are DANGEROUSLY near getting our first pull-up!

The large step at this stage is doing a adverse pull-up:

  1. Seize onto the bar with an overhand grip
  2. Soar so your chest is touching
  3. Slowly decrease your self underneath management till you’re on the backside of the motion.

WARNING: This may be very harmful if you happen to’re very chubby, which is why I’d advocate shifting slowly by way of steps 1-3 first.

Nonetheless, after you have a good quantity of again power (which you bought from Ranges 1, 2, and three), doing negatives is a good way to construct arm and again power.

You might have two choices for adverse pull-ups:

  1. Hop up on a chair to get above the bar after which decrease your self again down. The secret is “in management.”
  2. Soar above the pull-up bar, after which start to decrease your self again down IN CONTROL.

You don’t have to decrease your self so slowly that one repetition destroys you…decrease your self at a managed velocity – Counting to “three Mississippi” throughout the motion is an efficient tempo.

Listed below are the workout routines you may embrace in your Stage 5 Exercise Routine:




When you’re doing the entire adverse repetitions in every trainyou’re prepared to do a pull-up.

As you’ll see above, we’re supplying you with the “pull” workout routines if you’re constructing your personal exercise. If you would like newbie fitness center exercise program, these actions will slot in completely.

Alternatively, we are able to do the entire heavy lifting for you (nicely, not ALL the heavy lifting) – we’ll create a selected exercise so all you need to do is log into your NF Teaching App every morning and do the exercise your coach prescribed!

Stage 6 – Doing Your First Pull-up or Chin-up

OH BOY! My pricey Insurgent, it’s time for a…

We made it! Here's Staci doing a pull-up!!!

At this level you might have two choices:

A chin-up is once you seize the bar with an underhand grip together with your palms dealing with in the direction of you.

A chin-up is a pull-up, but with your hands facing towards you.

Many discover chin-ups barely simpler than…

A pull-up is once you seize the bar together with your palms dealing with away from you. Seeing as it is a pull-up information…


  1. Seize the bar with a grip barely wider than shoulder-width, together with your fingers dealing with away from you.
  2. Begin from a useless grasp.
  3. Have interaction your shoulders, pull them down and again in the direction of one another (like you’re pinching a pencil between your shoulder blades!)
  4. Flex your abdomen, pull your physique till your chest touches the bar.
  5. Slight pause, yell out “I’m a champion!”
  6. Decrease your self all the best way again all the way down to a useless grasp.

We cowl all of this and extra in our publish “Easy methods to Do a Correct Pull-Up,” however the above will get you began

Relying in your weight, your stage of health and power, and the way far alongside you’re in these progressions, you may be capable of begin with even multiple pull-up.

At this level, you could be a full Fitness center Class Hero by following a Fitness center Exercise with these actions in there in your “pull” workout routines:

 Stage 6 routine weekly schedule:


  • Pull-ups – 4 units of 1-2 reps (transfer onto the following train if you happen to can’t carry out a rep)
  • Assisted Pull-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 60 seconds whole time


  • Detrimental Chin-ups – 4 units of 1 rep
  • Body weight Rows – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 60 seconds whole time


  • Chin-ups – 4 units of 1-2 reps (transfer onto the following train if you happen to can’t carry out a rep)
  • Assisted Chin-ups – 3 units of 8 reps
  • Bar Grasp (Unassisted) – 60 seconds whole time

Congratulations! You’re now doing pull-ups. Be sure you watch that video above to ensure you’re doing pull-ups with correct kind. Practically everyone does them incorrectly, with unhealthy kind.

Need to ensure you have correct kind together with your pull-ups? Check out our 1-on-1 Teaching program! Our spiffy cell app permits you to ship video of your pull-ups on to your coach, who will present suggestions so you may good your method.

They’ll additionally construct a exercise program that’s {custom} to your scenario, which could have you doing units of 10 pull-ups in NO time!

Stage 7 – Superior Pull-up Strikes

Now you can move onto advanced pull-ups like Steve is doing here.

When you’re capable of do 3 units of 10 pull-ups or chin-ups, you might have just a few choices:

OPTION #A: Proceed to get higher at doing extra reps – 3 units of 12, 3 units of 15, 4 units of 20, and many others.

OPTION #B: Begin doing different kinds of pull-ups.

Listed below are some superior pull-ups you may strive: 

#1) WIDE GRIP PULL-UPS (seize the bar WAY out with each fingers):

Maintaining a wide grip is a great advanced pull-up.


Another form of an advanced pull-up for you. Shift your weight from arm to arm.


If you own some rings you can use them like so for some advanced pull-ups.

#5) TOWEL PULL-UPS (Nice for grip power)

OPTION #C) Add weight with a weight belt and do weighted pull-ups or weighted chin-ups:

A weighted pull-up is great for progressive overload on your muscles.

Personally, my favourite factor to do in a fitness center is weighted pull-ups; if you happen to’re at this stage and eager about doing so, right here’s what that you must do:

  1. Get a weight belt. I purchased this one on Amazon and it’s labored out extremely nicely for me. I’ve tried doing the entire “put weights in a backpack” and it definitely works, however the angle of the weights hanging off your again is bizarre. With a weight belt, the burden hangs down between your legs (not a euphemism) so it feels extra pure.
  2. Add small quantities at a time. Most gyms could have 2.5 lb (roughly 1kg) weights; you may really feel silly placing on an enormous weight belt and solely hanging a tiny weight off it, however that you must begin someplace.
  3. Constantly add extra weight. I’ll heat up with two units of 5 pull-ups with no further weight, after which do 3 units of 5 weighted pull-ups. If I can full all 3 units of 5 reps (with my chin over the bar for each rep), I’ll make a remark so as to add 2.5 or 5lbs (1 or 2kg) to my weight belt for the following time.

Right here’s how you can incorporate these Stage 6 workout routines into your fitness center exercise routine:

  • MondayWeighted Chin Ups – 3 units of 5 reps
  • Wednesday Elevated Ft Physique Weight Rows – 3 units of max repetitions
  • Friday – Huge Grip Pull-ups – 3 units of most repetition
  • (The next week, I’d alternate by doing the chin-ups with out weight, after which doing weighted pull-ups

The place do you go from right here? How about working in the direction of some of the spectacular workout routines of all time? The MUSCLE UP (warning: uber superior)!

Our new app, Nerd Health Journey, not solely has an journey to get you your first pull-up, however we’ll additionally present you precisely how you can do cool body weight tips just like the muscle-up too. No guesswork wanted right here, simply soar into the app and comply with the missions and exercises for the day.

You may strive your free trial TODAY, proper right here:

Carry Your self Up (A Life With Pull-Ups)

The world can be your pull-up bar as Steve is showing here.

Regardless of your start line, you CAN do pull-ups.

And also you WILL do pull-ups with this information. 

You don’t have to comply with the development above precisely – it’s merely one path that you could take with a purpose to attain the promised land…the place the pull-ups circulate like wine and the ladies instinctively flock just like the Salmon of Capistrano.

High Five! You are now doing pull-ups!

Simply ask Christina, who can now do a number of units of pull-ups – her story is unimaginable:

Christina started rocking pull-ups after Nerd Fitness Coaching

Or Bronwyn, who misplaced 50+ lbs and now does chin-ups along with her daughter on her again!

For individuals searching for the following step, we’ve constructed 3 choices that may float your boat:

1) If you’re anyone that wishes to get outcomes like the ladies above and comply with a tailored pull-up power program designed round their life and targets, take a look at our common 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program.

You’ll work with our licensed NF instructors who will get to know you higher than you understand your self, test your kind, and program your exercises and diet for you.

#2) Exercising at house and wish a plan to comply with? Try Nerd Health Journey!

Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra ceaselessly, eat more healthy, and stage up your life (actually). We even have an superior journey that will help you get your first pull-up!

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

3) Be a part of our free neighborhood, the Nerd Health Rebel, and we’ll ship you our free Power 101 Information, which you may get once you enroll within the field under:

Observe the trail that works in your schedule, your expertise, and your stage of consolation with this motion – there’s no disgrace in going slowly and progressing safely.

And if you happen to’re gung ho about pull-ups, prepared for negatives and making an attempt to squirm for that first rep, be at liberty to go for it. Simply be protected.

Whenever you DO lastly do a pull-up, I need to be the primary to know – electronic mail me at and inform me about it!

For the Rebel,


PS: Try our different three articles on pull-ups:

PPS: Need to be taught extra? Learn the remainder of the Power Coaching 101 sequence:


Photograph Souce: Muscle tissues that Transfer the Humerus


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