25 Pull Up Program
25 Pull-Up Program CAPT Mike Prevost, USN
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The pull up chart below is designed to provide a reasonable load and progressive overload plan. Start somewhere in the chart where you are certain that you can perform all of the reps for that day. Be conservative. Work your way through the chart, day by day. Be sure to take the off days. If you fail to complete all of the reps for a day, do not move to the next day. Stay on that day until you can perform all of the prescribed reps. Nobody will be able to run through all 108 days without missing a rep. Most will stall several times. It is OK to take some additional off days from time to time. An occasional additional off day will not have a negative effect on the program and in many cases will be beneficial. Individual recovery ability will vary. Some people will need more off days. If you are stalling often, alter the program to take off every every other day. The goal is to find the right frequency of training to match your recovery ability. Start with the program as written. Most will be able to handle this frequency for the first month before stalling. Pull Up Chart
n= slow negative. Use a step, or jump up to get in the top position of the pull up. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds, and then lower yourself down slowly (approximately 5 seconds) to complete a negative repetition. Wherever you see an “n” insert 3-5 of these negative repetitions.
Supplemental Exercises Perform sets of pushups between your sets of pull ups. This ensures that your shoulder strength is balanced and will keep your shoulders healthy. You can use the push up chart below. Start at the top with the column that represents your current maximum (with perfect form). Work your way down. Use the same progression and procedures described in the pull up section.
Additional Pulling For those who are unable to complete the repetitions prescribed in day 13 of the pull up program, additional pulling is advisable to ensure that you are getting enough pulling volume. If you are able to complete the reps and sets prescribed in day 13, additional pulling is not necessary. For those needing additional pulling, alternate between horizontal and vertical pulling. In other words, one day prescribes horizontal pulling exercises, and the next prescribes vertical pulling exercises. The reason we alternate horizontal and vertical pulling is because research has shown that neither pull downs, nor horizontal rows completely recruits all of the musculature used in a simple pull up. However, both of them combined recruit all of the necessary muscles. Pick one exercise and perform 3-4 sets of 5-8 repetitions of a single horizontal pull or vertical pull exercise. Do these pulls
in addition to the pull up chart sets until you can complete day 13 successfully, then just stick to the pull up chart. Include the pushups as well. Remember, alternate horizontal pulling with vertical pulling on your workout days. The exercise choices for both pulling movements are illustrated below.
Important note: This is not a complete strength training program. This program addresses pull ups only. A more complete strength training program would include vertical pressing, squatting, hip hinge, and core work.
About the Author
Mike Prevost earned a PhD in exercise physiology from Louisiana State University in 1995. He specialized in muscle physiology and metabolism. Throughout his college years (10 years total) he worked as a personal trainer in various gyms and fitness centers. He has trained athletes for many different sports including triathlon, ultra running, surfing, power lifting, bodybuilding, mixed martial arts, football, basketball and more. After finishing his PhD, he took a commission in the U. S. Navy as an Aerospace Physiologist in the Navy Medical Service Corps. While serving in the Navy he developed human performance training material for the U. S. Special Operations Command. He developed new fitness standards for Navy rescue swimmers. He served as a consultant to the USMC in evaluating the safety of the USMC Combat Fitness Test. He also served on a Navy committee tasked with proposing alternatives to the Navy physical fitness test. He trained thousands of aviators and aircrew on survival techniques, physiology, and human performance. He also served as the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the U. S. Naval Academy, where he performed physiological testing of athletes to improve performance, developed the Principles of Strength and Conditioning Course for all Midshipmen, and served as the director of remedial fitness training programs. He has over 25 years of experience in working with athletes.