Why you should Learn to Master Pull-ups

pull-ups in the trees

Pull-ups are a classic and highly rewarding exercise, simple enough to learn, yet so many people can’t do them.

I have to say I do love the good old pull-ups, and I’m often surprised at how many people can’t perform one single one. The reasons for that are generally the same.

You either haven’t ever done pull-ups, and therefore, your back muscles are too weak. Or you used to be able to do pull-ups, back in the day in high school, but your excess weight and the sedentary lifestyle you have become accustomed to means you just can’t lift your weight anymore! True or false?

No Gym Needed!

Lat pull-downs or cable rows in a gym are easy, and everyone can do them. But, do those exercises make you stronger overall? The answer is yes, and no. If you perform these exercises frequently with heavy-weights and are keeping good form, then you will build more strength and muscle mass.

However, 95% of the people in the gym using those machines are a) not doing it right or b) with far too little weight: the result being, no extra muscle mass, and no added strength. Put otherwise, wasting their time!

The Raw Pull-Up.

Pull-ups are a natural and raw movement. Being able to maneuver our bodies around, not just with our feet and legs, but also with our hands and arms, is vital for great overall health, fitness, agility, and flexibility.

Just imagine our Primal Ancestors back in the day some few thousands of years ago, when they were out hunting or in search of food or shelter. They had to run or walk up steep hills, and climb mountains using all fours and had to pull themselves up over rocks and trees. The pull-up movement came naturally to our ancestors because they had to do them in daily life, to survive.

Therefore, learning to do the raw pull-up is extremely important to build your upper body strength and overall fitness. Yes, it’s not easy to do at first, but if you are committed, everyone can master the pull-up!

The Benefits of the Pull-Up.

  • Builds general upper boidy strength
  • Builds super strong back muscles
  • Supports a strong core and lower back
  • Strengthens biceps
  • Burns fat
  • Supoorts heart health and general organ strength
  • Saves time 
  • Improves posture 
  • Helps to prevent injury to shoulders and back
  • Increases testosterone production
  • Increases human growth hormone (HGH) production, resulting in stronger muscles 
  • Builds determination and willpower
  • Calms the mind 
muscles on back
Pull-ups build a powerful and defined back

Additional bonuses I discovered along the way.

  • Pull-ups on trees or scaffolding are a great challenge and fun 
  • Do them outdoors in nature, while walking or running
  • Fun to challenge yourself to beat your maximum reps 
  • You build more “core animal strength” (raw strength)
  • More fun working out with your bodyweight
  • Almost zero risk of injury

Advanced Pull-Ups with the Negative or Static Pull-Up.

The negative pull-up is a fantastic way to practice the pull-up and get stronger faster. The negative routine requires you to get into position and pull-up to your chin. Then stay there for as long as you can, without moving.

Sound easy? It’s not. It’s brutally hard to hold the pull-up as your body is heavy, and you need time to train your arms and back muscles to do this exercise. But, you can start by holding yourself up and not moving for 5 or 10 seconds.

In fact, this is the best way to master the pull-up, as the longer you can hold the static position, the more reps you will eventually be able to perform when you pull-up and down.

negative pull-ups
Holding the negative pull-up

The Weekly Routine.

If you want to learn to do pull-ups on your own and get good at them, please try this method, it works. This pull-up routine requires 3 sessions per week.

  1. Using a sturdy pull-up bar firmly attached to a wall or door start by jumping up and gradually letting yourself down while resisting as much as you can. Repeat x 10 reps and 3 sets. 
  2. Use a chair to stand up and position yourself in the negative pull-up position, raise your legs and hold as long as you can, resisting as much as you can while you fade back down. 
  3. Repeat step 1, except every second pull-up attempt, shouldn’t be a jump, instead try to pull yourself up as far as you can and as hard as you can. It doesn’t matter if you fail halfway, keep trying. Then jump up again, fade, and repeat! 

Wrapping Up and Stepping Up.

Everyone can learn how to do a push-up with will power and by following this plan. There are other techniques as well, such as using weighted assistance machines in a gym.

But, all this does is, reduce your actual body weight and the exercise becomes a kind of useless again. You need to learn to pull-up in a real and raw form for it to work! Then you will build that natural strength and power. Step-up and Pull-up, you can do it!

I look forward to answering any questions or comments in the section below.

Thank you, be safe and healthy the natural way!

Rob Hourmont 

Former Olympic Athlete, Writer & certified Health Coach

“It is my mission to educate people on how to lose weight, how to build a healthy, strong heart, body, and mind, supporting a longer life.”

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