How to do 20 Pull-Ups

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 1.  Figure out your goal.  You can’t reach your goal if you don’t define it.  Don’t say, “I want o do more pushups.”  Instead, say, “I want to do 100 pushups without resting.” 

2.  Dedicate one workout to figuring out where you stand.  Do as many reps as you can.  Give yourself 1 minute of rest and repeat.  Do this for a total of 5 sets.  Record your sets & repetitions per set, as well as the amount of rest in between sets.  If you can’t do a pullup, use a weight-assist machine to help you perform sets of 8-10.  Record the weight you used. 

 My example:  Pullups:  10, 8, 6, 5, 4 = 33 total pullups 

3.  Go back to your goal & make sure it’s realistic.  If it’s overly ambitious and you still want to achieve it, then set your timeline accordingly.  Don’t give yourself a month to get from 5 pullups to 20 pullups (it took me 2 ½ to get from 10 to 20. 

4.  Rest for at least 3 days, but go back & try to exceed your baseline workout.  Your ultimate goal is to complete more total reps (number of reps completed in the entire workout) than you previously did.  Do so in this order (my example numbers in parentheses):

-Increase the number of reps in each set.  (11, 9, 7, 6, 5) = 38 total pullups

-Increase the number of reps in at least one set while maintaining the same number of reps in the other sets. (12, 8, 6, 5, 5) = 36 total pullups

-Do not decrease any sets, but add another set to complete more reps. (10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 2) =35 total pullups

-Decrease the number of sets required to perform the same number of reps + 1.  (12, 9, 7, 6) = 34 pullups

-Decrease the amount of rest between sets. (rest 45 seconds instead of 1 minute).

5.  Commit to a similar workout at least two to three times a week.  Each workout should take no more than 20 minutes (even allowing yourself to rest more than 1 minute at a time). 

6.  Keep a log of every workout.  You need to record each set, the number of reps in each set, and the amount of rest between sets.  It also helps to record things such as whether that day was easier or harder, and why.  Since your goal for each workout is to exceed the previous workout, it is good for you to have a good idea of how many reps you expect to achieve, as well as an idea of whether you’re going to blow past that goal or have a hard time meeting it. 

7.  Keep in mind that during your first few weeks, your gains will be very noticeable, but after you’re in a routine for a while, your body will adjust to the workouts and your gains will become harder to achieve.  This is perfectly normal, so you should not expect your long-term goal timeline to be based on the gains you make in the first 2-3 weeks.

8.  Keep at it on a regular schedule.  The primary reason people don’t achieve these goals is because they don’t keep at it consistently.  Making up for 3 20-minute workouts by trying to do all those pullups in an hour on Saturday, then skipping workouts for a week and a half will not work.  Block off your time for this goal & keep at your schedule.

I hope this works for you.  In two and a half months, I went from being able to perform 10 pullups to 24 pullups by just focusing on doing more than I did the last time.  I would get frustrated when my gains went down, but would keep putting more sets & reps in to make sure my total went up.  Keep at it, and you’ll see

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