How To Do More Than One Pull-Up In A Row

Pull-ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength, but they’re also really hard to do if you’re not already used to doing them. If you’re not able to do more than one pull-up already, this video will show you how.

The video, from The Art of Manliness, gives you an easy routine to follow. If you can’t pull off a single full pull-up, the video suggests starting from the raised position and slowly lowering yourself, in a “reverse pull-up” motion. Once you’ve managed to work your way up to a single pull-up, the video suggests the following routine over time to increase your reps:

  1. Week 1: Twice a week, do 12 sets of 1 pull-up with a 45 second break in between each set.
  2. Week 2: Twice a week, do 6 sets of 2 pull-ups with a 45 second break between each set.
  3. Week 3: Twice a week, do 4 sets of 4 pull-ups with a 45 second break between each set.
  4. Week 4: Twice a week, do 3 sets of 6 pull-ups with a 45 second break between each set.
  5. Week 5: Twice a week, do 5 sets of 10 pull-ups with a 45 second break between each set.

If you feel like you can’t handle the pull-ups at any point during this regiment, dial it back and start from an easier step. Over time this should help you build your upper body strength and make it easier to do more pull-ups.

The Do More Pull-ups Routine [The Art of Manliness]


  • Speaking as someone who has struggled to get past one (good-form) pullup, I seriously doubt that someone who can’t do two consecutively is going to be able to do 12 in 12 minutes. I mean I’m willing to give it a try, but if I don’t follow up it’s because both of my arms have fallen off.

  • I used to do heaps of chin ups. Reducing your body weight is the single biggest thing you can do to help. Carrying excess weight is incredibly hard to lift. The type of pull up bar is also important. I bought one off eBay that hooks over the door frame, this type of bar gives you a variety of positions to hold your hands. Be very careful when you start as chin ups put a very high amount of stress on your shoulders. Warm up before you try, maybe do some pushups first.

  • The first comment is right. It took me 6 years to do 37 pull ups in a row from 0 pull ups at the start. It takes much more than just trying to do it. You need to train your biceps, lats, forearms, core in order to even start to do 5 at the end of first month.

  • I came across this article about 18 months ago, tried it, and it worked. I had been going to gym for some time and was pretty fit but could not get off the pull up/dip assist machine (the one the counters your weight with variable pin weights) I had to counter my weight by about 20kgs to do 3×8. I could do maybe two if I was lucky without the counter weight.

    Anyway, tried this and I could do three sets of 8 after about 4-5 weeks.

    If you can’t do even one though, there are other articles out there to help progress. Negative pull ups, low bar pull ups, complimentary exercises, etc.

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