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  1. #1
    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    How long did it take you guys to get to your first pull up?

    I've been hitting assisted pull ups and one arm DB rows for about 5-6 months and still haven't been able to do my first unnassisted pull up. My back is extremely weak.

    Currently I am doing 45x3x5 one arm db rows and assistance for the pull up machine is about 40-60lbsx2x8.


    It has been progressing. I did start with 25x5 one arm db's and 90lbs of assistance, but I am wondering if I'm not pushing myself hard enough, or should this be moving faster?


    I want to hear stories from you guys who started without being able to do a pull up than was able to do one and how long it took.


    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Registered User 229time's Avatar
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    The first time I tried.

    -You should do more than 2 sets of assisted pullups.
    -Start your workout with less assistance than you are currently doing. Then do some sets in the 3-6 rep range. Explode up as fast as you can with every rep.
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    Registered User bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    I think it took me about 7 years. As in, I was 7 years old when I learned to do pullups
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    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post
    I've been hitting assisted pull ups and one arm DB rows for about 5-6 months and still haven't been able to do my first unnassisted pull up. My back is extremely weak.

    Currently I am doing 45x3x5 one arm db rows and assistance for the pull up machine is about 40-60lbsx2x8.


    It has been progressing. I did start with 25x5 one arm db's and 90lbs of assistance, but I am wondering if I'm not pushing myself hard enough, or should this be moving faster?


    I want to hear stories from you guys who started without being able to do a pull up than was able to do one and how long it took.


    Thanks!
    What are your stats? You might simply be holding on to a bit too much extra weight to be able to do pull ups. That being said, I remember the days when I couldn't do a single one. I never messed around with assisted pull ups; once I reached the point where I could do one, I would do sets of one. You can even spread them throughout the entire day if you have one of those doorway pull up bars. If not, just do them between sets of other exercises and set a number goal such as 10 by the end of your workout. Once you can do two in a row, do sets of two, and so on. Keep at it and don't give up!
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  5. #5
    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 229time View Post
    The first time I tried.

    -You should do more than 2 sets of assisted pullups.
    -Start your workout with less assistance than you are currently doing. Then do some sets in the 3-6 rep range. Explode up as fast as you can with every rep.
    I may add more, It's quite difficult to add any more asssistance to my program (ICF 5x5)

    Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
    I think it took me about 7 years. As in, I was 7 years old when I learned to do pullups
    Lucky bastard. I was pretty skinny, frail, and weak as a child.

    Originally Posted by bcgadzinski View Post
    What are your stats? You might simply be holding on to a bit too much extra weight to be able to do pull ups. That being said, I remember the days when I couldn't do a single one. I never messed around with assisted pull ups; once I reached the point where I could do one, I would do sets of one. You can even spread them throughout the entire day if you have one of those doorway pull up bars. If not, just do them between sets of other exercises and set a number goal such as 10 by the end of your workout. Once you can do two in a row, do sets of two, and so on. Keep at it and don't give up!
    My stats under my user info are accurate 5'9" 170lbs. I am bulking to gain more mass as I look relatively scrawny, and also want to increase strength.

    What did you do to get to the point of 1?
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    Registered User RagingVeins's Avatar
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    Just keep losing weight and doing your full-body routine for now. They'll come. There's no super secret exercise to do that will help. Working out your back and biceps and losing weight is what will make all the difference, though.
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    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RagingVeins View Post
    Just keep losing weight and doing your full-body routine for now. They'll come. There's no super secret exercise to do that will help. Working out your back and biceps and losing weight is what will make all the difference, though.
    I'm not trying to loose weight at the moment because I am not extremely fat, but do lack a quite a bit of muscle mass at the moment.

    My goal is to bulk until my other lifts reach a much more respectable numbers.

    (a.k.a bench = 115, squat = 155 at the current moment)
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    OIF III JontheAtheist's Avatar
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    Target your lats, shoulders, arms and abs in the gym to increase strength for pull-ups.
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  9. #9
    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JontheAtheist View Post
    Target your lats, shoulders, arms and abs in the gym to increase strength for pull-ups.
    How long did it take you to get your first one?
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    Registered User RagingVeins's Avatar
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    Don't worry about other people. Honestly, you don't want to know. I think you'll find most people you ask have been able to do at least a couple pull-ups for their entire life. I've never not been able to do one. You might want to get your testosterone levels checked, but I'm no doctor. I'm just saying it might be worth looking into.
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    Registered User y2zipper's Avatar
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    I did assisted pull-ups and lat pulldowns to progress the muscle groups. I started with what I could do (which was about half my weight), decreased by 5 every workout and I eventually was able to do pull-ups. Still working on increasing the number, though.
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  12. #12
    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RagingVeins View Post
    Don't worry about other people. Honestly, you don't want to know. I think you'll find most people you ask have been able to do at least a couple pull-ups for their entire life. I've never not been able to do one. You might want to get your testosterone levels checked, but I'm no doctor. I'm just saying it might be worth looking into.
    I just want to hear other's stories.
    While I do believe some people have been able to do a single pull up from their beginnings, I do highly doubt that everyone could just start with a pull up straight off the bat.


    I haven't checked my test levels in a while (blood test), but I do not have any reason to suspect having low test levels and/or do believe it will make or break my training.
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    When I first started, I doubt I could do a single pull up. Couldn't even do more than a couple of legitimate push ups. I just did the typical back routine: rows, deadlifts and assisted pull ups. Now I can do about 5 or 6 fully rested. It just takes lifting + calorie surplus + patience. And patience is probably the most important part. Don't compare yourselves to others, because 1. people lie, 2. people are *******s about it (see this thread) and 3. every body is different.
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  14. #14
    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by y2zipper View Post
    I did assisted pull-ups and lat pulldowns to progress the muscle groups. I started with what I could do (which was about half my weight), decreased by 5 every workout and I eventually was able to do pull-ups. Still working on increasing the number, though.
    That sounds like a solid way to go about it.

    Good stuff!

    Originally Posted by jolanar1 View Post
    When I first started, I doubt I could do a single pull up. Couldn't even do more than a couple of legitimate push ups. I just did the typical back routine: rows, deadlifts and assisted pull ups. Now I can do about 5 or 6 fully rested. It just takes lifting + calorie surplus + patience. And patience is probably the most important part. Don't compare yourselves to others, because 1. people lie, 2. people are *******s about it (see this thread) and 3. every body is different.
    Thanks for the advice man. It's good to hear others who made it from not being able to do one, and can do one now.

    How long would you of estimated it took you? I'm not saying this for comparison purposes, i'm just really wondering, how quickly and agressively you progressed.
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    never not been able to do them. First tried in grade 7 though and could do 3-4
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    Its taken me about 6 months, and the most I can do is 3 consecutive unassisted pull ups- and I am inwardly ecstatic about it.

    Assistance work that seemed to help me were lat pull downs, and inverted rows.

    I'd also say add more sets to what you are doing.

    Currently, I will start by doing a set of unassisted to fail, than start my next set with 10 lbs of assistance on the machine and can usually get through two sets (sometimes just 1). If I fail on my reps I will finish the set with negatives, and on the next set move to 20 lbs assistance. When I initially started this process, I was using 50 lbs of assistance. Also, as a male, you can expect quicker progress than what I experienced (I'm always jealous of that).
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    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KattElizabeth View Post
    Its taken me about 6 months, and the most I can do is 3 consecutive unassisted pull ups- and I am inwardly ecstatic about it.

    Assistance work that seemed to help me were lat pull downs, and inverted rows.

    I'd also say add more sets to what you are doing.

    Currently, I will start by doing a set of unassisted to fail, than start my next set with 10 lbs of assistance on the machine and can usually get through two sets (sometimes just 1). If I fail on my reps I will finish the set with negatives, and on the next set move to 20 lbs assistance. When I initially started this process, I was using 50 lbs of assistance. Also, as a male, you can expect quicker progress than what I experienced (I'm always jealous of that).
    Great Progress!!!

    I have been making decently fast progress, but since pull ups are near the end of my routine I am quite exhausted once I reach them, hence I don't put as much as I should into them.

    Those are some good tips aswell. I am look into doing more lat pulldowns and inverted rows aswell.
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    I Do It On My Own xxsupergman25xx's Avatar
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    Interesting, I have always been able to squeeze out 4-6 unassisted pullups since i can remember.
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    Raver in Training VmissileX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xxsupergman25xx View Post
    Interesting, I have always been able to squeeze out 4-6 unassisted pullups since i can remember.
    I'm actually quite surprised so many people can just do pull ups straight at that amount.


    Even my roomate who is quite athletic for his height an weight could only do 2.

    Not trying to compare or anything, I guess I just did get the short end of the genetic stick.

    Not much I can do about that, but improve on my own!
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    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post
    I've been hitting assisted pull ups and one arm DB rows for about 5-6 months and still haven't been able to do my first unnassisted pull up. My back is extremely weak.

    Currently I am doing 45x3x5 one arm db rows and assistance for the pull up machine is about 40-60lbsx2x8.


    It has been progressing. I did start with 25x5 one arm db's and 90lbs of assistance, but I am wondering if I'm not pushing myself hard enough, or should this be moving faster?


    I want to hear stories from you guys who started without being able to do a pull up than was able to do one and how long it took.


    Thanks!
    You should definitely be able to do a pull-up after 6 months of back training. So you're not pushing yourself hard enough. Make sure you are increasing weight every set/every time you go (however you train).

    I was always able to do a few in a struggle, but once I started hitting the gym a lot I only did Lat Pulldowns for like 3-5 months because I wasn't a fan of pull-ups. Then once I tried doing pull-ups after this time I was able to bang out 5-8 pretty easily. Now they are a staple of my back training, as they should be.

    Just focus on progressively overloading on LAT PULLDOWNS, and the assisted machine and youll be able to do one in no time
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    Originally Posted by KDG730 View Post
    You should definitely be able to do a pull-up after 6 months of back training. So you're not pushing yourself hard enough. Make sure you are increasing weight every set/every time you go (however you train).

    I was always able to do a few in a struggle, but once I started hitting the gym a lot I only did Lat Pulldowns for like 3-5 months because I wasn't a fan of pull-ups. Then once I tried doing pull-ups after this time I was able to bang out 5-8 pretty easily. Now they are a staple of my back training, as they should be.

    Just focus on progressively overloading on LAT PULLDOWNS, and the assisted machine and youll be able to do one in no time
    Well confession wise, my forms were utter shiit when i first started. I really worked on perfecting squat and bench forms to perfect, and did not focus harsher on rows.


    I think your post is good advice. I have been progressing (slowly but surely), so I am sure If I push it harder I think it could be done. Just need to give it more stimulus and maybe make it more of a priority!
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    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post

    How long would you of estimated it took you? I'm not saying this for comparison purposes, i'm just really wondering, how quickly and agressively you progressed.
    A couple years. But I've never really had an active goal of wanting to hit a certain number.

    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post
    I'm actually quite surprised so many people can just do pull ups straight at that amount.
    Most people can't. I would bet money that 99/100 people couldn't do more than a couple, if any at all. But people who can't do pull ups generally aren't on a bodybuilding forum. Don't let the audience skew your image of what is reasonable progress.
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    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post
    Well confession wise, my forms were utter shiit when i first started. I really worked on perfecting squat and bench forms to perfect, and did not focus harsher on rows.


    I think your post is good advice. I have been progressing (slowly but surely), so I am sure If I push it harder I think it could be done. Just need to give it more stimulus and maybe make it more of a priority!
    Yeah definitely you will get there.

    Really though, focus on getting strong on Lat Pulldowns. They are a much better work up exercise for pull-ups than One Arm DB Rows in my opinion. But hey, do both!
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    Originally Posted by jolanar1 View Post
    A couple years. But I've never really had an active goal of wanting to hit a certain number.



    Most people can't. I would bet money that 99/100 people couldn't do more than a couple, if any at all. But people who can't do pull ups generally aren't on a bodybuilding forum. Don't let the audience skew your image of what is reasonable progress.
    Thats good to know and inspiring! Am hoping to push further as time goes one.

    Will rep on recharge!

    Originally Posted by KDG730 View Post
    Yeah definitely you will get there.

    Really though, focus on getting strong on Lat Pulldowns. They are a much better work up exercise for pull-ups than One Arm DB Rows in my opinion. But hey, do both!
    I think thats what I will do. I already have assisted pull ups, and db rows and some Australian pull ups (the aussie pull ups are typically warmups), but I think I will add more lat pulldowns and reduce db rows and pullups.

    My plan although is once I hit 50x5 one arm db rows I am gonna switch over to properly master the form for bent over rows and start increaseing weights there.
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    A few months I couldn't do any, then suddenly I could do many.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    bb.com, a place that turned Deadlift into a forearm isolation exercise

    and a place where 99% of 21 year olds have bad back and knees.
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    For gym class in elementary school I could definitely do multiple chinups but I am not sure if I could do pullups. Maybe I could do 1-2. Junior year of HS I recall jumping up and doing 6 pullups. I never specifically trained for it. I lifted weights and ran for track. Any weight you are carrying that isn't muscle is going to make it more difficult. I don't know your bf %, but losing some weight may make it easier.
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    Originally Posted by ZoranM View Post
    A few months I couldn't do any, then suddenly I could do many.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    This is surprisingly how pushups came.

    A few months ago I couldn't do one properly.
    Now I can push 15 without a sweat. I thank this to proper benching.

    Originally Posted by geero82 View Post
    For gym class in elementary school I could definitely do multiple chinups but I am not sure if I could do pullups. Maybe I could do 1-2. Junior year of HS I recall jumping up and doing 6 pullups. I never specifically trained for it. I lifted weights and ran for track. Any weight you are carrying that isn't muscle is going to make it more difficult. I don't know your bf %, but losing some weight may make it easier.
    That is true. I guesstimate 20% BF. I am not planning on cutting anytime soon though. I definetly need to bulk and get some mass. Then i will go for a stronger cut.
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    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post
    I may add more, It's quite difficult to add any more asssistance to my program (ICF 5x5)



    Lucky bastard. I was pretty skinny, frail, and weak as a child.



    My stats under my user info are accurate 5'9" 170lbs. I am bulking to gain more mass as I look relatively scrawny, and also want to increase strength.

    What did you do to get to the point of 1?
    If you keep lifting hard the way you're supposed to, it'll come in time.
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    I'm trying not to be a prick, but there's so many kids in the gym that lift like poosys. If you arnt willing to be in pain and sweat your arse off then lifting Is probably not for you.

    But If you can look In the mirror and say my diet is on point and I'm pushing myself hard then that's all that matters.

    Try doing some negative pull ups. Put a box or chair under the pull up bar, use it to jump and pull yourself up, then control yourself down as slow as possible. Do at least 3-5 no excuses.
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    Originally Posted by VmissileX View Post
    My plan although is once I hit 50x5 one arm db rows I am gonna switch over to properly master the form for bent over rows and start increaseing weights there.
    Good Idea. Barbell Rows = Best Back Exercise (other than deadlifts lol)
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