Good article on ACCESSORY WORK you can do on your own, after class, to get a PULL-UP

How to get your first Strict Pull Up!

July 6, 2016 by Ann -by Coach Ann 07.06.16 CrossFit Equality

Usually one of the first comments I hear from new CrossFitter’s is I can’t do a pull up. They may not be able to do one during their first week, month, or heck even year but they should be able to get one sooner rather than later if they follow a specific program. Here is a simple and easy to follow program for anyone (male, female, new to crossfit, seasoned crossfitter, etc) to achieve their first STRICT pull up!

Why: Because we gotta! Pull ups are a movement in which most everyone can rapidly improve with consistent work and training them is fairly straightforward. Plus, it is pretty cool and satisfying to get your first unassisted pull up! CrossFit is all about functional movement, and being able to pull up your body weight is quite a functional movement that we all have the ability and potential to do. The elusive unassisted pull up can be an especially challenging feat for women, but it is possible! As the saying goes, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. And we don’t want easy, right!

When: Now! Start the next time you’re in the gym. The sooner you start the sooner you will get that first strict pull up!! Grab a buddy and hold each other accountable to the work and you will achieve your first strict pull up faster!

How: You will need to be self-motivated and diligent. Your coaches and fellow CFE Crew members will support you, but your progress will be determined by how dedicated and motivated you are to complete the program. The only one who can change you is YOU!

The Plan: This is a program adapted from Chris Stroud’s pull up progression for CrossFit ( – Chris Stroud is a CrossFit Trainer at CrossFit One World in Union City, CA). For the purpose of this plan, we are only focusing on Phase 1 of the progression. For those who currently do not have one unassisted pull up.

A couple notes: •The shoulder joint is more susceptible to injury when its structures aren’t adequately developed. For this reason, do NOT attempt any sort of kipping prior to being able to do one strict pull-up. Also, be sure to mobilize/stretch as needed for your shoulders. •Getting better at pull-ups, push-ups, muscle-ups, dips, and handstand pushups is about volume. In any phase feel free to add in more pull-ups to progress faster. •Buy a pumice stone and scrub your hands in the shower 2-3 times a week. This will help prevent skin tears on your hand. •Don’t wear traditional lifting gloves. If you do need hand protection, I recommend Natural Grips. •Warm up’s are simply before your scheduled training or class and cool downs are after scheduled training or class. •Always us an overhand grip with both hands during this program.

Phase 1 Current ability: 0 strict pull-ups

Goal: 1 strict pull-up with. No kip.

Objective: Strengthening for structures involved in the pull-up. This will primarily be the latissimus dorsi, biceps, rhomboids, and the various muscles in the shoulder.

How to: Do 3-4 of the workouts below each week rotating in order.


DAY 1 – Volume Part 1: 3 sets x 8-12reps self assisted pull-ups. Scroll down for information about the movement and progressions. Part 2: Accumulate 25 ring rows. Move up 3-5 reps a week. If you can string together more than 10 in row make the movement more difficult by being more parallel with the floor. Part 3: Accumulate 25 banded face-pulls. Move up 3-5 reps a week.

DAY 2 – Assistance Part 1: 5 sets × 5 reps Self-assisted pull-ups. Scroll down for information about the movement and progressions. Part 2: 3 sets × 8-12 reps bicep curls with barbell.

DAY 3 – Intensity Part 1: 5 sets × 3-5 reps pull ups with a band. If you can go over 5 reps scale up to a more difficult progression or a smaller band. Focus on your shoulders/lats doing most of the work and not the bounce of the band. Part 2: 3 sets of a max hang from a pull bar with 1 minute rest between each set. Part 3: 5 sets × 5 reps Self-assisted pull-ups.

The self-assisted pull-ups be done in a squat rack or with by standing on a box hanging from the pull up rig. Check out this link for a visual. Here are a few modifications you can use to adjust difficulty to the self assisted pull ups: 1. Stay on toes only. 2. Put your feet on a box or bench out in front of you. 3. Use only one leg.

Whichever modification you are using the most important thing to focus on pulling with your back and using your legs as little as possible. Also, be sure to start with your elbows extended all the way at the bottom and get your chin over the bar without reaching with your neck.

At the end of each week, test your strict pull up ability. Once you are able to do 3 strict unbroken pull ups 1) congratulate yourself for a job well done (and get them on video so we can celebrate your achievement!)

WOD for 4/11/2017

Hatch Week 5, Day 1

Any additional time we will spend working on our kip.


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