Phases 2 -How to build strength for the Strict Pull-up

Once we have spent 4-6 weeks progressively loading the phase 1 of this program you will find that your body starts to become accustomed to the movements and will no longer allow you to increase in load the way you may have over the first 3-4 weeks. This is the point which you need to change exercises or vary what you are doing to some extent to give your body the stimulus it needs to keep adapting and getting stronger.

At this point you need to start to incorporate some form of pull-up. It can takes some months to get to the strength needed to support you own weight over the bar so the 2 options are eccentric pull-ups and assisted eccentric pull-ups. By working the eccentric portion of the pull-up which is the lowering part only you are able to overload your muscle with good stimulus even though you might not be able to pull your own chin over the bar. I would set up boxes to a height that allows you to stand with your chin over the bar, get a good pull-up grip and try to lower yourself over 6 seconds; repeat this for 4-8 reps; 3-4 sets. A good way to tell when you have done enough reps is if you can no longer control the eccentric.

We will be doing eccentrics twice per week plus the extra support exercises. If you are feeling strong at any day feel free to try a strict pull-up at the beginning of the session. You can measure your progress by how high you can pull your chin to the bar. You will see each time you will get a little higher until you can finally do a pull-up!

With the other movements to keep progressing, we can adjust the rep range and remove the tempos to allow you to continue to lift more weight over the coming weeks. This way we have changed the stimulus and allowed you to continue to increase load!

The next 4-6 weeks will look like this:

Day 1:

A: Eccentric Pull-up; 4 x 4-8@60A0; rest 120s

Or Assisted Machine Eccentric Pull-ups

B: Lat pull-down; 4 x 8-10; rest 90-120s

C: Cable Row; 4 x 10-12; rest 90-120s

Day 2:

A: Eccentric Pull-up; 4 x 4-8@60A0; rest 120s

Or Assisted Machine Eccentric Pull-ups

B: DB Row; 4 x 10; rest 90s

C: Inverted Bar or Ring Row; 4 x 10-12; rest 90-120s


Watch the video’s provided for each movement, to help break down each exercise and show correct technique!