Pull Ups

The Secret of Isometrics in Zipping Up

By Paul "Batman" O'Brien 

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. IMed., Dip. Adv. OBB, Dip. CHM, Pn1, PN-SSR, PN-NCA, M.AFPA., M.C.Th.A.

Pull Ups are among one of THE most difficult bodyweight exercises for most people...in this article I'll explain exactly why that is, but also how you can use Isometrics to lever your strength and that will allow you to impress your friends by knocking out near countless reps of this difficult exercise. 

Why are PullUps Difficult?

The obvious reason is often the most accurate and in the case of pullups, or chin ups as we call them in Ireland, it's certainly true. This exercise requires you to suspend your ENTIRE bodyweight from a weak, stretched out position. Your lat muscles don't often get much use (unless your a martial artist or swimmer) in daily life and they are well developed in many people. Beyond that you're hanging, a dead weight and asking your body to contract an already weak muscle in most, against the weight of your WHOLE body (ask yourself if you weigh 200ls when the last time you did a 200lbs lat pull down was...) in that muscles weakest range....and that's only the start of the movement!!!!

Then you have to start pulling with your biceps - while keeping the body isometrically tight through the core to prevent wobble - and you're forearms are going to be burning from just holding on to a 200lb grip! :-)

That's kind a tough don't you think? 

This is why chin ups are used by many military and police forces to gauge fitness and strength - they are also a staple of the "functional fitness" movement - because it's a body weight movement (but when's the last time you hauled yourself up over a wall pull up style...really?)

How to Do a PullUp

I teach chin's (we call them Chin ups in Ireland remember, Chins for short) and all their lovely variations (including one handed versions) in my Project Dragon program and as part of my Inner Circle Isometric Mastery, but in this article I don't think we need to be doing one arm pull ups just yet...so here's the basic idea...


If you need a detailed training guide (and believe me when you see the results of your Isometric Workout you'll want one)  I've written a comprehensive guide to Isometrics called 7 Seconds to A Perfect Body. It's over 250 pages long, with hundred of step by step images to help you get your angles correct and even step by step work along video guides. You can check it out here.

However - that may still be too hard for many people. Either their grip will fail or they won't be able to do enough reps in order to impact meaningful stimulation...so....


Great question, glad you asked. 

The answer is in isomeric training. My 7 Seconds to a Perfect Body program will teach you the techniques to develop the strength to not only do proper full dead hang pull ups but also teach you how to develop the back, arm, forearm and finger strength necessary to do them by the dozen without fatigue and how to do them one armed, rafter pulls and the dozens of other fun variations. 

Here's just one technique I teach in Perfect Body to get you started....

Try that out over the next few days and then try a few pull ups - you'll SHOCK yourself with the improvement. And If you want to REALLY develop incredible strength then check out the full program - HERE. 

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