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How I'm Learning To Do A Pull-up

Back in the fall, I got a pull-up bar from Target. I've wanted to do a pull-up forever, and I was a little intimidated trying at the gym.

So, one day when Lil Man and I were out shopping, I decided to pick one up so I could start working on pull-ups at home. I had NOOOOOOOO idea they would be so hard to do ha.

So I put the bar up, got a stool for support and tried to do one. Not only could I not even pull myself up, I couldn't even hold myself up. I mean... not even for a second.

So I started out with my foot on the top of the stool/chair and used it for support. Then I started working on doing a hang where basically you start at the top and try to hold yourself. Like I said, when I stared I couldn't even hold myself.

This was me in September after a couple of weeks of working on just holding myself up.

I was finally starting to get a little stronger. Then I was able to pull myself up from the very top of the stool, then the top step. 

I've worked up to where I can pull up (with a little shove) from the bottom of the stool. 

(This was in November). 

I admit that I slacked off on working on this as life got in the way. But I would really like to do at least 1 full pull-up by my birthday in March. 

Currently I am stronger than in November, and I can hang longer. But I still can't get myself up unless I'm standing on the bottom of the stool, and I allow myself a little shove.

But I am working on slow and controlled, and I'm working on building up those muscles. And, I'm going to start using the assisted dip/pull-up machine at the gym. Although it's intimidating for me (I'm afraid that I'm going to fall), I know that I can build some strength that way.

In addition to working on actual pull-ups, I plan to make sure that I'm incorporating some back exercises such as lat pulldowns, one arm dumbbell row and seated cable row to name a few. 

And although I might not be there yet, I definitely see progress! 

So, tell me, can you do a pull-up? Or is this an area you are working on? If so, do you have some tips you'd like to pass along? 

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  1. Hi Amy, loved reading this and I'll show my wife who has been going through the exact same challenge. For her, she has started crossfit where pull-up strength is a necessity to be able to do a lot of the exercises.

    I think this video was very helpful, you should check it out.

    Jump to 1:55 if you don't want to watch the whole video.

    Cheers, Jay


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