Push ups and pull ups are the hands-down the most popular upper-body bodyweight exercises.
While both of these movements are so commonly done in the gym, there is a lack of education and knowledge on how to properly progress them.
Most people just do max effort sets a few times a week and hope that by doing that, they will achieve more reps in a few weeks.
While that works sometimes.. there are better ways to go about it.
Instead of doing 3-5 sets of max reps and waiting 60-120 seconds and repeating, we discovered that doing 6-9 sets of 35-50% of the reps and resting 45-90 seconds leads to better results.
By taking this approach you prevent yourself from fatiguing out after the first set and not being able to achieve the same number of reps the following sets.
1. Determine the number of reps that will be hit every set (35-50%)
2. Rest long enough to complete the same number of reps the next set (45-90 seconds)
3. Repeat for 6-9 sets performing the same number of reps
4. Next session add a rep or add a set (only add one factor at a time)
5. Continue to progress for 4 weeks and test new max on week 5
Max reps = 6 strict pull ups
Week 1: 2 pull ups done every minute on the minute for 6-7 minutes
Week 2: 3 pull ups done every minute on the minute for 6-7 minutes
Week 3: 3 pull ups done every minute on the minute for 7-8 minutes
Week 4: 3-4 pull ups done every minute on the minute for 8-9 minutes
Each week either the number of sets climb while the number of reps the same or the number of reps climb while the number of sets stays the same.
Interested in following a program that will guide you to adding more reps to your max push up and pull up sets?
We have developed a free 4 week push up and pull up a program that lays out this exact training progression in more detail.
It is designed to be performed 3 days a week in just 15-30 minutes.