Once you're able to do one pull-up, what's the very next thing you try to do? That's right, two pull-ups. Then three... then thirty. And this is where people tend to go wrong – they become fixated on just trying to up their rep count.

Always approaching a set of pull-ups with the intention to do more reps will help improve your pull-ups, but only to a certain extent. When it comes to doing pull-ups, less will almost always get you more. Instead, make it a priority to increase your pull-up strength.

Once you're able to do double digits, it's time to start incorporating sets of fewer pull-ups done at a higher intensity.

Make 'em Tougher

One way to make pull-ups more challenging is to train them with a disadvantaged grip. Doing them while hanging from unconventional objects will strengthen and super-compensate your grip for when you go back to your standard pull-up bar. It will also help boost your performance in nearly every other lift.

Here are some options:

Grip Tools
  • Fat Gripz or Thick Bars
  • Ball Grips
  • Ropes or Towels
  • Boards or Ledges
  • Rocking Climbing Holds

It's All In The Grip

Grip strength is underappreciated when it comes to pull-ups. A strong grip is what keeps you connected to the bar so that your muscles can exert the force needed to pull your body up. Without a capable grasp, the strongest set of lats in the world wouldn't do much for you!

Grip will always be your limiting factor when it comes to increasing your reps. Improving your grip will build the foundation needed to improve your pull-up strength AND rep count.

Related:  The Chin-Up Project

Related:  The Secret Strength Weapon