Mastering Your Pull Up

Whether you can hit 20 or 0, you’re not going to master your pull up by doing rep after rep after rep. The key to mastering the pull up is breaking it down into multiple key areas. Grip, Muscle endurance & Strength



You need to make sure your grip can crush cans of beer like Stone Cold Steve Austin! But before we do that we need to
know that there are more than one type of grip infact there are three

The Crush Grip – The grip between your fingers and palms, think crushing a can!

The Pinch Grip – The grip between your fingers/thumbs, think holding a deck of cards and applying pressure!

The Support Grip – The most common grip which is used when holding onto something, think deadhangs/farmers carry!

The support grip will give you the most bang for buck, but its not a bad idea to be nailing all three of these to ensure no weaknesses and that you can hold onto that bar for days, if not weeks. But how do you train these grips may you ask? Well here’s some moves to get your grip strong!

The Farmers Carry – This hits the support grip and crush grip

Deadhangs – This hitsthe support grip and crush grip

Plate pinch carries – This hits the pinch grip 

Towel Hangs – This hits the crush grip

Incorporate these into your workout routine for a set amount of time, say 30 seconds, making sure the weights are pretty heavy and increase the time over a period of 3 – 4 weeks.



These moves will help build some muscle endurance using the same movement patterns but in a way thats easier than a strict pull up. The aim here is to ensure that the muscles used have enough muscle endurance to keep the pull ups going.

Negative pulls ups / Eccentric lower – Start at the top of the bar  in a pull up position and slowly lower your self down engaging your upper back

Assisted pull ups – Use a resistance band or resistance machine to take the pressure off a normal pull up and aim to hit more reps than you can do strict

Inverted Rows – Hold onto the bar in a squat rack with your back facing the ground, and pull yourself up to the bar

Incorporate these into your routine by hitting either a few more than your current max pull up rep range, or if you can, try to hit 12+ reps, 2 – 3 sets will be enough to see you progress over a few weeks



Building strength in the muscles associated with the movement will help your body be able to either finally lift you over that bar OR more times than you can dream of. But first we need to understand which muscles a pull up uses? Well there’s a hell of a lot, which is why its considered such a hard move, but, we’ll mainly concentrate on the below, which will in turn hit some of the others also

Latissimus Dorsi – Upper backjesper-aggergaard-539148-unsplash

Trapezius – Upper back

Biceps – Arms

So what moves can we throw down in the gym to help build these bad boys into pull up machines!

Lat Pull Downs – Lat pull down machine

Bent Over Row – Dumbbells or Cable row machine

Barbell Shrugs – Barbell or Dumbbells

Bicep Curls – Dumbbells or Barbell

Incorporate these into your routine with a 5 x 5 to ensure you are building strength, progress this over a few weeks, adding weight and dropping reps if needed and you’ll be on course to success!



If you’ve use all the above advise and you’re hitting new PB’s how about you work towards hitting some of these bad ass advanced movements, they will make you the envy of everyone in the gym for sure! Please note – These are HARD!

Weighted Pull Ups – Get yourself some weight and see how much you can carry whilst performing a pull up

Muscle Ups – We’ve all seen these in the local crossfit gym, well they can correlate well to getting over a wall in OCR, so may be worth giving them a go!

One Arm Pull Ups – These are ULTRA HARD! if you can do these, well your F’in awesome.

Archer Pull Ups – These are a fantastic way to build up to your One Arm Pull Up, but again they are HARD!

You could also do those Kipping ones… but nobody wants to be seen doing those…

As always, hit me up if you want any advice, feel free to sign up to the mailing list and share the love!


How to: Rise & Grind

The whole ethos of this blog, apart from my personal musings is to inspire and educate people into making positive changes in their life and that starts with one small step.

The Rise&Grind!

Training first thing in the morning can relieve stress and flood your body with happy endorphins as well as having that huge benefit of giving you a better life/work balance which includes more time with your family and friends!

Now it may not be for everyone, but trust me when I say if you decide to train this way it will have a positive impact on your life, you will gain hours in the day you never knew existed. This process is all about optimising your time in the day. So here are my five top tips on how to Rise&Grind.

1 – Prepare

Make sure all your clothes are laid out, bags packed & nutrition for the day is ready to go. For me I like to be out the house within 15 minutes of waking, that means I’m up, teeth brushed, Coffee brewed, bag on the back and I’m out of there ASAP.

2 – Plan

Make sure your workout, journey and destination are planned the night before. If your training right from your front door then this is less of an issue. Some days I will be located somewhere random in the country and I have to locate a local gym near to where my destination is to make sure my morning session is in the bag.

3 – Train your sleep cycle

Now this is the hardest step. You have to train yourself into one of those dreaded morning people, and trust me, it can be done but it takes quite a bit of time.

The first step is making sure you’re in bed early enough to get some solid sleep (I go for as near to 8Hrs as I can) and if that means being in bed by 9.30 – 10pm then so be it. You’re seizing so many new hours early within the day that you can lose a little at night.

The next step is to make sure the alarm is set for the exact same time every day. This way the body slowly starts to recognise that as the time to wake up and you will eventually find your body will start to awake at this time in a more natural pattern.

4 – Start slowly

For the first few weeks take it slowly, dont get up and try to smash some beastly HIIT workout, instead go for a slow jog or a light spin maybe even try some yoga. Get your mind and body into that positive habit of getting up and moving before work. Then as time goes by (after a good warm up) you can up the ante and throw down some beastly interval sessions before work.

5 – Coffee

I love coffee. And man, nothing wakes me up like a good brew. So get the kettle on, the french press out and make your morning ritual include a great organic coffee! Time it well so it starts to kick in just in time for your workout (This usually takes around 40minutes for most people) and then you have your natural pre-workout sorted.

I’m a big believer in exercise’s effects on your mental health and working out before you hit the office is a great way to awaken your mind and set you up for a good day ahead.

So try it out and let me know how you get on!