So we all want a great physique. The big questions are how do we achieve…
Pull-ups are one of the key exercises to focus on in the gym if you want a muscular, lean physique. Sure, there’s more to it. But pull-ups rank very highly, for many reasons.
Put simply, it’s going to be almost impossible to do many pull-ups if you’re overweight or obese, as the resistance is just going to be too strong. So getting good at pull-ups forces you to become lean, and the Intermittent Fasting lifestyle I talk about helps a lot with this.
Furthermore, nothing quite builds the iconic, Greek God level v-taper, quite like pull-ups do. The v taper meaning; a set of broad, powerful shoulders, complemented by a narrow waistline, which universally looks good.
Finally, the most sought-after ‘mirror muscle’ – the biceps – are also hit very hard, especially if you’re doing under-hand grip pull-ups (chin-ups).
Extreme pull-up strength (and relative strength) truly does form the basis of a great physique.
This tweet revealed just how many guys are capable of dominating their pull-ups, even well beyond age 40.
Pull Ups For Men Over 40
To summarise some of the findings from the above tweet:
Matt Hamilton (66): “I can do six strict pull-ups.” At age SIXTY-SIX(!). Wow.
Jeremy Baksht (43): “I can comfortably do 3x 10 pull-ups and weigh 215 lbs. Very happy with this at 43 yrs old. Not done yet, going to get more!” And at 43, he can definitely get more if he so desires.
Rivers Hedge (61): “11 from dead h. 21 if I cheat. Losing some weight helps btw” 11 at 61…..nice. And yes, losing weight makes a massive difference.
Now you know what’s possible in terms of pull ups for Men Over 40, how exactly do you go about getting 6 strict pull-ups, or 11 from a dead hang, even into your sixties?
It seems like an impossible task if you currently can’t do any, but I’m going to take you through a battle plan that will get you speeding towards these numbers.
Step 1) Practise pull-ups often
This sounds like a bit of an obvious one, but it bears saying. Pull-ups are a skill that requires a decent amount of repetition, and nervous system efficiency. I would perform them 3+ times per week.
Make sure that if they’re a part of a full-body workout (for example), that they are the first exercise you perform, for fatigue purposes.
If you cannot do any pull-ups right now, then substitute the word ‘pull-up’ for ‘negatives’ (starting at the top of the movement, and then slowly lowering yourself down), or ‘pull-downs’ on a machine, or ‘assisted pull-ups’ also on a machine.
Step 2) Lose body fat
This helps tremendously, simply because you have less ‘dead weight’ to pull. Muscle is always useful, but body fat is just going to get in the way of success with bodyweight exercises.
If you want to lose loads of fat in a sustainable manner, check out my tailored IF meal plans. They contain the entire eating system that’s designed to get you to 10% body fat or less, for life.
Step 3) Build up your back size
And this is done through volume of training + recovery. Recovery essentially comes from eating good food, and sleeping like a lion.
In terms of training volume?
Make sure you’re performing at least 10 hard sets of back sets per week, including the sets you do on pull-ups (or the ‘beginner variations’). This is at the beginning. As the months go by, you want to be slowly increasing this to 12, then 14, then 16, and so on.
This increase in volume is what will really grow your back’s foundation, and increase your maximum strength potential for pull-ups.
Now if you’re dead serious about undoing your Dad Bod, getting ridiculously good at pull-ups and becoming the Hot Dad, then your best move is to get the James Bond program.
It’s designed for Men Over 40 and focuses on maximising total body strength, recovery and testosterone.
Finally if you’re 100% serious and want one-to-one coaching, check out my coaching options here. Tailored meal plans, tailored training programs and coaching calls are all available.