If I had to pinpoint my biggest deficiency in fitness, it is a weak back. While this shortcoming reveals itself in various forms, it is most apparent in my inability to do pull ups. I am in awe of athletes who can bust out a dozen or more pull ups at a time, when I often cannot do one. Maybe, I can muster out a couple of sloppy chin ups. Clean form pull ups (no kipping) is another story. Instead of accepting a weak back and poor pull up performance as my irreversible destiny, I now recognize them as obstacles that need to be engaged with strength, strategy and determination.
While there are a number of online tips and theories about mastering pull ups, I found most of them to be extremely vague in that they never laid out a clear plan-of-action for beginners to workup to the coveted pull up. Finally, I stumbled upon this old article from Steve Kamb over at NerdFitness that gives deliberate and measurable, stair-step goals for readers starting at or near ground zero. Again, this isn’t for athletes who are already recording pull ups by the set. If you are, however, like me in that you know and are tired of you’re pull up deficiency, let’s use Kamb’s advice as a guide to get better.