Pullup Question: Am I Plateauing?


I started out this program doing about 14 pull ups on a PFT set (I had on and off been doing pull ups over the spring and summer and increased from 12 to where I’m at now) and have been religiously following the guidelines for each day for over 3 weeks.

The Situation:

While I have seen improvement on the back end of day 1 and am doing about 1 more rep in each training set and have gotten farther with each day 2 routine, I have seen very little (if any) improvement on the front end of day 1.


  1. girl_pullup_bar_usmcShould the first set on day 1 be the litmus test as to how well I would do on a PFT, or do I need more than 2 days beyond the previous week to recover fully and see improvement?
  2. If the answer to day 1 is yes, are there factors not outlined on the site that can affect the effectiveness of the program? (Obviously diet has something to do with it, but maybe supplemental exercises?)
  3. Is it possible that I had effectively “plateaued” very early on in the program and should be doing the advanced workout?


  1. Not necessarily, but usually is a good indicator.
  2. Effectiveness can be skewed by temperature of the muscles, time of day, adrenaline and stress hormone levels, grip strength (a death grip might give you an extra 1-2 pullups), meal timing, “hangover” from other exercise, etc etc.
  3. You should definitely be doing the advanced workout! You’re quite good at pullups even if not up to 20. The Advanced routine is ready for you.

Some additional questions for you to think about:

Are you sure you’re not overtraining?

Do you think there are weak links in your pullup method? This could be any of the following:

  • Disproportionately weak grip
  • Weak biceps
  • Unstable shoulder
  • Not tensing your core
  • out of sync breathing
  • Heavy meals eaten too close to workout time, etc.

It might just be one factor acting as a “bottleneck” to your success. First guess would be overtraining, though.

The Challenge

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailTry Armstrong Advanced for 4 weeks. Stay STRICT and DISCIPLINED. With workouts and diet. Monitor progress or lack thereof, monitor heart rate, any signal to see if you should ease off or push yourself harder.

Let’s see how you’re doing with 4 strict weeks of training. If you miss a workout, that 4 week timer starts over.

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