Weighted pullups are one of the best back exercises you can do if you want bigger lats.

In this article, I will teach you how to get better in doing pullups and how to progress from a situation you barely manage to do one rep, to make weighted reps!

Can’t do even one rep?

There are 2 main reasons why most people fail to pull themselves up:

1. They have too much fat and therefore have a very hard time lifting their body weight.

2. They have very little muscle mass. So little that even if their body weight is low, they still can not lift themselves up.

The solution to this is quite simple:

Those people need to work on the V-bar pulldown first. Try to lift more than your body weight.

Another way would be to use the assisted pull-up machine that helps you lift yourself up.


A person with a high fat percentage will have to lose weight first to succeed in lifting his body weight. A skinny person will have to build muscle mass and probably gain weight as well.


How to progress from body weight pullups to weighted pullups

The most effective way is by reverse pyramid.

I recommend doing something like this:

First set: 5 repetitions

Second set: 6 reps

Third set: 8 reps

Your first set should be the heaviest and your goal will be 5 repetitions. Then, rest for 3 minutes and lower your weight by 10% (your body weight + the weight you’ve added). In this set, your goal will be to perform 6 reps.

Then rest again for 3 minutes and drop the weight again by 10%. In this third set, you will want to perform about 8 reps.

Your main goal is to progressively add weight. You will add 1.25 kg to yourself every workout. If you look at it within a month’s time, it means you will add to your pullups 5 kg and after 3 months 15 kg!

An example of reverse pyramid:

Let’s say you weigh 70 kg and you make your first set with 25 kg on you. This means that you are lifting 95 kg including your body weight, so you will need to lower your weight by 10%

First set: 95 kg for 5 reps (25 kg added weight)

Second set: 85.5 kg for 6 reps (15.5 kg added weight)

Third set: 76.5 kg for 8 reps (6.5 kg added weight)

Then in the next workout, raise the weights by 1.25 kg per set:

First set: 96.25 kg for 5 reps (26.25 kg added weight)

Second set: 86.75 kg for 6 reps (16.75 kg added weight)

Third set: 77.75 kg for 8 reps (7.75 kg added weight)

To warm up before your first set I suggest to perform this routine:

First set: 12 reps with 50% of the weight of the first heavy set

Rest 60 seconds

Second set: 10 reps with 50% of the weight of the first heavy set

Rest 60 seconds

Third set: 4 reps with 70% of the weight of the first heavy set

Rest 60 seconds

Fourth set: one rep with 90% of the weight of the first heavy set.

Rest 2-3 minutes then start the heavy set.

How strong am I?

Good – body weight in kg * 0.2 to 5 reps

Very good – body weight in kg * 0.35 for 5 reps

A warrior – body weight in kg * * 0.5 to 5 reps

Amazing – body weight in kg * 0.65 for 5 reps

A superhero – body weight in kg * 0.8 to 5 reps

It will make your arms and your back look exceptional! The more stress you create with weight on you, the more power and muscle mass you can build on your back and arms. Remember that it is not always better to add too much weight. So it’s better to do less and do it correctly and wisely.



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