I'm training weighted pull-ups to increase my 1 RM. My understanding is that I should do 5 reps or less. My question is should I adjust the weight each set to keep hitting 5 reps? Or should I just pick a 'constant' weight as long as it keeps my reps under 5?

For example: I pick 75 lbs added weight for my weighted pulls and my first set I do 5 reps but by my last set I can only do 2 reps.

Any studies to support your answers are appreciated!

Also I've read 5 reps or less but is there any reason I should aim specifically for 5 rep or maybe only 1 rep? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Regardless of the type and scheme of periodization used, reasearch shows that it always holds greater strength and muscular gains than fixed set and repetition schemes without variation.(1)(2)(3)

I would suggest focusing on building up your strength in 1 rep maxes first, then another week building up your strength in 3 rep maxes and then 5 rep maxes and then repeat again to see how much it carries over through the months.

But you can try whatever you prefer, some people like to have heavy days, moderate days and high volume low weight days. In the end anything is better than doing 5x5 all the time because linear periodization is simply subpar when compared to periodized training(4)


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