I was messing up on the bar and wanted to test myself. I activated a timer of 30 seconds and jumped on the bar trying to rep as many pull-ups as I could before the time ran out. I did 13 in the 30 seconds, then tried again and did 14 in 29 seconds, 14 in 28 seconds, and 16 in 27 seconds—ending with 15 in 26 seconds and 14 in 25 seconds. I then rested about 3 minutes between one set and the other.

It was probably the most fun I ever had in my life while training.

I am considering adding speed sets like those at the beginning and ending of my training. Would it be useless and just slow me down, or could it enhance my muscle growth?

  • after posting this I will continue down to 10 seconds cause this stuff is fun.
    – Daniel
    Aug 12, 2020 at 18:52
  • Were all pull ups performed in an explosive manner, or did you get slower towards the end of the set?
    – Dark Hippo
    Sep 16, 2020 at 7:39

2 Answers 2


To start, I'm going to assume you waste no time free hanging on the bar between reps, and that you are doing perfect form...

I'd focus more on the rep count, and keep the time the same, or ignore the time altogether . You only want to change one variable at a time

  • time to do the reps
  • amount of reps(speed)
  • sets
  • rest

The time to do the reps, if too long, will increase your endurance solely. The amount of reps within that time will increase your speed. Hypertrophy applies by the same rules with timed sets.. time under tension makes muscle growth, or around 8-12 reps will be optimal for hypertrophy. Look at this example,

Person a does 10 pullups in 30 seconds

Person b does 10 pullups in 60 seconds.

Assuming no one is resting during a free hang, person b has to do much slower reps, about 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down.. this is a LOT harder to to than person A doing 3 second pull ups.. as you can see, speed here does not equal greater growth.. it actually equals less. Slow negatives and concentrics really help muscle growth Speed is its own factor.. look at this equation-

Power=Force x distance/time. Force=mass x acceleration.

To make the math simple, just reduce time in the power equation, which represents speed, or increase acceleration in the force equation. With less time, the power increases.. you can see you produce more power, but does not have anything to do with force. You will build speed, which will be great, especially if you plan to powerlift, as speed assists strength in producing more power.

In scenario 2:

Person a does 20 reps in 60 seconds

Person b does 10 reps in 30 seconds

In this case, you are doing more reps which will result in better growth but will mostly improve endurance. The time here does not matter.

To summarize, work on perfect form, and try adding weight to your pullups to assist in hypertroph, or do more reps but forget timed sets unless you want to focus on speed.


no it is not useless it is almost like you are doing one part of hardcore training.but i strictly would advice you sir that you should do stretching before and after you have execised to avoid injuries and also not to sit after doing excercises.Take a feww jumps or walk a little to lower your heart beat.I would highly recommend using timer and doing excercise which would not make doing excercise boring.[the fun fact:i cant even do one pull up)

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