For the last few months, I've been building up my neutral-grip weighted pullup. Doing too many sets with the heavy rock is exhausting, so I like to mix it up with additional exercises. The idea is to improve my pulling strength and eventually build up towards the one arm pullup. Here's what I do so far:

  • Bodyweight Rows on the rings for Lat development.
  • Archer pullups (difficult)
  • Bicep Curls using an exercise band.
  • Drop sets going from the heavy rock, down to bodyweight for more reps.

What exercise/muscle group should I be focusing most on? My first guess is to focus on Lat development with rows because that's such a larger muscle and so there should be more potential for improvement. What do you guys recommend?

  • 2
    Ido Portal uses 1 arm ring pull-up negatives as the main training progression
    – michael
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 18:51
  • 1
    As you say, Lat development is very important and certain to occur as you progress in pull-ups. In my experience, this can affect posture and lead to impingement pain if not balanced with rotator cuff exercises, so I consider those very important when you're working on pull-ups. Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


getting stronger in general will help improve your pull-ups depending on your current level of strength and how many pull-ups you can do right now. Human physiology works as such that normal human movement does not rely on individual muscles but on the entirety of the system working as a whole. This means the most effective way to get stronger will be to strengthen the body as a whole rather than focussing on individual muscles. Squat, bench press, overhead press, deadlift, and power clean are the 5 most efficient exercises for building overall strength. The chin-up (b/c the chin-up also includes slightly more musculature than the pull-up) is the most important accessory exercise for a basic strength training program and should eventually develop into weighted chins.

Help for the chin-up should best come in the form of doing more chin-ups unless you are unable to do them. In such a case the lat pull-down machine is a great alternative. Remember that if you are gaining weight and your chin-up reps stay the same or increase then you are getting stronger as you are chinning more weight.

Best of success with your training



Trust me that for one arm pull ups you dont need volume?


Let's say that your actual weighted pull up is something like 40% of your total body weight but added to you. Kinda impressive but still beginner.

As a beginner you are expected to progress fast, incredibly fast. In 5 or 6 months you will be able to pull up about 60% of your bodyweight (if you are not obese) But to do a one arm pull up with bad form you only need 55%...the problem is that at this point the one arm pull up is a freaking ONE REP MAX

So tell me, would you do thousanss of deadlift variations to freaking exhaustion to raise your deadlift?

If you do so, you will gain muscle but get cumulative fatigue and never be able to release it, you will get weaker in the deadlift due to fatigue regardless of getting more muscular.

Same goes around for pull ups, you will get a huge back but if you can't pull 100% of your strength it may take you 3 o 5 years to reach the one arm pull up because you will always be fatigued.... If you are always fresh then one day you get it by mistake just by training your pull up like a deadlift.

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