I have a pair of gymnastic rings at home and attempted to learn doing pull-ups during the last 2 months. I did 3 workouts a week mainly just doing eccentrics. I also did some body rows as an additional pulling exercise. I got my first proper pull-up with chin over the bar (bottom part of the rings in my case) last week. I still don't get all the way up on every attempt, but sometimes.

Now I have developed a habit where whenever I walk past my rings I always go for an attempt of a single pull up. I tend to do this even on my rest days. Is this a bad habit? I'm just wondering because usually it is said that you want to rest your muscles between workouts, and considering I can only barely do the skill this must be close to a maximal effort for my muscles. Should I stay away from the rings outside of workouts?

As a small secondary question: Is it a good idea to keep doing sets of negatives during my workouts now that I can do the full movement? Or should I replace them with sets of single rep pull-ups?

1 Answer 1


I like your approach of doing a rep each time you walk past the rings. Frequency is a great way to build strength, as long as you're not doing them to complete failure.

Strength isn't just about the muscles but also the nervous system. And it takes way longer for the nervous system to recover from exhaustion than it does for the muscles.

So, frequency is your friend, especially in the beginning. You can get more reps each day (and week) without going near failure/exhaustion.

As for the negatives, you can use them once a week to strengthen the weak parts of the chin up. I.e. if you find the top position challenging, do pauses and negatives there. But most of the time, stick with full reps.

  • Am I not technically going to failure every time I do a pull-up considering I can only do one? This is the part that is still confusing me. Apr 20, 2023 at 2:15
  • As long as you're not grinding out each rep, you'll be fine. If they do turn into slow grinds, stop. And take a longer break between the reps. Such as one in the morning, one at midday, and one in the evening.
    – JoonasH
    Apr 21, 2023 at 4:16

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