I try to do pull ups at least once a week on the day I lift back. Normally, I do assisted pull ups because I like to do about 6-8 reps at a time and 5 sets. I can't do 5 sets of unassisted pull ups. These days, I can only do one set of 3-5 and then I am absolutely spent.
To try unassisted pull ups, I really have to be in the mood. They are so freaking hard. My bucket list goal is to be able to do 10 in a row. The most I ever did in a row was 7. That was two winters ago when I was lifting a lot. Right now, I am not lifting enough to improve my pull ups.
When I started lifting, I couldn't do any unassisted pull ups. It took me a little over a year to do just one. A year after that, I was doing 3-4. A year after that was when I hit 7. (I was really focused on lifting for several months.) I guess my point in telling you this is to convey how much TIME it took for me to progress on the pull up front.
This is what I did to get there, and what may help you if you have the goal of doing unassisted pullups!
1. Have a consistent full body strength training routine. I lifted full body at least two times a week CONSISTENTLY. I did not take time off.
2. Lift heavy, or should say, heavy for you. This isn't about low weights and lots of reps. This is about how heavy can you lift?
2. Do pull ups. This requires as least a pull up bar and most likely some sort of assistance- whether it's a resistance band, a chair, or a straight up assisted pull up machine. I use the assisted pull up machine at my gym and my bar at home with a resistance band or chair to help.
3. Do other exercises for your shoulders and back like lat pull down, row and shoulder press.
4. KEEP GOING! It may take awhile to even be able to do just one unassisted pull up. But once you can do one, it will probably take you less time to add a couple more.
Any tips for us to improve our pull ups?
What are your favorite strength exercises?
Do you have any lifting goals at the moment?