Harder or Easier Pullup Form

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In a recent video where I showed a new PR of doing 7 reps of pullups with 28kg/62lbs.

I received the following question:

“Awesome strength. Why don’t you try to add pauses in the top position, though? It’d make the exercise even harder”

I’ll start off by saying that yes that absolutely would make it harder.

With the idea of weak link training, this indeed can be a good way to go considering that the top position is the most difficult part of pullups generally. Therefore, a little extra work there might be a great way to increase overall pullup strength.

But this misses an important point…

Was my goal to make this exercise harder? Or was my goal to make it as easy as possible?

It’s the latter. The goal was to do seven reps. And at my current strength level I was simply aiming to do a full range of motion, a complete rep each time.

There are standards in form. In pullups it typically is chin over bar although neck to bar is superior because it prevents chicken necking.

But that form is different from the form where tempo is changed.

If I paused for one second at the top, then I probably only would have been able to do five reps max.

Again, this is completely fine.

But it depends on what you’re going for.

All this to say, there is no one right way to train. You have to know what you’re going for, and then chart the best path to get there.

For more on pullup training be sure to check out The Ultimate Guide to Pullups & Chin-ups.

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