Pull ups can do a host of amazing things for you including giving you rock-hard, dense and awe-inspiring muscles. However, the benefits of weighted pull ups will skyrocket your physique to a whole new level.
Let us show you how!
It’s no secret that pull ups have been a staple of peoples’ training routines for a long time. However, We really do feel that sometimes they can get neglected.
That’s honestly a shame in our opinion. We see it time and time again in the gym. Guys doing endless sets of cable rows, bent over rows, t-bar rows and more.
That’s not to say that these movements are not good to include, but they should merely serve as accessory movements to compliment your main movements.
Aside from the deadlift, squat and bench press, the pull up is a classic compound movement. It’s known to be one of the best exercises to build incredible amounts of muscle in the most efficient way possible
But there are tons more benefits, so why don’t we explore them below?
Compound Exercises (Pull-Ups) = Bigger Gains
Honestly guys, We’re not really sharing anything revolutionary here. This information is widely known and accepted so I really don’t know why more people aren’t involved with pull ups.
It’s really no secret that compound lifts serve your muscle building purposes much better than isolation lifts. At least when we’re considering choosing the main lifts in your program.
If you’re always burning yourself out on isolation lifts before you hit your compound lifts, you’ll chronically be too “drained” to really get the most benefit. And as you’ve already learned, compound movements are where the true gains are at.
Put pull ups first on back day, before anything else, and add in some weight if you can already do 10-15 with your own body weight. Then do your accessory movements such as t-and/or straight-bar rows, bent over rows, lat pull downs etc.
Pull-Ups = V-Shaped Torso
Combining pull ups with accessory movements is the true method but accessory movements are just that – accessory movements!
They serve no other purpose than to complement your selection of compound movements to just squeeze a few more gains out of your workout.
Progressing on compound lifts, especially on back day, will get you that perfect v-shape taper that everyone talks about and few achieve.
The reason behind this is that pull ups target your lats in a way that makes them grow faster than any other lat exercise. You’re focusing on becoming stronger on this movement over time, which in turn can only lead to a bigger back.
It’s not like pull ups are magic, however. Doing them requires you to use progressive overload, just like any other lift, to continue getting stronger and bigger. This can be achieved by either increasing the weight or reps.
Better Muscle Shape and Development
We’ve already touched on a couple of key points throughout, but I think it’s worth mentioning that the way you put on muscle makes a difference in how you look.
Let’s say for example someone only ever did biceps and grew them much bigger than other surrounding muscles. That would look silly, wouldn’t it?
Choosing to incorporate movements that target more than one muscle group at a time is wise. That way, surrounding muscles get some work as well and therefore look much fuller and denser.
That’s not to say that any form of rowing is bad and you should avoid it, but I think rowing is just not quite as effective at making your back grow.
Compound Lifts Improve Testosterone
It’s again no secret that lifting weights has a massive positive effect on our T-levels. That said, only a certain type of training really produces the most effect on T-levels and that is heavy compound lifting.
Pull ups are one of the best compound movements but you can illicit the same response with any of the following movements as well:
- Rows (cable, t-bar, straight bar, bent over)
- Bench Press
- Incline Bench Press
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Rack Pulls
- Push Ups
If you take a look at any of the powerlifters in your gym, they’re probably good at the above exercises. How many of those people have you seen doing pull ups – especially with weights attached?
If you’re leaving out weighted pull ups from your routine, you’re not only leaving gains on the table, you’re leaving increased T-levels on the table which could also lead to more gains.
Pull-Ups Are One of the Best Back Exercises
Go on YouTube and find any single person banging out 15-20 pull ups for sets that doesn’t have an immense back. Case in point. Next. Just kidding.
Seriously, when you involve so many different muscle groups into a movement you’re really going to see huge results.
Here are the muscle groups you’re hitting at the same time with pull ups:
- Core/Abdominal Muscles
- Erector Spinae
- Pectoralis Major (pecs)
Wow! That’s a whack ton of different muscle groups!
Granted, many of the other back exercises will also hit these same muscles in a similar fashion, but nothing does this better than pull ups.
Even Better When You Add Accessory Exercises
Just like bicep curls and t-bar rows cannot hit your lats with the same intensity pull ups can, pull ups cannot hit them in different ways. Accessory movements allow you to train your muscles in a variety of ways.
We really believe that in order to get the best results, you have to take the best from each training style. We don’t do just machines or just free weights, we use both.
You could truly revolutionise your training by incorporating compound movements with accessory movements to get the most out of your workouts.
It’s a common thing for calisthenics practitioners to have underdeveloped medial deltoids because they can’t be directly targeted by any body weight movement. The medial delt requires side lateral raises with dumbbells to grow.
The same thing can be said for virtually any muscle group. When combining all the best training principles, your body will have no choice but to grow and look amazing.
Weighted Calisthenics Movements Look Awesome
Let’s be honest here. Doing any kind of calisthenics movements with weights attached is something quite rare. Maybe not super rare like your wife apologising for being wrong, but rare enough.
Not only will you be building a better, sexier and stronger body than those who don’t do pull ups, but you’ll look cool as hell while you do them.
But maybe the point of working out isn’t just to be vain and cocky . Maybe doing something that makes you “look cool” will help inspire you to keep going with your workouts.
There’s nothing wrong with a little vanity here and there. That’s why we’re all working out to begin with – to look better, right?
How To Get Started With Weighted Pull-Ups
Here’s the key. Once you can do a handful of pull ups, say 10-15 with your own body, start adding 5 lbs to all sets. You can squeeze a dumbbell between your legs or scoop yourself up one of these awesome weight vests.
Your primary focus is going to be on completing 4 sets of 4-6 reps. Once you hit 6 reps on all sets, add 5 more pounds. Keep this going until progress stalls.
Once you can no longer progress with 5 lbs, start adding 2.5 lbs per workout instead. This will be easier to progress with than 5 lbs,
If you cannot even do a single bodyweight pull up yet, you can do exercises such as the Australian row, assisted pull ups using assistance bands or you can do lat pulldowns.
The trick is that once you can do one single pull up, you’ll find you can suddenly do 2, 3, 4 and before you know it, you’ll be knocking out 10 of them.
Have you incorporated weighted pull ups into your routine? Are you still doing them and why?
Also, make sure to check out the best weighted vests for 2018. We’ve compiled a big list of them and think that they’ll bring your workouts up a notch.