Help with pullups
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  1. #1

    Help with pullups

    I've been in the DEP for a little under three months now and I still can't do any pullups. I've been going to PT three times a week for the entire time and I can't seem to make any progress. What's worse, I managed a pullup last week then did another on monday; but when I tried yesterday I couldn't do it!
    It's starting to get real embarassing, having those other guys do at least fifteen while I'm struggling even to get my arms at a ninety degree angle.
    I started PTing on my own at home and that helped and now I'm trying to get more protein in my diet. Any other ideas?

  2. #2

    Delicious White

    Start doing upper body exercises. If you have access to a gym, start working on bench presses. If not get you some free weights and do them at home. You can always hang your butt between two chairs and do DIPS.
    Do anything to increase your upper body strength.

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    I'm new here. Just a little bit about myself... I'm a 16 year old female wannabe. I can sign the papers in 1 year and 3 months (to the day). Right now I'm looking at going Reserves, getting a 4 year degree and then going to OCS.

    Anyway, about the pullups. Are you a member of a gym or anything like that? I just joined my local YMCA and they have me squared away with a workout program. One of the weight machines they have is an assisted pullup machine. You kneel on on a platform that has weights attached, and you pull yourself up. It's different from the other machines in that the more weights that are lifted, the easier it is to pull yourself up. Anyway, you might try to find something like that.

    Good luck!!

  4. #4
    Someone else might have some better ideas, but I'd be thinkin' of doin' some curls. Not max weight at first, but enough that you can do sets of ten. Stay away from the sugar and junk foods. Period. Including an overabundance of soft drinks. Sugar gives ya a burst of energy at times, but leaves you weak. Something else I used to do, in addition to the normal push-ups, is to do pushups with my elbows at my sides. It exercises the biceps. Overall body strength is a factor as well as timing in doin' pull-ups.Develop a rythym when doin' pull-ups. Don't jerk and flail about. If ya gotta one gallon paint can layin' around, fill it with pebbles or sand. Tie a small piece of rope to the handle, and a piece of 1/2 inch dowel rod or breoom handle at the other end, then placing yer hands on either side of the rod roll up the rope, lifting the can then unroll the rope using your wrists and hands. It strengthens your hands, wrist and forearms. Look at the muscle groups you are using in whatever exercise you are required to complete and consider how to exercise it in other ways to achieve strength and endurance.

    There are a hundred different types of exercise out there. It sounds as if you might need to invest more time an overall exercise progam. There are other posts in this and the Mentor forum that adress this isssue.

  5. #5


    Doing a lot of push-ups helped me do pull-ups. I don't have to do them, but I like to compete with the guys. If I could get 20 pull-ups i'd have a perfect PFT by male standards and that is what i work toward.

    I wake up every morning and auto get down and pump 30 then i shower after my shower i pump a max set. just doing that has increased my pull-ups from 3 to 6 in about a month. Just remember what you can pull verses your body weight! AND BE DEDICATED TO IT!

  6. #6
    I had the pull-up problem going to boot camp and can tell you what helped and still does help. Having someone assist you. Do the following three times a week on a healthy balanced diet. Do your max set of pull-ups, if it is just 1 then do 1. Then have your buddy spot you by holding your feet(your knees are bent to clear any confusion) and finish your max set. Whatever it ends up being i.e. 10, break that number down by percentage. Until you can no longer do pull-ups break that number by 20% until you reach around 4 pull-ups or 40% of your max with assistance. Then max out every time for 3 more sets. I increased my pull-ups by 5 in a month. Any questions or if I confused you I clear it up. THIS DOES WORK.


  7. #7
    Registered User Free Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Las Vegas
    I have this from several of my recruiters and the poolees do this and it has helped them.

    Do 10 pushups then get on your knees raise your hands above your head 10 times (sort of like a lifting a bar bell above your head) then 10 more pushups and raise your hands above your head 10 more times. Repeat this 2 more times (total of 40 each). Do this everyday and it should strengthen your biceps/shoulders/back to help you do pullups. People who have done this have improved their pullups by 2 or 3.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    This is really great, thanks.

    It seemed that it also helped if I did a good PT for two days in a row.

    How often should I PT and when should I rest?

  9. #9


    eating twinkies

  10. #10
    OK. Big whip. Not to be mean, but it sounds as if ya don't have a clue. The only that thing we could do from here is to listen to ya tell folks how ya hurt yerself because we gave ya bad advice. Get with yer local recruiter, or a physical training expert near you who can give you some individual attention for a few weeks. From what you've said, this is the best advice you can get. Anything we can tell you rom here will probably only lead to you injuring yerself.

    There is more information regarding exercise in the Poolee Hall on this site as well as in the Marine Mentor forum. Take a look!

  11. #11
    Marine Free Member Sixguns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Thumbs up

    The best way to improve pull ups is to do them -- DAILY. Get a pull up bar to hang in your doorway or find one locally. Lifting weights can help, but developing more muscle does not necessarily help your pull ups. One technique that has worked for me is to do Pyramids. Essentially, you get on the bar and do a maximum set. Then repeat this three more times taking a two minute break between sets.



  12. #12

    Look here, dammit

    It was posted under the Mentor forum. This site lists all you need to know about boot camp fitness.

    I better stop here or I'll say something that'll start trouble.

  13. #13
    Alright geez!

  14. #14

    Most folks don't mind helpin'. After awhile, though, it's time to show a little initiative and get on it!

    There's a boatload of info on leatherneck .com, not to mention more experience than most people care to think about concerning the Marine Corps.

    There are Privates to Colonels listed as members here. There are WWII Veterans and active duty personnel. There are Poolees and Marine Mom's and Dads as well as Marine family members and friends of Marines on the site.

    There are thousands of years of Marine Corps experience on the site, with the events you only read about as history being still fresh in our memories. It is a resource most of us did not have when we were your age. Use it wisely and well

    In additon, a large proportion of these people have college educations with many having acquired advanced degrees in their fields.

    Many have families of their own.

    Many have businesses of their own.

    Many have been disabled in service to the United States.

    We don't mind helpin'. But we do have lives of our own to lead.

    Don't waste what you've been given. The opportunity to learn from the best in the world.

    Listen the first time.

  15. #15
    Who ever said I wasn't doing anything? I was PTing just a few hours ago.

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