Pull-Up Level 1 Overview

Primary Goal of Level

The goal of Level 1 of the Pull-Up Program is to complete 3 sets of 8 reps of Body Rows at 45 degrees angle. If you are already capable of this, please move to the next level.

Secondary Goals

In addition to the primary goal, we are also focusing on developing the following attributes. These attributes will help with our overall goal of pull-up development.

  • Grip strength by using farmer’s carries.
  • Back strength by using lat pull-downs and dumbbell rows.

Goal of sub-levels

There are four sub-levels in the Level 1 Pull-Up Program. Each sub-level has a goal. Once that goal is attained you can move to the next sub-level. Please take a look at the goals for each sub-level. You have two options on where you can start. For the first option, you can pick the sub-level that is most difficult for your current strength but you are not able to complete the goal of that sub-level. The second option is to simply start from the beginning and work your way through each level.

  • Level 1.1: 3×3 Body Row at a 70 degrees angle.
  • Level 1.2: 3×8 Body Row at a 70 degrees angle.
  • Level 1.3: 3×3 Body Row at a 45 degrees angle.
  • Level 1.4: 3×8 Body Row at a 45 degrees angle.

Body Row Angles

The primary movement for this cycle is the Body Row. The body row can be performed at multiple types of apparatuses. Most common will be a barbell in a squat rack, gymnastics rings, or TRX. Use whatever you prefer or what is available.

The Body Row can be made more or less difficult based on the angle of the body to the floor. In Level 1, you’ll be working within the 30-90 degree angle.

Microcycle (i.e. weekly programming ) Design

Each microcycle in Level 1 has two workouts. The first workout is the hardest. The second workout is moderate and will be complete 2-3 days after the first. Ideally, you will complete two workouts in a week. If you are interested in learning more about the methodology behind these exercise prescription choices, please read the Level Up Periodization article.