How to Increase Pull Up Reps – Grease the Groove

Do you want to literally master your pull-up game? Have you ever wondered ‘how to increase your pull up reps’? If your answer to these 2 questions is yes, then you are exactly where you need to be.

In this article I am going to explain to you the Grease The Groove method and everything you need to know about it, I will tell you 4 things that you need to improve in order to master those pull-ups and as a bonus, I am going to share with you my personal pull-ups workout that’s helping me improve my strength.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Grease the Groove – Go to the Next Level

This method was created and elaborated by Pavel Tsatsouline, who is a famous writer of different books regarding different topics of Calisthenics (body weight trainings) and Kettlebell trainings.

In order to be able to increase your pull-up repetitions, you will need to gain more strength. I have always believed that the mind is going to give up before the body every single time, so before I’ll explain this concept, I want to go through a few things that you must understand.

  • Winners Never Quit and the Quitters Never Win

Perseverence is the keyword here. You must give your all every single time. You have to build a strong mindset that is programmed not to give up NO MATTER how many STOP signs you will encounter. Remember, there are 2 types of people in this world: the ones that are the best version of themselves and the ones who are not. Which category do you want to take part in?

As Nike says, just do it. Go there and smash it. One little action is more powerful than one thousand big words. You need to be able to keep your mindset on a high level at all times for the rest of your life.

There will be moments when you just won’t want to get out of bed, there will be moments when you won’t feel like doing it, well…find out that those moments make the difference between winners and losers. Those times will prove if you are made for this or not.

  • Keep Your Head Up

There will be days when you will not feel in shape for performing your training. There will be days when you will feel lost, when you will feel so demotivated and when you simply won’t want to train.

Again, those days make a difference and you need to understand that! DO IT ANYWAY! After you’ll be completing your workout on that day, you will gain a little more motivation back, knowing that you gave your best even when you weren’t at your best. It’s important to keep your head up.

  • Stay Humble

As you’re progressing, you will feel tempted to ‘raise’ your game too fast due to your motivation, which can lead to injuries. You need to take it step by step, you need to be patient. If you are going to try some movements or some exercises that your body can not perform at this point, you’re exposed to injuries.

Trust the process. You will get there. You will get stronger. You will reach your goals. Stay consistent and you will.

The Explanation of the Concept

Now that we went through some important mental things that you should consider, let me explain to you this method step by step.

One way to perform this process is to distribute the workload throughout the day by doing sets of 60-80% of your maximum potential. I am going to give you an example, it’s way much easier to understand.

Let’s say you are able to perform 10 clean-form pull-ups in a row. In this case, you are going to want to perform multiple times in the same day (everyday) sets of 6-8 pull-ups. I would recommend you to strive for 7-10 sets per day (one set per hour), each one of 6-8 pull-ups.

Note: If at some point, during the day, you simply won’t be able to do the pull-ups anymore, don’t stop. Do negatives. But make sure that you will complete this concept everyday and you will see results.

4 Things You Need to Improve

The Grease the Groove method is not the only way to improve your pull-up repetitions. Here I will tell you 4 things to improve in order to be able to build more strength and to do more pull-ups.

  1. Strengthen Your Grip on the Bar
  2. Strengthen Your Scapula
  3. Work on Different Grips
  4. Add Weights

#1 In order to strengthen your grip on the bar, I recommend you to implement into your training some sets of hanging. Try to stay there as much as you can. That will strengthen your wrists and your forearms.

#2 Your scapula plays a big and important role in your pull-ups performance. If you have a strong scapula, you are definitely going to smash those pull-ups. Here I suggest you to do scapula shrugs. Try to do 3 sets of 10 each.

#3 Working on different grips not only will make your arms stronger, but it will get your body used to different types of movements, which is very important when you are learning skills. Try to use as many grips as you can in your workout.

#4 Another important thing in order for you to grow stronger and to be better at pull-ups is to add weights. Some people won’t really like the grease the groove method, so this will be very helpful for them. Attaching a weight vest to your body while you’re doing pull-ups is going to increase your overall weight and your muscles will be more stressed when performing each pull-up. That’s a very good way of building strength.

If you will try to do these 4 things, I will guarantee you that your pull-up game will get much stronger.

My Personal Pull-Ups Workout

As I promised in the beginning, I am going to share with you a very old workout of mine that I STILL use today in order to increase my pull-up repetitions.

Part I

  1. 7 Wide-Grip Pull-Ups
  2. 7 Regular-Grip Pull-ups
  3. 7 Chin-ups


Part II

  1. 15 sec Wide-Grip Pull-Up Hold
  2. 15 sec Regular-Grip Pull-Up Hold
  3. 15 sec Chin-Up Hold


MAX Dumbbells for Biceps (if you have dumbbells)


  • 40 sec REST between exercises
  • You need to complete Part I 3 times to get to Part II
  • 1 min REST between Part I and Part II
  • 1 min REST between the sets of Part I
  • If you don’t have any dumbbells, don’t worry, it’s not a problem at all. If you still feel you can do more, just do more pull-ups.
  • Feel free to modify the number of repetitions according to your current level. Feel free to decrease/increase those repetitions in order to perform them, but at the same time make sure it’s challenging enough.

Now Why are You Still Here?

Really…Why are you still in front of this screen? Did you understand everything? Did you take notes of this article? Did you read it all? If your answer to these questions is yes, then there is no reason for you to be here anymore now.


I’m Alex and it was a pleasure to write this article for you, guys. If you have any question related to this topic and not only, please leave them below in the comments section and I will be more than happy to help you out.



  • Jeff

    Awesome article for increasing your pull-ups reps, I really liked how to gave a detailed pull-up workout for us to get started improving our grip and strength to do more pull-ups.

    What are the best exercise workouts you recommend for beginners to get back in shape over 60

    • Alex Rubio

      Hi there Jeff,
      Well for people over 60 I don’t recommend practicing complicated movements at all, since there’s a great risk of joints injuries.
      What I do recommend and I think it is the best for getting in shape when we’re talking about 60 years old people is running. Running will activate all of your muscles and will get your circulation better, thing that will improve your general health.
      About strength exercises, I don’t recommend Calisthenics, especially if you are not already in shape for years, because Calisthenics require a lot of joints’ strength and mobility. Instead, I would suggest performing some dumbbells exercises, but be careful to adapt the weight correctly.

  • Sharon

    Being able to do a pull up has been on my list for a while! Currently trying to build up the strength to complete it. Hopefully your information above will support my efforts!

  • Sphiwe

    Nice simple workout to follow but can be very difficult to do. I love cross training, although my main sport is marathon running, such workouts as your helps me to have a stronger body and avoid injuries.

    I will try some of them

    • Alex Rubio

      Hi there,
      Thank you for reading my content. You can adapt the number of repetitions and the rest time to your level, don’t worry about that.

  • Scott

    This was an interesting post to read.
    I have never heard of the Grease and Groove method until now.
    I never really been really good at pull-ups because I have not really done that much pull-ups.
    Now that I know that I need to strengthen my grip on the bar as I find I lose grip on the bar easily.
    Again, thank you for the post.

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