Pull Up Program

Major Charles Lewis Armstrongs Pull-Up-Program (1966)

Major Charles Lewis Armstrong

This program consists of training on 5 days in a row, followed up by 2 days of rest. For the best result you should keep this setting.

Each Workout-Day starts with 3 sets of Push Ups. Each set should be in a good form without hesitation and done to failure. Rest for 10min between sets.

Noon or evening you do the real Pull-Up-Program. Each training is different.

Day 1 – max Reps

5 sets of strikt Pull Ups, that means doing the pull ups from dead hang, without leg drive and until your chin is above the bar.

90 sec Rest between sets.

Do as many reps as possible during each set, until your chin can’t get over the bar.

Day 2 – Pyramid Training

1 Pull Up in set 1
10 sec Rest
2 Pull Ups in set 2
10 sec Rest
3 Pull Ups in set 3 and so on, until you can’t reach the set goal.
10 sec Rest
Do as many reps as possible in the last set, up to muscle failure.

Quality over Quantity! Do 4 strikt nice pull ups instead of 10 “half” pull ups.

Day 3

This day is a bit complicated at the beginning. You should do 9 sets of Pull Ups and each set shall have the same rep count.
This is called Work Set.
To get an idea of your starting reps take your best set from day 1 and quarter it. If you did 12 Pull Ups, now you would have a work set of 3 Pull Ups as a beginning rep count.

Now your training looks like this:
– 3 sets of Pull Ups (palms facing away), shoulder wide grip, 60 sec Rest between sets
– 3 sets of Chin Ups (palms facing you), close grip, 60 sec Rest between sets
– 3 sets of Pull Ups, wide grip, 60 sec Rest between sets

Day 4 – max Sets

Today you do as many sets as possible (60 sec Rest between sets).
If you were able to reach your work set goal on day 3, you increase your work set by 1 (e.g. 3 reps on day 3, now you do 4 reps).
If you are able to complete 9 sets with your new work set, this become your new work set for day three next week.
If you can’t complete the new work set, keep your old one and go on with your training!

Day 5 – back view

Back view the last week and select the toughest workout of the week. Now repeat that workout (e.g. Day 2).


It is possible that your mac rep will decrease at the beginning. Don’t get nervous because of this, it’s normal because of the high workout volume. This will increase again in a short time.

During a short period of time (6-8 weeks) you will increase your max rep count from 10-15 up to 20 and more Pull Ups.

If the normal Pull up is too easy for you, try one of the harder Pull Up variations for a new challenge.

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