EOTW: Assisted Pull-Ups

Sweet friends: Sorry for the hiatus! But I’m back with my weekly Sunday blog post! And this week is assisted pull-ups. I used to hate back day, I’m not going to lie, but lately it has become one of my favorite muscle groups to work. This exercise is going to be great to add to your back and/or upper body day. It’s going to work your lats (latissimus dorsi), biceps, pecs, lower traps, and several others in your arms, the back of your shoulder, and shoulder blades.


As you vary your grips, more narrow vs. wide, the involvement of your lats is going to also vary. A wider grip places more stretch on the lats and therefore more lat involvement vs a more narrow grip where your biceps and pecs are going to get recruited more readily and have some more involvement.


Note the difference between a “pull-up” and a “chin up”. Pull-ups, your palms are facing away from your body (or in the case of a “v-grip” towards each other), whereas chin-ups require your palms to face your body.

When using the assisted pull-up machine at the gym, the weight that you are putting on the cable is NOT how much weight you’re pulling up (that means increasing the weight on the cable is not improvement). The weight you choose is subtracted from your body weight. This is what makes it an assisted pull-up. So, improvement on this machine would be demo’d by decreasing the weight you choose on the cable. Right now I tend to range between 30-40 lbs off my body weight, depending on my energy levels, soreness, and if I’ve done other exercises first or not.

Make sure that no matter how much weight you choose, you’re doing enough reps so that the last couple are very difficult. Try to go until you can not go anymore!

Enjoy, like, and comment!

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