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What protocol to use to work up to 1RM weighted pull-up?

Jonathan Boey

New member
Been using Monkey Maker for some months and achieved 5 32kg tactical pull-ups two weeks ago. It's a really great program. Now I would like to focus on 1RM pull-ups (normal grip, tactical grip really taxes the hands, need a break).

GTG is out of the question because I don't have a bar and I don't have the time to lug weights several times a day to an exercise station 100m from my place, so I need a program that does it all for each visit (which was why I chose Monkey Maker).

Should I modify Monkey Maker by doing singles PTP style? Or are there other better alternatives? Need some advice, thanks.

bill fox

New member
Not sure this is a protocol....

but I like to alternate weights and rep schemes. Do 10x3 w/ 16kg, 5x3 w/ 24kg, or power ladders w/ 24kg (1,2,3,1,2,3) singles w/ 32kg (or power ladders if 40kg is the goal), high rep work 3x8 w/ 15lbs, no more then every other workout. Never get burnt out of tired of doing them. Take 3 days off. Do a single w/16, then 24, and so on.


New member
Do not discount the simplicity of Power to the People

Bill gives solid advice and can demonstrate some serious strength. His variable approach has worked wonders for him and many others. Only this year have I had any success on this variable type of program. I am getting better mostly from scheduling easier workouts.

I have used Power to the People for about 8 months for weighted pull-ups a few years ago). During this time, I made a max single with 110 or 115lbs. The problem with this is that I was performing conflicting drills at the time (the Bent Press and the One-hand Dead Lift). When I started Bent Pressing over 100lbs and One-hand Dead Lifting close to 300lbs I started missing lifts.

If you were to use the PTTP Protocol and were looking to add only 1 or 2 non-conflicting drills this may be the easiest way to do it.

Look at these numbers.

If you do 70lbs x 5...

Then back off to 35lbs or 40lbs...

Follow the PTTP protocol doing 2 sets per day five workouts per week adding 5 lbs per week.

3 months is 35lbs (starting weight) + 65lbs (which is 5lbs x 13 weeks) for a total of 100lbs single and a 30lbs pr.

6 months is 35lbs + 130lbs is 165lbs over 100% improvement.

You probably wont be able to progress in a linear fashion (it would be great if we all did thought) but you get the idea.

I did progress in a liner fashion for 8 months for the pull-ups and 1 year for the bent press 135lbs and one-hand dead lift 315lbs. Both of these lifts are about 100% improvement.

Think about momentum in regards to PTTP. If you start high on a mountain you will run out of steam quickly and burn out. If you back "way off" of the mountain (in this case starting PttP at half of your max) you will have momentum to progress high up the mountain and even reach the top.

The strength from Power to the People does not go away. The base of strength I created for myself has lead to much strength in every other category.

I wish I knew about this 15 to 20 years ago...



New member
I did a 135 1rep max with pullups. I did ptp with 2 sets of 3 three times a week. I added about 2.5 lbs every workout. This protocol worked the best for me. I would try a new max once a month.

bill fox

New member

it's just I absolutely can not resist "going for it" when I feel good so I ALWAYS blow the cycle, train too much and so on. If you can stick to it, it's gold.


New member
Ummmmmm to get good a single weigthed max effort pull up. How about doing singles? Steve Justa style. Mike Mahler did a great write up and mod that I have used for DL. Works great.


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