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Push Up / Pull Up Tips - Chris Garrett Fitness | Dream-2-Reality | Team D2R

Push Up / Pull Up Tips

So many people are intimidated by P90X because of the pull ups.  It is not uncommon for people starting out to be unable to do even one pull up!  Some of you have gotten discouraged because you were unable to do a pull up or you were unable to do a push up with your knees off the floor, or unable to do a pushup where you went all the way down.

As Tony Horton says in the beginning of the P90X Chest and Back workout “If you can eliminate that mindset that ‘I can’t do pull ups’… forget ‘I CAN’T’… say ‘I PRESENTLY STRUGGLE WITH’ and if you keep that mindset, over the course of time, someone who’s dream was to do 2 or 3 could turn into 20 or more.”

I love that quote… because it applied to us!  When we started Power 90 we both struggled with pushups.  Neither one of us had much of any upper body strength.  I could do push ups, but not many and Tekoa could only do them on her knees and couldn’t go all the way down.  Over time we got stronger and also started dropping weight which helped us out in 2 ways… we could push more weight, but had less to push!  You WILL improve over time as long as you keep pushing “play” and fueling your body with the right foods.

The same thing applies to pull ups.  I was only able to do 3 unassisted pull ups when we started P90X and most women (including Tekoa) are unable to do unassisted pull ups at first because they are not built to have as much upper body strength compared to men… that’s ok!  By the end of P90X I went from 3 to 12 unassisted pull ups and Tekoa went from 10 chair assisted pull ups to 18 chair assisted pull ups!  Our weight didn’t really change during P90X so that is pure strength gain!  Here are some tips to help you maximize your progress in strength gains as you go through Power 90 or P90X:

Power 90 and P90X Push Up Tips:

  1. Do as many push ups as you can on your feet
  2. Once you have done what you can on your feet, move to your knees and push yourself to the max on your knees.
  3. If you still struggle on your knees, just go as deep as you can and do as many reps as you can going that deep.
  4. If push ups bother your wrists you might consider some push up bars or my favorite… Power Stands.  This will put your wrists in an angle that is much more ergonomic and will also enable you to go deeper as you build more strength.


P90X Pull Up Tips:

  1. Do as many pull ups unassisted as you can
  2. Once you have done what you can, put a foot on a chair or stool and do as many pull ups as you can with your foot pushing on the chair to help you up… even if that means you are putting most of your weight on your leg.  Try to get to at least 15 reps total (including unassisted).
  3. If you can’t do 15 reps assisted with a leg then just do as many as you can.
  4. Use resistance bands instead of a pull up bar.  You are able to control the amount of resistance and can work your way up.  You will also need the upgrade kit with the bands to include the door attachment for the pull ups.

Following these steps will help you improve your strength over time.  Each week try to make improvements on what you did the week before.  Be sure to write down what you did on your workout sheets so you know how you are improving.  Power 90 did not come with workout sheets, but you can download one from my website HERE.

“Bring It!!”




This actually helped me out. I would just stop after 12 unassisted pull-ups. The same goes for push-ups, I just stop when i can't do anymore on my feet. Now I will use the chair and knees for pull-ups/push-ups. Thanks for the tip Coach Chris!