Previous Article:
2 Exercises To Build Bigger Upper & Middle Traps FAST!
Next Article:
5 Reasons Why Red Light Therapy Can Help Your Gains!

Pull-Up Hack For Wider & Thicker Lats!

No Reps Needed?

Posted by Scott_Herman - August 19th, 2017

Let’s talk about the PULL-UP! This information will be ESPECIALLY helpful to those of you who can’t do many reps, or none at all! As you know the pull-up is the ‘king’ of upper body exercises, and one of the best ways to build bigger and thicker lats. However, if you can’t do them they pretty much become useless, right? Well, no, that’s not the case at all!

As I continue to prepare my Cheat & Recover (C&R) 12 week program I’ve been experimenting with different ways to overload every muscle in each routine and it got me thinking. The entire concept of the C&R technique revolves around overloading on the negative and is based on the premise that since you’re always about 40% stronger in the eccentric portion of any movement, using slow and controlled form all the time can actually become a limiting factor for muscle and strength gains.

Why Is The Cheat & Recover Method So Effective?

Obviously full range of motion is required to really maximize your training and that’s why the program consists of cheat AND recover reps. But the core reason why my C&R method is so effective for muscle growth and strength is not just because it overloads the negative of every exercise, but because a lot of the cheat reps for many different exercises really emphasizes the STRETCH!

For example, we know that above the knee Rack Pulls are super effective when it comes to upper trap growth even though the traps themselves are not necessarily moving throughout the movement. But that DEEP stretch you get from pulling hundreds of pounds off the rack sparks some serious muscle growth. This is because even though your traps are not moving up and down, you’re still FORCING them to contract while in the STRETCHED position under a MASSIVE load.

How Does This Relate To Pull-Ups?

If we carry this logic over to the pull-up, it’s the same exact deal, and I call this technique the “WEIGHTED DEAD-HANG”.  Remember that the most basic function of the lats is to keep your shoulders attached to your body and that the lats originate in the lower spine and insert all the way up into the upper arm, crossing the shoulder joint.  So the question now becomes, ‘what if we were to place the lats under a massive load while they’re in the fully STRETCHED position, the same way we work our traps during rack pulls?’

Well, the answer is that you would start to see some significant growth over time and you’ll even improve your ability to perform more pull-ups. Also, all you need to do to implement this is hang from a bar with as much weight as you can handle strapped to your waist!

But before you start hanging it’s a good idea to eliminate forearm and grip fatigue, as they will become a limiting factor, by using a pair of wrist straps. Remember, your lats are a much larger and stronger group of muscles than your forearms, so even if you DO have a strong grip, you won’t be able to 100% maximize this technique without straps.

Once you get your wrist straps you’re also going to need a dip belt, a box, a place to hang from and for those of you who have access to a weighted vest, you can use that instead of the dip belt if you want.

Next, load up the dip belt with as much weight as you can handle, climb on top of the box, strap your hands to the bar and start hanging! Your goal is to hang for as long as you can with as much weight as you can, but if I were to put this movement in a workout I would try to keep my holds to around 20 – 30 seconds, and perform 3 – 5 sets.

Where Can I Include This In My Routine?

I wouldn’t use this as the FIRST exercise in my back routine. I suggest training first with a few big compound movements like Deadlifts, Bent-Over Rows, Pendlay Rows or T-Bar Rows. This is because you want to take advantage of exercises like these when you have the most energy, and also because it’s not smart to utilize a technique like this when your muscles are cold.  Overloading your lats before they are fully warmed up is a really easy way to injure yourself, so be smart about your training.

Now, trust me when I say that the day after you try this you’re not going to believe how sore your lats are! This is because this technique is very taxing and you’re creating all kinds of small micro-tears throughout your lats which will lead to muscle growth! In fact, I can probably guarantee that you’ll be sore 99% of the time when you use this technique because the most micro-tears occur DURING the stretching part of any movement. The other beauty with this movement is you should be able to add 5 – 10 lbs to your weight every few weeks.

How Does This Help Me With Performing More Pull-Ups?

By overloading your lats with as much weight as possible and struggling to keep hanging from the bar as long as you can, you’re essentially forcing your lats to become stronger and bigger to handle the load.  Remember that for most people the sticking point of the pull-up is at the bottom, which is why most people avoid it and do half reps. So if you’re struggling with pull-ups, take them out of your routine for a few weeks and replace them with the Weighted Dead-Hang.

At the end of the day, if you ever find yourself hanging from a cliff…you want to make sure you can do at least ONE pull-up on your own right? And for those of you who CAN’T do one pull-up yet, stay away from cliffs…and I especially urge you to try this technique. But don’t start adding all kinds of weight just yet. For you, it might be a good idea to start off with holding just your bodyweight for 20 – 30 seconds, and then slowly add more weight from there.  


Who would have thought you could grow your lats and get stronger by just hanging around?! After a few weeks of implementing the weighted dead-hang into your routine, I’m sure you’ll notice a difference in the size and strength of your lats!

Related Videos:

Can You REALLY Burn Calories While Sitting? | WHAT IS ACTIVE SITTING?


Share this article on:
The Bench Slide

When it comes to getting the most power out of your bench press shoulder positioning can be the difference between breaking a max...