Armstrong Pull Up Program

Are you curious to know about the Armstrong pull up program?

Do you want to increase the count of your pull ups or wants to score good in military tests?

If yes, then you are at the right place.

In this workout guide, you will learn about each and every aspect of the Armstrong pull up program and if you are serious enough, this workout routine will definitely help you in achieving your own pull up personal record at the best level.

So, give your best move to get better at pull ups.

History of Armstrong Pull up Program

Major Charles Lewis Armstrong, one of the most prestigious lieutenant colonel known for his contribution in the field of fitness. He also set the world record of whopping 1435 repetitions of pull ups in a single five-hour session. He designed “Armstrong pull up program” for two reasons. First, bringing the young newbies into the right shape so that they can score highly on military fitness test (USMC PFT) by performing 20 military style pull ups and second, to get himself prepared for the maximum pull-ups in a single session to beat the world record.

Armstrong Pull Up Workout Program Overview

In this workout, you will combine push up and pull up in training program simultaneously for over 6 to 8 weeks to get the best remarkable results in a pull up count. This program will eventually improve the certain physical traits of an individual named as overload, variety and regularity.

As compared to the other pull up workout plans, this one is the most popular. Many trainees have achieved great results through Armstrong training method. Those who are just able to do 2 – 3 pull ups, can easily perform 20 pull ups after the completion of this workout routine.

Does the Armstrong pull-up program work?

Of course, it definitely works. Any trainee can achieve the maximum pull up target within 8 to 6 weeks by following this workout routine. And if you are extremely punctual with the routine, then 4 weeks are enough for you. This is the right place to learn how to do maximum pull ups.

Armstrong Pull Up Workout Program

Armstrong pull up program with pdf template and spreadsheet

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This workout routine has been categorized in to two parts:

  1. The Morning Routine
  2. Armstrong Pull Up Routine

The Morning Routine 

In Charles Lewis Armstrong Pull up method, morning starts with the three sets of maximum effort push-ups. This exercise is good for building the upper strength of the body including pectoral muscles, shoulders and triceps. Push up exercise should be started at the time when you wake up in which you can take a gap of several minutes.

Procedure will be like:

  • When you wake up, you have to perform first set of maximum push ups
  • Then go to the bathroom and have some coffee. Try second set
  • Do the shaving work. Do the third set of maximum effort push ups

The reason why you are doing push-ups instead of pull ups at the start to get your body trained to do more pull ups as it requires a very strong upper part.

Armstrong Pull Up Routine: Simple 5 Day Training Regimen

Here we are sharing the day to day plan of the Charles Armstrong workout, a 5 days per week routine to improve the pull up count and strength.

  • You can choose any of the five days in a week whether it’s Monday to Friday or Wednesday to Sunday whichever suits you better.

To avoid any sort of confusion, we are sharing some terminologies that will be beneficial for you in understanding deeper about this program

Set: A Set implies the number of repetitions that had been completed

Repetition: A Repetition implies a number of times a complete motion of an exercise performs

Suppose you did three sets of ten push-ups. That means you have to perform ten consecutive push-ups, rest and again 10 push-ups.  

AMRAP: It stands for as many reps as possible. In this concept, you have to perform several repetitions of a single exercise as much as you can in a set period of time.

Workout Plan

Armstrong pull up program

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Day 1 Training Protocol

Max Effort day: Perform five AMRAP maximum effort sets by taking a rest of 90 seconds between each rounds. The numbers of reps will start increasing gradually in the last two sets than the first three sets. You can also track your workout by maintaining spreadsheet. Make sure that you are putting your maximum effort while doing pull ups.

Day 2 Training Protocol

Pyramid day: It begins with the one repetition, rest, then to two repetitions, rest then three in an ascending style. This process will continue until one set got missed. It will be counted as the maximum number of pull ups for that day. You can take rest of 10 seconds for every pull up involved in the last set.

If you missed it out the set of 5 with 4 repetitions, then again take 40 second rest.

Now perform 1 maximum effort set of pull ups for finishing the workout.


  1. 1 repetition, Rest for 10 second
  2. 2 repetitions, Rest for 20 second
  3. 3 repetitions, Rest for 30 second
  4. 4 repetitions, Rest for 40 second
  5. 4 repetitions, Rest for 40 second
  6. Maximum effort set (AMRAP)

Day 3 Training Protocol

Grip Watch Day: Some varieties will be added in the day 3 of Armstrong pull up program. You have to use three different grips while doing low efforts sets of pull ups that include:

  1. 3 sets of normal grip pull ups (Rest of 60 seconds)
  2. 3 sets of chin ups (Rest of 60 seconds)
  3. 3 sets of wide grip pull ups (Rest of 60 seconds)


  • You should complete all 9 sets, so choose reps keeping that in mind.
  • Moreover reps should be same for all 9 sets.
  • You can change reps as you progress.

Day 4 Training Protocol

Max Day: Perform as much number of training sets as possible with perfect form while having 60 seconds of rest in between them.

This will be a quite long day for you as you have to do maximum number of sets.


If you did 4 reps on low effort sets (day 3), your reps on day 4 will be 5. Simply you will increase repetitions in your training set by one when you do day 4.

Day 5 Training Protocol

Hardest Day: This one will be the most daunting task for you. At this level, you have to repeat the hardest workout whichever you found out in the previous four days. It can be vary from week to week. You can also do weighted pull-ups on day 5.

Day 6 and 7 Training Protocol

Recovery Days or rest days:  You don’t have to do any sort of pull-ups these days. This is a recovery time for you. Have some rest and be prepared for the next week to repeat this workout regimen.

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Armstrong Pullup Program Spreadsheet

Click on the download button to download Armstrong Pullup Program Spreadsheet

Armstrong Pullup Program PDF

Click on the download button to download printable Armstrong Pull-up Program PDF document

What are Training Sets and how to perform them?

For every trainee, specified number of repetitions can vary depending on their strength and that are known as training sets. So if three people are performing this workout program, then they can have different number of repetitions.

The concept of training sets commenced from the Day 3. On that day, a trainee should perform their scheduled complete workout by performing 9 training sets of pull ups. Routine should be followed in a proper manner.

On day 4 you should try to accomplish one repetition higher than you had performed on Day 3. Even if you are not able to do 9 training set also on Day 4, you don’t have to be disheartened as you still performed a good satisfactory work. The point is you should increase reps by one on day 4 compared to day 3


Don’t change the number of repetitions of pull ups in the midway. And if you changed the repetitions meanwhile, then it will become hard for you to reach the optimal range of repetitions. So, everything should be followed rigorously in an authentic manner.

Alterations in the pull up program

Charles Lewis Armstrong workout program also works well with the flexed arm hang approach. Women can also perform these training sets of pull ups by using this technique. Here Training sets will be referred as hang times. But on Day 3, you have to perform six of the sets of pull ups with the overhand grip for better functional fitness.

You can also make this workout program a lot harder by adding some weights of 10-15 pounds or can add some variations like using a thumb less grip or doing pull ups with just finger tips


Thus, if you are feeling a lot of struggle in doing push-ups and pull ups then you can follow this workout routine. All you required is a sincere effort and dedication to follow this program without any procrastination.

Without even a single doubt, it is one of the most effective pull up training program that can quickly improve your pull up count. Hence, set your own record and master the pull up workout by adopting this technique on a regular basis.