Pull-Up Level 2 Overview

Primary Goal of Level

The goal of Level 2 of the Pull-Up Program is to complete 3 sets of 8 reps of 30 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up. If you are already capable of this, please move to the next level.

Secondary Goals

In addition to the primary goal, we are also focusing on developing the following attributes. These attributes will help with our overall goal of pull-up development.

  • Grip strength by using 1-minute walking farmers carries with dumbbells.
  • Back strength by using lat pull-downs and dumbbell rows. We will be supersetting these two movements each workout.

Goal of sub-levels

There are seven sub-levels in the Level 2 Pull-Up Program. Each sub-level has a goal. Once that goal is attained you can move to the next sub-level. Please take a look at the goals for each sub-level. You have two options where you can start. For the first option, you can pick the sub-level that is most difficult for your current strength but you are not able to complete the goal of that sub-level. The second option is to simply start from the beginning and work your way through each level.

  • Level 2.1: 3×8 Squat Assisted Chin-Up.
  • Level 2.2: 3×3 @ 90 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up.
  • Level 2.3: 3×8 @ 90 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up.
  • Level 2.4: 3×3 @ 60 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up.
  • Level 2.5: 3×8 @ 60 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up.
  • Level 2.6: 3×3 @ 30 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up.
  • Level 2.7: 3×8 @ 30 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up.

Special Note

It may be particularly easy to progress through these levels. If you find them too easy then feel free to skip from 3″ to 12″. What I am looking for most is that by the end of level 4 you are able to perform a 3×5 with an 18″ elevation.

Squat Assisted Pull-Up

90 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up

60 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up

30 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up

Movement Note

The primary movement for this cycle is the Leg Assisted Bent Knee Assisted Pull-Up. This movement can be performed at multiple types of apparatuses. Most common will be a barbell in a squat rack, gymnastics rings, or TRX. Use whatever you prefer or what is available.

The Leg Assisted Bent Knee Assisted Pull-Up can be made more or less difficult based on the angle of the knee. In Level 2, you’ll be working within the 30-90 degree knee angle.

This movement is unique in the sense that you have significant control over the difficulty of the movement based on two factors:

  • The more closed the angles of the hips and knees in the starting position the easier it will be.
  • The amount of assistance from your legs.

With great autonomy, comes great responsibility! Having more control allows us to control tension very well. The problem is that it also allows you to control tension very well. It is important to regulate the appropriate amount of help from the legs in order to elicit the desired results from each set.

So what does that mean in practical terms?

Let’s say that you have to a set of 3 to 5 reps of 90 Degree Knee Bend Leg Assisted Pull-Up. When doing that set, you’ll know that you’ve done it correctly if by the 5th rep you are struggling but you are able to complete the rep and you wouldn’t be able to perform the 6th rep with good form. On the other hand, if you get to the 5th rep and you can easily do more, then it was too easy. In that case, you’ll need to try a more difficult angle or use less assistance with the legs.

Microcycle (i.e. weekly programming ) Design

Each microcycle in Level 2 has two workouts. The first workout is the hardest. The second workout is moderate and will be complete 2-3 days after the first. Ideally, you will complete two workouts in a week. If you are interested in learning more about the methodology behind these exercise prescription choices, please read the Level Up Periodization article.