Primary Goal of Level

The goal of Level 8 is to maintain the ability to be able to do a set of 15-20 strict pull-ups with minimal effort each week.

A Note About the Maintenance Phase

If you’ve read the Periodization article you may recall that I break the progression of a movement into two primary phases.

  • The Prep Phase: This is the time where we develop the skill to the level we set out to. In the case of the Pull-Up, we set out to be able to perform 15-20 Strict Pull-Ups in a row. During this time, we are spending a not-insignificant portion of our training time towards developing that skill.
  • The Maintenance Phase: In this phase, we are spending the least amount of our training time/volume in order to maintain the skill. For example, in Level 7 of the pull-up program, you had three workouts a week and additionally may have been greasing the groove. This means you may have been doing pull-ups 3-6 days a week! The great thing is that once we can do 15-20 pull-ups then it doesn’t take much effort to keep it.

We are now in the Maintenance phase. So we will be spending minimal time each week on the two-arm pull-up to maintain the ability to perform 15-20 pull-ups. Pretty awesome, right?

Now that we are nearing the end of the pull-up program, this leaves a few options for you to pick from.

  • First, you can spend about 5-10 minutes a week maintaining your 15-20 pull-ups. This is a great option if you want to spend more time acquiring other movement abilities.
  • Second, you can maintain the 15-20 pull-ups and work towards doing heavier weighted pull-ups. This is a great option if you are interested in barbell strength training or specifically want a thicker and stronger back.
  • Third, you can maintain the 15-20 pull-ups and begin working towards the one-arm pull-up. The one-arm pull-up is the epitome of upper-body pulling strength and will take you 6-12 months to acquire that skill.

Maintenance Workout

This last section of the program will show you how to maintain 15-20 pull-ups. It is dead simple.

There are many ways to maintain your 15-20 pull-up ability. Here is how I would suggest you do it. One a week perform Workout 1. Do that for as long as you want to keep this skill.

Easy, right?

Then as you acquire more and more skills, you just have a ‘maintenance’ day once a week. At the time of writing this, I have a ‘maintenance day that I do 2-3 times a month that has about 15 skills that I’ve worked hard to acquire and want to keep.

OrderFocusMovementSetsReps or Hold Length RestTempo
A1Specific Warm UpPassive Hand160 Secondsas needed
B1Maintain Strict Pull-Up2 to 3 15 to 20 Repsas needed