I recently spoke with one of my ultimate fitness icons, Tony Horton, Beachbody Super Trainer and creator of the famous P90X workouts. Back during my college years, I was doing the original P90X videos in my dorm room — and they helped me lose 20 pounds. Since then, I've been following Tony and listening to everything he has to say about fitness and diet.
When I asked Tony for some advice on how to finally nail my pull-ups, he told me to sit back and take notes, because he's the master of pull-up form who has helped countless men and women go from fitness novice to pull-up pro. The first thing he told me? "You've got to practice them all the time," he said. "It's something you have to want so bad, so you gotta do pull-ups every day."
He went on to explain that, if you want to get really good at something in your fitness routine, you can't just do it once or twice a week. You have to put in the hard work and dedication and practice it every single day.
"My thing is trying to get a one-minute handstand, and I'm not improving because I'm only practicing it twice a week," Tony told me. A friend of his, who has no gymnastics experience whatsoever, has also been working toward the same goal. Ever since this friend started practicing handstands every single day, twice a day, for about 15 minutes at a time, he's now able to hold a handstand for a minute and 32 seconds! And now he's able to hold handstand longer than some gymnasts he knows. Tony says this is the dedication it takes for you to crush your goals.
However, that doesn't mean you should be deadlifting or squatting heavy weights every single day just because you have a PR in mind. There is a big difference between practicing bodyweight movements and lifting heavy weights. The kind of strain heavy lifting puts on your body should not be experienced every single day. But if you want to get good at things like pull-ups, handstands, push-ups, or chest dips, you can certainly practice those way more often.
Right now, my best is doing four strict pull-ups in a row, as you can see in the video ahead.
However, as of yesterday, I've upped my pull-up output. I'm following Tony's advice — twice a day, morning and night, I'm practicing my pull-ups. Sure, I'll probably be sore and it's going to be a challenge, but soon enough, I'll be doing four sets of eight reps — and I'll have accomplished something I never thought possible!