What if I told you there was a way to just absolutely blow up your biceps, forearms, back, and abs in just weeks without doing anything crazy other than a simple exercise you already know?
You’d probably look at me like I’m crazy. And, honestly, I thought the people doing 100 pull ups a day were crazy too. That was, until I brought myself to actually try it.
The only thing I hate about the program, is the stretch marks I have from how fast my arms grew. I’ve been training on a serious program, The Arnold Blueprint to Mass, for a while now- and even that didn’t put on arm size as fast as this.
I even did an 8 Hour Arm Workout, and yet these 100 pull ups a day were still reigning supreme in absolutely blowing up the size on my arms consistently day in and day out.
If you’re looking for a quick and pretty straightforward way to put on mass, this is it. There isn’t really a way this program you won’t grow a ton of muscle on this program.
So, I Just Add 100 Pull Ups a Day and That’s It?
Honestly, yes, it’s that simple.
You don’t technically need a workout program, but I highly recommend it.
As always, the best bodybuilding program in the world, made by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself is The Arnold Blueprint to Mass.
When you ADD 100 Pull Ups a day to a tough bodybuilding program like that, it supercharges your growth.
Arnold’s program will already be making your muscles be pushed to their end, and adding 100 pull ups on top of that is going to push them beyond their limits and force that muscle growth you want.
But yeah, at the core of it, there’s nothing more than just adding 100 solid pull ups. And I absolutely love the simplicity of this program. There’s no complicated movements or routines, just straight pull ups.
But Don’t Do The Pull Ups Throughout the Day, Do Them During Your Workout
The only caveat I’d give is that you probably don’t want to do these 100 pull ups throughout the whole day (ie: the 16 hours you’re awake).
Try to do them all during your workout, or at least close together (within 1 hour of the beginning).
The problem I see with doing them throughout the whole day is that it won’t stimulate the muscles as hard as it will if you’re doing it during your workout.
If you’re doing maybe 10 pull ups an hour, it won’t break down the muscle as hard as it will if you’re actively lifting iron and this will keep the muscle stressed.
Ultimately, the more work done on your muscles in a shorter amount of time means you overload the muscle more, which forces more muscle growth. The only real way to grow muscle is progressive overload, which is slowly overloading the muscle, which ends up signaling your body to make the muscle grow stronger.
So if you’re doing 10 pull ups every 1.5 hours or so, you won’t really be ‘overloading’ the muscle.
Simply put, just do it during your work out. I used to go to the gym, start off by doing my 100 pull ups for the first 30-45 minutes of the work out, then start the program after I got it all done.
Yes, it took some time, but I love working out and it did wonders for my muscle growth- so I’m not complaining!
What Muscles Does Doing 100 Pull Ups a Day Work?
Doing 100 pull ups a day is no easy feat, and thankfully it pays heavy rewards. You can expect to see tons of muscle growth after doing this program, my entire physique changed.
Needless to say, you won’t regret doing the 100 pull ups a day, and your friends will definitely comment on the muscle growth you get.
Here’s the muscles the 100 pull ups a day challenge will work.
Your Back (Latissimus Dorsi)
Your back is the most important muscle worked by pull-ups.
Let’s be honest, we all skip working our back and legs. So, doing 100 pull ups a day is a great way to actually catch up on this and put some serious growth into your back.
Most people already know that doing regular pull ups is one of the best ways to grow your back muscles regularly.
Doing 100 pull ups a day is a sure-fire way to put on a massive amount of back muscle in a short amount of time.
The biceps are the most underrated part of the 100 pull ups a day challenge. Most people gloss over the fact that your biceps will absolutely explode in size and growth.
In fact, I ended up getting really bad stretch marks from the insane bicep growth this program gave me.
That was one of the best parts of the program in my opinion, every time I’d go home my biceps would be fully pumped and would look massive.
Plus, biceps only take 24 hours to recover from a workout. This means you can do the 100 pull ups every single day, and see bicep growth consistently. In fact, you might see too much bicep growth.
Forearms (My Favorite)
Forearms are that muscle group that we can all admit we NEVER work out. But, we all know that big forearms can make or break a physique.
But something interesting is that the 100 pull ups a day challenge is one of the best ways to actually grow your forearms massively.
First, to grow forearms you often have to do super high reps because your forearms are so used to being used every day. So doing 100 reps every single day is actually a really good way to get this muscle growth.
Plus, the weight is really heavy as it uses your body weight. And furthermore, you often have to hold yourself up in the air for 20-30 seconds at a time which can really stress your forearms out along with the high repetitions.
Abs are one of those things that most people look over when doing a program like this, even if abs are something EVERYBODY wants.
When you’re hanging from the air like that, your entire abdominal region flexes hard to keep you balanced, in-line, and also keeps your entire lower body from hanging loose.
Truthfully, the abs have a pretty difficult job through this whole process, and this means you’ll see massive ab growth too. Considering, pull ups activate nearly the entire core every single rep, in my opinion, pull ups are one of the best ab exercises out there.
While this certainly isn’t a replacement for typical ab exercises, in combination with other ab exercises you can see massively increased ab growth.
100 Pull Ups a Day Will Actually Grow Your Bench and Deadlift
If you’re not sold on the idea yet, hear me out- did you know that doing 100 pull ups a day will actually grow your bench and deadlift?
I covered a lot of this in my recent post discussing how to fix shoulder pain when bench pressing if you want to really learn more about it. But for now, a brief explanation should do.
Simply put, your back and forearms are actually critical in bench pressing, I’d argue they are more important than your actual chest.
That’s right. Think about a skyscraper with a weak foundation, it will just collapse every time. It’s the same thing here, without a super strong back to support all that weight you’re benching, your foundation will fail every time.
Your back is one of the most used muscles in bench pressing, that’s why for proper bench form you need to squeeze your latissimus dorsi (your back muscles) together!
Try going on the bench press with a super lazy back (like you’re literally relaxing in a chair) and see how much you can bench. Then, you’ll see how important your back truly is in working out.
Now, I get it, who works out their back? Everybody and their mother and their goldfish skips back day.
That’s why I recommend this program though. Doing 100 pull ups a day will put on RAPID growth to your back muscles and get you caught up. It worked really well for me, and actually helped me put on 40 pounds on my bench in a month even though I was barely working chest.
Also, your grip strength will improve. This makes benching heavier weight in general much easier.
Lastly, with your bigger back muscles and stronger grip, you’ll be deadlifting heavier weight in no time.
It Will Get You That Massive ‘V’ Shaped Back You’ve Wanted
Okay, all of us bodybuilders dream of that BUILT back. You know what I’m talking about, that ‘V’ shape that makes you look like the hulk?
Or even that barnyard door back as I’ve heard some southern bodybuilders call it?
Certified fitness trainer and head of Precision Fitness Hong Kong, Daniel Williams said:
“Doing this many pull ups provides plenty of activation of the back muscles, encouraging a ‘mind muscle connection'(which helps grow muscles massively).
The pull up works the muscles that create the ‘V’ shape that so many aspire to develop.
Provided you’re getting adequate nutrition to build muscle, then you’ll be building out that V shape throughout each of those 30 days”.
So, if you’re looking for a great way to get that massive bodybuilding back, this program is your calling.
It Will Also Fix Your Posture
If you have bad posture problems, or even back pain, this program might be perfect for you.
According to Sergio Pedemonte, certified personal trainer and owner of Your House Fitness who literally personally trains Marvel’s Black Widow, said:
“100 Pull Ups a day will increase grip strength and core strength. This leads to an increase in overall endurance, better posture, less neck pain, eliminates lower back pain, and strengthen the joints, ligaments and tendons of the body. “
Posture makes a big difference. In the gym, improper posture can lead to serious injury and reduced strength.
Outside of the gym, improper posture can make you look less confident.
With the growth in your back muscles and accessory muscles, your posture will increase- and with it, your confidence.
So, you’ll have a lot less pain overall, and better posture- this sounds like a win overall to me.
What Diet Do You Need for the 100 Pull Ups a Day Challenge?
Simply put, if you’re going to actually take this program seriously and do it every day for 30 days- you’ll need to dirty bulk to reap the incredible muscle growth this program gives you.
I see a ton of people talking about how they want to do this challenge and lose weight to get shredded, but that is the opposite of what you want to do.
This program will activate basically every muscle in your upper body and push you to your limits. You want to gain a ton of weight to take advantage of this muscle growth.
Now, normally you can expect to gain about 1-2lbs of muscle per month normally provided you’ve been lifting a while and lift regularly.
However, when you do a program like this- you gain more muscle for two reasons:
- Your back has never been stimulated so hard before in its’ life.
- It is activating tons of accessory muscles you have never really ‘worked out’ before.
There are lots of tiny accessory muscles that support everything you do, but you rarely ever work them out. The 100 pull ups a day challenge works a lot of these accessory muscles out as they activate to keep your posture and balance when doing the pull ups.
And as the rules of bodybuilding go, when you first start training a muscle you get increased ‘beginner’ growth for the first few months. So you can actually put on quite a big back in little time.
Eat a LOT of Protein and LOTS of Calories
This is the time to hit McDonald’s and dirty bulk with a McFlurry and double quarter pounder with cheese.
I mean, for real, get some pizza or something and eat. Your body is going to need a ton of nutrients to replenish your hard work and build those muscles.
I was eating +700-800 calories or so a day and nearing around 170g of protein a day and that did me pretty well. That’s a lot of protein, but I think you’ll be eating as much as I was when you first start this program.
It’s no joke.
But, remember. If you aren’t gaining weight, you won’t be able to gain muscle. So gain the weight (which most will be muscle anyways), sleep like a baby, GROW.
So DON’T Try to ‘Shred’ On This Program
Again, don’t try to ‘shred’ on this program. If anything, that will probably have serious health consequences if your muscles don’t have the protein or calories to repair themselves and you’re working them out this much.
If I were you, do a serious dirty bulk by doing this program for 45-60 days, then do a cut to lose the fat and you’ll see a ton of extra muscle put on your physique in as little as two months.
100 Pull Ups a Day Challenge Workout Program
Now that you’ve painfully read every detail about the 100 pull ups a day challenge, it’s time to get to the actual workout program.
Now, this one is a little modified than what you may see in many YouTube videos. But trust me, I’ve been bodybuilding for years and I genuinely think this is the best way to do the program to maximize your muscle growth.
Typically, most programs will say do 100 pull ups a day for 30 days straight. However, we are going to switch it up in two days:
- You’re going to take one rest day per week. (every 7 days)
- You’re going to do this program for 60 days minimum.
Yes, we are adding a rest day.
We are doing this because, ultimately, doing the program every single day for a month starts to ruin the muscle growth.
When your muscles don’t have enough time to really repair and rebuild before your next workout, you end up destroying the muscle faster than it can be built.
This is why all serious bodybuilding programs never have you work out the same muscle group two days in a row.
So, we are going to add one rest day at the end of the week. This way, you are maximizing that stimulus 100 pull ups a day give you, but you’re still giving your body an opportunity to catch up on a lot of that muscle growth.
Yes, I know, the whole program’s name is all about doing it every single day for 30 days. But, if you want to maximize the muscle growth, it’s best you do it this way.
We’re Upping It To 60 Days
Now, this is where bodybuilding science starts to get really complicated.
I covered this more in-depth in my Smolov Bench Program and Smolov Squat Program articles if you’re interested, but I’ll try to keep it short for now.
When you work out a muscle, it really doesn’t “grow” until nearly 8 weeks later.
There’s this weird graph that explains it. But, if you really think about your muscle growth in the gym, it makes sense.
You don’t get big by going to the gym for 4 weeks or anything. You get big by sticking to a serious program and dieting hard for a few months. It’s not that the progress is so slow you don’t notice it, it’s because your muscles don’t really “grow” massively until that 2-month mark.
So, we are going to take advantage of that here too. By upping the 100 pull ups a day challenge to 60 days, we are massively increasing the muscle growth we will get in this program.
Now, if you just do it for 30 days, you’ll still see incredible results. But 60 days will net you exponentially more growth because it is taking advantage of your body’s adaptive muscle growth curve.
It’s really messy bodybuilding science, but at the end of the day, it’s a lot more muscle- so why not?
Here’s a sample program, so you can get a better idea of what you’re getting into.
- 100 Pull Ups, Arnold’s Blueprint Chest Day
- 100 Pull Ups, Arnold’s Blueprint Arm Day
- 100 Pull Ups, Arnold’s Blueprint Leg Day
- 100 Pull Ups, Cardio Day
- 100 Pull Ups, Arnold’s Blueprint Chest Day
- 100 Pull Ups, Arnold’s Blueprint Arm Day
- REST and EAT.
I took this program very seriously, I was really interested in trying it for a long time and I wanted to almost do that ‘scientific’ experiment of what it could do for someone.
I had been lifting for a few years, but it really did put some serious muscle mass on me.
Like, way more than I was expecting. I was expecting to get a little bit of back muscle growth, but here I was with massive arm growth, massive grip growth, and a ton of back muscle growth.
Like, I really didn’t expect to get this much out of the program- and it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my bodybuilding career.
Most Noticeable Results? Massive Bicep Growth
When you combine this with another bodybuilding program, you are essentailly doubling or tripling your bicep stimulation at the gym.
So, on Arnold’s Blueprint, you’ll on average do something like 80-90 reps on an Arm Day specifically on your biceps? When you add 100 pull-ups a day, you’re basically doubling the program and with that- getting a ton of extra growth.
I didn’t expect bicep growth from the program honestly, I was looking for back growth. But I literally have stretch marks on my arms (which I have NEVER had) from how fast my biceps grew in the 30 day period.
And I’m not a beginner or anything, my arms were 15.2 inches. And after all was said and done they ballooned up to 15.7 inches.
Now, I’m not saying this program is a great way to put an inch or half-inch on your arms(I mean, it is), because everybody’s results may vary. But, if you want some serious arm growth, pairing this with any bodybuilding program will get guaranteed results provided you eat enough.
Most Underrated Part? Grip Strength Growth
Nobody really talks about grip strength in bodybuilding, even though it’s one of the most important parts of lifting.
Grip Strength is important to everything from bench pressing, curling, and deadlifting.
Newsflash, you might have super big muscles- but if your grip is weak you won’t even be able to hold the bar in your hands. That’s a big problem, to say the least.
Plus, it translates well to other things. I work on my Mustang all the time, and sometimes those bolts on my 15-year-old car can get really rusty and hard to get out with tools. Grip strength helps with that.
Or, if you don’t like making multiple trips when you’re bringing home groceries. Grip strength makes it so you can carry more bags at once. (And trust me, ALLLL the ladies will be flocking to you when they see how many bags you can carry in one hand)
My Back Did Grow Massively
Obviously I’ve been obsessing about how much bigger my arms look, but the truth is, my back looks phenomenal now too.
I always suffered from having a pretty weak back. And honestly, it’s pretty hard to work out your back. There aren’t really any great machines that activate all the muscles, and barbell rows aren’t anyone’s favorite compound lift.
So, I needed this to catch up. My back is WAY stronger now, my lats grew massively and everybody can tell.
I started getting that thing where your back grows so much it starts growing out sideways, so people can see part of your back when they’re looking at you head-on.
That ‘V’ shape is there, and I look like an absolute unit.
This was a much needed change. Whenever I’d pose, you’d see my chest, incredibly big arms, strong traps, and then my back would come around and it’s like “what? is this guy even trying?”.
Journal Of 100 Pull Ups a Day
I kept a journal of my first 30 days of doing 100 pull ups a day, just so you would kind of know what you’re getting yourself into.
If you’d like to give it a read, go ahead! I’d encourage you to journal it and your bodybuilding career in general too. It’s always interesting to me to look back and say, “Wow, in May 2019 when I did that bulk on 3300 calories, with 3 hours of gym a day consistently, I really grew massively.” and also say, “Okay, that bulk we tried in February 2019, did NOT work, the lack of training really didn’t bring the puzzle together”.
It’s a great way to see your strengths, weaknesses, and grow in your future bodybuilding career by just examining what went right, and what went wrong.
I just use like a Google Doc or whatever personally, but any notebook works too.
I hadn’t lifted in about a week since I had just gotten back from my business trip in California (all the gyms were closed, unfortunately).
Right away, I was able to do 12 pull ups, then after the 3rd set I was stuck doing only 4 reps at a time. It was difficult, but I pushed through. It took me roughly under an hour to get all of it done, I was doing sets of 4 reps each until I reached 100.
I went home, felt a little sore, but it didn’t really kick in until later that night. I ate a ton of protein, and went to bed.
WOW DID THE SORENESS KICK IN. I have been non-stop downing protein to try and fix this issue. I slept 10 hours, ate atleast 150g of protein before bed, and I’m still messed up. I’ve had like 6 of these Chobani Greek Yogurt drinkable shakes? My sister bought them for me, but they’re actually incredibly helpful.
If you’ve read my Chobani Flips review, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Chobani is like the best brand ever for protein and food for bodybuilders that is great for you.
My back is SO sore. My forearms feel rigid, my biceps sting, but my back is just destroyed.
But boys, we got a problem. Today is my chest and back day. And I can’t believe I’m about to start my 100 pull ups a day challenge all over again, with this amount of soreness.
Day 3 was a little tiny bit better than Day 2. But I was still so sore!!!!! I felt like an idiot taking the only powerrack in the gym for my pull up challenge, but nobody else was really in the gym so.
I was able to do about 4 reps every time, so a little bit better than Day 2 (we are seeing improvement). But I keep thinking how rough this 100 pull up a day challenge is, it’s brutal.
I slowly went through, getting about 4 reps every time I went for a set. Which while it was a hassle, I got through it,
Well, I should’ve never said that things were getting better LOL. This 100 pull ups a day challenge got about a million times harder on day 4.
We’re talking about doing 3 grueling reps, then having to stop. Yes, I had to do 33 sets of 3 reps for pull ups. But, at the end of the day- we have to keep pushing forward.
Things were just worse. I could barely do 2-3 reps, and at this point my forearms just felt like they were going to explode. I seriously didn’t even know if I should’ve kept doing the 100 pull ups a day at this point because it literally hurt so much.
It was almost too painful, I’ve never really felt this much pain. But I stupidly kept pushing through it with the promise that I would eat a ton of protein and sleep well in hopes to improve it.
Honestly, my forearms felt a little better, but again we were only doing 2-3 pull-ups at a time. This 100 pull ups a day challenge felt like forever.
Sure, at first, you might think ‘how are you even doing 2-3 reps?’, but when you do 100 pull ups a day over and over, it just gets incredibly aggravating. My lats felt so painful, and at this rate my biceps were starting to hurt.
Day 7 is where things really started to almost ‘get back to normal’. The pain subsided massively, it became easier to do the pull ups, and I felt a lot stronger already.
Now, don’t let that fool you. I was only doing around 4-5 reps at a time at this point. Sure, it’s better than days 1-6, but that’s still pretty low.
I kept pushing through and kept the high protein diet through the roof. At this point, the challenge became less fun, but I had to stick through it.
I think Day 7 is where your body starts to heavily adapt to that constant stimulus. Even if it hurts a lot still, it’s a big shift in the right direction.
Days 12-20 for me where all about the same, so I figured I’d shorten it up for you.
My body had finally ‘adapted’ to that stimulus, but, it’s still tough. I can only do 4-5 reps, then after 5 or so sets I can only do 2-3 reps at a time. It’s still tough, my muscles still get sore- but my back doesn’t feel so tight anymore.
And that urge to eat so much has finally been quelled. I gave myself a rule I could dirty bulk all I want while doing this challenge, but at this point it isn’t so demanding. I still wanted to eat a lot, but it wasn’t as bad as those first few days.
Plus, again, most of that extreme muscle soreness was gone. Right away, your muscles just feel like they are in literal pieces and you need surgery, but at this point it’s pretty manageable.
Days 21-Day 30:
The last 9 days of the challenge were interesting.
I had expected to actually like be able to do 8-10 reps consistently, but I found out that ultimately, that will not be happening.
I could do 8-10 reps for the first 2 sets, then it’d go back to 4-5, sometimes 6 reps!
It was still tough at this point. Even though I am a bodybuilding master with tons of knowledge, even I forgot that muscles take a long time to grow.
This program will do one thing for sure, it will teach you science behind muscle growth. That stuff doesn’t just happen over night, it takes a long time.
But, I kept pushing through and eating a ton of food to gain weight (to get that muscle). I hadn’t seen any results yet, so I was starting to doubt the program a bit- but trust me, you’ll see the results soon.
I think this was the hardest point in the challenge.
The first few days of the 100 pull ups a day challenge are quite fun, and you feel it. The next week or so you get used to it and it isn’t as fun, but it’s still kind of interesting. But after day 21 it’s just like, “Why am I even doing this?”.
Does 100 pull ups a day work?
Yes, 100 pull ups a day does work! In fact, most people see an incredible body transformation and gain a ton of muscle. Just try to add in a rest day every week so your muscles can recover. This will make you look bigger, and reduce your chance of injury.
What would happen if I did pull ups every day?
If you did pull ups every day, you’d probably see a lot of back, bicep, forearm, ab, and grip strength growth. You’ll also get REALLY strong.
How many pull ups should I do a day to get ripped?
Most people recommend doing 100 pull ups a day to get ripped. However, you can go anywhere from 50-200 pull ups to get there depending on your program. Pull ups are one of the highest calorie-burning exercises out there actually and will help burn a lot of fat. Just make sure you take enough rest days here and there to avoid injury and grow that muscle back.
How long does it take for pull ups to show results?
Most people can see results from doing a ton of pull ups in as little as 30 days. However, the BIG results come in around the 60 day mark when your body finally does its big ‘muscle hypertrophy’ phase and massively increases muscle growth to deal with the increased stimulus of all those pull ups.
You can read more about this here on the Smolov Powerlifting Bench Program post.
Can you get a six pack from doing pull ups?
Yes, pull ups actually do a full work out of your abs! This is because your entire core flexes to keep your body straight when doing the exercise. If you do enough pull ups, you will not only feel your abs being worked out, but you’ll be able to start seeing them. (And who doesn’t want a six pack?)
Why are my pull ups not improving?
If your pull ups are not improving, you’re likely not eating enough and not resting enough. I recommend taking 3-4 days off of your pull ups completely, eating more protein and calories than you normally do (in a 500 calorie surplus, so your goal is to GAIN that weight in MUSCLE) and sleep like a baby.
In about 5 days you’ll see a big improvement when you finally do your next set of pull ups.
Also, it may be that you’re just at your body’s limit for it. So, you can add ‘weighted pull ups’ which is done by attaching a belt with a weight to it, or by holding a dumbbell with your feet. This will add weight to the pull up motion which will also cause your muscles to grow.
The Bottom Line? Get Out There and Try It! You Won’t Regret It!
Get out there and try it. You won’t regret it.
Sure, doing 100 pull ups a day is gonna suck at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. And honestly, it’s somewhat of a big commitment! But, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
- Massive muscle growth
- Overall health improvements
- Grip strength improvements
- Posture improvements
- Reduced joint + back pain
I don’t think you’ll be hating that you tried this challenge out. So get out there and do it!
Tell me in the comments below if you have tried this challenge or if you’re interested in it! I wanna hear from you! Good luck in the gym, and don’t give up.