How Controlled Cheating Can Help You with Your Pull Up

What Is Controlled Cheating?

Controlled cheating is a technique that involves intentionally breaking the rules and modifying parts of your pull-up routine to make it easier. This might include using a step stool to assist you with the pull-up motion or bending your knees or knees to help you catch yourself. While this might sound like cheating on its face, the key is to do these things in a way that helps you build up your strength to perform a real pull-up in the future. This can be very effective when trying to learn how to do more pull-ups because it gives you more time under tension and more opportunities to complete a rep.

How Does Cheating Help with Pull-Ups?

Pull-ups are a challenging exercise to master, especially if you are a beginner. To begin with, they require tremendous strength, and you also have the proper technique to do them correctly. This is why many people use assisted exercises when first learning how to do pull-ups – such as using resistance bands or doing negatives. As time goes on, you will want to stop relying on these tools as much and learn to do real pull-ups. Unfortunately, many people try to jump into doing full pull-ups too quickly and get injured.

How would you feel if I told you I wanted you to cheat?

What if I said, ‘You need to cheat.’

It may not sit right, but you must learn to cheat if you want to do more pull-ups. (What did you think I was talking about?)

I have a way of training called ‘controlled cheating’ to help you get your first, tenth, or twentieth pull-up.

You’re probably wondering how controlled cheating works

This training method will give you tips on getting your body into the ideal pull-up position to build muscle memory, strength, and endurance. It keeps your body in the perfect pull-up position while you can ‘cheat’ a few reps to build strength.

And don’t worry; this kind of cheating doesn’t put you at risk for injury. (I know that Rick wouldn’t be excellent with my advice to ‘cheat’ if the damage would be the result.)

Putting yourself at risk of injury is why I usually DON’T encourage cheating with resistance training, but my controlled cheating methods are safe.

I should know because I used myself as a guinea pig to test my controlled cheating methods. Then I went to my fitness boot camp and used some clients as guinea pigs. We quickly improved our strength and endurance by doing more quality pull-ups.

The thing with pull-ups is that you can either do them or can’t. If you were to squat for the first time, would you put your body weight on the bar the first time you had a bar on your back?

Not likely.

You’d start with the bar, which is 45 lbs, then add a few pounds to each side before you bump up to your body weight. That’s called ‘progressive resistance.’

How do you do that with the pull-up?

You can’t use traditional progressive resistance training methods.

What can you do?

First off, some helpful exercises that will help your pull-up include:

  • assisted pull-ups
  • jump pull-ups
  • kipping pull-ups
  • weighted pull-ups

Of course, you can’t discount the usual suspects in the back training lineup:

  • DB rows
  • cable rows

Learning how to do a scapular retraction is paramount, and learning to get into the most advantageous body position for the pull-up.

You can use ‘controlled cheating’ with most of the pull-up exercises. I don’t recommend cheating with loaded exercises, only specific bodyweight exercises.

The point is that with pull-ups, it’s typically either a ‘can do’ or ‘CAN’T’ kind of exercise, so doing a controlled cheat has its place in making it a ‘CAN’ exercise for you.

Here’s a beginner total body workout that will help your pull-up:

1. Stick ups

  1. do the same exercise 10 times.
  2.  No rest

2. Scapular retraction

  1. Do as many reps as possible
  2. Rest for 30 seconds

3a. Assisted pull-ups with controlled descent – 10 reps

  1. No rest

3b. Cable Row – 10 reps

  1. Rest for 30 seconds
  2. Repeat both exercises

4. DB row

  1. ten repetition
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. repeat

5. Hanging leg raises

  1. Do the exercise 10 times
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. repeat

6. DB bicep curls

  1. Do the exercises for ten repetitions.
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. repeat

7. Incline DB press

  1. repeat ten times
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. Repeat

8a. Push-ups – 10 reps

  1. No rest

8b. Plank Hold – 30-second hold

  1. Rest 30 seconds
  2. Repeat both exercises two more times (3 Sets Total)

9. DB front raise

  1. ten reps
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. repeat

10. DB triceps overhead press

  1. Ten reps of DB triceps overhead press
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. repeat

11. Barbell deadlift

  1. do the exercise 10 times
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. repeat

12. Barbell squat

  1. Ten more barbell squat
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. repeat

13a. Spider crawl – 10 reps per leg

  1. No rest

13b. Reverse Hip Lift – 10 reps per leg

  1. 30 rest
  2. Repeat Both exercises two more times (3 sets total)

Why Controlled Cheating Works So Well for Pull-Ups?

For many reasons, controlled cheating works so well in your pull-up routine. For example, this technique allows you to put more weight on your muscles, which means they’ll have to work harder than they would during a lighter set. This, in turn, leads to muscle growth, which also means that your body can lift more weight overall. Once you’ve mastered your pull-ups using the controlled cheating technique, you can then start to reduce the amount of assistance you get. This helps you build strength in the right areas, which can help you do even more pull-ups without assistance.

You’ll need my Challenge Workout program if you want a shortcut to increasing your pull-up power. Surprisingly, you’ll learn how to use my controlled cheating method to increase your pull-ups in record time.

The good news is that I’ve reached 1400 people with my pull-up program, but my goal is to get 10 000. I’ve made it easier than ever for you to grab my program:

  1. The price has been reduced to $19.99 (but it will rise to $39.99 on Friday).
  2. I’ve added the Endurance Power Builder Program as a bonus to help you drop pounds.
  3. I’ve added two other bonuses not currently available: Super Hero Challenge Workouts and Hardcore Challenge Workouts.
  4. And I’ve added the long-awaited Ab Challenge program


Pull-ups are one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your upper body and core. While these exercises benefit beginners, they are also an excellent way for more advanced athletes to build muscle and improve their overall fitness. If you have difficulty increasing your pull-up reps, try using the controlled cheating technique. This will make the exercise easier to build up your strength and do more pull-ups without assistance.

Here’s your chance, CLICK HERE before Friday, August 31st.

I’m looking forward to hearing about YOUR pull-up success.

Shawna Kaminski

Invincible Core