Using The Science Of Movement Progressions To Bust Through Your Plateaus

Here’s me and another good looking man. Wow, I’m a lucky gal…;)

pull up workouts

 Tyler Bramlett has some great ideas on movement progressions to learn the pull up and then how to make the pull up more awesome (cuz that’s just good English ‘more awesome’ which is just short of ‘awesome-er’ ;))

I thought I’d share his insights with you. You’ll hear more from Tyler this week, what he’s about and how he got me to do a hand stand progression (super fun) in the middle of a Vegas hotel lobby….

Using The Science Of Movement Progressions To Bust Through Your Plateaus

By Tyler Bramlett

I hear it all the time, “I’ve plateaued and I can’t seem to get (insert goal not met)”. But even worse then hearing it all the time, I once used to be a person who frequently said it. I know you’ve said it as well and the fact of the matter is as a human being it’s sometimes hard to believe the fact that we are responsible for our results.

You see, let’s say your goal is to be able to do 20 pullups, but you’ve fallen short time and time again. You work your butt off and can’t see what is going on to keep you from your goal. On the other side of the coin, what if you’ve been eating right doing all the right things but can’t seem to change your body at all.

If you’ve ever been here, then you know how easy it is to give up and say, ”so and so was wrong” or, “ my genetics won’t let me get there”. Plain and simple it’s easy to stop shooting for the stars and say to yourself I GIVE UP!


What if there was a better way to do things?

What if there was a way of improving everyday you workout? Of constantly ending your workout saying to yourself YES!! I DID IT!!!

Would you want to know what this way is?

Well, I’m here to tell you that such a way does exist and the reason you haven’t heard of it before is because only the most in the know in the high level fitness community understand it’s true power and potential.

In fact just last weekend I was with one of the most innovative and intelligent physical therapists in the country and through a loose conversation we discovered that we both knew and understood the power of this method of training.

What is this powerful way of working out that most people simply don’t understand?


It’s the science of Movement Progressions.

Before we go any further down the rabbit hole I want to take a moment to explain to you how movement progressions work. You see, when most people go to the gym they are told to do X sets of Y reps of a given exercise. Once they are capable of doing those reps and sets they are told to add weight and start over. This “resistance progression” is the foundation for almost every personal trainer and fitness magazine in the world.

Now, before moving deeper I wanted to say that progressive resistance isn’t a bad thing. In fact it is a necessary component of making movement progressions work properly. However, it is not the single factor you should be considering when trying to put together an awesomely result producing workout routine.

Enter….. Movement Progressions!

A movement progression is a series of exercises that become more challenging from both a resistance standpoint and a mental standpoint.

The simplest way to think about movement progressions is to think about a skinny little boy going to his first gymnastics class. He walks in and sees a man on the rings, ripped to shreds, performing the unbelievable Iron Cross. He decides right then and there that he will be that guy. But how? He can’t even do a pull up yet!

Here’s where the magic of movement progressions shine.

If this young weak gymnast has a good coach, he will over a period of time learn and master a series of movements that will eventually bring him to being able to do the iron cross.

He will start with something simple like body rows, when he masters those he will move to pull ups, when he is again ready he will move to muscle ups. This is where most higher-level workout warriors fail to go beyond. Then he will learn back levers, progressive range of motion holds and finally the Iron Cross.

Each and every workout he succeeded. Each and every workout he got a little bit better. And as a result of using a well-planned movement progression he can become the ripped strong guy who is capable of doing the unbelievable Iron Cross.

Now, does this principal only apply to the Iron Cross?

Of course not! After discovering the potential of using movement progressions in my own training and then in using them on my high-level coaching clients. I decided to take the time to create a series of movement progressions modeled around the many different movements of the body

Today I want to share with you just one example of a movement progression you can use to supercharge your pull up strength using no equipment other then a pull up bar.

Start at the first movement to test yourself and see if you are ready to move to the next. If you pass the test listed under each portion of the movement then move to the next progression. When you find a progression you can’t do, stick with it, practice it 2-3 days a week in conjunction with your other exercises and little by little you will improve and eventually pass the test and move on to the next progression.

Let’s Get Started!

Progression #1 – The Body Row

Using a TRX, gymnastic rings, barbell in a power rack or a smith machine set the height at about waist level. Grab onto your bar or rings and walk your body underneath so that your arms are directly underneath the bar. Perform 10 strict body rows bringing your chest to the height of your knuckles. If you can complete this then move onto progression #2

Progression #2 – The Pull up

Using a pull up bar, start in a dead hang position with an overhand grip and perform 8 strict reps making sure you return to the dead hang position on each rep. If you can complete 8 reps move onto progression #3

Progression #3 – Mountain Climber Pull ups

Using a pull up bar, start with a wide grip. Pull yourself up and towards your right hand, trying to touch the back of your right hand to your right collarbone. Come down slowly to a dead hang then repeat on your left side. Perform 3 to the right and 3 to the left for a total of 6 reps. When you can do 6 reps move onto progression #4.

Progression #4 – Top Position One Arm Hold

Using a pull up bar, grab the bar with a chin up (palms facing you) grip. Pull yourself over the bar and then gradually let go of the bar with your left hand, holding your chin over the bar with just your right hand. Hold for 15 seconds right and 15 seconds left. Once you complete the 15 second holds move onto progression #5.

Progression #5 – 90 Degree One Arm Hold

Using a pull up bar, grab the bar with a chin up (palms facing you) grip. Pull yourself to a 90-degree angle of your elbow, and then gradually let go of the bar with your left hand, holding this 90-degree position with just your right hand. Hold for 15 seconds right and 15 seconds left. Once you complete the 15 second holds start working on your One Arm Chin.

For the sake of not making this article go on for ever and ever and because I find that less then 1 out of 100,000 people can do the exercise from progression #5. I’m gonna stop recommending further progressions from there.

But… Do you see what I’m getting at? Do you see how you can build EXTREME levels of strength and piles of FUNCTIONAL MUSCLE by using movement progressions in your workouts? How about building a FUNCTIONAL BODY that is as impressive as it looks? Do you want that?

I do and that’s why I practice what I preach and built my entire workouts around the awesome science of movement progressions. In fact that’s why I created the first of many movement progression based programs called The Warrior Warm Up. This program uses the science of movement progressions to turn your typical 15 minute workout warm up into a highly productive routine that builds strength, flexibility balance and coordination without even having to change your regular workout program.

All you have to do is follow along to one of the 5 different movement progressions found in The Warrior Warm Up and in only 15 minutes you will learn how to do handstands, advanced yoga skills, develop massive hip flexibility and rid your body of tight achy muscles. This program is a one of a kind revolutionary program that was designed for people just like you who want not only the best workout routine but also the best warm up routine.

The bottom line is this… If you want a workout that you get better at every day, if you want functional muscles that are as impressive as they look, then you MUST use movement progressions in your training.

Now get out there and train!