How To Add Weight To Pull Ups?

Pull ups are an amazing workout one that does plateau when you can't do anymore. So before you go up in weight you should go down in resistance (weight) so you can do more reps. You can go down in weight by using a chair, bench or chin up max.

I wouldn't start adding weight to pullups until you get over 20 reps after that point it would be okay to add some weight to build more strength and reduce the reps again.

So how do you add the weight to your pull ups? 

There are many options actually to adding weight to your pull ups:

  • Hold dumbbell between Your Feet
  • Dip belt with weight
  • Backpack with something heavy in it like books
  • Weighted Vest

If you would like to get the Best Pullup Equipment on the market shipped to your door in 2 days look below:

Weighted Pull Ups Dumbbell

If you have dumbbells you can do weighted pullups pretty easily. Start with a lighter dumbbell put it in between your feet and cross your legs. Do this sitting down on a bench first and lift your legs up.

Get used to that feeling before you transition to the pull up bar. Put it between your feet and get a hold of that pull up bar and lift up. Not much too and you also won't be able to do that much weight but it is nice for a start.

There are two ways to complete this cross your legs as described the problem here is if you get in trouble dropping the weight will not be easy. So if you think you might get into trouble try just putting the weight between your feet down by your toes. This is easy you get into trouble you spread your feet.

The upside to doing dumbbell weighted pull ups is that you only need one dumbbell. The downsides are you won't be able to do much weight and you also need to use a real dumbbell where the expensive dumbbells like our favorite (PowerBlock) will be hard if not impossible to use.

Ankle Weights For Pull Ups

Ankle weights used to be a big thing back in the day. I used to run with ankle weights until I heard they were bad for your knees then I cut back on it. But they are a great thing for this for sure.

Again probably won't be able to do as much weight but most won't need much weight.

Belt, Chain, Add Weights For Pull Ups

Most of you that weight lift have probably used what many call a dip belt and that is what this is. Same thing just use it for pull ups. Be careful not to add to much weight as it can hurt your back here.

Be careful when you dismount from your pull up as well.

Backpack For Weighted Pull Ups

You can just use a normal backpack. Now I wouldn't use one that you have had for years that you can see through and the strap is ripping. You can go to walmart and buy some decent backpacks for 5-10 bucks and they are sporty.

Throw any kind of weight like books, weights, sandbags, etc. into it just don't put to much in there at first until you know your backpack can hold it.

The downside to this is your backpack may not last for a long time doing this as most aren't made to do this kind of work with that amount of weight.

Weighted Vest For Pull Ups

If you have a weighted vest for running or doing other cardio workouts then this can be a route to go. You can purchase one at online retailers for decent prices like Amazon. They have them for both women and men.

There are adjustable weighted vests as well that are a little pricey but as long as they last you can get the use out of them for many different kinds of workouts.

How Many Weighted Pull Ups Should I Do?

This has a ton of variables. I wouldn't always go to failure as you want to be able to do more sets sometimes.

But if you have done enough pull ups to add weight to them you should know what your body is capable of doing. Just be careful since you have extra weight to carry and that can cause an injury and also an injury from a fall.

Don't go to failure until you know how to dismount safely. If while holding your pull up bar you are a couple inches off the ground you have less to worry about of course.

Weighted Pull Ups Results

If you have been getting results from regular weight-less pull ups you will see those results improve and push yourself to the next level.

More weight equals more strength and more size when you want it so go get.

Related Questions

How Much Weight Should I Put On Pull Ups?

When adding weight to pull ups you need to be very careful. I would start with 5lbs then increase by 5 lbs until you are getting challenged.

Are Weighted Pull Ups Necessary?

Weights pull ups are not necessary at all….until you need them. When is that? When you can do a boat load of pull ups with just your bodyweight. Some where over 20+ reps.

Then look to add weight this will in turn help you build strength, size and increase your results.

When Should You Add Weight To Dips?

Only add weight to dips when you can do 20+ on your own just using your body weight. Then look to add about 10lbs or more then add more to that. Be careful and watch your back make sure you are lifting the weight correctly before getting onto that dip bar.


I know this is probably going to be for a smaller audience and that is okay. I haven't reached the point to where I need to perform weighted pull up. Now weighted dips I love doing and do that upwards of 45-90 lbs at times and love it.

I know people who do weighted pull ups and they have gotten great results from it meaning they are jacked. This can be a great goal to do and something to work towards in your fitness journey.

There is some amazing viral videos going around where people move on pull ups like they are floating in the air and this is one of the ways they have gotten there.

Here is a beginner video on that:


Tab Winner

We are fun loving family that lives on a small farm and tries to be healthy. We are not fitness fanatics we are just trying to keep things simple especially with how busy our lives are. We have a few horses, a few dogs, and a young daughter along with a big extended family. Follow us on our journey. I hope you enjoy the website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Please check back for updates!

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