The Mens Fitness video, featuring Andrew Stemler: How to muscle up on rings.

On this page we give you some upper body training ideas  based around Elite Ring training and great tips about pull-Ups..... Repeat after me, Pull ups are my friend, I love them very much.

If you want to train with London's leading personal trainer, drop Andrew Stemler an email on 


but lets start with those who have "NO PULL UPS"

Once you have a few pull ups, its 'easy' to keep adding to them. The real hard one is  getting that 1st pull up. I've struggled for 3 months to post a genuine article about getting your 1st pull up. This  is my 1st public draft.

I hope it helps.


If you have no pull ups, here are some essential things you must do.


1) get a pull up bar at home. Id say this wont guarantee success, but not having one at home will guarantee failure. Do not rely on getting to the gym, or to us for that matter. Also its  a private matter  between you and the bar: basically you have bar "issues" and sometimes its best to deal with "issue" in private

2) understand that a pull up is not  a rubbishy exercise like all those silly piltates wiggles and squirms that you do. Pulls ups are a predictive happiness test. If you have no pulls ups ( and this is especially true of ladies) No one of quality will want to marry you. If you refuse to get that 1st pull up, stop reading this and go and get some cats. That's all you will be good for.

3) look at your weight. Pull ups will be harder to get if you are over weight. That does not mean you wait until you are the "right weight" .Get going now. It will be harder, but as I often say. "you ate it, now hump it"  Actually, to take  a side step, if you are overweight don't set yourself the task of loosing a few pounds before you do anything, start living your life now- if you are overweight, and are miserable because you are lonely and boyfriendless/girlfriendless/loverless, put your details up on the raunchiest BBW site that your morality can stand, and hold on to your hat!  Big Girls and boys are always in demand,

You can only loose weight if you are  happy: beating off would be lovers with a stick. Is a very practical and measurable marker of happiness. Sitting at home feeling fat and ugly, makes you fat and ugly.  Sorry, that not really  about pull ups is it.


So, you cannot pull up. but you have your bar up. hopefully you can reach it by standing on the floor, or on a  low stool

objective 1, can you hang from the bar with your palms facing away from you ( for those in the know, this is the chin up grip thats a bit easier to begin with)

objective 2 can you hang  a bit longer
objective 3 can you hang a bit longer than objective 2. ( can you see where this is going)
To save a lot of time, can you get to hang on your bar for 10 seconds? when you can , go woohoo ( loudly so as to annoy your neighbours) and start on working out how to do your 1st negative.


Your 1st what?


Well in highly technical terms, right, theres the pulling up bit right, and then there's the lowering bit. Innit. At the moment you are not strong enough to do the pulling up bit, like, but if you were, er,   kind of already up there, maybe you could, er  lower yourself down a bit.  Alright.

Does sort of rather beg the question of "how do i get up there" Well here is the Andrew Stemler "Getting it up guide" ( apparently this is a good title that always sells)

  1. Jumping. Grab the pull up bar  but  instead of trying to pull yourself up, jump up so that your chin is above the bar .This can be easier said than done
  1. By standing on something.  Just stand on something that is high enough for you to start out in that already-pulled-up position.  a bench, a chair, whatever. Anything you can use as a mini-ladder would be perfect. Perhaps even a mini ladder
  1. Stand on something  "version 2"  Grab the bar and make your loser boy or girlfriend  (perhaps the one you got from the BBW site) grab your ass and push you up

Now, once you're in that top position, you're ready to do the negative part of the pull up. So, lower yourself down as slow and controlled as you possibly can. Focus on keeping really tight. I dont mean refuse to lend people money or get drunk, I mean "have  lot of tension in your body. Squeeze ( your own) bottom together.  Brace your abs, squeeze your legs together.

Your 1st lower ( we will call it negatives from now on) will either be agonisingly slow and hurt like hell, or you will fall straight through as you discover you have no strength: at all.
Once you have lowered yourself . Pop off the bar and reflect. Negatives are  very taxing. You need rest between each one and you should never do more than 6 to 8 in a session.So here is you beginner CHIN UPS FOR HAPPINESS  programme

Day  1) neg, neg, neg, neg,neg ( 120 secs rest between each negative)

Rest a day ( drink, eat cake, take all sorts of drugs. Smoking is especially good for you these days as it gets you out in the fresh air

Day 2 neg, neg, neg, neg, neg ( secs rest between each negative) ( so its not just day 1 repeated, its the same but with less rest!)


Rest a day ( put your own joke in!)

Day 3 neg, neg, neg, neg , neg (120 secs between each negative)


rest a day


Day 4 The next workout needs you to get that looser boyfriend/girlfriend again. basically they are going to try and help you pull yourself up and down. ( they get behind you, grab you... somewhere.... experiment) then they assist you to do....3 sets of  as many reps  as you can  with 120 seconds between,  so they grab you, and haul you up and down as many times as you can. Could be 1, you could do 2. 0r 6. Rest 120 seconds, Do it again 2 more times. Its my way of getting your body to see what the actual task is.

No a lat pull down machine is not a good substitution.

BTW. the set is over when they cannot push you anymore, not when you feel like it. You will want to stop early as it feels as it you are not doing the work: in fact its mainly you

But, what if you cannot get anyone to help you?


Well thats beyond this article:  but ideas could be to go next door and bug your neighbour, call up your x-wife.  Perhaps the guy selling the big issue fancies a couple of quid extra. Get creative, and find someone. Join a religious group and offer to host a scripture reading and slip your set in before you start as "movement prayer"

Rest 2 daysneg, neg, neg,neg, neg ( 90 secs rest)

2 days rest.

now its the big test. Get someone to help you do 1/2 easy  supported reps. Rest for  2 minutes.  Then  do your 1 pull up ( woohoo!) or hang there trying for 7 seconds. Then with 120 seconds rest neg, neg, neg.

If you  get that  pull up come and talk to us about getting more,  if not return to the beginning and start again. If you are very weak it could take many passes through to get your 1st pull up. But this regime works.




If you have nowhere to pull up from, check out Iron Gym, a demountable pull up bar   that seems to be  a customer friendly bit of kit.Its sold by  JML  Follow this link for some more info. If you look at the video, beware of the cheesy voice. ( I think you can get it from "all good stores", approx £30)





Buy some rings

if you get confused as to how to thread your rings together, here's a little You tube clip that could help

The advanced design of the Rings makes them unique in the gymnastics world. These are the first rings designed from the ground up for fitness training. Weighing less than three pounds, you can take them with you wherever you go. And the quick and easy mounting system allows you to hang them nearly anywhere. The selection of possible exercises is limited only by your imagination: pullups, dips, pushups, muscle-ups, body rows, the iron cross and much more is possible. The unique nature of the rings gives all of the exercises a fun, athletic feel.

  • Accessible for beginners, with gentle progressions towards harder skills
  • Advanced design keeps the rings stable, allows for quick mounting, easy adjustment and light weight
  • Torch your abs with uniquely effective exercises derived from gymnastics
  • Challenge yourself with the Muscle-Up, a move that works every muscle in your upper body
  • Develop a high strength-to-bodyweight ratio, like an Olympic gymnast

The unique value of ring training

Ring training is time tested and proven effective by thousands of gymnasts. For fitness, the Elite Rings are even better, because by adjusting the height, you have access to new exercises not possible on traditional gymnastics rings. For example, you can now experience pushups in a whole new light. The mobility of the rings forces you to stabilize them constantly, thus increasing muscular recruitment through your whole body. The mobility also allows for variations not possible on the floor or pushup stands.
The efficiency of your workouts will improve as you incorporate ring exercises in place of their traditional counterparts. By integrating more of your musculature, fewer reps are required to achieve the same results.
Safety is improved for several reasons. First, your joints are allowed to track naturally, because you can move and rotate the rings to wherever you find greatest comfort. You can even adjust your hand placement dynamically during each rep, ensuring safety and comfort from beginning to end. Next, your safety is improved because you must always be under control while on the rings. Flailing away with improper form is not even possible. Lastly, your stabilizers muscles engage automatically and protect your joints. On dips, you have no choice but to use your lats, otherwise the rings will fly away. On a dip stand, you might never learn to use your lats properly. On rings, safety never compromises performance.

Even if you are a bit of a wimp, there are still lots of "silly" exercises you can do with the rings even if you havn't yet cracked the muscle-up. Download the free Crossfit London 'Easy Ring Training Guide' and either use it yourself or lend it to your wimp partner or body builder friends.
This guide is also an antidote and an attempt to stop you wasting your time and money buying well- marketed, but inferior webbing contraptions that haunt the internet. if you need to suspend your hands or feet, rings are what you need.

Easy Ring Training



Now you may feel like working towards the muscle-up, so you may wish to download the proper ring training guide that includes a few 'easy'  drills as warm up, the A-Z pull-up guide by G Hayes (available free elsewhere) and Greg Glassman's muscle-up article (also available on the net). What this guide does have is numerous hints and tips to help you get the muscle-up.