There’s a reason for old sayings like ‘you must pull your weight’! Because, on a fundamental level it matters that you can ‘pull your own weight’ – as a bodybuilder, as a human being.

The old school ‘pull-up’ is a fabulous way to add size to your upper lats and thereby develop your ‘V-Taper’ (the ‘V’ shape in your upper body). Here are some pointers:

1. Don’t shy away from making use of an assisted pull up machine if necessary, to help you get started in gaining strength for this exercise. You’ll be surprised at how fast you progress and are able to reduce the machine assistance required. Eventually you will be able to sling a weight around your waist to create even more resistance for yourself.

2. Consider ‘grip-strength’. If you’re finding that your grip is actually giving out before your lats, a good idea is to use wrist straps. Don’t let your upper back workout lose out just because your grip isn’t up to the task at hand. Grip can be developed separately and improves as your training progresses due to the simple fact that bodybuilders use grip in almost all their exercises to build muscle.

Bodybuilding legend Franco Columbu shows how it’s done.

Eventually you will be able to sling a weight around your waist to create even more resistance for the movement.