How To Improve Pull Up Score

How To Improve Pull Up Score


If you are keen and have queries, please contact Coach Rameshon at 9100 4369 or you can email him at or Please refer to website (for more information on him and his programmes)

By Rameshon

Bsc (Hons) Degree in Physical Education, Loughborough University (1992-1994)

Masters in Education (University of Western Australia, 2005-2008)


Health and Fitness

How to improve your Pull Up score?

My Experience

I remember doing my own 11 pull-ups when I was about 22 years old. At that time, my weight was about 55kg then. Doing the weights in sets, like 5pull ups x 3, done with 3min rest in between, I was able to 13 over 2-3months time.

However, over time, I increased my weight to 73kg in 2005. I was not even able to do even one pull up. Then, having a long term weight reduction programme while training for my marathon race, I was able to reduce my weight to 60kg and do 7 pull-ups.

Colin Ng’s Experience 

Over time, I met Colin Ng, a J1 Hwa Chong student, in March 2009 when I was teaching his class, soccer. During pull up practise, I found that Colin was not even able to do any pull-ups. From 0 pull up score, it is remarkable that he is able to do 7. This, he did it during the pull-up test as 1 of the 5 stations in NAPFA Test.

Let us look at Colin’s Story on how he was able to achieve this. I also believe that the commitment, drive to do well, determination and willpower have pushed this young gentleman to come out of having failed in NAPFA Test.

An interview with Colin Ng, a second-year college student from Hwa Chong

In JC One, when were you doing zero for pull up for a start?

Last year March. I just couldn’t do a single proper pull-up.

In order to help in pull up score, did you do other things to improve?

I did a hand exercise by stretching out my hand and repeatedly opening and closing my fist (do 200 – 400 times). Every time, I run on alternate days. However, before I could actually start doing pull-up practice in sets, there was no visible improvement – it could have trained other muscles not used in pull-ups.

Tell me how did you improve your score from 0 to 7. Did you do intervals etc. explain in detail?

Actually, I did 3 for last year, but because I didn’t practice over the holidays and term 3/4 I could hardly do one at the start of this year.

I just practised in sets. I started from 5 sets of 1, then increase to 5 sets of 2, 5 sets of 3…

How many months did you take to do this?

About 2 months.

When you achieved 7 for pull-up, how did you feel?

I feel very happy. At present, this is the first time I can do so many pull-ups. I also felt relieved that I wouldn’t be having to re-take the test and go through a lot more trouble.

What is your advice to those who want to improve the pull-up score for Napfa Test?

Just keep training, even if you can do one, do it in sets. Doing one alone is not enough, but doing one at a time (i.e. 5 X 1) over time will help. The same advice you gave me I will give it to others – lose weight first.

Do you have any advice to those overweight people who have 0 scores for pull-up?

Try a variety of exercise to try to reduce weight – sticking to the same exercise can be boring and not so helpful. I lost the most weight in sec 3 when I walked for about 1-2 hours at the Tree Top Walk almost every day during the holidays.


Edited By a Flexifitness staff!


By Narayanan
Rameshon has taught in Hwa Chong Institution, plus several schools, and Republic Polytechnic as well. He has won many accolades and he was awarded Merit Award for 1991 marathon performance in breaking the national record of Singapore, at that time. He has made 22 male athletes to do marathon in sub-3hrs. He has made 7 female runners to do sub-4 hours for marathon, as well. He was inducted to the ‘Roll of Honour’  by the then College of Physical Education, organised by Singapore Olympic Academy, in 1998, for breaking the National record repeatedly 4 times, till he did 2hr 24min 22sec).

He also has a Coaching group and he trains them on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7pm at Botanic Gardens. Those interested can call him at 91004369 for coaching assistance, to improve performance. There is also personal training that he does for many in a week. You can e-mail him at

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