Assisted Pull-ups: The Mystery Unraveled

Up until this point, no one ever really knew how much assistance the various bands provided when used during a pull-up. This made calculating work performed and avg. power output for band-assisted pull-ups impossible.

By the way, which is harder: using blue and purple (or plain) bands together, or just using the green alone? And just how much harder is the blue band than the green band? What about blue and red? We get these questions all the time at our gym.

During the process of incorporating power calculations into beyond the whiteboard, we decided to measure and quantify the assistance provided by the various colored bands. We now know very accurately how much work is being performed by the athlete during assisted pull-ups. These numbers depend on the weight of the athlete, the distance they travel during a pull-up, and the band(s) they are using for the pull-up. This was a huge step toward our goal of enabling comparison between Rx’d and scaled workouts based on work/power output.

Based on our findings, we have created a PDF that shows the relative assistance of the various bands and band combinations, and have made it available as a free download. We hope that CrossFit Affiliates and individual CrossFitters alike will find it a useful addition to their gyms. Feel free to print it out and post it near your pull-up bars, that’s what we did!

Pull-up Band Assistance Chart

bandassistcolor

Color Version PDF
Black and White Version PDF
*Updated on Jun 24th to include more combinations

Jonathan Kinnick and Corey Tripp

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4 Comments

  1. December 11, 2009 / 9:30 pm

    Excellent article, good looking weblog, added it to my favs.

  2. December 5, 2010 / 5:43 pm

    Excellent! This is much appreciated and will be helpful for a long time.

  3. Vivian Votava
    June 10, 2011 / 7:49 pm

    I wish you gave the formula for how much work was done based on weight, distance/height, and bands. It is great to have this chart, because it tells you the band combination to try next. Thanks! We posted the chart on the wall next to where the bands are kept.

  4. July 31, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    Now mission Will be to compare the bands from our box with the chart because they don’t have the same thicknesses, for example our red is the rhinestone, and purple is between green and blue. It would have made it easier if all band colours followed a unique standard :-/

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A biweekly newsletter curated by the btwb team. Our goal is to be simple, yet informative. The format will contain a quote, a WOD (with detailed stats from btwb), a throwback CrossFit moment, and a training article.