The Fit 50 – No.14 Complete 10 Strict Pull-ups

50 Fitness challenges to shake up your fitness journey.

How many can you do?

No.14 Complete 10 Strict Pull-ups

I think it is difficult to say you have good upper body strength until you can complete at least 5 to 10 strict pullups.

This can be a difficult exercise to those who carry a lot of muscle or weight or have long arms, but tough luck – it is one of the key exercises for upper body strength. Always aiming for a smooth movement and trying not to bring your knees up to help. A dead hang position should be found between each one.

If this is easy as pie to you try adding some weight, why not? Now when I am talking about pull ups, I am referring to pronated grip (hands over the bar) with chin clearing the bar and chest touching the bar at the top. The chest should lead the movement.

When the hands are the other way round – supinated grip (hands gripping under the bar), this is called a chin up. A chin up is generally considered an easy exercise to perform.

A pull up is a difficult exercise to improve in, I know it took me a long time to get better, constant frustration at the slow progress. It brings great benefit to upper body strength if you stick with it.

Often seen in CrossFit with kipping, this is where a momentum is used to perform the exercise. This takes away some of the strength element and moves it into a more technical gymnastic type movement.

How many pull ups can you do? The US marines use pullups in their fitness tests, although they do also allow you to switch to chin-ups (if you don’t touch the ground). What is your total?

My Experience – Not my forte by any stretch of the imagination. At one stage of my life I could complete 12 strict unbroken pullups, not now, however. I blame my long arms, but really my lack of persistent practice is the problem.

Fun Fact – David Goggins completed 4030 in his most pull ups in 24 hours world record, he is a master motivator with an incredible story, check out his book – Can’t Hurt Me

Elite Challenge – 100 reps for time – under 10 minutes

Alternate Test – Max load pull up – create a one rep max score

Fit Fifty Challenge – Completing 10 unbroken strict pull ups

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