Project Pull-Up

So, last week I told you of the call of the pull-bar, and my goal to do one dead-hang pull-up by my 46th birthday.  Today, I give you an update on this goal and announce “Project Pull-Up.”

After consulting with my former nutrition counselor/current “coach” Traci and my trainer, Daniel, and researching pull-ups, I’ve found out that:

  • 70% of girls and 40% of boys ages 6-12 can’t perform just one pull-up. (At least compared to these stats, I was not in the minority when I couldn’t do one in fifth grade!)
  • Pull-ups are quite difficult, even for those who are very fit.
  • Pull-ups are more difficult for women, due largely to upper body strength disparities between men and women.
  • One of the fittest women at Doctors Wellness Center, also one of the fittest women I know, has only recently been able to master one dead-hang pull-up.
  • While a dead-hang pull up is a good goal, it may not be realistic to expect that I can master one in four months, especially given my inclination toward elbow issues.

So, the revised plan is for me to work toward three strong assisted pull-ups, and once I master that, move toward a dead-hang pull-up. To achieve that, here’s what we’re doing:

  1. Of my two training days, one will especially focus on upper body and practice assisted pull-ups. I haven’t found a good picture, so I’ll try to explain. I step up on a big wooden box and grip to rings hanging from the ceiling. I put each foot in a resistance band and stand on the box. I step off the box and pull up as far as I can; Daniel pushes me up by the feet to get me even higher. Then I slowly come down.
  2. On non-training, cardio days, I’ve work on strengthening my forearms by doing two to three wrist rolls. I did these when we were doing “rehab” my elbow. (They look easy, but they are tough!)

We’re two training days into this, and it is really a challenge. But it’s kinda fun having a new challenge.

Updates to come! Until then, wish me luck…

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