Pull Ups 101: Red Bull Doesn’t Give You Wings… Pull Ups Do!

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs Run For The Pizza by Emmeline. She came up with a super duper idea to have a contest: All you have to do is to train to do as many push-ups and pull-ups as possible. Now, it really works out perfectly for me! Why? Because I literally SUCK at doing both of these exercises!!!

Oh well, at least I’m not alone…



*Okay there, Justin Bieber’s fans, calm down! This picture IS funny! Haha!*

However, in all seriousness *hmmm… not sure if I could really be serious after that picture…*, I could really benefit from this challenge, since I have to strengthen my arms and core big time to successfully complete the Spartan Trifecta this year.

I actually was really good at doing pull ups when I was 10-11 years old. I remember how impressed some older boys looked at me when I would go for a set of pull ups or ‘walk’ the entire curved monkey bars back and forth. *Ah, good old days!* Imagine my shock, when I asked my hubby to put up his chin up bar and tried to do a couple of them… It was a BIG FAIL!

big fail


*Believe me, this what your reaction would look like if you saw me doing them! I SWEAR!*

I must admit though, Justin was very supportive and even told me I was doing great… *Yup! I guess that’s what they call a great husband. LOL!*

Anyhow, back to the subject. There are many benefits of pull ups:

  • Strengthen fingers, arms, shoulders, back, and core;
  • Can be done pretty much anywhere;
  • There are many variations of pull ups; thus, the intensity of the exercise can be adjusted easily;
  • Get your heart rate up = make that fat sweat!

pull up your big girl pants



My commitments is to be able to do at least 30+ push ups and 15 pull ups in a row by summer. I think, it’s doable. What do you think? In any case, I’ll have to videotape it, so now my pride is on the line too! Haha!

I was trying to look online for some guidance on how to get this thing started and came across this great post by another blog that I love, The Art Of Manliness. Here is what Brett suggests.

“So if you’re ready to start cranking out pull-ups, here’s your routine.

If you currently can only do one pull-up, start out by doing 12 sets of 1 pull-up with a 45 second break between sets. Do the routine two times a week. Once you can do two pull-ups, begin this routine:

Week 1: 6 sets of 2 reps. 45 second break in between sets. Twice a week.

Week 2: 5 sets of 3 reps. Twice a week.

Week 3: 4 Sets of 4 reps. Twice a week.

Week 4: 3 Sets of 6 reps. Twice a week. If you’re able to do more, go ahead. Like I said, by this time I was able to increase my reps to 10.

When you get to the point that you’re able to do more than 12, it’s time to start adding weight to your pull-up routine.”

In my opinion, it sounds like a reasonable plan. Does it?

progress vs perfection


Need some motivation? According to the Guinness World Records, here are some EXTRAORDINARY achievements:

  • Most pull ups in 1 minute: 41
  • Most pull ups in 1 hour: 1,009
  • Most pull ups in 6 hours: 3,288
  • Most pull ups in 12 hours: 4,020
  • Most pull ups in 24 hours: 4,030

Anyone dares to compete with any of these? Haha! Well, let’s start from a baby pull up first!



What are you focusing on right now? Are there any exercises you’d like to improve on? 



Filed under Fitness, Health

29 responses to “Pull Ups 101: Red Bull Doesn’t Give You Wings… Pull Ups Do!

  1. Love!! I’m developing my training plan today too 🙂 I’m starting with assisted pull-ups though until I can do a real one!

    • WalkToRio

      I will have to take part of this.
      My goal, 10 pull-ups, I just gotta find a place to do them and do not feel embarrassed when my arms stop responding to me lol

    • Yay 😀 From what I was reading yesterday, try not to do too many assisted pull ups since a big part of this exercise is mental. I asked my hubby to put the chin up bar on the first floor, so I pass by it very often 🙂 Before leaving to work today, I think, I squeezed in like 5-6 (solo, mind you) pull ups 😀 I am determined!!! ❤

  2. Okay, so first I have to work up to one pull-up and then I’m in!

  3. I love the baby pictures! So cute. Good luck with the challenge 🙂

  4. I’ve always found it easier to do push ups than pull ups. You could even shoot for a higher pushup goal. I’m currently at 27 pushups and 3 pull ups. 10 pull ups would be nice.

    A tip I picked up from another trainer is to start your pull up with your chin above the bar then slowly lower yourself down, really controlling the movement. Also if lat pulldowns are part of your workout routine, gradually add weight.

    Looking forward to seeing how your training goes! Good luck! 🙂

    • Hey Sheena! Thank so much for the tips! I am pretty sure, I’ll be able to do more than 30 push ups, that’s why I put 30+ just to be safe haha! *I don’t like to be disappointed in my results, so I try to be reasonable with my goals lol I think I can do 10-15 at the moment*.


      PS. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I never used to be able to do regular push ups until around December, when I literally surprised myself by doing them lol. It was an awesome moment for me :D…now pull ups…no way! I can probably do one a week if I concentrate really, really hard and make the worst facial expressions ever -_- I can’t subject the people at my gym to that LOL
    Good luck on your challenge btw 😀

    • Haha! Giselle, you are hilarious! I am sure you can do a few even within a day. Btw, as I mentioned in my post, I don’t subject anyone at the gym to my ‘tortures’, I use my hubby’s chin-up bar at home. you should do the same 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!


  6. absgoldberg

    I’m doing this challenge too! My goal is 10 pullups and 75 pushups, if you can hit 15 pullups by the summer you will be my hero 🙂

  7. runawaybridalplanner

    My upper body is not the best, I really should give myself a pull up challenge!

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  9. LOL I can’t even do 1 pull up! I’ve never been able to – too fat and weak.

    Oh wait! Do assisted pull ups on the pull up machine at the gym count? XD hahaha

    My goal in life is to be able to eventually do 1 pull up. Actually, that was the crowning move on my torn rotator cuff about a year or so ago. It started with dumbbell front raises and ended with assisted pull ups. I should get back on that machine now that I’m stronger…

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  14. I train a client in a park here in Paris and the only suitable place to do chin-ups and pull-ups is the climbing frame in the childrens play area!

    The looks that we receive from both parents and children is priceless :-).

  15. Most trainers have no imagination, although the play area is pushing it a little ha ha.

    Happy to meet you for a coffee when you arrive and so feel free to follow my new blog also, to keep in touch. X

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