The Year of the Pull Up

As you may have heard, it’s a new year. 2013 to be exact. I’m not all that superstitious, but does it bother anyone else that we have to be “in 13” for an entire year? I kind of think we should’ve just skipped to 2014, but for some reason no one asked my opinion on that. Whatever.


I have deemed 2013 the Year of the Pull Up. 

Don’t laugh. It’s happening.

I even scored this over the door pull up bar from my bro and future sister in law for Christmas:

Pull up bar

In my first challenge of the Year of the Pull Up, I killed it, assembling the bar without assistance or completely screwing it up. I faltered a little with figuring out exactly how to install it on the doorway, but I worked it out, and it is safely hanging from my bedroom door. 

Since it’s a tension-based bar, it fits around the door frame and you don’t have to screw anything into the wall and inevitably fall on your face when you’ve done that part wrong, which already puts me ahead of the game. 

I can do almost one full pull up. But not really. Because the pull up I can do is from standing, grabbing the bar, picking up my feet, and then pulling up. It’s not from a hanging start position (if that makes sense at all), so I don’t think it really counts because I definitely can’t do one if I’m just hanging there. But I do do a lot of kicking and twisting and things that would probably be entertaining for others to watch but do not help in the actual pursuit of hoisting myself up. So. 

Shockingly weak

I’ll be honest: I don’t really have a plan as to how I’m going to make this happen. Just kind of something I’d like to do. Like the whole vegan thing. I just woke up one day and decided that was happening (more on that soon). But I have been doing a lot more strength training over the last 6 or so weeks, and I am already getting stronger, so now I just need to do other things to make myself be able to do a pull up. <–WHAT?!?

Also, if I succeed in this endeavor, it will be my first pull up probably ever. I know we all remember the Presidential Physical Fitness test in gym class (I was a rockstar at the Sit and Reach, btw). The pull up was my nemesis. I know they eventually let you do some kind of hanging hold thing instead of the pull up (for us weak girls, don’t you know), but it was so not badass. Pull ups? Badass. 

Who out there can do a pull up? Advice por favor!


16 thoughts on “The Year of the Pull Up

  1. I have been strength training my ass off for 2 years and still can’t do a pull up from hanging position. I can do them with a small resistance band. Maybe get one of those, start with that till you get stronger. You’ll just wrap it around the pull up bar, put one knee (instead of a foot) in it so you can hang, and pull up from there. That’s what I’ve been doing in Crossfit and I’ve gone from using 2 big bands, to one big band, and now I’m on the smaller band. So that damn pull up has got to be close by now.

  2. Ok, so ive never been able to do a pull up, ever! So, last year, glen bought us the same over the door bar and my 2012 goal was completing pull – ups. One bit of advice is donttry too hard, too fast! You will end up twisting your way to a back spasim or pulled muscle – trust me…i know your level of determination! lol
    2nd…start by hanging – all the way up…then slowly lowering yourself. It works! I swear, i worked it every other day for months and then i coud do one, then 3 then 7! BUT…pull ups are like push ups…. Stop – and u have to work your strength up all over again.

    We had a rule in our condo – put the bar by the door that you 1st walk past every day when leaving and entering your home. Do what you can everytime you pass by…even if that means just hanging…you’ll be shocked at how fast the strength comes!

    Xoxo from Trinidad

  3. Desiree@ichoosehealthyandfit says:

    So yeah, um I can’t do a pull up either … or a push up on my toes … and I can only do 3 on my knees. I’m thinking this may be a good goal for me too. I put strength training on my resolution list, but maybe with a more specific goal in mind, it may actually happen. Kind of like how I have to sign up for race to keep me motivated to run everyday.

    Why is it that so many runners have so little upper body strength? It seems like all my runner friends are in the same boat. 🙂

    Anyway, good luck & I can’t wait to see if you make it happen!

  4. Nice goal! I remember seeing one of the trainers at the gym using a the back of a bench for her client to use in order to progress to doing full pullups on her own. As you get stronger you depend on it less and less. You can use a chair instead of a bench. See Level 3A in the following link: You also might want to try negative pullups (Level 3B).

    I also remember those Presidential Physical Fitness tests. I remember our gym teacher letting us cheat w/ the pullups. I think the girls only had to do one. She’d let us run, jump off of this humongous rolled up matt, and hand on to the pullup bar. Thinking back, it probably wasn’t the safest thing to do AND she was teaching us to cheat. LOL. Good memories though. 😉

    • Thanks for the link! I will check it out! :)

      That is too funny about the gym teacher–hey, at least she had realistic expectations!


  5. Shaun says to climb on a chair, grab the bar, and move the chair a bit so you can lower yourself very slowly. He explained all the scientific anatomy stuff, but you know me, I can’t hold on to info like that. Anyway, he said if get to the point where you can do 3 sets of 5, you will build your strength enough to do a pull up. Have fun!

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s