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The Power Of A Pull Up

The dreaded pull up! It still puts the fear in me as I remember trying to do “a pull up” in gym class for the presidential fitness award or whatever it might have been called. All I know is this… I could barely do one! Fast forward about 20 years and I can bust out just about 7 or 8 clean “no kipping”. At 6’3″ 220lbs ish that is not bad!

How many can you do? Leave your answer in the comment section below. Would love to know and don’t be afraid to say 0 or 1… we can fix that!

So what do I mean when I say “The Power Of A Pull Up?” I mean a few things, but don’t be afraid if you can’t do , or can barely do one. You can read an awesome post over at Fitness Life Change on how to do more here Just follow that and you will be well on your well to increasing your pull up strength. We won’t take away your man card just yet. 😉

The funny thing is you will see a lot of jacked up dudes in the gym, that really struggle with body weight exercises, being one of them. When you start to master the pull up a few things will happen.

  1. You will increase core strength. On your way to a better six pack
  2. Huge increase in upper body strength. Pull ups are to your upper body like squats are to your lower body.
  3. Insane grip strength! Go try and just hang from a pull up bar. I bet your grip will go first… MANLY HAND SHAKES!
  4. Fat Loss – Whenever you do any body resistance exercises your really jack your heart rate up.
  5. Functional Strength: It would be really cool the next time you were out and about and you could scale a wall, climb up some crazy obstacle, or do some other feat to impress people…
  6. Overall strength: You will fee an overall increase in strength and you progress with your pull up training.

One of the great things about as with other body weight exercises is they can really be done anywhere! No expensive equipment, no gym membership, maybe just a $30 door jam pull up bar and you are good to go! Push Ups… just get on the ground and have at it!

I would almost guarantee that if you were to take the next 2 – 3 weeks and follow the link from above with the pull up training a few things would happen.

  • You are going to feel more solid overall.
  • You know those muscles in the back that make you look good in a T-Shirt? Yeah those will start to pop!
  • You will fee your overall strength in the gym increase while doing other exercises.

So you can see why I say The Power Of A Pull Up! You might be saying whatever, or it’s just a pull up, but if you are saying that you probably can’t do one. The real truth is that functional strength is something that isn’t brought up too much these days. When I say functional strength I mean having the strength and ability to get us through life and daily survival. Pull ups and other body weigth exercises play a huge roll in that. Heck even top athletes and actors have mainly focused on body resistance and have had great results. Take Herschel Walker for instance, this guy was doing like 1,000’s of sit ups, , push ups a day! Yeah a day… and I think he still does. He is an interesting dude you should read up on some time. Art of Manliness has a great article on him and his workouts here You should check out some actors workout routines as well. I am not sure if you have watched The Arrow, but the character “Oliver Queen” played by Stephen Amell is a pretty jacked dude and he is a huge believer and follows body resistance and functional strength exercises on a daily basis.

Bottom line? DO SOME PULL UPS!! Get stronger, feel stronger, function stronger. It is a win win!

Again I would love to hear some feedback below in the comments section.

  • Can you do ?
  • If so how many?
  • Do you feel are one of the top things you can do to get stronger, build muscle, and feel good?


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About Josh Lew Josh Lew lives in the Midwestern US when he is not traveling. He is a columnist for Gadling and has contributed to Hackwriters and Skive Magazine.

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