If you remember I want to do 10 pull ups by my 40th birthday. Before starting on this goal I've never even been able to do one pull-up. Not one! Not even a little bit! My current record is 4--which feels really big for me! And it has taken a lot of effort to get here. That being said I have less than 2 months and 10 pull ups is A LOT. So we'll see.
Today I thought I'd tell you a little about how I got to the point of actually being able to do a pull up. I mean if you can't even pull yourself up a little bit, how are you going to be able to get to the point of doing an actual pull up and eventually many pull ups? So here are my best tips for getting to the point of actually being able to do a real deal, legit, big-girl pull up. First, it should be noted that you'll need some sort of bar to pull yourself up on. I purchased this one.
So that's it! With these three tips, and an overall workout routine that includes 20-30 minute total body workouts, yoga, walking, I've been able to get to the point of doing pull ups. In real life! This is seriously exciting for me.
--There is some discussion about the difference between a pull-up and a chin-up. Technically I've been doing chin-ups. Most people consider a chin-up to be easier than a pull-up. From what I've read it depends on the person. For example, my 9 year old finds pull-ups easier than chin-ups! For me the chin-ups are easier and are what I've been working towards. Since this is a personal goal I'm not going to split hairs between a chin-up and a pull-up and I feel great about my progress.
--I should also mention that I don't do my pull-ups (or chin-ups) from completely straight arms. I'm not a professional body builder. Again for me I feel really proud of my progress, but for any true fitness fanatics out there, they might cry foul if they see that I start with slightly bent arms. Just out of curiosity, are there any fitness fanatics who want to weigh in on this?
--It's interesting to see how different bodies are more naturally capable of and I try to keep this in mind. For example, when I was already in the process of working toward this goal but still couldn't do one pull-up a friend of mine said, "I've never tried a pull up before...let's see if I can do it." And she went to the pull-up bar and proceeded to do 2-3 pull ups right then and there! I couldn't believe it! She told me not to feel bad though because she didn't even think she could do 10 push-ups in a row. Which did make me feel slightly better because I can do 25-30 push ups. Like anything, natural ability can certainly play a role in fitness goals.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is not about how I look, but about how I feel. That's not to say I don't fight the demons of body image, I do. Daily. But it's been really satisfying to set a measurable goal, and watch and feel as my body has adapted to the stress I've been putting on it by growing stronger week after week. Hmm...sounds a little bit like life.
Best of luck with those pull-up goals!