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Mastering the Pull Up

The two best feelings in the world in the realm of training that I have experienced are: the feeling of a perfectly balanced racing shell going at full speed with all 8 rowers in perfect synchrony and the feeling at the top of the last pull up that was 1 more than I thought I could do. It’s so simple and so glorious all at the same time.

I love the simplicity and the challenge of the pull up. All you need is a bar and enough space to hang underneath it. Yet you need the majority of the muscles in your body to be called to action. Being a rower, the pulling motion is my strong suit but it was not always that way. Even as a competitive swimmer in high school, it took a while for me to coax my lats and grip strength to give what it took to propel my chin over the bar- shaking all the way up. But then I was hooked.

So, if you wanna be a rockstar on the pull up bar there are a few things that need you need to come to grips with (pun intended!):

  1. Stop “shoulding” on yourself. We hear a lot of “I should be able to do a pull up” or “I should come in and work out more”. There is nothing you “should be doing” that is going to get you anywhere. Start thinking in the realm of what you want to or get to do. This isn’t some “self-help book” kinda crap- this is legit. Start speaking over your mind and workout what you “want to” and “will” accomplish. “I want to be able to do a pull up.” “I will do a pull up by the end of this month.” Then get up and put in the work watch it come true- and you’ll find that when you talk to yourself this way you’ll enjoy the ride not just the result.
  2. Learning something new and gaining strength takes time. Commit time each day to get there. And be prepared, this one might come with callouses. Get excited.
  3. You’re going to be addicted and 1 will not longer be enough and you’re goal will change and you grow and change. That’s part of the fun! Hello, muscle-up? And soon you will want to do a pullup on every free bar or beam that could hold your weight. (This might be just me? But if not, you have now had fair warning.)


Most importantly - come to our PULL UP LAB this Saturday, 2/11 at 10:15 and we’ll teach you proper form, tips and tricks and key strength moves you can do to do pull ups in no time!

Fly Feet Running - 21 Day Challenge