Pull-ups?

Hey friends!

WOW. Just wow. Yesterday was craazzzzyyy. One thing after another got thrown my direction. Good news, bad news, work projects, texts, phone calls. It was just nuts. It made the day go by really quickly though!

I love my life & my work, but sometimes I really love to just hang out with the husband in the evening and then going to bed early.

Is it sad that I sometimes think about how excited I am to go back to bed when I wake up?! Hah. This girl LOVES sleep.Loves it. And whoever said sleep is a waste of time doesn’t have a good mattress. Or an eye cover. Or comfy sheets.

Just sayin’.

{This was staged. But I am sure my hair looks this good when I sleep too.}

Anyways.

Here’s a pretty great/hilarious read: 25 things you need to forget about

And happy voting day to all us U.S. people! Cheers that our FB feeds & TV ads (if I watched TV), will no longer be papered with crazy voting antics after today.

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And for today, I wanted to touch on the idea of Pull-Ups. No, not the baby/kid kind. ;)

The fitness kind.

It’s mostly coming from my reading this post about why women can’t do pull-ups, but also from personal experience as well.

Pull-Ups?

In the post I read this:

Marines say a male recruit should be able to do at least 3 pull-ups or chin-ups, but women are not required to do them. In school, 14-year-old boys can earn the highest award on the government’s physical fitness test by doing 10 pull-ups or chin-ups: for 14-year-old girls, it’s 2.

I actually knew this because of my education, and I personally experienced this in gym class when I was younger.

I am tall (5’8′), so I’ve never been able to really do several pull-ups in a row. Like maybe 2 in a row. And I watched my shortie friends bust ‘em out like it wasn’t anything. I seriously remember being annoyed and baffled that I couldn’t do that many because I was always pretty active.

There is pure science and anatomy behind why it’s harder for me to do a pull-up than someone shorter than me, or even a guy. Notice I said HARDER. Not impossible.

Now though? I can do assisted ones. And to be honest, I haven’t tried to do a ‘regular’ one as of late. (But I want to from this research and see if I can. Hah).

Anyways, the researchers went on to conduct a study:

To find out just how meaningful a fitness measure the pull-up really is, exercise researchers from the University of Dayton found 17 normal-weight women who could not do a single overhand pull-up. Three days a week for three months, the women focused on exercises that would strengthen the biceps and the latissimus dorsi — the large back muscle that is activated during the exercise. They lifted weights and used an incline to practice a modified pull-up, raising themselves up to a bar, over and over, in hopes of strengthening the muscles they would use to perform the real thing. They also focused on aerobic training to lower body fat.

By the end of the training program, the women had increased their upper-body strength by 36 percent and lowered their body fat by 2 percent. But on test day, the researchers were stunned when only 4 of the 17 women succeeded in performing a single pull-up.

So no matter how fit they are, women typically fare worse on pull-up tests. But Vanderburgh notes that some men struggle, too, particularly those who are taller or bigger generally or have long arms. This is related to an interesting phenomenon: if you compare a smaller athlete to an athlete who has the same exact build but is 30 percent bigger, the bigger athlete will be only about 20 percent stronger, even though he has to carry about 30 percent more weight.

“We’re a combination of levers; that’s how we move,” Vanderburgh said. “Generally speaking, the longer the limb, the more of a disadvantage in being able to do a pull-up.

(source)

Interesting, eh?

{source}

And as a reminder, as women, our hips/lower body tend to carry more body fat (for obvious reasons. birthing. cough.) than men, so this adds to the phenomena as well. And probably why the Marines don’t even require women to complete a pull-up.

Now you know (if you’re tall and are a woman), that is way tougher for us to do pull-ups.

It’s TOUGH, but not impossible.

And if you do complete a few pull-ups, I think you deserve a massage. :)

*****

Have a GREAT day!

I am teaching a very early BP class and then off to work I go.

A HUGE P.S.: Go to Ashley’s blog & check out the registry she set up for a fellow friend who lost everything (house/clothes/furniture/ALL of it) in Staten Island during Sandy. Every bit helps as they try to rebuild their lives & have a Christmas for her 2 kids.

Can YOU do a real pull-up?? What do YOU think about this phenomena?? Is it accurate in YOUR case?? Was YOUR Monday crazy too?!?!

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Comments

  1. I must admit I cannot do a real pull-up. I can do 15 push-ups, and flash biceps that make some envious … but I seriously cannot life myself up from that position!
    Goal.Set!

  2. Linz @ Itz Linz says:

    Omg I used to be able to bust out 10+. Then in sixth grade I could only do two! Mrs. Warner gave a talk about how girls bodies change and they lose upper body strength. “Take Ms Williams for example..” I’ve never been more embarrassed and my body hadnt even changed yet!! Lol

  3. I actually had no idea about this…I just figured it was that guys tend to be stronger and that was it. Interesting. I can’t do them. Now I have a better idea of why!

  4. I never thought of it this way! I’m 5’7 and despite developing some good upper body strength lately I cannot do a single pull-up. Now I feel better knowing I have an excuse! (still want to get there one day, though!)

  5. oh gosh, this brings me back to PE class when we had to do all that testing! It was not my forte…

  6. I’ve always been pretty athletic, but I don’t think I could do a pull up now. I remember being able to do 1 when I was a lot younger and felt like coolest girl ever. I hate how guys have such higher standards than women sometimes. It makes sense, but it always makes me want to prove the “standards” wrong. Yay motivation!

  7. Mondays are always crazy days for me too… My work day is longer and busier, and it’s also the day I usually do our grocery shopping. It’s nice to get the long day out of the way at the beginning of the week though! I hope today is a little less crazy for you!

  8. This brings back total gym class memories and shame. HA!!

    That study is so interesting! Where do you find this stuff?? Thanks for the share.

  9. Okay I no longer feel bad now for SUCKING at pull ups. I wanna be able to do one SO badly but I just .. can’t. :( One day maybe.

  10. Wow…them be some serious guns, I have to be careful not to make you pissed off at me lol

  11. I have never been able to do a pull-up! I am 5’7″ and have long arms (and long legs!), so I feel like the research is very accurate in my case. I love the assisted pull-up machine, though, because I feel like I can actually do pull-ups :)

  12. I worked my rear off this summer, upped my upper body strength by a third, and dropped 4% body fat, and STILL can’t do a pull-up. I feel so much better about my life now. I’m still determined to get there, but for now, I am at least going to be nicer to myself. Thanks for posting!

  13. I think pullups are very cool, but have never been able to do an unassisted one. I think it would be a fun thing to actually focus on one day actually, something on my bucket list!

  14. I definitely can’t do pull-ups. And most “body weight” exercises are tougher for me because I weigh a little more than I should- but they kick my butt! I can do assisted pull-ups though!
    I like your staged photo :)
    And- I’m glad to learn that you’re 5’8″! I pictured that you would be shorter- probably because it seems like all bloggers are shorter than I think. I’m about 5’7″. We tower over Janetha. :)

  15. I did not know this! I am very short but can’t do unassisted pull-ups. I’m really hoping to change that once I get my left shoulder/lat/pec sorted out at PT :)

  16. Thanks for sharing this study, I found it really interesting! I’ve actually never tried to do one, but I’d love to be able to try it. Chin ups also I’d like to be able to do- just to say I can ;) Hhaha.

  17. I read that same study, Neil sent it to me the other day. I think you are on the right track with they are DIFFICULT, but not IMPOSSIBLE! I have so many lady friends –tall and small– busting out pullups like it’s nobody’s business. I strive to be better at them! It’s a fun thing to work on!

    I would love to come to one of your classes sometime!

  18. I have never been able to do a pull up! I wish I could. I’m 5’1″ and that doesn’t help me any!!!

  19. Sophie says:

    I spent MONTHS hanging off the pullup bar, doing strengthening exercises and assisted pullups and (after a good year and a bit) it paid off. It’s slow, a bit hit and miss and not exactly pretty but I can now do a pullup (one at a time!)
    My plan is to be able to link 3 by May (by hanging off the pullup bar, doing strengthening exercises and assisted pullups- I’m nothing if not original)
    So guess I’m saying hang on in there ladies (pun intended) they are doable, you just have to be bloody-minded about getting them
    Xx

  20. Phoebe says:

    hi annette – just came across ur old post tday. do u wear an eye cover to sleep? my mum bought me one, and while it made me sleep better, it always slip off in the middle of the night. Do you have the same problem?

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