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Why do pull ups?

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Instagram and facebook are littered with reels of gym goers on their profile pages either deadlifting or clean pressing a bar or a combination of the both and it’s gone on way too long.

If you’ve never trained before then it’s likely someone in your gym has convinced you that this is the way to train, and possibly the only way. But! If you know your way around a set of weights already and you've been into fitness for a while then this can be as dull as dishwater and hardly translates into meaningful or exciting training programs. What's the progression? Just another plate of metal on the end of your bar after months or years of work! Hardly motivating for most.

Like I've said before, gym is better than no gym and if you are the type to be led then you should hang in there and get the most out of it. However, If you happen to be a go-getter a dreamer, somebody with a little something about you that seeks harder, more challenging experiences through training then outdoor body weight (calisthenics) is the way to go.

Pound for pound the absolute fundamental strength test is being able to lift your own body weight vertically.

The pull up, chin up, muscle up, 30ft rope climb are no-go zones for many people as they stay in the safety zone of lifting metal bars off the ground. At least there they are safe in the knowledge that they can actually do it, with or without many plates on the end.

And this is the issue. Gyms sell people short by ‘setting the bar’ real low! They don’t promote exciting end goals like being able to bang out 5 muscle ups with ease or scaling a high rope outside in the snow at night. They keep the training horizons very close with basic movements which hook people in easy and a year later that's still what they are doing as they navigate the world of fitness alone and unmotivated.

LOFTY GOALS should be part of the grand plan from the start and regardless of current ability. We should be selling the dream of real strength, fitness and skill to all our new and old gym members!

At the training camp we recently taught 67 year old Dawn, who couldn’t do a pull up to climb half way up our 30 ft outdoor ropes frame. We motivated her enough to want to try and the rest was history, she owned it! She walked out of there a few inches taller i’m sure.

Injured or disabled are fair excuses for some movements, but failing those reasons each and every person, especially youngsters, should be encouraged to aim up and go big!

For lofty goals and decent instruction to get you there, come visit us at The Green Mile Training Camp, Cardiff.


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