How Many Pull-Ups Can You Do?


Can you do 3,355 pull-ups? If you can, you may have a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The record for most pull-ups in 24 hours is 3,355, set by Jason Armstrong in 2010. For most men and women, however, doing 3,355 pull-ups would be extreme. According to the President’s Fitness Council, both men and women over the age of 18 should be able to do about six pull-ups to be considered in “borderline” shape. To be in “good” shape, a person should be able to do ten or more pull-ups. Navy SEALs require that their recruits do eight pull-ups in order to pass their physical fitness test.

Pull-ups are great exercise

They work your latissimus dorsi (lats), trapezius, rhomboids and teres major muscles in your back as well as muscles in your arms and shoulders. Furthermore, pull-ups can be accomplished by both men and women. Do not believe the myth of the “girl pull-up,” when females are told that just being able to hang on to the pull-up bar is good enough. Women are just as capable as men of doing pull-ups.

Practice at least 3 times a week

In order to become better at doing pull-ups, you should practice at least three times a week. To do a proper pull-up, grip the pull-up bar and pull yourself up so that your chin is on top of the bar, then slowly let yourself back down. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart. If you place your hands apart any wider, you limit your range of motion, making pull-ups harder to do.

Grip the bar

When doing pull-ups, you should also grip the bar so that you are looking at the back of your hands. However, if you have problems with your shoulders or this grip is uncomfortable for you, you can try gripping the bar so that you are looking at your fingers. Using this grip is considered doing a chin-up instead of doing a pull-up. Because this grip allows your biceps to exert more power, chin-ups can be easier for some people to do than pull-ups.

Negative pull-ups

If you cannot currently do a pull-up, you can work your way up to doing a proper pull-up by practicing “negative” pull-ups. Instead of pulling yourself up, you can stand on top of something, such as a stool, or have a spotter hold you up so that your chin is over the bar. Then, step off your stool or have your spotter let go, and slowly let yourself down so that your arms are straight but your feet are off the ground. You can lift up your feet if needed. Try to hold on for at least five seconds.

Over and over again

When you are doing your exercises, you should do more to practice than just doing pull-ups over and over again. Many other exercises can strengthen your arm and back muscles, which will make pull-ups easier for you to do. If you have access to a lat pull-down machine, using it will strengthen your back muscles. While sitting, pull the bar down to your collarbone. Keep the bar in front of you, as you can hurt yourself if you pull the bar down behind you. In order to strength your biceps, use dumbbells to do bicep curls. Hold the dumbbell so that your palm is facing the ceiling. Bend and straighten your elbow, moving the dumbbell from your hip to your shoulder and back to your hip again.

Like any skill, being able to do pull-ups takes practice. Even if you cannot do six pull-ups now, you can work your way up to it if you put in the time and effort. Once you are able to do your target amount of push-ups, keep pushing yourself and keep exercising your back and arm muscles, and you’ll be able to do more and more pull-ups. If you keep at it, maybe one day you’ll even find your name next to Jason Armstrong in the Guinness Book of World Records.