The next fitness challenge – Twenty continuous pull-ups

After the hundred push-up challenge and then going from 0 to 5 pull-ups, my next goal is the Twenty pull-ups challenge.

Why pull-ups? They develop the arms, shoulders and back and help create that V shaped body that everyone likes. I prefer workouts that use body weight and exercise multiple muscle groups instead of isolating single areas using weights. Like push-ups, pull-ups are also easy to do with minimum equipment. After my initial success with cross-fit and pull-ups, I knew I had to incorporate pull-ups into my routine.

The twenty pull-ups site follows a similar layout to the hundred push-ups site. It has a customizable, progressive plan that takes you from 1-2 pull-ups to being able to do 20 continuous pull-ups within 6 weeks. For those of you who can barely do one pull-up, the site even includes two additional training weeks that have you trying half pull-ups.

Most people won’t have as much of a challenge getting through the first five pull-ups as I did, but if you do, reading about my initial pull-up journey may help. Personally I found it more useful to do assisted pull-ups with weights when starting out with my first few pull-ups. I could barely do even one pull-up when I started out.

For people who would like to be able to do pull-ups at home, I’d recommend buying a good pull up bar like the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar. It is very easy to assemble, attach and remove from a doorway. Having something like this at home means you can do a quick pull-up anytime you want instead of having to plan and schedule a workout at the gym.

I am on week 3 of the pull-up challenge right now, and did 26 pull-ups in five sets yesterday. My workout on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays has now become doing 150+ push-ups for the push-up challenge, about 20+ pull-ups for the pull-up challenge and then finally running on the treadmill for a couple of miles. I still can’t believe I am able do all of this. 6 months ago, I could barely do 1 pull-up, and even the prospect of starting the hundred push-up challenge was scary.

Its amazing how easily stuff seems to happen once you decide to just get started by taking small incremental steps to achieve big goals.

UPDATE: I enjoyed the final week of both the push-ups and pull-ups challenge so much that I incorporated them into my daily workout routine. It is a reasonably hard-core workout that is focussed towards getting fast results while being sustainable and is an ideal way to get toned and in shape without needing too much gym equipment.

UPDATE 2: I successfully completed the twenty pull-up challenge by doing 21 continuous pull-ups today. I will continue to keep Week 6 of the pull-up challenge in my weekly workout