I did my first ever pullup, now I can’t stay away from the pullup bar!
I’ve always wanted to do pullups since I can remember but was never able to do it because of two reasons:
- I don’t have access to a pullup bar because I do bodyweight training exercises at home.
- It’s harder for women to do pullups because we have less back muscles and more fat than men.
It is only this year that I committed to mastering pullups, and here’s how my pullups journey started:
Equipment: pullup bar and resistance band
Part of my commitment was to buy my own pullup bar. I bought my pullup bar, the type of bar you twist and turn to a door frame.
The other equipment I bought was a resistance band. Fitness trainers suggest using bands for assistance. The resistance band helps push you up as you try to pull yourself. The resistance (or weight) of the bands vary. The shorter its length and thicker its width is, the easier the pullup will be for you; the longer the length is and thinner the width is, the more challenging the pullup will be for you. There were five resistance bands to choose from the store. I tried each band to know which resistance I’ll buy. I settled for the medium resistance. Think of Goldilocks when you buy your bands: choose just the right resistance. The right resistance makes the pullup easy and challenging at the same time.
Training Program: Pullups App
The uniquely named training app I followed was Pullups Workout. My boyfriend downloaded it the day I bought my bar. You don’t need to register, you can get started after installing it. On your first use, the app will assess your training level based on the number of pullups you can do. Since I couldn’t do pullups at that time, I used the band during the assessment. I forgot which level I began on but I started with nine pullups. The app breaks down the goal into 5 sets which makes it 2-2-2-1-2 with 60 seconds break in between. You’ll level down or level up based on the feedback you’ll enter on the app.
Other than my pullups training, I also did my regular bodyweight training.
Coach: My Fitness Accountability Buddy-slash-Boyfriend
Before I committed to my pullups journey, Coach Boyfriend would always remind me that pullups can help me survive life-threatening situations like when I’m hanging on a cliff. I facetiously respond “even if I haven’t mastered pullups, I’ll still survive because of adrenaline rush. People can do anything when adrenaline kicks in.”
He’s the one who installed my bar and downloaded the app. He also checks in with me at the end of the day to check if I’ve done my pullup training.
If you’re serious with your training, having an accountability buddy will do wonders!
Duration: Six Months
I aimed to do mine in sixty days, but it took me six months. However, it’s possible to master it in a shorter period.
Take these BuzzFeed ladies, for example, they were able to master pullups in 60 days. These ladies had extra resources like barbells and big gym equipment while I only had my bodyweight and suspension trainer. The gym equipment they used and their other activities played a big factor in achieving their first pullups in 60 days.
Don’t compare your pullups training journey to mine or to the BuzzFeed ladies. You may achieve it in 60 days or six months, just follow your pace.
The Shocking First Pullup
A few days before my first pullup, I had already been thinking that nothing was happening in my training. I’ll be using the resistance band longer than I planned to. I was frustrated already.
On the big night, past 11 PM, I got hungry, so my boyfriend and I went downstairs to prepare midnight snacks. I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t done my pullups training for that day. However, Coach Boyfriend discouraged me from doing it because I might get a boost of energy, so I didn’t. He stepped out to smoke for a few minutes. I followed him and reached for the pullup bar. It didn’t have any resistance band, but I tried to pull myself up anyway — and to my shock and Coach Boyfriend’s shock, I was able to do a full unassisted pullup! Thinking it was just luck, I tried again, and I was still able to do it!
Like anything in life, you’ll get what you desire as long as you put in the work. Show up, take action every day, and you’ll eventually master pullups (or any goals!)