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Pull-ups test upper body strength

How Many Pull-ups Can an Average Man
Do?
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November 11, 2010, last updated August 12, 2012
By L. Carr, Contributing Columnist



Pull-ups are tough. You’ve probably got that figured if you’re one of
the thousands of men who struggle to complete even one. Pull-ups are
tough because they make you lift your entire body weight. But while
pull-ups make you work, they also give great results. The pull-up works
on the biggest muscle group in the upper body, the latissimus dorsi, as
well as giving biceps, triceps and shoulders a workout. The pull-up
builds your grip strength and increases endurance. You also develop
your abdominals as you stabilize yourself through the core. Pull-ups
may be beneficial but can you do them? Are your memories of pull-ups
linked to failing in gym class and you’re wondering how to get past that
humiliation? How tough is tough – what’s the average and should you
be able to do more pull-ups?

How Many Pull-Ups Can a Soldier Do?

Probably more than the average man on the street. But the pull-up is
not included in the Army Physical Fitness Test that all recruits must pass
so there’s no concrete way of comparing yourself to average U.S.
military personnel. However, the Army Rangers want successful
candidates to be able to do six pull-ups before joining Ranger School.
Ideally you should be able to do more than 12 and between 15 and 20
chin-ups if you want to be part of this tough Special Operations unit.

How About the Average Man?

According to opinion on the web, the average man can do one pull-up.
In a poll on Bodybuilding.com, 56.3 percent of men claimed to be able
to do between one and five pull-ups, 27 percent claimed between six
and 10, 10 percent said they could do 11 to 16 and a little over 6
percent could pull-up more than 17 times. So you’re not alone if you
can’t get past the bar. The good news is that pull-ups are tough but
they’re not impossible. You can’t do one pull-up because you’re not
doing enough pull-ups – sounds strange but it’s all about practice and
building up muscle strength and the best way to do it is to step up to
the bar.

How to Do the Perfect Pull-Up

























The perfect pull-up is within your grasp, so get ready and go for it.
Hang from a pull-up bar with your hands a little more than shoulder-
width apart, palms facing away from you. Cross your feet over behind
you and pull yourself up. Simple as that. Your chin should reach above
the bar. Lower yourself until your arms are straight and do it all over
again. A chin-up is the same as a pull-up but the grip changes – you
use an overhand grip for a pull-up and an underhand grip for a chin-
up. Chin-ups are a little easier as you’re using your biceps more. Test
yourself and see how many you can complete.

How To Increase Your Pull-Ups

If you can’t complete one pull-up, you’re not yet strong enough to lift
your body weight. It may sound obvious but you need to build
strength and you can do this by negatives.

Negatives are half pull-ups, going down. Put a bench or chair under the
bar so you start with your chin above the bar. Slowly lower yourself,
keeping good control with a stable back, until your arms are straight.
Hang for a count of five to get used to holding your own body weight.

If your current pull-up total maxes out at two to four, you need to get
stronger and believe you can do more. Do more sets but fewer
repetitions. If you can only do two pull-ups, do one pull-up then rest.
Do another pull-up and rest. Increase the number of sets over time but
not the number of pull-ups in a set.

If you can currently do five to seven pull-ups, you’re strong but you
need to work on endurance.

Do as many pull-ups as possible, rest for a minute, then repeat. Your
goal is to do 30 pull-ups, no matter how long it takes.

Increase upper body strength with free weights, completing dumbbell
rows and biceps curls. If your gym has an assisted pull-up machine,
use it. This machine takes some of your weight as you practice your
technique and build strength.

But don’t rely on this – nothing beats an actual pull-up. The more you
practice pull-ups, the more you’ll be able to do. (Read more about
how
to strengthen your back and shoulders.)

The Book of Alternative Records: Pull-Up Records For Men

Most Pull-Ups in One Minute
50
Jason Petzold (USA) and Matthew Bogdanowicz (USA)
20 June 2009 and 12 Nov 2009
Millington, Michigan (USA) and Castro Valley, California (USA)

Most Pull-Ups in 30 Minutes
543
Stephen Hyland (GBR)
5 Jul 2010
Stoneleigh, Surrey

Most Pull-Ups in One Hour
1,009
Stephen Hyland (GBR)
1 Aug 2010
Stoneleigh, Surrey

Most Pull-Ups in Six Hours
2,968
Stephen Hyland (GBR)
24 June 2007
Stoneleigh, Surrey

Most Pull-Ups in 12 Hours
3,165
Jason Armstrong (USA)
30 May 2010
Anastasia's Club Fit Pacific Grove, California

Most Pull-Ups in 24 Hours
3,355 (attempt ended after 15:48 hours, leaving the rest of the time
unused)
Jason Armstrong (USA)
30/31 May 2010
Anastasia's Club Fit Pacific Grove, California





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