Pull ups are hard, but they are one of the few true tests of strength. I say this because some powerlifters can bench 600 or squat 800, but they also weigh 300+ and can barely manage 5 pull ups. This is one of the few exercises where you can measure relative fitness by comparing the ratio of the number of pull ups completed to bodyweight. Some of you might get mad at me, talking about powerlifters training for strength rather than endurance, but the fact of the matter is that when I was powerlifting I could still do 15 pull ups at 195 lbs.
Now, let me take you back to high school gym class… the year was 1993, I was 15 years old. Mr. Buatti the gym teacher, who happens to bare a striking resemblance to Coach Buzzcut, called my name to stand up in front of the class and do an many pull ups as I can. The football jocks each knocked out from 10 to 20 and the wiry tough kid with only 3 fingers on one hand completed 14 of them. I got 3. It was humiliating.
Now we come back to the present. Recently I started doing pull ups again after a year layoff. On my first set, I got 5 reps. A week later I was up to 8 reps. Just yesterday I did a set of 11 reps. But I want more. I’ve done 18 pull ups before; I’ve also done 5 pull ups with a 45 lb plate hanging off a belt. So, how can I get back to that place? How can you get to that place?