A while ago I wrote an immensely popular post on “Can heavier people do pull-ups” which was received with mucho interest, and plenty a comment or two.
Being that most adults cannot even hang on to bar for any length of time, the topic of heavier people doing pull-ups and how I addressed it sparked a lot of interest.
In fact this was one of the additions I made to my now bestselling “Pull-ups – from DUD to STUD within a matter of WEEKS“. In that book I tell you exactly how being overweight hinders your progress with pull-ups – and yet – YES – as I’ve said in the past and continue to do so NOW, heavier people – CAN INDEED do pull-ups!!
It’s not so much your overall weight, folks – it’s the weight you carry around your MIDSECTION.
ANY and all excess flab is ruthlessly exposed by the pull-up. Think the guy who benches 500 lbs with a huge gut is the be all and end all of strength?
Well – great. Take that guy to the chinning bar, and tell me how he performs.
Or get him doing a handstand pushup – or handstand, for that matter, and we’ll see!
With that in mind, most people have asked me this too – – why do LIGHTER people have an easier time doing pull-ups?
Well – the answer might shock you – or might surprise you – they don’t always!
In fact, many a heavy strongman in the past has repped out more pull-ups in a day than your average skinny Joe would dream of repping in a year, despite the obvious lack of flab.
What do I mean? Why?
Well, this morning I was out there in the park getting through my pull-ups after a classic 0 Excuses pushup workout.
And a few schoolboys playing truant (or “bunking” as they like to say here, hehe) showed up towards the end of it all.
They looked at me swinging myself across the monkey bars, and tried to do the same. One succeeded sort of – flailing about wildly. The other two couldn’t.
All this time I was repping out slow and easy pull-ups by the dozen, and I heard one of the kids remark to the others.
“You think you guys are strong! Well, let’s see y’all do what he is …. ” (this said in the local language of course, but I’m getting the translation across pretty much verbatim).
Bear in mind that these kids had NO excess fat, as opposed to many obese kids you see these days.
They had wasp like skinny waists – – and while that might sound good, it’s not – especially when accompanied by toothpicks for arms and legs.
And the only way the first one was able to do the monkey bars swings is because of how he furiously flailed about with his legs – something you do NOT do during the exercise – at least not if you want to reap the benefits!
Ever seen a monkey move it’s legs while swinging from tree to tree?
I think NOT, my friend – and this reliance on the upper body during the exercise is what builds incredible grip and shoulder power – both for our simian friends and for us!
Anyway – back to pull-ups – despite their lack of fat, and despite their obvious endurance, NONE of the kids could even do a pull-up – not even a kipping one.
And when 14 year olds can’t do pull-ups – – while a 38 year old reps ’em out almost effortlessly, you know there’s something wrong – and something that needs to be addressed!
OK, so I lied on the age. I’m ALMOST 38 … hehe – but the point stands regardless!
So message of the day?
It ain’t necessarily about how much weight you carry – or don’t. It’s about FAT around the MIDSECTION – -and the lesser you have, the easier you’ll find pull-ups – but this doesn’t mean you don’t need strength.
It doesn’t mean you don’t need to get good at pushups FIRST.
It certainly doesn’t mean you don’t work the supplementary exercises I’ve mentioned in “Pull-ups – from DUD to STUD within a matter of weeks!“.
And no – lack of fat ain’t the ticket to the party either, my brother.
So there you have it. Long answer to a short question. See if you can decipher it!
P.S. – My China “return” trip is being planned as I type this. My wife just gave me a “to do” list before I go, hehe, and my OWN “to – do” list upon getting there is NOT to sleep in – or recover from “jet lag” – its to jump straight into a hill workout that I haven’t done for months. Boy am I looking forward to it!! I’ll keep y’all posted – and in the meantime, y’all remember to grab Eat More – Weigh Less – a product that is close to my heart – and my fat burners as well!
Created right on the very hill I keep talking about – – here it is – – https://0excusesfitness.com/eatmore-weighless/
P.S #2 – Here too is the link to the much vaunted 0 Excuses Fitness System, which is a must grab if you’re serious about getting in the BEST darn shape of your life – – http://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/