• Tiger Joo

5 Interesting Facts I Learned About Pull-Ups From My Clients

My client smiles as she tries to do pull-ups for the first time (Feb 2017)

1. No one can do it 😐

Have you ever tried doing #pull-ups before? There are different ways of accomplishing it. You can grip the pull-up bar underhand (sometimes referred to as "chin-up" instead) or overhand. There are also pull-up bars for you to grip sideways. But from what I have been observing with my clients, YOU the person who is reading this blog CAN NOT DO a single pull-up or can barely do just one or two. Sorry for being so blunt 😐, and perhaps I may be wrong, but even looking at my last entire year of personal training sign-ups, I have not had one person who was able to do more than one or two pull-ups. If that person did just two pull-ups he was the only person who could do so compared to everyone else who signed up for training with me in the past year. So my conclusion is that within the general population, no one can do pull-ups.

2. The first pull up can take A LOT of work 😬

So I am not sure what you may think after I came to the conclusion that no one can do #pull-ups. But the other fact is, if you couldn't do it in the beginning, just to make that first pull up to the bar takes a whole lot of darn effort. If you're in the group of people who wish to get your chin up and above the pull-up bar, be prepared to do a lot of freaking work. To give one example, if I have a client who is really heavy or obese, he or she will first need to lose a lot of pounds, so that pulling the body up to the pull-up bar will take a lot less effort. And though losing body fat alone takes so much work, my client will also need to build upon his or her pull strength. In order to do so, you can see what I make my clients do from the few sample pictures below:

Definitely difficult exercises I am showing in these pictures! The better they get at these exercises the better the chances of them doing pull-ups!

3. The ones who can do a number of pull-ups from the beginning tend to be more athletic than others

As I mentioned, no one can do pull-ups. But if I get a client who can do them from the beginning, he or she tends to be somewhat more athletic if not very--especially for women who usually do not fare as well as men when it comes to doing pull-ups--compared to everyone else who trains with me. At first, I contemplated why might this be the case. However, I just mentioned in my second point, that to be able to do even one pull-up for the first time, it takes a lot of dam effort. So for the clients who are able to do pull-ups from the beginning, the chances are, they were regularly doing exercises to stay lean or have done strenuous exercises in the past to keep their pull-up muscles strong.

4. As athletic and strong as they are, women have the hardest time doing pull-ups vs. other exercises

Something about pulling your entire body weight upwards against gravity makes this exercise so difficult. I can have women who weren't able to do basic exercises using their own body weight such as lunges, squats, or even push-ups in the past to be able to do so now in a much faster rate than to do pull-ups without any assistance. Of course the lighter they are, the easier it is for them to do, but even in such cases, the ability to pull your entire body weight up with your two hands is a lot harder than it looks. In certain cases, I have trained very athletic women to do some of the most difficult exercises one can imagine, yet these same women may never be able to even do a single pull-up.

5. Reasons 1 through 4 Help Me Realize How Important Pull-ups Are For My Clients

This final fact to my blog may seem a bit obvious to say but having said everything about pull-ups in relation to my clients, I can conclude that people who can do at least a few number of pull-ups vs. people who can't, the ones who can are the ones who will most likely have a healthier and leaner body. The fact remains, pull-ups are so challenging that even very athletic women find it hard to accomplish. And for people to execute this challenging exercise, it may take rounds and rounds of other difficult exercises to achieve in order to finally achieve a single pull-up. 😁

Til next time. Cheers~!


© 2016


2404 Wilshire Blvd 11D Los Angeles CA 90057

Los Angeles Personal Trainer. Koreatown Personal Trainer. DTLA Personal Trainer.

​엘에이 트레이너. 한인타운 트레이너