by Jay Hiller, August 23, 2022
About 5 years ago, I mentioned to my hair dresser that I wanted to learn to do a pull up. When she gave me a link to an Instagram account with someone showing an on-ramp exercise to the pull up, it made me realize it was something I could learn to do. I’ve gotten a lot better and it’s going slowly.
I started off doing exercises from a Mark Lauren book, Body By You which had a helpful self-assessment that told you where you should start. I started by wrapping a towel around a column in my house, holding onto the ends and pulling myself toward the column. Then I moved to Australian Rows under my kitchen table, negatives from a chin up bar hanging in my closet and one day, I did this dorky little jump and accidentally pulled my chest up to the bar. Unassisted that’s where I’ve been stuck for a while. A full range pull up (or even chin up) just eludes me–so far. My friend, David, the personal trainer watched me on an assisted pull up machine one day and told me I needed more assistance. Then he gave me a demanding routine to do with all that assistance which I can tell has made me stronger. I’ve managed to take 2 lbs. of assistance off. (4 lbs. off on a good day.)
As I wrote in an earlier post, the process of learning something is more meaningful than actually achieving it and this has been quite a process. One of these days, I’ll post in here that I did a full-range pull up unassisted. Then we’ll all go out for ice cream. Who’s with me?