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Old 10-25-12, 01:26 PM  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Georgia
Article about Women and Pullups~What do our P90Xers, etc. think?

I saw that Ellen Barrett tweeted a link to this article:

I can do one unassisted pullup (my son has a bar) and it's freaking hard! Actually, I've not tried it in over a year so may not be able to do that. I was wondering about our P90Xers~did that program give you success in this area? Just curious!
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Old 10-25-12, 03:32 PM  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: CA
Nope, no success in that area. I can only do assisted pull ups, it is frustrating. By the way, I am long limbed and tall... so it sounds like that is a disadvantage.
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Old 10-25-12, 03:39 PM  
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Tennessee
It's true for me

I'm not a P90Xer, but I will never forget taking a P.E. class in college to fulfill a general elective. The first day they did a fitness test and I couldn't do a single pull up. The instructor made a huge deal out of it. I was taking the class with my boyfriend and I was mortified. I wish I'd known then about this story, because I was so embarrassed that I dropped the class and took something else.

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Old 10-25-12, 03:41 PM  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Georgia
I've never done P90X. I am a short meson so I do think there may be validity in that.

Joan-that is awful about your class.
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Old 10-25-12, 03:56 PM  
Linda KH
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Kansas City
Hmmm...I have never been able to do a pullup, even after a couple cycles of P90X, and I have incredibly short arms and legs (or as my ballet teacher used to say, a verrrrry long torso).
Linda KH
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Old 10-25-12, 04:03 PM  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: On Canada 💗
I can do them... i like doing them. You have to have a strong back, chest, shoulders, triceps and biceps.. it took a lot of work.. but i can bang them out now. Lot's of women can do them. Pauline Norden does them with weighted plates!! I can do more than my husband.. he is 6'4 220lbs and not fat, i am 5'4 and 117lbs. Start with lat pull dows.. then do assisted ones then work from there... women CAN do pull ups!! Even if you do one.. you are still doing a pull up!! Keep working!
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Old 10-25-12, 04:05 PM  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Atlanta
I did P90X twice. In the beginning, I wasn't able to do a pullup or a chinup. By the end of my rotation, I got up to 6 chinups and IIRC 4 pullups. It also helps to have a low body weight since you are pulling up your entire body weight. I am short (5'2"), have a short torso and long arms and legs.

Legs & Back helped me the most. I guess because it alternated between legs and back. I think it was Back & Biceps in the 2nd month that gave me the most problems. The pullup with the towel was really tough for me.

They are definitely not easy. It also helps to have a strong core.

Proud P90X Grad
Brought it 4/9/07 - 7/7/07
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Old 10-25-12, 05:02 PM  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Interesting article. Never done an unassisted pullup. I'm long-armed, long-legged and short-torso'd so my body type might not be ideal for that goal....

I'm vaguely remembering a time when many municipal police and fire departments would use lack of ability to do a pullup as a reason that women weren't physically qualified to be officers/firefighters. A woman with whom I grew up broke the gender barrier at the local town fire department and she had to train like a dog to meet the pullup/chinup requirements for her fitness tests. This was someone who starred in every possible school sports team open to girls at the time (soccer, field hockey, basketball, softball, track) from grade school through high school, had strength and endurance to burn, and wasn't going to be 'fit enough' to be a firefighter?!?!?!
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Old 10-25-12, 05:06 PM  
Join Date: May 2011
When I'm not regularly including pull-ups in my training, I still have no problem pumping out 5-7 in a row. When I'm actually including them regularly, I can reach about 15 in a row and then rest and repeat a smaller set. I give the biggest credit for being able to do pull-ups to suspension training (ST) and actually doing pull-ups. A strong unified core (ST) and actually training for that specific movement worked like a charm. Traditional heavy weight lifting never did. In my experience, the training program they describe in the article sounds like a recipe for failure. Planks and push-ups would even be better than the exercises they describe.They only did isolation exercises (and one modified row on the bar). If they are not doing integrated core work that uses body weight (much higher than the typical dumbbell weight load), I'm not surprised that they failed to substantially improve their numbers. IMHO, they trained to fail. Why in the world would they think that training with less than body weight (you have to lift that weight when you pull-up) would be successful? I can see those exercises for transition but not for meeting end goal. And they don't mention any substantial core training. Pull-ups are so great because your core works in a strong, integrated manner. What really stinks about this article is that it will convince some women out there that they can't do pull-ups.

And ditto on being lighter--- for me even 5lbs makes a significant difference on exertion.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:00 PM  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: CA
Wow, I am truly in awe of all of you who can just crank out pull ups like nobodies business! I once challenged a little tiny (I say that because she is much smaller than me but VERY powerful) co-worker of mine to a "pull up challenge"! (Yeah, what was I thinking?) She kicked my butt because she could do at least a couple of pull ups and I could do none. I tried so hard that I actually strained my neck and was sore for days!!!! Hmph!
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katy bowman, pull ups, pullups

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