Please Support Our Sponsors and Advertisers!
JSF Amazon Mall
AtLarge Nutrition Results
John Stone Fitness
Brick City Bicycles

  
Go Back   John Stone Fitness Forums > Participatory Sports, General Health & Injuries > Female Health & Fitness

Female Health & Fitness General health and fitness topics specific to women.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

How many women can do pullups?
Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #1
Magoo
New Member
 
Magoo is offline
Join Date: Jun 27th, 2007
Posts: 6
Sex: Female
Default How many women can do pullups?

I am a 37yo female, 5'8" 132lbs, have stayed in reasonably good shape, but just started lifting weights in earnest. Currently I cannot do a single pullup, but really want to! I have been making some progress toward this goal (using the Gravitron at my gym) but have quite a ways to go.

I have searched a bit around the internet and have found some how-to articles, most of which suggest that very few women can do an unassisted pullup, and that hardly any women who are > their ideal body weight can do so. But when I raised this topic amoing a few random friends my age, who do not work out regularly and are to varying degrees out of shape, nearly every one told me that they can do a couple pullups. I suspect they are thinking back to the last time they tried... at age 16. Am I crazy or do you other women out there think pullups are pretty damn hard?
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 12:22 PM   #2
keldink
Senior Member
 
keldink's Avatar
 
keldink is offline
Join Date: Feb 11th, 2007
Location: Virginia
Age: 37
Posts: 170
Sex: Female
Stats: 5'5" 125 lbs
Default

I was never able to do a pull up until I started lifting. The last time I tried (maybe a month ago) I managed a couple. I don't do them on a regular basis, but now you have me wondering if I can do more. I'll try the next time I'm in the gym.
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #3
Fet
Member
 
Fet's Avatar
 
Fet is offline
Join Date: Dec 14th, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 105
Sex: Female
Stats: Age 44
Default

Pullups are hard. I started with the Gravitron, worked my way up to negatives. At the height of my last bulk I could do a set of 8, but while cutting I go back to the Gravitron.

Also I have RC issues that complicate things.

I think sometimes people who claim pullups are easy are really refering to chins, which are more bicep-assisted, and for me, easier.
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #4
JoeSchmo
Senior Member
 
JoeSchmo's Avatar
 
JoeSchmo is offline
Join Date: Nov 7th, 2004
Posts: 4,080
Sex: Male
Default

Don't feel bad ... I read a stat somewhere that the average GUY can only do 1 pullup. Most women I see at the gym usually do assisted pullups, but I suspect that most of them can do bodyweight pullups if they work at it. I saw one woman at my gym do 15 parallel grip pullups! I was very impressed.....
__________________
To gain, you must embrace the SUCK, go to the bad place, and learn the mysteries of the white buffalo. ~Wise Old Cajunman
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #5
JoeSchmo
Senior Member
 
JoeSchmo's Avatar
 
JoeSchmo is offline
Join Date: Nov 7th, 2004
Posts: 4,080
Sex: Male
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fet View Post
Also I have RC issues that complicate things.
I had RC problems for awhile too, which made pullups painful. Try doing parallel grip pullups -- I found those to be much easier on the shoulder.
__________________
To gain, you must embrace the SUCK, go to the bad place, and learn the mysteries of the white buffalo. ~Wise Old Cajunman
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #6
mastover
Senior Member
 
mastover is offline
Join Date: Jan 5th, 2005
Location: The 'hood
Posts: 5,179
Sex: Male
Stats: Pro Natural Bodybuilder
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fet View Post
Pullups are

I think sometimes people who claim pullups are easy are really refering to chins, which are more bicep-assisted, and for me, easier.
Add weight on these until you're doing 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps. Or do them Gironda style.....chinning up to the sternum, leaning back so that your back is perpendicular to the floor.
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #7
Magoo
New Member
 
Magoo is offline
Join Date: Jun 27th, 2007
Posts: 6
Sex: Female
Default

Thanks for the feedback.

If I remember correctly I think I am currently getting 50lbs of assist from the Gravitron (=38%) to do 10 reps. Am doing 3 sets twice a week (well after the first set I fail before #10, but I do as many as I can). So really I am only lifting 82lbs and have 50 lbs to go.

Is this the best way to go about it? Anything else I should add? Do I stand any chance of doing an unassisted pullup in 2007? Has anyone been in my shoes before and succeeded in the almighty pullup?
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #8
guava
 
guava is offline
Join Date: Feb 15th, 2004
Age: 41
Posts: 12,690
Sex: Female
Stats: Not as fit as I used to be
Default

I never had access to an assisted pullup machine, so I worked with the lat pulldown (various different grips) until I got to near my bodyweight, then moved over to the pullup bar to do chinups and pullup negatives, then moved on to multiple small sets (1! ) of regular pullups. It took less than six months to progress between these steps, and since then I've slowly been working on adding volume to each set.

You can do it!
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #9
zenpharaohs
 
zenpharaohs's Avatar
 
zenpharaohs is offline
Join Date: Jun 21st, 2005
Age: 55
Posts: 17,144
Sex: Male
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by guava View Post
I never had access to an assisted pullup machine
There is always this.
__________________
easy part is probably over

VO2max: 55
65 x 225# squat
50 x 315# deadlift in 9:50.6
31 x 405# deadlift in 9:45
46 x 410# trap bar deadlift in ten minutes

Quote:
Slim Pickens, a.k.a. Major Kong, captain of the plane, was not told the movie was a comedy. To save money, Peter Sellers was originally supposed to play Major Kong, but allegedly had trouble developing the Western/cowboy accent.
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #10
lou1974
New Member
 
lou1974 is offline
Join Date: Jun 18th, 2007
Posts: 2
Sex: Male
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magoo View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

If I remember correctly I think I am currently getting 50lbs of assist from the Gravitron (=38%) to do 10 reps. Am doing 3 sets twice a week (well after the first set I fail before #10, but I do as many as I can). So really I am only lifting 82lbs and have 50 lbs to go.

Is this the best way to go about it? Anything else I should add? Do I stand any chance of doing an unassisted pullup in 2007? Has anyone been in my shoes before and succeeded in the almighty pullup?
When I started working out again, I could only do about 4 pushups and I would just collapse.. I went back to it yesterday morning and whipped out 10 without any problems... hoping to get back to 50 in a row that I could do about 15 years ago.. of course that was right out of military school where I had a big mouth... heha.. Just workout and see what happens...
  Reply With Quote

Old Tue, July 10th, 2007, 09:05 PM   #11
Alana Calloway
Member
 
Alana Calloway's Avatar
 
Alana Calloway is offline
Join Date: Sep 21st, 2006
Location: Michigan
Age: 28
Posts: 63
Sex: Female
Default

I'm a 20 y.o. female and I can't do pull ups because I don't have the upper body strength so I don't even bother I remember when I was in High School and in Gym Class we had to do Pull ups as an activity I hated doing that but I have problems with my legs so I was excused from Gym the whole 4 years of High School
__________________
Taneisha xoxo
A Proud Blk Woman
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #12
Fet
Member
 
Fet's Avatar
 
Fet is offline
Join Date: Dec 14th, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 105
Sex: Female
Stats: Age 44
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmo View Post
I had RC problems for awhile too, which made pullups painful. Try doing parallel grip pullups -- I found those to be much easier on the shoulder.
I can do 1-2sets of 10-12 of parallel grip pullups. No pain there!
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 12:53 AM   #13
Fet
Member
 
Fet's Avatar
 
Fet is offline
Join Date: Dec 14th, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 105
Sex: Female
Stats: Age 44
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastover View Post
Add weight on these until you're doing 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps. Or do them Gironda style.....chinning up to the sternum, leaning back so that your back is perpendicular to the floor.
If I could complete even 1 sternum pullup, I'd be a happy camper.
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 04:36 AM   #14
mastover
Senior Member
 
mastover is offline
Join Date: Jan 5th, 2005
Location: The 'hood
Posts: 5,179
Sex: Male
Stats: Pro Natural Bodybuilder
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fet View Post
If I could complete even 1 sternum pullup, I'd be a happy camper.
Well I was a lot like Guava, I couldn't do 1 pullup. But after a while, you keep doin em and you get places

If you can do 10-12 pullups, you will eventually be doing sternum pullups. You're not that far behind! In fact, I bet you can do them now
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #15
zenpharaohs
 
zenpharaohs's Avatar
 
zenpharaohs is offline
Join Date: Jun 21st, 2005
Age: 55
Posts: 17,144
Sex: Male
Default

I'd like to put in a good word for inverted rows.
__________________
easy part is probably over

VO2max: 55
65 x 225# squat
50 x 315# deadlift in 9:50.6
31 x 405# deadlift in 9:45
46 x 410# trap bar deadlift in ten minutes

Quote:
Slim Pickens, a.k.a. Major Kong, captain of the plane, was not told the movie was a comedy. To save money, Peter Sellers was originally supposed to play Major Kong, but allegedly had trouble developing the Western/cowboy accent.
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #16
tennisball
Senior Member
 
tennisball's Avatar
 
tennisball is offline
Join Date: Feb 15th, 2005
Age: 37
Posts: 2,634
Sex: Male
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpharaohs View Post
I'd like to put in a good word for inverted rows.
I saw them called "Fat Man Pullups" on a few other sites. I think those would be a great way to work up to sternum pullups.
__________________
Zen: Of course the real reason I ate cocoa puffs is that I'm a retard, but that isn't as impressive to write.
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #17
zenpharaohs
 
zenpharaohs's Avatar
 
zenpharaohs is offline
Join Date: Jun 21st, 2005
Age: 55
Posts: 17,144
Sex: Male
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisball View Post
I saw them called "Fat Man Pullups" on a few other sites. I think those would be a great way to work up to sternum pullups.
From an athletic point of view, inverted rows are often preferred to sternum pullups, because of the shoulder health issue.

From a bodybuilder point of view, the two exercises work different muscles.
__________________
easy part is probably over

VO2max: 55
65 x 225# squat
50 x 315# deadlift in 9:50.6
31 x 405# deadlift in 9:45
46 x 410# trap bar deadlift in ten minutes

Quote:
Slim Pickens, a.k.a. Major Kong, captain of the plane, was not told the movie was a comedy. To save money, Peter Sellers was originally supposed to play Major Kong, but allegedly had trouble developing the Western/cowboy accent.
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #18
tennisball
Senior Member
 
tennisball's Avatar
 
tennisball is offline
Join Date: Feb 15th, 2005
Age: 37
Posts: 2,634
Sex: Male
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpharaohs View Post
From an athletic point of view, inverted rows are often preferred to sternum pullups, because of the shoulder health issue.

From a bodybuilder point of view, the two exercises work different muscles.
Right. But as a progression, it could work.

I actually saw the only bodybuilder from my gym superset the two yesterday.
__________________
Zen: Of course the real reason I ate cocoa puffs is that I'm a retard, but that isn't as impressive to write.
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #19
M@

 
M@'s Avatar
 
M@ is offline
Join Date: Jan 17th, 2006
Location: Washington, D.C.
Age: 40
Posts: 14,205
Sex: Male
Stats: 6'3" 213 lbs 36" waist
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magoo View Post
Is this the best way to go about it? Anything else I should add?
I would start trying to do one unassisted pullup before you get on the Gravitron. Just try to get one before your first set, each time. So much of what it takes to get you over the bar is occurring between your ears that actually training the free pullup is, IMHO, the best way to do them and do more of them.

At 5'8", 132lbs I'll wager you've got the necessary strength to weight ratio to get one out right now, but not the muscular coordination. People go from not being able to do one pullup to being able to get 4-5 in no time. The key is teaching your body to fire off the necessary muscles in the necessary order. Using the assisted pullup machine is a great way to work the muscles involved in the exercise, but in a completely different way than if it's just you and gravity.

Quote:
Do I stand any chance of doing an unassisted pullup in 2007?
You've an excellent chance to do an unassisted pullup in July. Certainly by the end of the summer.

Often linked Men's Health article on pullups, from getting just one out to improving your rep capacity.

__________________
M@ | After receiving our free video and literature, only 3 out of 10 people both view the video and read our literature. Those who fail to watch the video and read the literature are not very likely to purchase a ROM. It takes a small amount of discipline to both watch the video and thoroughly read the literature. ~ $15,000 Exercise Machine Marketing Crazy

Last edited by M@; Wed, July 11th, 2007 at 12:14 PM..
  Reply With Quote

Old Wed, July 11th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #20
JoeSchmo
Senior Member
 
JoeSchmo's Avatar
 
JoeSchmo is offline
Join Date: Nov 7th, 2004
Posts: 4,080
Sex: Male
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fet View Post
I can do 1-2sets of 10-12 of parallel grip pullups. No pain there!
That is VERY good by the way. I think alot of women just assume they'll never be able to do them, so they don't really try. You are proof that not only can women do them, but they can excel at them.

Heck, at 10-12 reps, you might even be able to start doing weighted pullups.
__________________
To gain, you must embrace the SUCK, go to the bad place, and learn the mysteries of the white buffalo. ~Wise Old Cajunman
  Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:50 AM.


Facebook   Twitter   RSS

Copyright 2004 - 2014, John Stone Fitness LLC