When it comes to women’s fitness, will pull-ups ever get the opportunity to be a staple like they are with men’s fitness?
National fitness expert Chris Freytag, founder of Get Healthy U, says that pull-ups are some of the hardest bodyweight exercises around, as being able to churn out even a couple is evidence that a person is surprisingly strong.
And, despite fitness stereotypes and frustrating statistics favoring men in this Herculean exercise, there isn’t actually anything about the lack of a Y chromosome that keeps women from working their way up to doing one — or many.
Many societal stereotypes are frustrating for some women with big goals in the gym. But, high-intensity workouts such as CrossFit could be setting the stage for an age where all that’s irrelevant. “One of the things that CrossFit has been able to demonstrate is that women can do pull-ups, they can do these big movements — Olympic-style lifts and squats and deadlifts — and they compete with one another,” offers Pat Davidson, Ph.D., a former exercise science professor. “I think the reason is that women who do CrossFit work really, really hard.”
Check that: anyone who wants to accomplish a pull-up needs to work “really, really hard,” which is a sobering fact considering how many previous studies have suggested women can’t do pull-ups at all. A small University of Dayton study even concluded that, following three consecutive months of tri-weekly training sessions, 13 of the overall 17 female participants still couldn’t perform one pull-up. However, that doesn’t mean there’s a magic number for how often a woman should train, Davidson goes on, and it’s practically impossible to find out how well these female participants stuck with their workout plans.
Davidson suggests that you try to make each effort the best one you’ve got– rather than spending exorbitant energy on sets and reps. He likes to tell pull-up hopefuls, ‘You have this number of opportunities to do the most perfect lift for this particular exercise.’
Knowing that women aren’t pull-up-resistant will hopefully inspire many more to conquer the fitness peak that has bested so many. Because every body is unique, there’s no universal way to know how long it will take for you to accomplish a pull-up.
It’s really just up to you.
Always remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.
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