T Nation

1-Arm Pull Up Bet


Not sure if this is the right forum to post this in, but:

I'm working towards a one-arm pull up, due October 17 2012.
I've got a few ideas of how to get there and what to focus on, but I'm looking for more input.
Any ideas/tips? Anybody that's actually capable of doing them right now?


It's not


Check out the Strongman forum, I think there are a couple posts about the one-armed chinup.


I did a one armed pull up a couple years ago.

My buddy has a simple formula. Most people who can do 30+ pull ups can do a one-armed pull up.

That said, one armed pull ups are dumb and painful. They are also worthless for bodybuilding.

read this



Familiar with the website, thanks. :slightly_smiling:


check this climber dude doin 1 finger pullups. Its insane.


Since we're not discussing bodybuilding, has anyone made any interesting quilts lately?


I did. Made a real doozy the other week.

The reason I know is that I showed it to this Amish guy and he's like "wow, that's one fuck of a quilt!". Then he asked me if I wanted to get high. In retrospect, I'm a bit suspicious that he was actually Amish, but the quilt was a quality one regardless.


Did you bang his hawt amish daughter on the quilt?


I know a guy who could do one arm pull ups, he could do pull ups for reps with 110LB round his waist.

Good luck


so you are telling me if i could do a one arm pullup weighing 250lbs that it would be worthless for bodybuilding? You are telling me if i can pull almost 250lbs with one arm it is worthless for bodybuilding. you're crazy.


impressive stuff!


To answer your question OP - no, i cant do them

But, i can hazard a guess as to what would help you reach your goal

a) 1 arm pull ups on an assisted pull up machine

b) 1 arm pull ups where your feet are touching the ground from the starting position and you use your legs a little to explode up (promblem with this is it would be hard to measure progression. ie - you dont know how much force your actually using from your legs)

c) less functional but 1 arm pull downs on a lat pull down machine

d) 3-5 second negatives on 1 arm pull up (debatable how much this would actually help, depends on your view of eccentric training

d) work all assisting muscles involved in the motion - lats, bi's etc... in isolation to build strength

Seeing as you're only looking to be able to perform 1 rep i'd stick in the 1-3 rep range on all exercises apart from the assistance work

My 2 cents...


I thought sarcoplasmic hypertrophy was best for bodybuilding. Isn't that supposed to be in the 8-12/15 rep range?


If you wanna get good at pullups, do a lot of different types of pullups. That way you hit everything differently.

get on youtube and search pullup variations. this is the first one that I watched


will training for a one arm pullup help me with a goal of beating off with one hand? currently i can only do it using both hands.


Sure, ha I don't know man ha I don't know the scientifics of gaining muscle man. I'm just saying doing a one arm pullup is a huge feat of strength and if I could even do one at 250lbs that would also translate into a huge ten rep max. Know what I mean. I couldn't imagine getting that strong and not growing, but I'm sure this would be less awesome for someone only weighing 150lbs.


Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is mental masturbation. EAT, LIFT, GROW.

If you can do a 1 armed pullup you will have a decent back no matter what you weigh.


did a (shitty) one arm pullup a few years ago with a similar idiotic deadline.

some pointers:
doing variations is generally a good idea, although I find there are too many wobbly chins/pulls in the vid above.

mastering them is even better - you need to understand them and above all else, understand how to pull with your lats. The guy in the above video, with the yellow shirt, does it well.
With standard PUs, pull as deep (about sternum) as possible until form breaks down.

Identify weaknesses early : grip, arm-flexors, abs etc.
Build them up a bit if they are severly lacking, ie isolate them.
FOr grip, the easiest way is to hold yourself with only one arm and go for time. Multiple sets and a bit o' extra weight should suffice.
However, if it's the arms that are weak, don't overshoot. Your ellbow will take a major beating from all the chinning already. I'd even go so far and say if your arms are already decent and you do bodybuilding type "arm-day" workouts, drop them until you achieve your goal.
Sacrifice armdays on the altar of OACU and he might show mercy to your ellbow joints.

Implement heavy chins/pulls exercises asap.
I cannot stress this enough.
This 30 rep rule sound about right, but repping out is way different then actually doing heavy one arm stuff.
Do heavy bilateral doubles and isometric one arm holds at the top, where you progressivly play/cheat with ROM.
This two exercises alone can take you there.

Bodyweight is a BIG factor.
If you're 220+ heavy dude and have never done solid chinups/pullups with your lats, this might be a foolish undertaking.
If you're plain fat, gtfo and enroll yourself in an eating contest or in hundred slices of cheap bacon.
This one's not for you, fattie.


Loop a towel over the bar. Grab the towel with one hand and the bar with the other. Do pullups. Over time lower your hand on the towel so it's further away from the bar. Eventually you should be at the bottom of the towel and be able to ween yourself off of it. I'm talking a beach type towel, not a hand towel. If you're in decent shape you have a chance by Oct. If you're fat you know what else you need to do.