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Is a One-Arm Pull-Up Achievable with Average Genetics?

Hi folks.

Is a one-arm pull up achievable with average genetics?

This is assuming you do things right in and out of the gym.

And what’s the upper limit in bodyweight for this to be doable?

Much appreciated.


Here’s a dude who doesn’t look like a superhuman starting with repping one arm pullups and ending with a +70lb one arm pullup. Pullups in general are one of those movements that you just have to do to get better at them. You can be able to do a ton of weight on pulldowns but not be able to easily to a pullup. I would imagine that is especially true with something as complex as pulling your bodyweight up with one arm.

The most damaging thing you can do to yourself while trying to accomplish a feat is to ask yourself, “is this possible with my genetics?”

Go start a log in the training logs sub, and google something like “one-armed pullup progression”. There’s got to be tons of stuff out there. Follow it, log your progress, and people will support you here. If you begin to make arguments as to why something isn’t possible that you haven’t applied yourself to, you’ll likely receive minimal support. Go for it.


To be honest, I’ve never understood questions like this. Are you looking for encouragement? Validation? If that is your goal, then train for it. Even if you don’t ever actually achieve it, at least you tried and learned some things.

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Yup. If you have to ask if it’s possible for you, it’s not.


Oh, it’s just part of my life philosophy, really. I’m not the kind of dude who’d aim for a goal I know I can’t ever achieve. It’s just the way I am.

If my goal is to be as strong as I can, I will go for it. But I tend to shy away from being too ambitious and aiming for something only the 1% can achieve.

I’ll shut up now. I just wanted to clarify why I think the way I do.

But yeah, I’ll go for it. I already got a training log started. “Heavy Squats and Great Boxing” is the name.

How is this supposed to work with the genetics thing?

Like, you go to a lab, someone takes a sample of some sort, sciency stuff happens, badda bing badda boom-
Nope! No one armed pull ups for that guy!

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The 1% aren’t usually the 1% because of genetics, they just do the things that the other 99% won’t. The real genetic freaks are probably the 0.00000001%


Yep. For some reason, of late the preferred phrasing has shifted from Can the average person do X? to Can X be done if you have average genetics? Not sure why.

Edited to add: What’s with the fascination with one-arm pullups of late? There was a different thread wherein the poster was apparently in some sort of one-armed pullup competition or deadline situation and was likely (by his description) in the process of training himself into a ruptured biceps tendon. (He was looking for that magical OTC supplement that heals a connective tissue injury while simultaneously allowing one to continue the overtraining that produced it.)

Because the latter lets you blame your parents instead of yourself.


I just assume that I have really great genetics and that anything I can’t do is because I haven’t put in effort or don’t care enough


So perhaps better phrasing would be ‘If one member of a set of identical twins separated at birth can do a one-arm pullup, can the other?’

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I can’t decide whether this makes you incredibly humble, or incredibly arrogant.


I saw that too, but noticed it was from '08.

'08’ers man. That was a bad batch. :joy:

I was vaguely interested in them for a little while a long time ago, but for my training time and recovery resource dollar, they lacked bang/buck.

Maybe I’ll rethink it and be the 50yr. old who can do that, but my brothers 23&me said we’re like 97.x % Norwegian, so I dunno.

it’s a mental heuristic that prevents me from defaulting to “it’s my parent’s fault”

I’m lazy at heart, so I implement stop gaps to prevent such thinking

Note: I don’t apply the same for information based outcomes. ie. I don’t assume I’m more intelligent or know more than others

What are good genetics for a 1 arm pull-up?

Slender body with ostrich legs and a super short upper arm bone?

2008? Missed that. Sure glad I didn’t respond (although by mentioning it above, I suppose I kinda did. #OldPeopleCantInternet)

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An organism with an arm or contracting appendage that extends from their centerline.

One on each side makes things pretty awkward.


That sounds close to ideal. All I can think to add is being taller than the bar.

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This will likely require the use of ‘supps,’ specifically CRISPR. I’m sure the posters over in Pharma know a guy…

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Now There’s a little compartment in pandoras box that needs to be kept very tightly shut.

“I just used a vile of Crispytechs ‘Jacked and Juicy’ and now I’m excreting mucus from the bottom of my feet. Any help on pct?”. :joy:

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