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

Ever notice how all of these threads go almost the same way.

They guys that have achieved some level of physical ability above the norm go:
“It takes time and hard work - but yeah most people can do it”

The guys that have been dicking about for years go:
“No it impossible”

And then the guys that aren’t going to even start training go:
“What does average genetics even mean man.”


This is the kinda shit that keeps me hiding in the Training Logs section.

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I remember seeing a skinny nerd who didn’t look like he lifted at all doing them in a commercial gym. If you can do them with two arms then you’re not that far off from the one arm version.

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I think a lot of these feat of strength threads come down to dedication to a goal. If one is dedicated, they will likely accomplish the goal. I think a combo of feats can make it much harder. Being able to do a 800 lb raw squat and a 1 arm pull up IMO requires a lot more. Being able to bench 350 and run a sub 5 minute mile is a lot harder than one or the other.


Like, for a little while I was going to an indoor rock climbing gym.

There were any number of people there who could do one arm/1,2,3, finger pull ups.

Of course they’ve been training and practicing for many years. It takes a while for all of the elements of strength, kinesthetics, technique to come together.

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It’s a mental disability.

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I can’t, nor have I trained for it, but one of my bodybuilder friends could do 1. He was natty, around 160lbs, very low bf and didn’t train legs. But his upper body was jacked. Chinese dude. IIRC(this was really long ago) he didn’t even do much pullups. I think he only did them with weights attached to himself when he did do them, from what I recall from our conversations. I didn’t train with him so I don’t know how much weight he was using. We were just playing around at a park with pull-up bars one night and he did it. I couldn’t. I think he may have had 1 more in him but he just did 1.


The dude’s grip strength was unreal.

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Careful now, might wanna check the whole thread again lol

It’s not contradictory. Look, I don’t have time to explain things so here’s a summary…

I think it’s a good idea to take advantage of your good genes. Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean I’ll do it because there are other ideas that are just as good but won’t necessarily conform to the original good idea. If I take advantage of my genes, I just did a good idea. Another good idea is to not take advantage of your genes but still achieve something because you enjoy doing it. I wanna box because it’ll boost my self-confidence in many ways. Which means it’s also a good idea even though it’s not a good idea by other contexts.

Let’s just drop this subject and just talk about the original topic. I don’t wanna dwell on it.


“Everything that pays off is worth doing”


I can’t see a relationship between one arm pull ups and genetics. In general the more muscles have it will become more difficult.

Just because something is worth doing doesn’t mean I’ll do it.

If you won’t do it, that means it’s not worth doing :slight_smile:



I sincerely wish it read “chance of success” rather than “success rate” .

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I get busy for a few days and then I log on and find gems like this thread -lol



Well, just don’t train to do them then. The cost/benefit ratio makes this not worth pursuing IMO if your general goal is simply to be big and strong. Go set a goal of, say, weighted pullups for reps with 2 plates attached to yourself instead.

But if you really want do 1 arm pull-ups, you gotta get into the proper mindset and be prepared to do what it takes to achieve it. Asking if “it’s possible” isn’t the way to start off.

Start off by asking people who have ACTUALLY DONE THEM HOW they trained for it.

The athletes most likely to be able to do this are rock climbers. You will find this out if you look for one arm pullup videos from several different sources.

Rock climbers make multiple tradeoffs to be able to do what they do. They are mostly low body weight. Most of their muscle is upper body. If you already skip leg day then you’re on the right track. And they spend more time than you realize just climbing and not training pullups per se.

I don’t think the muscular strength to execute the pull is that hard to develop, but the grip strength required and the tendon/ligament integrity can take years to develop and is not developed very well by doing weight training