T Nation

Pull Up Contest

Anyone see the a forum on how to win a pull up contest. My friend was looking for it and could not find it. I am interested to see what it has to say.

Ask RIT-Jared.

Zeb may also have some input on this.

I can assure you that I have not won, nor do I plan on winning, any pull-up contests. I am fairly good at them and know many variations on them, but that’s about the extent of my pull-up prowess.

ZEB is your pull-up man. PM him and he’ll take good care of you.

RIT Jared

P.S. This thread was started in June of '02.

Just curious to see if anyone knows the amount of pull ups it would take to win a contest. Are there weight classes, judges to make sure the person is getting full ROM etc?


(I have never seen a forum on “how to win a Pull-up contest.”)


Pull-up contests are not nearly as popular as Powerlifting, or Bodybuilding. The ones that I have entered have either been sponsored by the YMCA, or the US Marines.

I don’t recall seeing any weight or age classes for them, if memory serves me correctly. However, there is always a judge to make sure that you perform the movement correctly; all the way up all the way down, no swinging.

I saw a guy do 50 consecutive dead hang Pull-ups one time, all of them picture perfect! He weighed 145lbs. and looked like a Gymnast. I have never personally seen anyone do more than that in strict form, I doubt I ever will. In fact, until that one man came along I never saw anyone go into the 40’s. 50 consecutive is one very amazing feat, in my opinion.

Personally, I think 50 consecutive dead hang Pull-ups has to be the equivalent of a 700lb. or 800lb. Bench Press. I think it’s that rare!

I have won contests before with numbers in the low to mid 30’s. As I have stated on prior posts, my current goal is 40 consecutive dead hangs. I am getting very close. I will be very happy with that, as I do not look like a Gymnast and weigh 187lbs. However, 50 is another matter- YIKES!

I can also do 20 consecutive Pull-ups with a 20lb. pack on my back…could that 145lb. Gymnast do that?..Yea probably…

50 pull ups, DAMN!!! Pretty impressive. Did he have VERY skinny legs? (i.e. all upper body and no lower). BTW, your #'s are not too shabby either! (lower-to-mid 30’s)



My current best is just under 40 consecutive. It really depends on the day.

The guy who did 50 had a pretty well proportioned body, it was just small, as I stated 145lbs.

What is your current best?

Lower 20’s, although I’ve never set a goal or spent any time in attempt to increase my PR. I rarely train to failure in my sets, so I am not sure what I could get right now. Maybe one of these days I’ll give an all out set while fresh to see what I can get.


zeb what’s your hand spacing like?
laters pk

[quote]pkradgreek wrote:
zeb what’s your hand spacing like?
laters pk[/quote]


My hand spacing is about 12" give or take a bit.

I never go wide as I feel that it can contribute to shoulder problems.

Zeb -

What type of pack do you use to hold the 20 lb on your back? One of my training partners would like to use a backpack instead of a weight belt for weighted chins.

Thanks in advance -



I acutally use the X-Vest. I apologize for posting “pack” when I meant “vest.”

By the way, the X-Vest is a tremendous tool! I highly recommend it.

There are other ways that you can use weight with your Pull-ups. On the cheap you can string a towel through the hole of most any plate. You then hang if from your heel. Crank out as many as you can get, then drop your leg, kicking off the added weight and keep going!

That is a great way to do a “strip set” when you train alone.

There are probably some articles over at Dragondoor regarding training for the “Tactical Strength Challenge” where one of the events is either bodyweight chinups or 2 pood kettlebell chins.

Sorry RIt-Jared.
I meant ZEB. I knew he was the P-U man.

my apologies again.


about winning a pullup contest, you have to train specifically for pullups. I would say that I am good at pullups, every 3-6 months for the past 2 years i have always tested myself with the SPETSNAZ standard of 18 deadhang pullups with 10kg’s attached, i always get the 18 with plenty left ini the bank. i have also done a strict tactical pullup with 59kgs attatched to myself at a bodyweight of 59.5kg’s.

Like i sid to get good at pullups you have to do pullups, as many as you can when evr you can with out reaching failure.

Pavels “grease the groove” method as well as his “ladder” method have both worked very well for me. you know you can do a lot of pullup’s when you do sets of 15 throufghout the day and still feel great. I found that the GTG method takes a little getting used to due mainly to the sheer volume your body has to go through. when you can do sets of 9 through the day you should be bale to do roughly 20 strict reps.

Having said that i have always prefered the weighted pullup (could be because i dont like high rep work), it is hard but i always feel stronger afterwards.


John K:

I would be very careful of any information obtained form Dragon Door regarding Pull-ups.

They push the “Grease The Groove” program which in my opinion is a very bad idea relative to achieving one good consecutive set! It consists of doing several sets of sub max Pull-ups, or Chin-ups through out the day, each and every day.

In my opinion this could lead to burn out and potential injury. As we all know the body grows when it’s at rest. When do you rest with such a program?

The theory is that the more Pull-ups you do the more efficient your body becomes at performing them. True enough, however it is not a very complex movement and your body will get quite efficient at performing them by doing them three days per week.

Please refer to my post on this forum if you are attempting to gain reps for one consecutive max reps set.

[quote]Simon Forsyth RKC wrote:

Having said that i have always prefered the weighted pullup (could be because i dont like high rep work), it is hard but i always feel stronger afterwards.

Simon [/quote]

I heard of you accomplishments a while ago on DD; impressive going. Have you done any one-arm training?

Ross Hunt

Noe specific one-arm work but a lot of my training has a carry over effect I have been thinking about doing a micro cycle for one-armers but havent really sat down to think about it.

Right now i have been doing a lot of climbing with two ropes but making it slow and steady, one arm for each rope and you are almost doing one arm chins, I have planned to add a 1 pood kettlebell to me in about a week. thats probably as far is it will go.