50 Pull Up Challenge

The pull up is one of the most challenging exercises that there is. It’s most impressive to see anyone do multiple pull up reps.

The prime mover for the pull up is the latissimus dorsi.

The secondary movers and stabilizers for the pull up include the trapezius, rhomboids, biceps, serratus anterior, transverse abdominus and the obliques.

A beautiful physique can be sculpted with the simple pull up. It broadens and strengthens the back, while sculpting the waist in one fluid easy to understand, (but difficult to do) movement.

And here are 5 cool reasons why you should challenge yourself to do pull ups:

1.    The pull up is the ultimate challenge. When you first try one, it may seem impossible, but after some dedication and hard work, it’s so empowering to be able to do one and then more.

2.    It’s one of those body weight exercises that you can do almost anywhere. Find a playground outside if you don’t have a bar in your house and you’re set.

3.    Pull ups are a compound exercise. They not only hit the back, but they’ll target the biceps and the abs as well.

4.    A compound exercise is a bonus because this means burning more calories and fat!

5.    Pull ups are one of the most impressive exercises you can do. How many people can hop up on a bar and bang out ten pull ups?

If you can do one or more pull ups, try this cool challenge.

Your job is to get 50 pull ups for time.

Here are the rules:

1.    You need to do regular pull ups, not assisted or kipping.

2.    You need to extend the arms fully on each rep.

3.    Start the clock and any rest you take is included in the time.

4.    Tip: Do about 40% of your maximum reps then take 10-15 seconds rest and then continue. For example, if you can do 12 reps max, then you may do 5 reps, rest for 10-15 seconds and continue.

5.    Report to the blog how you did!

Here’s my 50 pull up challenge:

Here’s my birthday pull up challenge:

Can you beat me?

Feel free to do assisted pull ups too! You’ll find lots of pull up variations here.

Rate yourself!

But…Let’s keep this in perspective! If you can get 50 pull ups at all within a 24 hour period, you’re light years ahead of 98% of peeps!

< 5 min – You’re a pull up God. Let’s hope you’re around to rescue kittens out of tall trees, or scale tall buildings for equally heroic reasons.

>5 min to 15 min – You’re the king/queen of the pull up bar. People should bow down to your pull up prowess.

>15 min – < 24 hours – You’re def a pull up champ! A little practice will have you rubbing elbows with ‘pull up royalty’ in no time.

>24 hours – Still impressive to be able to do 50 pull ups, but how far over 24 hours were you? Was it one pull up a day for 50 days? Getting one pull up is tough, if you can get one, you can get more, so just keep at it.

Stay tuned for more cool challenge workouts and tips, and of course, you’ll want to check out my pull up program cuz you’ll need it to complete and improve your pull ups.

30 Responses to “50 Pull Up Challenge”

  1. Judy says:

    Oh my gosh! I was pulling up for you in my chair for each set!!! You are amazing and very inspirational and motivating. Cal & I have already been talking about putting a bar in our “soon to be exercise room” so we will be practicing one day. It will take me a long time to get to where you are, but I’m up for it.

  2. challeng says:

    @Judy, You’re gonna love the preview of the pull up program I sent to you. Keep me posted!

  3. Sara Dean says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this Shawna. YOU ROCK!!!!

  4. challeng says:

    @Sara: Thanks, I wasn’t loving it getting close to 50pull ups, but when it was all said and done I was happy that I did that challenge. Dang, now I have to beat it!

  5. Johnny says:

    Okay Shawna I just did the challenge. It took me 10:45 whew. My forearms feel like they’re gonna explode. LOL. I’m gunning for 5 minutes. Thanks for a kick ass challenge.

  6. challeng says:

    Yay Johnny! That’s a great start. Keep at it and report back ok?

  7. Nate says:

    11:30 for 50 Pull-ups – great challenge!

  8. takezo says:

    I thought the rules were no kipping?

  9. maureen says:

    I had shoulder surgery. I cant do wide grip pullups. Will neutral grip count..How about various grips during the attempt to reach 50. I might have a shot if thats allowed.

  10. challeng says:

    Maureen: If you can do any grip on the pull ups, go for it!

  11. challeng says:

    I’d love to be able to do 50 pull ups in under 5 minutes without kipping, still working on that. If you have to kip a little, no problem.

  12. challeng says:

    Oh yeah Nate!

  13. kenny says:

    When I saw this, I knew I had to try. Did 50 in 6:07. What an epic challenge! I did “sets” of 13, 7, 6, 5, 5, 5, 3, 3, 2, 1.

  14. challeng says:

    Great job Kenny! Thanks for posting.

  15. Deb says:

    Wow Shawna! Amazing! I can’t even do ONE pull-up unassisted just yet. Started your Pull-Up program today. Let’s see where I am in 4 weeks! :)

  16. challeng says:

    Keep up posted Deb. I think you’ll surprise yourself.

  17. maureen says:

    I have asked a few people at the gym where I train… what is kipping…no one seems to know…can someone explain it to me…

  18. challeng says:

    Maureen, Kipping is when you use your body to help you get a pull up, you swing and use momentum to get your chin over the pull up bar. These can be used to increase proper pull ups when used in moderation. I have a video in the program of a kipping pull up.

  19. maureen says:

    thanks so much for the info…apppreciated

  20. matt says:

    51 pull ups in 3 sets, definitely under 5 min. 22, 15, 14. I did 50 straight pull-ups at age 18. Ten years later it’s my goal to get back to that amount.

  21. challeng says:

    Awesome Matt, you had to beat me with 51 pull ups!
    50 pull ups straight would be quite a challenge. Keep us posted.

  22. Alan says:

    Just had a crack – 4:55. Lats are fried now! Next time I’ll aim for 4:30. But I want to try the sprint 50 burpee / pull up challenge next! I’ll post my score after

  23. challeng says:

    All right! Amazing and I like that you’re trying to better it Alan!

  24. Kristen Cincotti says:

    Got 50 in 8:17, unassisted, no kipping. No sets though… I stopped after every one. Fun challenge- thanks!

  25. John Stois says:

    Shawna, how often should a person do your pull up challenge?

  26. This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  27. I’d do the challenge after some dedicated pull up work. Make sure you’re good and rested before you do it though, don’t train back one day and do the challenge the next.

  28. Bert says:

    Hi Shawna

    Good challenge I am 55 years old and could manage 55 pull ups in 51 minutes. Been on your pull up program for about 6 months now and started at 1 !

  29. Jack says:

    Nice work Shawna! I thought I was the only old fool whose exercise of choice is chin ups, now I know I have company. I did all 50 in one set last Saturday. It took one minute and twenty five seconds. I turned 61 years old in February.

  30. You’re my hero Jack!

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