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Even Fit Women can't do pull ups -- study finds

Hawk Eye

TRIBE Member
You’re lean. You’re strong. You’re in good physical condition. So why can’t you perform a single pull-up?

Relax. Scientists at the University of Dayton in Ohio have found that even fit women struggle to do the exercise manoeuvre, which involves gripping a bar overhead and pulling your body off the ground using upper-body strength.

According to The New York Times, the researchers wanted to test whether pull-ups (also known as chin-ups) are a good measure of physical fitness. It turns out they are not.

The Dayton researchers recruited 17 women of normal weight who were unable to perform a single pull-up. They then trained them for three months, prescribing exercises to strengthen their upper bodies, improve their aerobic fitness and lower their body fat.

All that training produced results: the women’s upper-body strength increased by 36 per cent and their body fat was reduced by 2 per cent. But they failed to produce the main result researchers were looking for: only four of the 17 women were able to perform a pull-up.

“We honestly thought we could get everyone to do one,” study author Paul Vanderburgh told the Times.

One reason women have greater difficulty doing pull-ups than men is because women develop less muscle and typically have more body fat. But tall, long-limbed individuals are also at a greater disadvantage, regardless of gender.

“Generally speaking, the longer the limb, the more of a disadvantage in being able to do a pull-up,” Vanderburg said. “I look at a volleyball player and wouldn’t expect her to be able to do a pull-up, but I know she’s fit.”

Even the Canadian Armed Forces do not use pull-ups as part of their official fitness evaluation.

Try telling that to your bootcamp class instructor.

Even fit women can't do pull-ups, study finds - The Globe and Mail

Have you guys read this article? It's a bunch of bull crap! I seriously don't know where people are getting their info or what kind of women they are using for studies.. Tell this to all the women who are on my paddling team.. One girl on my team did 17 in a row on my last test with out stopping... full dead hang.. Yes granted it is a little harder to do it if you are long limbed (like me) bc you have much farther to pull.. but you can still do it!

I know guys who can't even do pull ups! anyway this article is bull crap!
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
well... my gf kills herself at the gym (did p90 with me) and still can't do a full pullup without using the back of the chair. Just because you and yours are Killers doesn't mean everyone else can be too. :p

Having said that I know big strapping dudes who can't do them either. "I tweaked my back once" etc. I just think they're lazy.

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
I'm going with BS too.

Pull ups are a regular part of crossfit and I've lost count of how many girls AND guys I've seen unable to do a pull up progressing through coloured bands to kipping to strict.
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sheik rock

TRIBE Member
Just because you cant do one pull up to start with doesn't mean you can't do them ever.

I got my Ex up to small sets of 3 to 5 from not being able to do any by assisting her to begin with, then just doing controlled descents, to finally being able to do them unassisted.

Admittedly she has a strength to weight ratio most women will never see, but still possible!

Hawk Eye

TRIBE Member
they lost me at... 'pull-ups (also known as chin-ups)'.

ha! i know! I always correct people bc for some reason people think they're the same thing.

I can do 3 full dead hang pull ups..

I did 9 pull ups on my last test except i wasn't going down all the way.. I think the reason why mostly 'girls' can't do pull ups is bc they're never in the weight room.. You use your lats to do pull ups and if you don't build them up then chances are you can't do them..
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TRIBE Member
Before my pregnancy, I used to do 11. I did P90X, Insanity and P90X2 and I was fucking strong as shit.

I tried it the other day and I can't even fucking do a full one now. :(
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TRIBE Member
lol my sister trains at crossfit -
We were at a relative's house aboard and he had gotten the carpenter to build two hoops to do pulls up. Of course, I egged on my sister to do it, she did then we all started egging on another male cousin. I SWEAR he almost threw up since we just ate dinner and struggled to beat my sister's record of 4!!! LOL FUCK

Hawk Eye

TRIBE Member
haha I was playing at a baseball tournament in September with a few of my paddling team members.. and after the game, my one team member and i started doing pull ups using the diamond. I only could do 2 and she did 4 but it was awkward to hold on to.. bc you didn't really have a good grip.