Mastering the Pull Up: Everything You Need to Know to Be A Boss on the Bar

It was that time of year again. The time of year I lived for as an adolescent— the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. If you’re anything like I was as a child, ala overly competitive and highly energetic, you probably remember this test. It was the one time over the course of the year to lay your stakes as the most athletic kid in the class. Tests included things like the mile (which I hated), the sit and reach test (my greatest nemesis), push ups, sits ups and of the course….pull ups.

I’m not entirely sure how things turned out when I was 7, but I vividly remember my effort as an 8 year old. I had managed to pass the other tests with flying colors, and the only remaining obstacle in my way was the pull up.

I stood there evaluating the bar at the beginning of PE class (the best time of the week), eagerly waiting my turn. My name is called and I hop up on the bar—all I needed to do was 5 lousy pull-ups and I’d get one of those cool t-shirts signifying my supremacy.

As I completed rep numero three, I realized I was screwed: my muscles only had enough left for one rep. Sure enough I finish the fourth rep and hang onto the bar for dear life, attempting to will myself to the fifth rep. I probably started flinging and kicking like someone lit a fire beneath me, but to no avail. The fifth rep just wasn’t going to happen (it probably didn’t help that I felt the need to do a few warm up sets to show how cool I was).

I dropped down from the bar completely devastated and stormed off—and thus my obsession with pull ups began.

Be sure to head on over and checkout the rest of the article at Schwarzenegger.com.  I go over any and everything you need to know to become a pull up jedi master.