When a New York Times article gave every woman an excuse to skip out on pull ups due to our biological disadvantage, let’s be honest, most of us either called foul or praised the heavens for the break in our workout.
The article cited an interesting find from a research study from the University of Dayton. Apparently, out of 17 normal-weight women who were put through a rigorous muscle and strength building routine over the course of three days a week for three months, only four of them were successful in performing a single pull up.
Women naturally have lower levels of testosterone which prevents muscle development typically needed for strength-specific routines like pull ups. Tara Parker-Pope writes in The New York Times article that in the Marines, a male recruit should be able to do at least 3 pull-ups or chin-ups, but women are not required to do them.
Instead of bowing out, take notes from the capable. Juliana Sproles took first place among the female competitors in the Tough Mudder competition – a grueling, non-stop 24-hour competition designed to find the toughest human being on the planet — featuring military obstacles such as 8-foot walls, muddy berms, rope nets and monkey bars. Writer Dana McMahan put in work with a trainer and her pull up bar and was able to crank out 10 chin ups within a year.
“For fun, I’d strap on weight, doing a single chin-up with as much as 30 pounds of weight added on, because nobody ever told me I couldn’t, that I wasn’t strong enough, or capable,” McMahan writes.
Don’t believe the hype ladies. The odds may be against you but the best defense is to build a great offense. Train, work hard and most of all … try!
Have you struggled with doing pull ups at the gym?