Pull Up Challenge!

2016-04-24 23.07.07

Pull Ups are the ultimate exercise in fitness Badassery. They’re key in developing a strong upper body and core. So many of you (us?) want to achieve your first – or 20th – Pull Up, and over the next six weeks we’re going to help you do that.

Now, before you stop reading and start protesting because you’ve got a legitimate shoulder “thing” or you’re afraid of hanging from the bar (it is kinda high) you can still participate in this challenge. So, keep reading!

Before we get to how the challenge will work, let’s answer the questions you may be asking:

-“Do I HAVE to do this?”

-“WHY are we doing?”

-“But why a challenge? I’m not competitive and I just don’t want to do a challenge.


  1. You don’t have to do anything. You’re an adult and the trainers and I certainly can’t make you do anything, but it would be a shame to miss out on this challenge.
  2. Back in August we did a Pull Up Challenge and many of you achieved your first pull up or got into the FAH Club (60 second flexed arm hang). You experienced the boost in strength and confidence that comes from getting on the bar and pulling or supporting your body weight. You’ve told us you want more pull ups and this new challenge is our answer to that request.
  3. A challenge helps you focus on a goal for a concentrated period of time. Having the structure of an official challenge almost guarantees that you’ll work consistently toward your goal.
  4. Most of you joined Performance Fitness because you want to get stronger or change your physique or do both. The Pull Up Challenge will definitely help you reach those goals (if you’re consistent). BONUS: Pull ups help you improve your posture.
  5. You’ll have something else to focus on besides your weight and body fat percentage. Losing fat and changing your body can be a long road with downs, ups, and plateaus. By doing this challenge you’ll have another non-aesthetic measure of your progress and badassedness
  6. You’re not competing against ANYONE, except yourself, during this challenge. Enjoy the process and your progress!

There will be four tracks, so EVERYONE can participate. We’ll help you pick your track based on your pre-test, your goal, and your injury history:

Track A – You can do at least one Pull Up

Your goal will be to increase your max number of Pull Ups.

Track B – You can do a Flexed Arm Hang for one minute or you want to achieve your first pull up

Your goal will be to get your first pull or to increase your max Flexed Arm Hang to one minute.

Track C – You have no restrictions or injuries that will prevent you from hanging from the bar, but you can’t do a Flexed Arm Hang.

Your goal will be to increase you Straight Arm Hang time to one minute or your Flexed Arm Hang time to 30 seconds .

Track D – You have restrictions that prevent you from hanging on the bar.

Your goal will be to perform 10 “perfect” Aussie Pull Ups with the TRX.

Testing will take place during the week of the 23rd. We’ll organize you into groups to make the testing go as smoothly and quickly as possible. We won’t be working on pull ups during the week of the 23rd, just doing testing. Retesting will occur during the week of June 28th.

During the challenge, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday will be our main days to train Pull Ups. You’ll spend about five to ten minutes per day working on your Pull-Ups. Remember, that Pull Ups are an extremely challenging strength exercise, so recovery is of utmost importance. DON’T FREAK OUT when we ask you to stand around for a few minutes in order to recover from your Pull Up sets. Proper recovery will help you stay injury free and do more quality repetitions. If you miss a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday you can do your training on a different day or at home (Need a bar? Go to amazon.com and search Perfect Pull Up bar).

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you’ll do movements for your core and upper body that will supplement your Pull Up training.

Remember, consistency is key, so you’ll want to work on Pull Ups most days of the week.

Testing, tracking, and workout sheets are hanging up in the studio. You’ll enter your information on these sheets during each testing and training session.

The team and I have worked very hard on planning this challenge. I’ve put in time doing research and drawn from my own personal experience to come up with the best methods for this challenge, and the trainers have given their feedback in order to refine the programming. Many of us on the training team have worked for years to get our first Pull Up or improve our technique. So, trust the process and trust us to be your experts.

Alright y’all, let’s start pulling!


  1. Jacque Tillman on May 23, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Are we tested at whatever class we show up to this week?

    • michelle on May 24, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      Yes, Jacque. You can choose which day you want to do your test.