Tough Training Pull-up Challenge

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Will Durant

The Tough Training Pull-Up challenge is created to get you to do more pull-ups and become an excellent pullupper. Unlike a lot of  challenges which last for 30 or 60 or 90 days this one  never ends. Rather this challenge becomes your new habit.

The challenge is quite simple. On the first of the month you do 1 pull-up on the second you do 2 on the third 3 etc… You take a break on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th of the month. You reset at the beginning of each month. Some days this may be all you do other days you may incorporate this into your planned training. The key is to do the pull-ups.

Why the Pull-Up?

A pull-up is a compound exercise that involves a large number of big and small muscles, most notably your latissimus dorsi (lats) and biceps. In addition to working multiple muscles at the same time, the pull-up is also a multi-joint movement. During a pull-up, your wrists, elbows, and shoulder angles all change.

What are the benefits of the Pull-Up?

  1. More powerful Grip
  2. Improved posture
  3. Multiple muscles worked at once
  4. Very portable
  5. Make you look really good

What is a pull-up?

Pretty simple…grab a bar (or tree or door frame or railing) with an overhand grip (palms facing away) and pull your chest to that bar. Keep your head in a neutral position. Do not reach your chin to get up and over that bar. Ideally some part of you upper body should touch that bar, color bone, chest, sternum etc…Let yourself back down with control.


The RX or standard for this challenge is the strict pull-up. No kipping, no butterfly. Choose your level of challenge with some of these ideas

Scaled down options:

  1. Ring Rows
  2. Australian
  3. Assisted
  4. Chin-ups

Scaled up options:

  1. Weighted
  2. Wide grip
  3. Pull and hold at the top of the pull-up
  4. Pull and hang at the bottom of the pull-up

Next steps:

Stop reading this, check the date, find a pull-up bar and pull-up.

Live the Tough Life!

Author: Christopher Rutz
Instagram: @toughtraining
Website: http://livethetoughlife.com

Christopher is a Spartan Race Athlete, Coach, and Instructor.

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