I haven’t tried to PR (get the most you can) my strict pull-ups in a long time. Several years ago, I got to 38 at CrossFit Above All in Calgary one day before class, but I have never really pursued it as a goal in itself.
For the last couple of days, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s a physical goal that interests me and will keep my attention but can be accomplished without weight-bearing.
I thought about perhaps trying to best my heaviest bench press or weighted pullup, but both of those involve me going to a gym and moving plates which is currently a pain and impractical cause I can’t pick up the weight and move it.
I’ve always wanted to get 100 pullups a-la Chris Spealler when he did that back in 2009, I got close at 89.
They were not strict pull-ups though, they were kipping. How you feel about kipping pullups is a topic for another conversation, but currently, my setup at home doesn’t really allow for it, unless I want to put my head through the ceiling so I’ll forgo that goal for another time.
So, I decided to try and break the number of strict pull-ups I’ve done and try to get to 39.
For me having a goal of improving in some way is a good motivator. Just trying to be better than I was before.
It’s not an exciting injury that’s forcing me to be on crutches either which makes it a little more frustrating, there’s no ‘cool story’ of what happened. It’s more of a chronic issue from running, approaching and being on my feet a lot.
Runners always seem to call their chronic problems ‘issues’ instead of injuries…I have some random bone in my foot that only 5–10% of the population has and it’s embedded in a tendon and flaring up. 80% of people who run claim to be injured for 2 weeks or more a year so I’ll just chalk it up to my time to deal with an ‘issue’.
Back to the pull-ups. I’ve learned that for me having an objective is a better motivator for me than just saying “I want to get better at X”.
Having a defined goal makes me sit down, commit and figure out how am I going to get there.
Fortunately, I have a hangboard above the door into my office at home which means I don’t even have to go out of the way to partake.
In-between doing Realtor stuff and editing photos it’s right there so I can hop up and knock out some pull-ups whenever I want.
The setup is not ideal with the hangboard screwed in above the doorframe which makes it so I can’t really do anything but strict pull-ups. The margins between the top of my head and the ceiling are really narrow at the top of a pull-up, and the last thing I want to do is have to fix drywall on the ceiling…which makes it perfect for being under control and doing them strict.
I’ve got an ok-enough excuse, not to workout but that’s not going to help me once I’m finally back to full speed again. Sure, being on crutches is a little bit inconvenient, but there are a ton of people out there with permanent injuries that have adapted.
I’ve seen enough videos of people in wheelchairs doing muscle-ups or veterans with their legs blown off doing burpees to know it’s a lame excuse to feel bad for yourself temporarily, and it’s not a real reason to stop working out.
I guess we’ll see how the whole self-induced pull-up challenge goes.