Day 119 – The Marine Pull-Up Challenge

September 1st, 2016- About 2 years ago I spotted a Marine’s Pull-Up Challenge held at the state fair. I, being in the early days of my training, thought this would be the perfect opportunity to test myself. For each X number of pull-ups you do you get a prize. The top prize being a T-Shirt for 20 reps.

I barely grazed past 10 pull-ups during my first attempt at this. It was definitely not my best day, but I felt I can do better. Skip to 2015, and my early self was determined to get those 20 reps in. I spent a good chunk of the winter training Pull-Ups before having to quit training them all together due to the fatigue brought by my marathon training. When my marathon ended and I rested up I spent a good chunk of time training them again.

August rolls around and I make my second attempt at the Marine’s Pull-Up challenge. This time I add 4 more to my max rep, totaling 14 Pull-Ups. I still didn’t want to lose out on getting that T-shirt. So in 2016 I moved my usual races to occur earlier in the year so I can focus primarily on pull-up training. It worked, as my max pull-up rep was now increased to 24. I felt ready to take on that Marine’s Pull-Up challenge.

Now flash forward to now. I admit, I was a bit nervous because I was recovering from a 5-day illness, but I still went at it. I signed the waiver and did my pull-ups, hitting 15 before my body started to feel the fatigue. The soldier at the booth told me, “Do 1 more”.

“1 more? I should be giving you 10 more”. I pushed out 3 more pull-ups before my grip completely gave out. It was a shame, if I had a better grip I know I could have pounded out more pull-ups easily. Still, 18 pull-ups wasn’t too bad for me. I put in a lot of training and I got a hat to show for it.


This may have seemed bittersweet, but for me it was just a nice way to end a year of soreness. I was getting tired of shelling out 300+ pull-ups a week following the 50 Pull-Up workout plan. I really want to focus my abilities on other exercises so I can do 1 armed pull-ups and muscle ups. I feel that now my schedule is clear to focus on these workouts.

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