Old Guy Keeping It Real With Pull Ups

Ah, Pull Ups

Whenever I work out in a gym, I always marvel at the newfangled, unnecessary equipment — thousands of dollars in fancy contraptions clogging up perfectly good floor space.
In fact, you could add up the practical value of every balance ball and weight stack in the building, and you still wouldn’t match the utility of that simplest of exercisional doohickeys: the pull-up bar.
Kind of nuts, too, when you think about the price tag — although not surprising since a lot of people think more expensive + more complicated = more effective.
Pull-ups are easily one of my favorite exercises. In their many variations, they develop total, overpowering strength throughout the core and upper body.
Take our fellow primates, the chimpanzee and the gorilla. What do they do all day? Swing in trees and climb around. Hang from their upper body. And they say your average gorilla could bench press 450 pounds and a 100-pound chimpanzee could rip a grown man in half.
That’s no small thing.
And the thing about pull-ups is that the strength they offer is functional — not so with lat pulldowns, or any of the other goofy, useless motions that exercise machines will put you through.
That’s why the guys you see at the lat pulldown machine quickly gas out on the pull-up bar, whereas the guy doing pull-ups can do his own routine, plus Mr. Pulldown’s — if he feels like wasting some time.
Once you can do pull-ups proficiently, you’ll have a powerful upper body, a good strength-to-weight ratio, and good lung-control that you just can’t get any other way. You can use that strength in a real-life situation, whether it’s a sport, on the job, or in an emergency.
Adding pull-ups to a routine will make anyone stronger, so walk past the rows of scrap metal to the pull-up bar next time you’re ready foWhenever I work out in a gym, I always marvel at the newfangled, unnecessary equipment — thousands of dollars in fancy contraptions clogging up perfectly good floor space.

Whenever I work out in a gym, I always marvel at the newfangled, unnecessary equipment — thousands of dollars in fancy contraptions clogging up perfectly good floor space.

In fact, you could add up the practical value of every balance ball and weight stack in the building, and you still wouldn’t match the utility of that simplest of exercisional doohickeys: the pull-up bar.

Kind of nuts, too, when you think about the price tag — although not surprising since a lot of people think more expensive + more complicated = more effective.

Pull-ups are easily one of my favorite exercises. In their many variations, they develop total, overpowering strength throughout the core and upper body.

Take our fellow primates, the chimpanzee and the gorilla. What do they do all day? Swing in trees and climb around. Hang from their upper body. And they say your average gorilla could bench press 450 pounds and a 100-pound chimpanzee could rip a grown man in half.

That’s no small thing.

And the thing about pull-ups is that the strength they offer is functional — not so with lat pulldowns, or any of the other goofy, useless motions that exercise machines will put you through.

That’s why the guys you see at the lat pulldown machine quickly gas out on the pull-up bar, whereas the guy doing pull-ups can do his own routine, plus Mr. Pulldown’s — if he feels like wasting some time.

Once you can do pull-ups proficiently, you’ll have a powerful upper body, a good strength-to-weight ratio, and good lung-control that you just can’t get any other way. You can use that strength in a real-life situation, whether it’s a sport, on the job, or in an emergency.

Adding pull-ups to a routine will make anyone stronger, so walk past the rows of scrap metal to the pull-up bar next time you’re ready for a workout.

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