Pull-ups are a fundamental exercise that works your entire upper body. They're also one of the most challenging exercises you can do, often considered a true test of strength and fitness.
While the benefits of pull-ups are undeniable, most people struggle to do even a single rep. In fact, a recent study found that only about 1 in 4 adults can do a proper pull-up .
So, when I set out to do 50 pull-ups a day, I knew that I was in for a challenge.
But I also knew that the benefits would be worth it, probably.
Here's what I learned from doing 50 pull-ups every day for 30 days.
Is doing 50 pull-ups a day possible?
If you struggle to do a single, clean pull-up, then 50 might seem like an unattainable goal. But the truth is, with a little bit of practice and consistency, just about anyone can do 50 pull-ups in a day.
Of course, some people will be able to do it more easily than others. And if you're already relatively strong and fit, you'll probably find the challenge to be less daunting.
But even if you're starting from scratch, with no prior experience doing pull-ups, it's still possible to do 50 in a day—it might just take a little longer to get there.
The real challenge isn't necessarily the number of pull-ups you can do in a day. It's being able to do them consistently, day after day after day.
That's why the best way to approach this challenge is to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. You're not trying to cram in as many pull-ups as possible in one day and then be done with it. You're trying to develop a sustainable habit that you can stick with for the long haul.
Benefits of doing 50 pull-ups a day
First things first, why would anybody with a sane mind want to do 50 pull-ups a day in the first place?
Pull-ups are a compound exercise, meaning they work multiple muscle groups at the same time.
They primarily target your latissimus dorsi, or lats, which are the large muscles that run along the sides of your back. But they also involve your biceps, triceps, and even your core muscles.
In other words, pull-ups are a fundamental strength-building exercise that can help you build muscle all over your upper body.
Helps build upper body strength
Regardless of whether you are a bodybuilder or just someone who wants an agile and functional body, pull-ups are the key for building upper body strength.
Your lats are some of the strongest muscles in your upper body, so it only makes sense that if you can do 50 pull-ups, you’ll be stronger overall.
And as we all know, strength is the key to a better physique and improved athletic performance.
In addition to your lats, pull-ups also work your biceps, triceps, and even your core muscles. This makes them an excellent all-around exercise for building strength and muscle mass in your upper body.
Building grip strength
In addition to being a great compound exercise, pull-ups are also an excellent way to build grip strength.
Your grip is the primary limiting factor in how much weight you can lift with your upper body. So, if you want to be able to lift heavier weights and build more muscle, you need to have a strong grip. You can try a neutral grip when you start and then move to a regular grip.
And what better way to build grip strength than by doing an exercise that requires you to grip the bar with all your might?
Improves cardiovascular health
While pull-ups may not seem like a cardio exercise, they can actually be quite beneficial for your heart health.
The act of pulling your body up against gravity is a great way to get your heart pumping and improve your cardiovascular endurance.
And as we all know, cardio exercises are essential for good heart health.
Multiple planes of motion
Recent research reveals how important it is to train in multiple planes of motion.
And pull-ups are the perfect exercise for that.
While most exercises only work your muscles in one plane of motion (either sagittal or frontal), pull-ups work your muscles in multiple planes of motion.
When you grip the bar using a pronated grip, you are moving in the transverse plane of motion. But when you flex your fingers to grasp the bar, it's the sagittal plane.
When you draw your body towards the bar, it causes a movement called the adduction of the forearm muscles. This happens in the frontal plane.
In short, pull-ups are a single exercise that works your muscles in multiple planes of motion, making them extremely effective for building strength, functional fitness and of course muscle.
How to do 50 pull-ups a day
50 Pull-ups is a lot. It can be quite challenging even for someone who's used to doing them regularly.
So dont beat your self up if you cant do 50 right away. Start with a number that's achievable for you and work your way up.
But if you're ready to take on the challenge, heres how you can do 50 pull-ups a day:
How I did it
1. Set a goal
The first step is to set a goal. If you’re going to do 50 pull-ups a day, you need to have a plan and a goal to work towards. Lets say you can do 5 pull-ups comfortably. That's your starting point.
2. Do incremental sets
Now that you have a starting point, you need to increase the number of reps you do every day.
You can do this by adding one extra pull-up to each set until you reach your goal. So, if you can do 5 pull-ups today, tomorrow try and do 6. And the day after that, 7. These numbers are just examples, you can adjust them as you see fit.
3. Take a day off
After every 2 days, take a day off from doing pull-ups. This will give your body a chance to recover and grow stronger. Remember, to be able to build strength, you need to allow your muscles time to rest and repair.
4. Stay consistent
The most important thing is to be consistent with your pull-up training. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Just pick up where you left off and keep going.
I did 50 Pull-ups a day for a month. Here are the results and what I learned
Let's talk about my journey to 50 pull-ups a day. When I started off, I could do 6-7 clean pull-ups in a set. So, you could say that I did have a head start, but it was still a challenge nonetheless.
In the first week, my goal was to get my body adjusted to the new routine. So, I took it slow. The first week went by without any issues. I was able to increase the number of reps I did each day and I felt great.
Even increasing 1 rep each set was okay for me. I was focusing on showing up, rather than getting to 50 straight away. For most part of week 1, my max reps were 25-28. That is 4 sets of 7 each.
However, by the second week, I started to feel the strain on my body. My muscles were starting to fatigue and I was starting to feel pain in my elbows and shoulders.
But I pushed through and increased the number of reps I did each day. By the end of week 2, my max was 35-37. That is 4 sets of 9 each. I knew i was getting closer to the goal.
In the third week, I started to feel like I was in a groove. Even though the pain in my elbows and shoulders was still there, I was able to push through and do the reps.
By the end of the week, my max was 40-42. That is 4 sets of 10 each. At this point, I knew that I could finish the challenge. I also noticed an ease in the way my body was moving.
This was the first time that I managed to do a clean muscle up.
In the fourth and final week, I was able to hit my goal of 50 pull-ups a day. And I did it consistently for 5 days in a row.
On the sixth day, I took a rest day. And on the seventh day, I did a max set of 60.
I wasn't planning on pushing my body that hard, but I felt great and my body was responding well. So, I decided to go for it. In the coming weeks, I experimented with weighted vests, altered grips, tried variations and did 4 clean muscle-ups in a row.
I am pretty stoked with the way it went.
After a month of doing 50 pull-ups a day, I noticed some significant changes in my body.
Upper body hypertrophy and definition
My upper body definitely grew bigger. My biceps, triceps, shoulders and chest were all looking fuller and more defined. This was probably the most noticeable change.
The traps and lats were looking great too.
Ease on the bar
Anyone who struggles with pull-ups knows how difficult it is to get your chin over the bar. Even if you can do a few reps, the last one or two are usually the hardest.
After a month of doing 50 pull-ups a day, I found it much easier to get my chin over the bar. In fact, it felt like my body was lighter and I had more control. After each rep, I would know that I can bang out a few more.
Increased grip strength
I also noticed an increase in my grip strength. I was able to hold on to things for longer and my grip was stronger overall. I tested this with some bar holds and dead hangs.
Overall, the challenge was a great success. I not only hit my goal, but I also surpassed it. After 4 weeks of doing 50 pull-ups a day, I felt great and my body looked better than ever.
Can you get ripped from pull ups?
Different people have different definitions of 'Getting ripped'. If your body fat percentage is low and you can see your abs, then you may be looking at getting more vascular.
If your body fat percentage is high and there's a layer of fat covering your abs, then you may be looking at getting shredded. Pull ups work the abs as well as your arms and shoulders.
Gaining muscle and losing fat is a process that takes time. It is possible to get ripped by doing pull ups alone, but it will take longer if you have a higher body fat percentage.
The best way to get ripped is to focus on both your diet and your training. This means eating clean and healthy foods, and doing a variety of exercises that will help you build muscle and lose fat.
What is considered a lot of pull ups?
Again, there are a myriad of answers to this question. It all depends on your level of fitness.
If you can do more than 20 pull ups a day, then you're probably doing well.
If you can do more than 30 pull ups, then you're doing great.
And if you can do more than 50 pull ups, then you're doing amazing.
The key is to keep challenging yourself and pushing your limits. The more stress you subject your body to, the more it will adapt and change.
That said, do not disregard rest days. Rest is just as important as training, if not more. It is during rest days that your body repairs and grows.
If you are noticing signs of overtraining, such as fatigue, irritability and decreased performance, then take a few days off to let your body recover.
How to get the best out of 50 pull ups a day
A lot of my buddies ask me how I was able to do 50 pull ups a day. They want to know what my secret is.
So here are some tips to help you make the most out of your own 50 pull-ups a day journey.
Regardless of whether you can do 10 pull-ups or 20, or 1 or none, start slow.
If you try to do too much too soon, you will only end up frustrating, injuring and disappointing yourself.
Start with a manageable number that you can comfortably do 3 sets of. Once you can consistently do 3 sets of that number, increase it by 1 or 2 reps.
And then continue to incrementally increase the number of reps until you reach your goal of 50.
Focus on the negatives
What I mean by this is, focus on the eccentric (lowering) phase of the movement. This is where you get the most benefit from the exercise.
So when you're doing your pull-ups, take 3 seconds to lower yourself down from the bar. This will help you build more strength and muscle.
Doing the negatives also has the added benefit of helping you break through plateaus.
If you find that you can no longer increase the number of reps you're doing, then start focusing on the negatives and see if that helps.
Use bands for assistance
If you're struggling to do a certain number of pull-ups, then using bands can be a great way to help you get there.
Bands provide assistance by taking some of the weight off your body. This allows you to perform more reps and sets, which will help you build strength and muscle.
There are a variety of bands available, so make sure you get one that provides the right amount of assistance for you.
You can also try doing the Australian pull up which is an easier variation of the regular pull up.
This is probably the most important tip of all. Be patient with yourself and your progress.
Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. It takes time to build strength and muscle.
Common mistakes to avoid during 50 pull-ups a day to avoid injuring yourself
Whenever one sets off on a challenge like this, there is always the chance of injury. Here are some common mistakes to avoid so you can stay safe and healthy during your journey.
1. Not warming up properly
This is a mistake that a lot of people make, regardless of the exercise they're doing.
Warming up helps increase blood flow to your muscles, which in turn, helps reduce the risk of injury.
So before you start doing your pull-ups, make sure you do a proper warm-up. This could include some light cardio and dynamic stretches.
2. Incorrect form
Another common mistake people make is using incorrect form when doing the pull-up. Pull-ups are a slow and controlled movement, so make sure you're using the right form.
If you wildly try to swing yourself up to the bar, you're more likely to injure yourself. So take your time and focus on using the right form.
3. Not resting enough
Rest is just as important as exercise, if not more. When you subject your body to physical stress, it needs time to recover and repair itself.
Just like everything else fitness related, the amount of rest that's adequate to your body is going to be different for everyone.
But a good rule of thumb is to make sure you're getting at least 1 day of rest for every 2 days of exercise.
And if you ever feel like you're not recovering well or you're constantly tired, then take an extra day or two off to let your body fully recover.
4. Doing too much too soon
This is something we talked about earlier, but it's worth mentioning again.
If you try to do too much too soon, you're more likely to get injured and discouraged. So start slow and gradually increase the number of reps you're doing.
Doing 50 Pull-ups a day - Is it worth it?
Now that I have managed to do 50 pull-ups a day for 30 days straight, I can say that it was definitely worth it.
The challenge not only helped me build strength and muscle, but it also gave me a huge confidence boost. I'm now more motivated than ever to continue working out and challenging myself physically.
I can crank out 4-5 clean muscle ups in a row and my overall calisthenics skills have improved drastically.
I'm also now more aware of my form and I make sure to focus on using the right muscles when I'm doing any type of exercise.
If you are on the fence about whether or not to do this challenge, then I say go for it. Just make sure you start slow and gradually increase the number of reps you're doing.
And most importantly, listen to your body and take rest days when you need them.
Start your 30 day journey today
As challenging as it may seem, the first three days are the hardest ones. The physical aspect will, indeed, push you a little. However, successfully completing the task daily is everything you need to stay motivated.
50 pull ups a day will not change your body to 180 degrees overnight, but it will definitely reshape your arms and chest. More importantly, these pull ups will become the foundation of more diversified workouts.
To keep yourself motivated, you can join any "pull ups community" on reddit. You can also start your 50 day pull ups reddit journey and inspire others. I know it’s not easy in the beginning as this requires courage, but once you are on your way, no one can stop you from achieving your goals.
FAQ about Doing 50 pull ups a day
Q. How many calories do you burn doing 50 pull-ups?
A. Your body's ability to burn calories while doing pull-ups will vary depending on a few factors such as your weight, muscle mass, and intensity of the exercise.
But on average, you can expect to burn around 4 calories per minute while doing pull-ups. So if you do 50 pull-ups in 10 minutes, you would burn around 200 calories, in theory.
Q. Is it bad to do pull-ups everyday?
A. No, it's not provided you're giving your body enough time to rest and recover in between workouts.
Remember, your muscles need time to repair themselves, so make sure you're taking at least 1 day of rest for every 2 days of exercise.
Q. What would happen if I do 50 pull-ups a day for a month?
A. Firstly, you will most likely see an increase in strength and muscle mass. And secondly, you will probably be pretty sore for the first week or two.
But after your body adjusts to the new level of physical activity, you should start feeling better and seeing even more results. Your upper body will become more toned and defined, and you'll have better posture, to name a few.
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