The 2013 Manosphere Chin-Up Challenge

Total Gym Pull Up Bar Doorway Chin Up BarI just installed one of these in the doorway leading to my bathroom.

I’m going to do a set  of chin-ups before going to the bathroom. I’m not going to train to failure. I’m going to do Pavel’s ladders.

(If don’t know who Pavel is, here’s an article and here’s his book.)

Anyhow, I thought it’d be fun to have a 2013 chin-up challenge.

I’m not sure what the rules would be. Should we go by relative improvement? That is, would a guy who went from 1 rep to 5 beat a guy who went from 10 reps to 12?

How do we control for bodyweight? The little guys are going to beat the big guys.

But a contest of some sort sounds really fun. We could even all throw in $20 into a pool, winner take all.

Maybe have two categories:

  1. Most improved;
  2. Most absolute reps.

What do you think?

Either way, I’ll be having my own personal 2013 chin-up challenge. If you want to play along, post a comment.

Note on comments: Spammers have been going ape shit in the comments, so your comment may be held in moderation and thus won’t appear immediately.

  • Peter

    Just read the article. Sounds like a good challenge for the year

  • Jason

    I am intending to work on pullups in 2013 so I won’t ignore this bit of synchcronicity.

    I’m game.

  • GoodTimer

    I’m in. I’m taking my bar out of storage, it’ll only add to my various other workouts.

  • dk902

    I’ve been doing Harry Selkow’s chins regime for the last 3 months from EliteFTS.

    I started doing 10 x 2 chins over the course of a training session. This week I’m doing 4 x 12. I can now do 15 full rep chins, the aim is to get to 20 then move onto weighted chins.

    The way I see it, stronger chins = stronger bench and everytihng else!

    I’m up for the challenge.

    • Danger & Play

      Got a link to the article?

  • Rob

    I like the idea of two categories, though I’d venture it’s harder to go from 0-5 than 10-15.

    As far as weight control, maybe something like for every 10 lbs you weigh under a certain weight (say 170), subtract one pull-up. That’s just off the top of my head.

    I’ll start: I weigh 190 and just did 20 chins.

    Training tip if you can already do a decent amount: I increased by 5 chins in a matter of weeks by doing 100 mixed griped chins while at the gym. Did it about 2-3 times a week and noticed instant improvements.

  • Young Hunter

    I too was looking to push myself on pullups, so count me in.

  • anon1

    There’s no image displayed on the article, do you mean a door chin up bar?

    First time commenting, but your blog is awesome, and packed full of actionable advice.

    (Listening to that Strangest secret audiobook on loops for days now, and have made some good headway on my Side businesses as a result of keeping my mind singlularly on one goal 95% of the time)

    • Danger & Play

      Yeah, door chin-up bar. Glad to hear you found the material of value.

  • anon1

    also, little unclear on pavel ladders after reading this article.

    So if i can do 10 pullups i do,


    then start at 1 again until i reach 8 again?

  • Anon

    For the absolute strength you should measure the total tonnage lifted.

    200 lb person * 5 reps = 1000 lbs lifted
    200 lb person * 20 reps = 4000 lbs

    This would also work for measuring improvement.

    • Danger & Play

      This is pretty clever. So maybe one category for total reps and one category for overall tonnage…

      • kleyau

        I’ll play with the tonnage approach. 6′ and 215.

  • proxy

    I’m in. I’ve been working on a one armed chin up for 8 months now. I can do a well controlled one armed negative but still probably have 5 more months to go. For reference, I can do 22 consecutive chin ups if fully rested.

    • proxy

      I’m in my 30s. 160 pounds. 5’11”.

  • Wald

    What’s the deadline? I’m changing living situation soon and have to reset things. Study Abroad in Germany.

  • thor

    Nice I’m down. I will even give a nice tip. While fasting pull-ups are the easiest!

  • Lance

    @thor lol

    150 pounds
    I can do 8 chin ups at one time

    I haven’t tried the ladder before. I’m starting today.

    A while back I bought a pricier, fancier pull up bar which I’ve liked:

  • anon1

    just started pavel’s ladders (eventually figured it out), holy hell i dont think ive ever done that many in such a short sitting, not knackered and eager for more. (though did get a bit sore a few hours later)

  • Drama

    Is that bar any good? I’ve seen them before and I just don’t know how confident I am in it hanging off the top of the door molding.

    I’m curious to find out cause I’ve been wanting to get into chin-ups but like I said have my doubts on those bars. I’ve been using the upper hallway thats over the stairs but holding on to the ledge without a full grip is a bit difficult.

  • String

    I went from 15 to 20 pullups using the following program…

    It was supposed to be a 6 week program, but I think it took me closer to 10-12 weeks.

    The only downside is I burned on pullups and haven’t done many since.

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  • 8===D

    what about the 12 ounce arm curls?

  • bingo13

    I have a natural nack for pullups, but I also only weigh about 150. When I was in the Marines and lifting a bit, I used to be able to 12 dead hangs with an extra 100 pounds on the weight belt. It was pretty beastly. But I could also have easily done 35 or more regular pullups, which makes both the tonnage AND numbers both pretty high, so I think a different metric should be used for the bigger guys.

    Even now I can do about 25 no probs.

    In the Marines we get tested for pullups and as an officer I used to help the Marines up their numbers since I was a natural. I can tell you first hand the best single way to get up your numbers is to do pushups in between your sets. Once you get up to a max of 15 pullups, add a little bit of weight and do bench inbetween your sets.

    Also for the contest please specify these are dead hang/lock out- no “kipping” (ala crossfit gayness) pullups. People love to cheat on these.

  • dc1000

    the only way to really accomodate different body weights is to do weight classes

    i’m 250. i can do one dead hang pull up at a time.

    there are really very few guys who weigh 160 and who could put on a 90 lbs vest and do one or more pull ups

    if you use tonnage, a 160 guy can do two pull ups for 320 and beat me with my one for 250. but that certainly doesnt mean he is stronger than i am

    weight classes are the only way to control for body weight. but how complicated do you want to make this? :)

    • Danger & Play

      I ripped the idea off from the OG. Here was one challenge:

      Here we have it. Our official King of Pullups thread. I will keep the rules and the current king updated here on the first post.

      The S&C Pull Up King:

      Leigh Remedios is the current king with 11 pullups with 50 lbs added (vid on page 3).


      1. The “king” is the forum member who has the highest count of pullups performed with 50 lbs. of weight added to his bodyweight.

      2. The pullups must be full range of motion. At the bottom the arms should be straight, and at the top the jaw line should be even with first knuckle of the fist or higher.

      3. Any grip is ok: pull up, chin up, or neutral grip.

      4. Any setup to add weight is ok, but your regular clothes aren’t counted. Weight can be hanged with a belt, can be in a backpack, a vest, or some combination of those. You don’t need to weigh the items on video for your entry but we reserve the right to call bullshit and have a weighed vid if it looks sketchy.

      5. The set is done if you or your added weight touches anything but the bar with your hands. You can hang in the bottom position to “rest” but you can’t touch the ground or anything else while doing this. You can also change grips mid-set, but again, you have to do so without touching anything but the bar.