I Did One Million Pull-Ups

That may be an exaggeration…but just barely.

As y’all know, I’ve recently launched myself headfirst into Crossfit world by attending WODs at Big Horn Crossfit. I’ve tried a few combinations for my workout schedule, but I’ve settled into going to the box three times per week. It seems to be strengthening my running legs (a story for another post!) and I am loving the challenge of the workouts.

And speaking of challenges…I need to brag tell you about what I did on Friday. Because, quite honestly, I was pretty proud of myself!

First off, let me reiterate that I have the upper body strength of a newborn infant. It’s always been my weak area and since most of my beloved outdoor sports (skiing, running, hiking, cycling, etc.) rely on leg strength, I’ve never focused on my pipe cleaner arms. I mean, I will even admit to sore triceps after long days skiing where I used my poles to drag myself across catwalks. WEAK SAUCE. 

Having provided y’all with that disclaimer, I now feel free to brag: during Friday’s workout, I did 100 pull-ups and 100 tricep/ring dips!

I wore my new Reebok Crossfit Tri Blend top which has totally become my new fave– maybe it gave me luck!

I showed up at the box, feeling a little sleepy and ecstatic for the upcoming weekend. However, when I looked at the whiteboard, I became a bit nervous when I read the following:

10 rounds for time:
10 pull-ups and 10 hanging ring dips
Um, ouch. Math may not be my strong suit, but I was pretty confident that 100 pull-ups and 100 ring dips was going to leave it’s painful mark on my weakling arms!
Of course, I still can’t do a strict pull-up or for that matter, a ring dip. (If you’ve been around the Crossfit block, I’m sure you don’t need the following explanation, but I imagine a bunch of you are new to this like I am!) I scale both movements because I am nowhere near strong enough to do them normally! For the pull-ups, I use a green resistance band that our coach hangs over the bar so I can place one foot in it. It takes a good chunk of my body weight so that I am only lifting a portion of myself. For the ring dips, I used another resistance band and strung it between the rings. I put my knee into it so the band supported some of my weight and helped keep the rings together while I did the tricep dips. Make sense?
There were four of us in the workout on Friday, so it took a few minutes for each of us to get our stations set up accordingly. After that, our coach set the timer and we were off!
The first couple o’ rounds weren’t so bad and I started to think that the workout was going to be easier than expected. Yeah, that was a mental lie! I was halfway through my pull-ups on round four when I realized that I wasn’t even 50% of the way through the workout- this was going to hurt!
I will admit that I only made it through half of my ring dips before dropping down to regular tricep dips on a plyo box. However, I made it through all 100 pull-ups on the bar, so that was a total win for me!
Final Time for the Workout: 17:53. Total number of muscles that are still sore today, four days later: 496. Or at least it feels that way!

Obviously, I have a lot of work to do since I scale everything to the utmost level. However, I am psyched that I was even able to do 100 pull-ups, assisted or not, and I’m starting to look forward to the day when I can string together one or two without any help or bands. Mark my words, y’all!
TRUTH! Can you do pull-ups? How many?
The last time I was able to do strict, unassisted pull-ups was in fifth grade for the Presidential Physical Fitness test. Girls had to do 3 and that was the only task that stood between me and my badge. And damnit, I wanted that badge! 🙂
What have you done lately that’s worth bragging about?
And it can totally be non-fitness related. Maybe you’re psyched that you ate an entire jar of Nutella. In my book, that’s equally worth of kudos!


  • Reply Big Daddy Diesel October 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I am impressed!!

  • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb October 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    You are amazing. I have no upper body strength. That is all.

  • Reply Danielle @ Itsaharleyyylife October 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    ugh man this workout sounds awful! Looking at the white board and seeing the crazy workouts can definitely be scary but once you are finished with it you feel bad a** right?! haha thats how I feel! I can’t do pull-ups. They are so hard! I try to use a red band but I always end up adding a purple to the mix too! They are definitely an area I have to work on. I have to use a band to do ring dips too! Those come easier to me though!

    • Reply Colorado Gal October 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Ugh, not me! I’m pretty sure my triceps are practically concave from lack of muscle 🙂

  • Reply Laura (Mama Lego!) October 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Holy crap, you rock!! I too have suuuuper weak arms, maybe I should look into crossfit too?!
    My huge proud achievement is finally getting above the one-minute plank!! I’ve been working every day on my plank and am so proud. I started off at 18 seconds and now I’m 60 seconds in!!! Big yay! 🙂

    • Reply Colorado Gal October 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      I’m definitely enjoying it! I just started like 2.5 weeks ago, and I really enjoy the challenge. It’s not like anything I’ve ever done and it’s always different, which I love! Maybe check out a box once or twice to see what you think?

  • Reply Katie October 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    So proud of you, girl! That’s what CrossFit it all about – working the weaknesses until they aren’t weaknesses anymore. Workouts like that are definitely a mental test, but it sounds like you passed with flying colors 🙂 Keep it up!

  • Reply Danielle October 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Nice job! Maybe I should try crossfit to work on some upper body strength?

    I remember those physical fitness tests in elementary school… I could do everything but the pulls ups. I was the fat kid with extraordinarily long arms and couldn’t even do a half one! Now… I can do about 2 unassisted pull ups, so that’s progress, right? =)

    • Reply Colorado Gal October 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Hahaha this made me laugh 🙂 And lady, you can do two pull-ups which is approximately 200% more than I can do unassisted, so you’re my hero!

  • Reply Ed October 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Sounds like you are really digging crossfit…I need to get in there and join a gym myself!

    I guess your next goal will be to do 1 million and 1 pull-ups then? lol it never stops

  • Reply Heidi Nicole October 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Worst part about hard upper body lifting…how much it hurts to wash your hair the next day, or even put it in a ponytail!

    But yea, you’re a freaking rock star! Pull ups are scary hard!

  • Reply lynnb1984 October 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I did a super long headstand at yoga the other day…and I am so close to being able to get up without using the wall. That’s my current goal!

  • Reply Jamie October 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Congrats, that’s extremely impressive! I can’t do pullups at all, I could probably do 1 and then I would go sit in the corner and cry because it hurt so bad. Maybe an exaggeration, maybe not.

    I’m proud of running a marathon 2 weeks ago and then doing an overnight relay this past weekend, I’m glad my body loves me right now enough to do that!

  • Reply Jess @ Blonde Ponytail October 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Great work Heather!! I can do strict and string some kips together, but man, it takes some upper body strength doesn’t it? WAY TO WORK!!

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