Al Takes the 20 Pull-up Challenge!

Pull-upsAs you may know, pull-ups are my favorite exercise. So when I stumbled across the twenty pull-up challenge the other day, it was obvious to me what I needed to do.

For the purpose of this particular challenge, our pull-ups will be performed using an overhand grip on the bar, the legs will be kept straight and the movement will be performed with control.

There are lots of types of pull-ups, and I’m not usually a stickler, but I know some people are, so I’m hoping to avoid any confusion.

A couple months ago, I issued my own 50 pull-up challenge, but this challenge is different than that one. These twenty pull-ups must be done in one consecutive set.

I think that 20 consecutive pull-ups is an achievable goal for any able-bodied man out there. For women, 10 might be a more achievable goal. The potential to do incredible things is within all of us!

Watch the video below for more:


Update: One Year Later

I received some criticism on my first video from people who either claimed my grip was too narrow or that I didn’t complete a full range of motion. I took those criticsms to heart and made a new video:

24 thoughts on “Al Takes the 20 Pull-up Challenge!

  • By Olli Sikstus -

    Congratulations! I like your website :)

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks Olli! I appreciate your support!

  • By Speester -

    Nice video =)

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks, Speester!

  • By Speester -

    Nice video =)

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks, Speester!

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  • By Jr_silva10 -

    Al what do you recommended to increase the repetitions? the 50 pull-up challenge or the twenty pull up challenge?

    Thanks Al, keep the good work 😉

  • By Mark -

    Awesome!!!

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks!

  • By Dpuerto -

    So wait are you just doing the pullups or did you follow the methodology? Is it worth it or can you just weight train high reps and those naturally increase? I typically super set lat pull down with pull ups and pushups back to back to back… when I’m actually training.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      I did not follow the program on the 20 pull-ups website, though it seems like a pretty good routine.

      As for lat pull-downs, I haven’t done those in a long time!

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  • By Pjod71 -

    hey Al. just saw the 2 videos. In my humble opinion there’s nothing wrong with a shoulder width or narrower grip. I think by widening the grip, although the pull ups become harder, its because your ROM is naturally reduced by the positioning of the elbows. I can pull to my mid -chest with a shoulder width grip but only to my neck with a wide grip – and I don’t think its lack of strength, rather a mechanical impossibility without bending the bar or twisting the arms. Therefore I think your first video is as valid a display of 20 + strict pull ups as the second video. Sorry for the long comment but I had to get that off my chest. Any thoughts?

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks, Pjod71!  I think the first video is good, but the second one is a little better and shows progress.  Oh, and I can pull to my chest even in a wide grip – it’s definitely not a mechanical impossibility for me.

  • By Jimsdoodles -

    I was trying to do 50 consecutive pull ups earlier this year, and I always seemed to plateau at around 25, but it was still a cool feeling logging my progresses and seeing that I had done 100 pull ups that day.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Fifty straight pull-ups is a lofty goal, but I believe it’s achievable if you set your sights on it and make it priority #1.

  • By reincarnate100 -

    Impressive!

    I think you missed my question though. You probably got stronger a year later.
    I mean if you tested your very strict dead hang pull-ups now and told me the number.Then, tomorrow, you try your regular clean (still perfect looking form) pull-ups and told me that number.Would there be much of a difference? For example you might get 20 super strict, but 25 clean.

    I meant without a year in between where you could have got stronger! Thanks!

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks!  And yes, the more leeway one is given with form, the more reps they’ll likely be able to do.

  • By RC -

    Awesome! I’m a CPT and your form is great on both videos. Very motivational. Thanks.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks!

  • By RobbyTaylor -

    20~30 strict pull ups is a great level of achievement. 50, though…I’d rather work toward 20 muscle ups than 50 pull ups. Al, I realize this video is pretty old, but I know I’ve seen another video where you did over 20 consecutive muscle ups. I assume that increasing your reps on pull ups is no longer beneficial for strength gains? To me it feels like going past 20 or 30 pull ups won’t help get more muscle ups, and “simply” doing muscle ups won’t help you get many more pull ups (I assume that if you’re doing muscle ups for reps then you can already do 20 pull ups or so).

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      It’s not always so cut and dry, but yeah, for the time being, increasing reps is not my top priority.

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