Consistency: Getting My First Pull-up
By Cheryl Olvera
Clearly I love fitness, but I always veered more toward legs and cardio, which seemed to come more naturally to me. I honestly thought pull-ups were for men and Olympians. Sure, I’d occasionally added a few assisted pull-ups on the machine (where you kneel on the pad) into my workouts, but never attempted to even hang on a bar with my whole body weight- I am not a gymnast.
I’ve been a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and marathon runner for the past 6 years, yet didn’t even try to work on getting a pull-up because I thought it wasn’t something that was possible for me, a girl who’s always been rather bottom-heavy if you know what I mean… And then I started CrossFit.
Who were all these women doing MULTIPLE pull-ups is a row?! Certainly not men OR Olympians! So there I started, at CrossFit Overdrive in Richmond to be exact, with the thick black band- the band that gives you the most assistance possible (we don’t even HAVE this band at Fit in 30)- pulling who knows what amount of my actual body weight.
So what did I do from there? I proceeded to get myself a band of every thickness from Fitness Town, brought them back to the camp gym with me (I was currently working outside of Fort McMurray at the time and was only in Vancouver, where I’d just moved to, every 2-4 weeks to do my personal training session at CF Overdrive) and added the banded version of assisted pull-ups into my workouts 2-4 times per week. Slowly over time, and I mean a lot of time, I began to increase my reps and go down to the thinner and thinner bands, until one day I finally got my first strict pull-up.
How long did it take me to get an unassisted strict pull-up?
But how did I get it?
So to all my clients who think I was born with these lats, I certainly was not. Your fitness goals are possible- they just take persistence and consistency, sometimes over a very long period of time. But if you just keep chipping away, your hard work will pay off.