PreBlast: F3Columbia Daily Pull-Up Challenge

  • Workout Date - 02/23/2024
  • Q In Charge -
  • The PAX -
  • AO -

Gentlemen, the 2013 Fall Mud Run is officially in the books and F3Nation and F3Columbia were well represented.  That said there is always room for improvement and getting better is an absolute must if Columbia is to challenge for the Busted Paw awarded to the best overall F3 team.  The bar is high.  This year’s winning team was in the 51 minute timeframe with Columbia’s best team finishing in the 1:04 range.  One consensus among Columbia teams is the need for better overall upper-body strength and mastering the pull-up is sure to help improve this weakness.  None of our AO’s currently offer this necessary exercise so this challenge is completely up to you to complete on your own.  Let’s do this.

The Thang:

Daily Pull-Up Challenge

  • Beginners (i.e. can execute 1 full rep or less)
    • Begin with DAILY isometric pull-ups.  Grab onto bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip and jump/hop into a pull-up rep.  When your chest reaches bar-level hold for a 5 count.  Then slowly lower yourself back to starting position (full hanging extension, THIS IS IMPORTANT) over the course of another slow 5 count.  Start with 5 reps with an immediate goal of reaching 10 solid reps.  Remember, you are not using anything but your arms/lats.  Other than your hop these need to be slow with good form and a full hanging extension at the bottom. 
    • When you get to the point where you can execute 10 solid “hopping” reps with full hanging extension add 1 full pull-up followed by 10 isometric pull-ups.  Test your max full (no-hop) reps every-other day.  Continue adding full (no hop) pull-ups until you can execute 5 solid, full pull-ups without hopping.  Now you can graduate to intermediate status.
  • Intermediate (i.e. guys that can currently execute 5-7 full hanging reps)
    • Daily, begin with 2 wide-grip overhand reps, 2 close (or shoulder-width) underhand reps, and 2 close (or shoulder-width) overhand reps.  Rinse and repeat x 3 with 1 minute of rest in between sets.  Add one additional rep per set each week.
    • Guys that can do 10 full hanging extension reps or more max should do the exact same circuit with 3-5 reps per set (adding one rep per set each week) with an overhand wide-grip max-out set at the end. 


  • This is a daily challenge we will stretch out until Thanksgiving.  How many reps can you add in this timeframe? 
  • You know your strengths and weaknesses.  If you are further along than this plan suggests please add reps/sets accordingly.  Likewise, if you struggle with full extension reps modify as necessary.  The goal is to improve and we will not all do so at the same pace.
  • Questions? Fire them my way at and I will promptly seek an answer through one of our local pax that can actually do a bunch of pull-ups. 
  • Who will challenge for the top F3 team in the Spring Mud Run?  Off the top of YHC’s head we should be able to field at least two contending teams in Columbia. 

13 thoughts on “PreBlast: F3Columbia Daily Pull-Up Challenge”

    1. Depends…if you’re in the beginner group you do one set of 5-10 isometric and add one set of unassisted pull-ups as you can. If you’re in the intermediate group you do 3 sets of 2-2-2 and add a rep (i.e. 3-3-3) each week. If you’re in the 10+ pullups group now you do the same thing as the intermediate guys but at 3-5 reps at each hand position AND a max set so that group does 4 sets. Hope that answered it…

  1. Great idea. Question – way back in the day, I was taught not to do the same exercise like this on consecutive days. Instead we were supposed to alternate chest/back or upper/lower body. Is that not true anymore?

    1. Pesci, I’m going to echo Chaser here and honestly defer to him as he is defiitely better equiped at this exercise than me. That’s the reason for the challenge….I am terribly at these things and want to get better. I will say this, focus on quality and form rather than quantity. You know your body and limitations. Don’t risk tearing something just to get one or two more reps in.

  2. Pesci! Great to meet you before the Mud Run. My personal, non-professional opinion (read the disclaimer), is that I think that rule assumes that you’re working a certain muscle group to failure and really tearing it down. In that case the muscle needs that 48 hours to rebuild before it is worked again and working it hard inside that window could lead to injury. That said, I don’t think this plan which calls for 10-18 reps total per day should be working any one muscle, or muscle group, to failure. The pull-up is one of the few excercises that does not depend on one partidular muscle or even muscle group (see the photo at the top of the page). If this was a 30 minute pull-only workout (with lat pulls, horizontal pulls, pull-ups, etc.), that really taxed certain muscles, then I’d agree. I just don’t think this is that kindof thing and don’t forsee anyone doing damage when working only in the 10-20 total rep range. Just my .02.

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