Monday, January 7, 2008

The day of 1000 pull ups

I was reading this post on the AKC blog by Catherine Imes regarding her 1000 snatch set, when it jogged my memory regarding my day of 1000 pull ups. While I was in the Marines at 2nd F.A.S.T. Company it somehow came about that someone issued a 1000 pull up challenge. I don't really remember any of the details, I just remember all day long every time I passed the pull up bars taking off my blouse (hey, I didn't invent the terminology) and banging out a boatload of pull ups. Without meaning to, I was greasing the groove to the nth degree. I would knock out pull ups until I had a few left in the bank, and then go about my day. By the end of the day I knew I was hitting the home stretch, but I was still short a couple hundred, so I was out there just going, going, going. There were no crowds cheering me on if that's what you're thinking. Most likely there were just a few Marines standing around talking about what a dumbass I was for trying to do 1000 pull ups in a day. At one point I think it was Gunnery Sgt. Jones who walked by and said something about how myself and the other one or two Marines still hanging in there with me were motivating. I don't think he knew about the 1000 pull ups. It was raining. We were dumbasses in the rain trying to do 1000 pull ups.
Well at the end of the day, I did it. Competitive or stubborn, you decide. The point of all this is, I will drop dead where I stand before I quit. You may be stronger, faster, and have more endurance, but I will bleed out of my eyeballs before I quit. Will you? Are you willing to actually risk serious injury or death to win something that at the end of the day probably means nothing to anyone but you? That is the divining line between us and them. Yeah, I know I said 'divining'.
This is one of the reasons I see value in the GS style training. It's not necessarily my thing, and I don't plan on doing it full time, but when I do a timed set it reminds me who I am and where I'm coming from. It gives me a boot in my ass to help get where I need to go.
On another note... I have to believe you reach a point where you can no longer bullshit yourself. I know many of those who read this blog engage in the same type of training I do, but for those of you who are still working back and biceps on tuesday, there will come a day when the icy fingers of functional relevance will cross your shoulder, and you will no longer be able to bullshit yourself. You will no longer be able to rationalize as to why you don't sweat when you work out, why you've never come close to passing out, why you don't make the progress others do. Then you will seek out the iron, or the sandbag, or the dragging sled. You will tear yourself apart to find a stronger core, and emerge like a phoenix from the ashes of the weak person you used to be, so long ago.


  1. Great post Jordan!

    So true that if you can literally make a decision on whether or not you will achieve something. The mind forged together with a strong will can achieve great things!

  2. Thanks Franz, I appreciate the compliment.

  3. Nice, nice. I myself decided to have a 1000 pullups in a day challenge before I came to this site. I started at 7:00 am and started the pullups in sets of 5, to make 25, then to make 100's. Well it turned out that on number 694 my joint in my elbow decided it had enough, and I damaged it so I couldn't do any pullups for about 3 weeks after. I don't know why I wanted to do 1,000 pullups in a day, I guess it was just to find my limitations. I'm 17 and i'm also thinking about going into the marine corp, infantry.

  4. Yeah, pull ups can be rough on the elbows, especially hundreds of them. :) If you really engage the lats you'll find you can knock out more. Usually elbow pain is a symptom of 'dragging' yourself up with the arms.
    Infantry is a hard life, no question. You'll ask yourself all the time why the hell you did it, but you'll also probably never do anything that will affect your life as much. Marine Corps Infantry doesn't build your character, it reveals it.