A new study reveals that there is an inverse relationship between excess weight and one’s ability to perform pull ups. That is to say, an increase in one effectively decreases the other. (i.e. more excess weight equals fewer pull ups, and vice versa.)
In this study a Chicago based team of experts selected 15 men and 15 women at random from a local health club. The only qualification was that they had to be able to perform at least one legitimate pull up.* In this group the top performer was able to do 12 repetitions, while there were 8 on the bottom rung who were only able to do one.
All Performances Were Reduced
In step one, with the help of a special weight belt, they attached a 25 lb. weight plate to the waist of each performer and repeated the pull up test all over again. The result was that 25 out of 30 participants were immediately rendered unable to do even one repetition. The top participant’s performance deteriorated from 12 to 4 repetitions, while the other four were reduced to 2, 2, 1, and 1 respectively.
The Test Repeated 4 Times
In step two the same experiment was repeated four more times with 20, 15, 10, and 5 pound weight plates. As a result, with each reduction in excess weight the overall performance of the group improved. “Our conclusion,” according to spokesperson Dr. I.M. Noduh, “was that there is an inverse relationship between excess weight and one’s ability to perform pull ups. In other words, as excess weight increases, performance automatically decreases. On the other hand, as excess weight decreases, performance automatically increases.”
It Matters Not…
In step three the team of experts carefully compared a 25 lb. weight plate to 25 lbs. of refrigerated bacon grease (pure, unadulterated fat) and confirmed that they both weighed exactly the same amount whether in pounds or kilograms. “The conclusion from step three,” said Noduh, “was that it makes absolutely no difference whether the excess weight comes in the form of iron or fat. Both inhibit pull up performance equally.
How About Dips and Hand Stand Push Ups
Asked if other body weight exercises like dips, push ups, hand stand push ups, rope climbing, vertical jumping, etc. the experts all agreed that they had yet to perform those experiments, but they speculated that the results would all be the same. “There seems to be a direct relationship between the presence of excess weight and one’s ability to functionally handle one’s own body weight,” said Noduh. “It’s really about as obvious as the nose on your face.”
* A legitimate pull up for the purposes of this study, means that performers start from a hanging position, with the elbows fully extended, they pull themselves up until their chin touches the bar, and they return to the starting position. That constitutes one repetition. Anything else, kicking, screaming, hollering, even swearing was fair game.