March 31, 2014

Meade's Pull-Up Challenge.

You may remember back at the end of last year, when we were in Austin, Meade demonstrated a pull-up (chin-up?), and there was some byplay in the comments:
Meade seems to be hanging on a bar not doing a pullup. We want video.
So Meade said:
We have a chinning bar here in Madison. Any man or woman (over 40) who wants to challenge me to a pull-up competition, just email me. :-)
That led to what you see in this video:


JZ said...

There's a difference between a chin-ups (fingers pointing toward you) and pull-ups (fingers pointing away. The guy in Texas did pull-ups. Meade did chin-ups. Right?

Ann Althouse said...

@JZ You are right, and the old post (linked here) goes on about that distinction, but Meade was minimizing the difference, saying the Marines let you do it either way.

Ann Althouse said...

My old post links to a site that says: "Chin ups put the biceps in a stronger line of pull, so most people will usually be stronger at chin ups than they are at pull ups."

I also see "Grip width also plays a role here too. The narrower your grip is, the more it will train your biceps. The wider the grip, the less it will train your biceps."

David had a very narrow grip because of the playground equipment he used. I think that made it harder too.

mesquito said...

Yeah, Meade did chin-ups, which isolate the biceps. But the guy in SA did pull-ups with his hands together which also tends to isolate the biceps. Both were impressive I thought.

I do pull ups with my hands about 2 feet apart. Supposedly works the laterals. I'm good for about 7.

Captain Ned said...

Not a chance. Last time I could do that (in either finger direction) was the late summer of 1984 after spending that entire summer working a construction job.

mesquito said...

I decided to try pull-ups about two months ago. Like the Marine, I couldn't find a place to do it. I settled on a cedar at the far end of the compound that has an almost-horizontal branch about 7 feet up. But I have to walk down there to do it.

Meade said...

My new goal: To look like THIS on my 61st birthday.

John Scott said...

Having never tried doing a pull up with my hands so close together I don't know whether it's harder or not compared to a regular pull up. But i'm not sure I'd give the man from San Antonio credit for even one pull up. Shouldn't you have to go all the way up and all the way down for it to count?

And I have a hard time believing that the Marines don't make a distinction between a pull up and a chin up. I can do about 6 more chin ups than pull ups.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's a recent WaPo article about female Marines attempting to do the required "pull-ups," and the photo shows a Marine in what I understand is the chin-up, not the pull-up, position.

And there's this:

"When it comes to pull ups, strong back muscles and abs are important. But other upper body muscles help: the “beach muscles” — biceps, triceps and pectorals — says Morgan. Men who exercise tend to work those muscles the most. Because of the beach thing."

Oh, come on. Males have more upper body strength. To portray it as a beauty-at-the beach thing is lame.

"With women, it’s the opposite. They generally eschew strenuous chest, arm and back exercises to avoid, in technical terms, looking like a dude. “Women are more inclined to work on their lower bodies because that is where their body fat tends to pool at,” [Jay Morgan, 29, a D.C. fitness trainer] says."

What?! First of all, these are female Marines. They've got to want upper body strength. Second, working out muscles does absolutely nothing for the fat that might be located in the same area. Why is WaPo quoting this person?!

WaPo zones in on the ideology:

"To a certain extent, then, this female quest for physical beauty — designed to attract mates, according to several thousand years of research — has disadvantaged women who want to become the pull-up equals of men."


mesquito said...

When I was in grade school, back before ADD and ADHD, there was one hyper kid I'll call Donald because that was his name. 60 pounds of evil-driven sinew, he always won the President's physical fitness medallion. The coach would hang him from the bar and his arms would go like pistons for however long you'd care to watch.

But lord he was a scary little SOB.

mesquito said...

"To a certain extent, then, this female quest for physical beauty — designed to attract mates, according to several thousand years of research — has disadvantaged women who want to become the pull-up equals of men."

did you copy that correctly? Several thousand years of research????

LarryK said...

About 6 years ago, I was on vacation in Raleigh NC (half way between Nashville and the NC coast), and one morning my wife and I hit up the hotel's breakfast buffet and then went walking around downtown to take in the sights. The Iraq war was still raging at this time, and there was a "support the troops" series of exhibits at a downtown park (something you would NEVER see in a million years in Madison). One of the exhibits was a Marines station with a chin up bar, and they were giving out free Marines shirts to anyone who could do 10 Marine chin-ups, which is the minimum necessary to pass the test to be a Marine. I had probably just ingested 3000 calories, heavy on carbs like waffles, pancakes and syrup, but I knew I could do it, even in my carb-logged state, so I got in line. There were a bunch of 20 something guys there all taking a shot, and nobody could do finish 10 because the Marine watching and monitoring their form would disallow anything that wasn't a Marine-caliber chin up.

So anyway, my turn finally came, and the Marine stared at this mid-40s guy half asleep from an excessive breakfast and shot me this look like, "you have got to be fucking kidding me..." But I turned him around, and popped off 10 good ones, and along the way he became excited and started cheering me on. I got to 12 and gave up, but I still got the shirt and wear it to this day...even though I don't really have what it takes to be a Marine. Still pretty cool though.

I haven't tried to do any chin ups since that day, may have to give it a shot one more time.

MaxedOutMama said...

Depressing memories of HS gym class.

Mesquito - it must be a Vampire Research team. They have all the time it takes to do research, even several thousand years.

Austin said...

Actually, although the fellow in Austin was very pleasant, he didn't do a single proper pull-up. He said he cheated on the last three, when, in fact, he cheated on every single one. He did not do even one clean pull-up.

lemondog said...

How old is Dave?

n.n said...

Women are physiologically different than men. Ergo sexual reproduction. The cause of our differences are left to inference, speculation, and pattern matching. The consequences of forcefully overriding this natural order cannot be predicted with any skill. So, we tolerate, not normalize, individual deviation that does not exhibit a critical mass.

As for opportunities, we each have our strengths, sometimes with a gender bias, more often an individual bias. It is not discrimination when selectivity is justified by a particular role or task.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...


john said...

Last time I did Pullups was when my kids were just graduating out of diapers. No problem, really, as I was already used to the odor.

MadisonMan said...

I can't do pullups. Arthritis in my left shoulder. There's one position between hanging and pulled up that is agony.

Aging sucks.

I'm hoping to paddleboard more this summer to fix things.

Douglas said...

1) David from Texas was impressive, but he didn't actually do a single complete pull-up. You have to get the chin over the bar, and he didn't do that.
2) Pull-ups are harder than chin-ups.
3) Really wide-arm pull-ups are really hard, maybe twice as hard as having your hands spaced shoulder-width apart.
4) I don't know about having your hands together, I've never tried that.
5) Meade's chin-ups were all in perfect form, so I say he wins.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm an expert in form if not execution any more.

Douglas is correct. The guy in SA had the right grip, but failed the follow through on every attempt.

Meade, though using the wrong grip, had solid execution of chin ups...

richard mcenroe said...

Come on, Ann, Meade didn t do a single pull up
Scott Walker just moved the planet up and down around him.

Freeman Hunt said...

Lots of pull-ups hall monitors here.

I'm with Pants. More of this!

Tank said...

Five. Followed by a month of PT for "golfers elbow."

MM, yes this being old sucks.

The Godfather said...

I was 26 when I went through Army Basic Training (thanks to student deferments). The first day at the Basic company, we were lined up to go into the mess hall for lunch, and we were told we had to do 10 chin-ups in order to get in. I managed about 6. The Sergeant said, Troop, what have you been doing to get in such sorry shape? I said, I'm a lawyer Sergeant! He said, You're hopeless, go get lunch.

David said...

Guys named David are awesome. Meade too. Nice job you old farts.

Jason said...

Good show, Meade! Five was the standard for men when I went to Airborne School in 91. In those days I would do 20-24 every day on the way in to the chow hall but I had the advantage of being so skinny I had to hop around the shower just to get wet.

I can't do pull-ups any more because it will dislocate my shoulder, but after a bit of train up time I look forward to sending you my greetings in a push-up vid!


Douglas said...

You surely know this, but for Freeman's benefit:
1) A pushup doesn't count unless you go all the way down - chin to the floor. That last 1/2 inch is a killer.
2) If you really want to impress, rotate your head 90 degrees and touch your cheek to the floor. That extra 1/4 inch is tough.
3) For extra points, lift one leg up and balance on the other leg.

I learned 2 + 3 from a friend who in turn was educated at an Air Force JAG summer internship.

We're looking forward to your video!

Alan said...

For their age both did great. The full extension of the arms is the hardest part and both did well there. The first fellow did not get his chin above the bar though. He looked strong so I think the reason for this is the poor choices he had for equipment. Regardless of whether this assumption is accurate or not Meade wins.

Tank said...

In high school football you had to do five pullups with all your gear on before going in to shower, or five laps. I was a fat kid, and did a lot of laps.

Weird that I can do more pullups at 61 than I could at 17.

mccullough said...

Well done boys.

dbp said...

At work videos are blocked but I look forward to viewing this when I get home.

"Marines let you do it either way."

They actually let you do it both ways: Both hands must face the same way but you can switch as long as you do it while hanging from the bar. My strategy was to do as many (overhand) pull-ups first and then switch to chin-ups for a final two or three.

At some point I learned to kip, which is far easier to do overhand--so I would crank out all 20 that way, but I understand that the Marines no longer allow this move.

KJohnson said...

Quoting Althouse's comment:
“Women are more inclined to work on their lower bodies because that is where their body fat tends to pool at,” [Jay Morgan, 29, a D.C. fitness trainer] says."
. . .
Working out muscles does absolutely nothing for the fat that might be located in the same area. Why is WaPo quoting this person?!

--I'm sure it's true that working out muscles does nothing for nearby fat. However, I think it may still be true that the reason many women focus on their lower bodies is in an attempt to get rid of problem fat.

I can do X because I want Y even if doing X will never lead to Y if I don't know any better or just prefer easier X to the harder Z that might actually work (where Z might equal something like eating less sugar/carbs).

mikeski said...

"Working the areas where fat is" improves your appearance even if it doesn't specifically burn off the fat there.

Two inches of blubber over flabby abs hangs out further than than two inches of blubber over tight abs. (That's what "sucking in your gut" is, after all.)

Jason said...

I think you have it exactly backwards.

The key to washboard abs isn't in the gym. It's in the kitchen. Competitive body builders don't do a ton of ab workouts, because they don't want a lot of ab muscle mass. They want low body fat, which will provide definition.

mikeski said...

Depends at which end of the scale you are.

One-workout-a-week to keep from slumping into a pool of lay-z-boy supported flab? Ab workouts make you look better.

Already ripped to heck? Then yes, ab workouts add mass and make you look bigger.

Most of the folks in this thread seem to be among the former.

dbp said...

I have to give Meade full credit, not many men of 60 can do any chin ups or pull ups. I don't regard any of what Dave did as valid chin-ups but he is clearly pretty strong and could probably do at least 10 legal ones, they aren't that much harder.

This is my effort, actually my second--the first version, 10 overhand style, had the bar out of the frame so I had to re-shoot.

Meade said...

Awesome, Mr. Pecchia! My newest sports hero. Very well done.

I want to be as fit as you when you get to be my age. No fooling.

jaed said...

This is making me remember the John F. Kennedy Presidential Fitness Challege (or whatever it was called) from grade school. Once a year.

Most of the exercises were gender neutral, but for whatever bizarre reason, girls were required to do chinups with palms facing forward (pullups?), while boys could do them with palms facing the body. This always peeved me. I could do several the boy way - as could most of the girls - but not even one the girl way - also same as most of the girls. Doing them with palms facing forward is harder. So why did we have to do them the hard way?

It's strange how minor and never-explained unfairnesses stick with you for so long.