NF Dumbell Division, Week 4: My Pull Up Struggles

Here we are, four out of six weeks of the NF Dumbbell Division done. In some of the exercises, I’ve swapped the dumbbells for barbells because I prefer them and I find that I can keep good form better with the barbells.

  • Deadlifts: 110 pounds, barbell
  • Push ups, 3 sets: 15/11/10
  • Bent over row: 70 pound barbell
  • Push press: 25 pounds, each hand
  • Lunges: 30 pounds, each hand
  • Front squats: 70 pound barbell

I took pull ups off the list because I can’t do one actual, unsupported pull up and it’s hard to quantify the assisted ones. I also added lat pull downs to my leg days because I’m trying to build up the muscles to hopefully one day actually be able to do a pull up.

Did you see the big news at the end of last year that 55% of women in the marines couldn’t pass the three pull up test? From there, there was a lot of debate about women could really handle the physicality of being on the front lines and eventually, the three pull up requirement was postponed. Many people argued that women just aren’t build for pull ups like men are, but actually, women can learn to do pull ups too, it turns out. Shocker.

When I was searching for help with pull up form and training, I found this great, very detailed article from BodyTribe on how women can do pull ups. I’m not following the training plans to a tee, as I’m participating in a lot of other training right now, but this was the motivation to include more lat pull downs into my workouts during the week to practice my form and get more in touch with my back muscles. Honestly, sometimes I can’t even tell which muscles back there are working, so doing light weights with real attention to form has been helpful.

Have you trained to do a pull up? What worked for you?


2 thoughts on “NF Dumbell Division, Week 4: My Pull Up Struggles

  1. If you have any questions about those pesky pullups, let us at Bodytribe know. I’ll pass them on the Allyson herself, who wrote the article.

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