All my life I have been pull-up challenged… barely able to get my chin up over the bar more than two times (and that’s with a bit of a jump up to the first one, and not going down all the way before the second). Now, I’m in an educational program that includes a strong emphasis on upper body strength and I’ve no choice but confront the phobia I have for that exercise and get myself fit enough to crank a few out.

Given my admission at being a lifelong pull-up failure, the first five you see me do in the doorway in this video below may seem like a miracle, but sharp eyes will be able to spot my secret weapon (certainly it’s more visible in the slower second five): a heavy-duty resistance band I purchased online (here at workoutz.com).

It’s without a doubt a total game changer. Up until its arrival I’d been trying to increase the strength in my arms shoulders, back and chest primarily with push-ups, TRX Suspension Strap exercises, and by getting my chin over the bar and doing static hangs for 15-20 seconds. This giant rubber band, choked around the bar and looped under my knee, literally turns my 205 pound body into about 140 pounds, allowing me to repetitively do the full range of a pull-up motion and actually work the muscles involved.

Right now, 10 is pretty much my limit, but I’m doing 10 to 15 sets a day, basically every time I pass by the doorway. Before long I’ll be getting stronger doing 15, then 20, then 25… then who knows: maybe 3 or 4  or 5 on my own without the band. That’s literally something of which I NEVER thought I was capable. But now it’s literally within my reach.