Another type of pole dancing
January 16, 2015 1:06 PM   Subscribe

The average fit male in the United States can do eight pull-ups. The average fit female can do one. For this woman, numbers are kind of beside the point.
posted by Cool Papa Bell (72 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow, it's amazing how they edited out the rising and descending platform under her feet.

Shut up. I refuse to believe it. The text of the post made me feel inadequate enough, thank you very much.

posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:15 PM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well, I guess NASA can scrap their plans to send a mime up to the ISS since we now know exactly what it would look like.

Also, eight? That's eight more than I can do and I've always considered myself to be an average fit United States male.
posted by bondcliff at 1:15 PM on January 16, 2015


Like ... eight without stopping, or eight in a single day, or what? Because I can totally do one of those things.
posted by komara at 1:16 PM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


The average fit male in the United States can do eight pull-ups. The average fit female can do one.

I'm guessing that 1% of the population can be considered "fit".
posted by hal_c_on at 1:17 PM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


She apparently can do push ups as well.
posted by el io at 1:17 PM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


I have never been able to complete a real pull-up, and I have never wanted to before now. Very cool, thanks for sharing!
posted by juliplease at 1:18 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I saw a gif once with three guys doing something very similar! Pretty neat stuff. I cannot do eight pull ups, but the difficulty of a pull up varies tremendously by weight.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:18 PM on January 16, 2015


"average fit male can do 8 pull-ups" factoid actualy just statistical error. Fitmales Georg, who lives in gym & eats over 10,000 average fit males each day, is an outlier adn should not have been counted
posted by oulipian at 1:19 PM on January 16, 2015 [25 favorites]


8 pull ups is no joke. You need to be able to do 3 to get in to the Marines.
posted by the jam at 1:21 PM on January 16, 2015



Like ... eight without stopping, or eight in a single day, or what?


8 over the course of a lifetime, this is surely what they meant. that is my story and i am sticking to it
posted by poffin boffin at 1:23 PM on January 16, 2015 [16 favorites]


Extreme core (muscles).

Also, yea. I can do eight chin ups. Barely. I tap out after one pull up, though.
posted by echocollate at 1:29 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can do a hundred-mile bike ride, but pull-ups, not so much. So... I guess I'm not fit. Oh well.
posted by GuyZero at 1:32 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have known a lot of fit men who could not do eight pullups. I also once knew a guy who could do twenty one arm pullups. He was affectionately referred to in the gym as the monkey.

Here is a video of a guy doing 46 one arm pullups. He is fit. The monkey didn't bother with touching the ground and he switched arms at every rep.
posted by bukvich at 1:32 PM on January 16, 2015


I can do ten and this post is simultaneously validating on one hand and HOLY CRAP I AM NOTHING on the other.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:32 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, this woman is indeed awesome. I also saw a guy at my local no-name gym get on the pull up bar, somehow rotate his body parallel to the ground, then lift his legs toward the ceiling and then proceed to do ab twists.

What was that, some people, I don't even.
posted by GuyZero at 1:33 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can do one pull-up, but I consider myself only mildly fit. Also, as a taller guy, I plead the square-cube law.
posted by Huck500 at 1:33 PM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


How does that even happen? I mean, some of those things don't even seem possible.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:36 PM on January 16, 2015


Thanks for this, it's good!
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:41 PM on January 16, 2015


If this had been me, it would have been a 1:01 video of a woman dangling from the pull-up bars, crying.
posted by Kitteh at 1:41 PM on January 16, 2015 [65 favorites]


I can do a lot of chin-ups and one of the sweetest moments in my life was taking the chin-up test in my required college fitness class last after a number of football players had gone "grannh" and "ungg" and generally failed to chin any perceptible amount of ups.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:41 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure of my max, but I typically do a set of 12 each using various grips.

It is far easier to go from 0 pull-ups to 1 by losing weight than by adding upper-body strength. It's all about power to weight ratio.

Also, take up rock climbing. It's good practice and good incentive.
posted by jedicus at 1:42 PM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


After working with a trainer for a year, I can do about 10 pull-ups now... on the max weight setting of the machine at the gym that helps you with pull-ups. (More weight == easier.)
posted by kmz at 1:43 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


The average fit male in the United States can do eight pull-ups. The average fit female can do one.

I counted 2.5. Still no marine...
posted by sour cream at 1:43 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


If this had been me, it would have been a 1:01 video of a woman dangling from the pull-up bars, crying.

But you could have held on for 1:01, which is better than many of us.
posted by jeather at 1:44 PM on January 16, 2015


Then there's the vertical bar.
posted by Evilspork at 1:47 PM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]



Also, take up rock climbing. It's good practice and good incentive.


Yeah, back in my superfit days I was pretty proud about my pullup abilities until my boss the crazy hardcore rock climber proceeded to knock out about 3 dozen or so fingertip pullups using the doorjamb.

definitely still mad about that one
posted by poffin boffin at 1:48 PM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Extreme Mime Elimination Challenges, coming soon to brain rot channel near you.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:53 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


But what this woman did? Yeah no way. I don't think I have the core strength (or the rhythm) to do even one "rep" of that craziness. "Sufficiently advanced physical fitness is indistinguishable from magic."

about 3 dozen or so fingertip pullups using the doorjamb.

I was curious so I tried it and managed...4 (not dozen). Clearly I'm not spending enough time on the campus board.

Neat trick though! Who needs a pull up bar?
posted by jedicus at 1:55 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Impressive athleticism. It was like she was playing DDR with an overhead support bar (instead of the behind-the-back support bar).
posted by stubbehtail at 1:55 PM on January 16, 2015


Watching that, my brain started accusing my eyes of lying to it.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:59 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, she's really good at that thing she's doing!

Reminds me of Barstarzz style routines.
posted by still bill at 1:59 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, hey, I found that gif!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 2:00 PM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Rock climbing ? I guess. I climbed trees all the time as a kid, got my Regan signed presidential physical fitness certificate one year, and can still get out about 12 pullups.

I'm just glad this wasn't those cheater kipping pullups crossfitters do..
posted by k5.user at 2:09 PM on January 16, 2015


On her Youtube channel she has video of her setting three powerlifting records. (USAPL American? I don't know enough about powerlifting to put in context exactly how impressed I should be, but I'll assume at least a little impressed.)
posted by RobotHero at 2:14 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have known a lot of fit men who could not do eight pullups.

I would not define these men as "fit," but then I'm on record for hating the word "fitness" in general. It's an empty term that means, to most people, "not obese." I consider that to be a low bar (geddit?).
posted by Edgewise at 2:14 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


"average fit male can do 8 pull-ups" factoid actualy just statistical error. Fitmales Georg, who lives in gym & eats over 10,000 average fit males each day, is an outlier adn should not have been counted

Does Fitmales Georg also write Toynbee Tiles?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:20 PM on January 16, 2015


Holy crap!
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:22 PM on January 16, 2015


When I was much younger and my strength/weight ratio was much much better, I responded to a challenge in basic training by a sergeant that anyone who could beat him in pull-ups would get a two-four of beer. I learned that day that just because you can beat someone, doesn't mean you should.
posted by Bovine Love at 2:28 PM on January 16, 2015 [16 favorites]


Chin ups and pull ups are not the same? TIL! I haven't ever been closely acquainted with either of them, obviously.

That Marines stat has me motivated though. If you do 6 can you get into two marines?
posted by small_ruminant at 2:28 PM on January 16, 2015 [21 favorites]


The average fit female can do one.

That video is rad, but this business about "average fit females" and pull-ups is kind of a pet peeve of mine.

As an athletic kid, I breezed through the presidential fitness requirements. Eight minute mile? No problem. Fifty situps in a minute? Sure, here's seventy. I blew past most of the other students, including the boys, until we got to the pull-up portion of the exam—which, by the way, required not one, but two pull ups of 13-year-old female students.

I couldn't do it. And as girl after girl in my class was walked up to the bar, they, save for one, struggled and dangled there, in front of the whole class. It was shitty and humiliating, and even the teacher seemed to think it was a waste of time.

And that pull-up requirement wiped out the accomplishments of the girls in every other test of strength, endurance, and agility.

The fact remains that for a lot of women, unless you're training single-mindedly and for months with the sole intent of doing a pull-up, it's not going to happen. And even then, you're likely to have mixed results.

Can women do pull-ups? Yes. But they can also run marathons, and swim for miles, and I'm not sure why any of that should count less than the ability to do this one single, stupid exercise, even if it does look pretty cool.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:30 PM on January 16, 2015 [14 favorites]


Bahaha. One. Not in Boulder, and not when you're a climber.
posted by alex_skazat at 2:31 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I do an hour's upper body workout twice a week, 30 minutes cardio, 30 minutes abs twice a week.

I can do between 16 and 20 pull-ups unless I've just finished a workout.

My girlfriend runs a half marathon every Sunday, hour and a half of advanced yoga every Saturday (including crazy positions requiring core strength I will *never* achieve before I die), and runs 5-6 miles plus 30 minutes upper body every day Monday through Friday.

Last week she managed her first pull-up ever.

The gender bias on pull-ups is fucking ridiculous, basically.
posted by Ryvar at 2:32 PM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


so basically this woman said "fuck gravity"?

Because wow.

Then there's the vertical bar.

That's an amazing subversion of poledancing.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:39 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I couldn't do it. And as girl after girl in my class was walked up to the bar, they, save for one, struggled and dangled there, in front of the whole class. It was shitty and humiliating,

I'm a boy and it was the standing broad jump that did me in. All the other stuff? Aces. They gave me a bunch of extra goes at it over a few weeks, but it was just no use. My heels invariably fell on the short side of the line. Oh how my face burned at the big awards assembly on the last day of school as all my friends went up to claim their certificates!

I did get a ribbon for reading, however.
posted by notyou at 2:44 PM on January 16, 2015


I felt a lot better about this video once I read the description and realized it was shot on the ISS.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 2:47 PM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


> Also, as a taller guy, I plead the square-cube law

So that's what it's called! I recently took a circuit-training class which turned out to be all short women, and me (a tall woman). I was the worst in the class at everything. Some of that was because they were fitter than me in general, but I swear, when we're all doing burpees if you're eight inches closer to the ground than I am -- you know what I mean -- you've got an advantage.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:53 PM on January 16, 2015


What's the...science...I guess behind pullups beyond just strength to weight ratio?

This SciAm article gives a brief overview of the mechanics.

It mentions this controversial New York Times piece, which is actually pretty okay if you just ignore the title.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:02 PM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


FWIW: I muted that video and had the music from the first video here playing. It was perfect.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:07 PM on January 16, 2015


Bet she can't open this jar ::::waves hermetically sealed jar:::::
posted by datawrangler at 3:13 PM on January 16, 2015


> "That's an amazing subversion of poledancing."

You may not have meant that to be disparaging of the form, but just in case I feel obliged to say that poledancing does not need to be "subverted" in order to be a powerful dance style.

It already is one.
posted by kyrademon at 4:10 PM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I watched her powerlifting video and heard a kid yelling "Mom!" and kept looking and -- yeah: 38 years old, two kids, been training since she was 17. TOTALLY doable, guys.
posted by maudlin at 4:25 PM on January 16, 2015


(She's also pretty tiny at 110 pounds, even allowing for the muscle mass in those goddamned amazing legs. Doing a pull-up, like rock climbing, seems to favour smaller women with a ferocious work ethic to make the most of their potential strength to weight ratio.)
posted by maudlin at 4:27 PM on January 16, 2015


I am female and I spent forever training to do pull ups. I did negatives, jump ups, assisted pull ups, pull downs etc, for years.(Plus other hardcore weightlifting.) While I got gradually stronger, I still couldn't do a single pull up.

Then I got sick and lost 5 kg, and didn't work out for a few months. I went back to the gym and could do six pull ups, no trouble. So screw it, since it turned out to be way more sensitive to body weight than muscle strength, now I don't even bother to include them in my training.
posted by lollusc at 4:27 PM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


(And as long I'm on the subject, the Vertical Tango piece isn't really a subversion of poledancing at all anyway -- it's Chinese Pole, which is a different thing, and there are techniques you can employ each that you absolutely can't do with the other. One easy way to tell the difference is that Chinese Pole generally necessitates more clothing, because the pole is usually rubber-coated and you'd give yourself friction burns pretty quick without it, whereas poledancing necessitates less clothing, because your skin is what you use to grip the pole; it's actually a requirement of the form, not just a convention.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:32 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


that is the coolest gym routine I've ever seen - I totally want to learn how to do this.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:12 PM on January 16, 2015


Wrt: poledance and subversion: a few of the women at my club do this kind of stuff on our horizontal bars to start off their sets. This lady is a master. It's incredible to watch, and equally amazing to watch the faces of the more macho clusters of guys just transform into awe as the dancers who are really, really good at this just keep banging out pullups while doing air-walks or mermaid kicks.

ETA: I just tried a pullup and wilted back down to the stage like a daisy, omg.

ETA2: The woman who does tricks like this just walked into the dressing room and her commentary: "That's fucking sick! Do you know how strong she has to be to do that? That's fucking hard-- ALL those muscles-- [gestures up and down core] Fucking sick. Tell them I said hi."
posted by moonlight on vermont at 6:03 PM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't think I've done eight pullups ever. #fatguy
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:20 PM on January 16, 2015


If this had been me, it would have been a 1:01 video of a woman dangling from the pull-up bars, crying.

If this had been me, it would have been a 1:01 video of a man dangling from the pull-up bars, crying.
posted by sacramental excrementum at 6:49 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eight pull-ups my ass.
posted by sacramental excrementum at 6:51 PM on January 16, 2015


You may not have meant that to be disparaging of the form, but just in case I feel obliged to say that poledancing does not need to be "subverted" in order to be a powerful dance style.

I meant subversion in that I think poledancing is generally seen (via association with stripping) as being an essentially submissive female act performed for the male gaze. The vertical tango video was the opposite of submissive, for me.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:55 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also saw a guy at my local no-name gym get on the pull up bar, somehow rotate his body parallel to the ground, then lift his legs toward the ceiling and then proceed to do ab twists.

Those are called windshield wipers, by the way. If you want to be awed, here's a Victorian cross. Last time I checked, it was the hardest pose in the code of points.

I can do one. Chin-up. If I jump.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:03 PM on January 16, 2015


If you're not a schlager fan, mute the music, but I'm reminded of this particularly impressive performance which includes what look like normal pushups... except nothing except his hands are on the ground.
posted by Seeba at 8:28 PM on January 16, 2015


an essentially submissive female act

Dude, the stripper who does this kind of thing on the regular told me to say hi to y'all. Be nice.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 8:34 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wasn't being not-nice, as the context of the words around the selectively-quoted bit said.

Can poledancing be about female empowerment and agency? Absofuckinglutely yes.

But, and hey maybe this'll change, it has associations with stripping which is pretty definitively about performative female sexuality in service to the male gaze, at least as majority practiced in North America, and the vertical tango video shattered that association which is a good thing!

I really didn't mean to imply anything negative and if that's what came through I'm sorry and will be more careful.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:59 PM on January 16, 2015


I need to know more about height being a good excuse for not being able to do a damn thing...
posted by cranberrymonger at 10:09 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


8 pull ups is no joke. You need to be able to do 3 to get in to the Marines

No shit, I did so many thousands of pullups in the Marines, I got to where I sort of enjoy them now. Still can't stand pushups though.

Used to be I could do dozens at a go, when I was young and beautiful and 160 lbs. Now the wrinkles and the office job get in the way and I can manage 3-4.

There is a technique to it. In the Marines, you are allowed to kip. I never really had to do that, being 6'4" and having arms like a gibbon, but if you struggle with doing them and it bothers you, learn the kip.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:56 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think she's inspirational, but from this thread I am getting so many good feelings, gotta say. I've started weight training again three months ago, after a long health-related absence. I'm skinny n pathetic n all kinds of ashamed at my lack of ability to pull myself up past bent elbows. Now I feel so goooood that I can do even that, and I can do that at three months with my newly emerging guns. Yeee ha, I love it when I see the right thing at the right time, thanks for the post!
posted by honey-barbara at 2:02 AM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, she is awesome and beautiful, and there are also a lot of awesome links in this thread to people doing beautiful and impressive stuff with their bodies. Right before I started reading this thread I was procrastinating on working out (on my day for pull-ups, coincidentally!) but now I'm super inspired and I'm going to go bust it out. Thanks metafilter!
posted by dubitable at 3:13 AM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


if you struggle with doing [pullups] and it bothers you, learn the kip.
I'm going to have to "well, actually" here. I'm of the opinion that if you can't do strict pull-ups—say, a set of 5 or 10 dead-hangs—then you should avoid the kip.

Kipping is a ballistic movement. It adds momentum to the already substantial mobility and strength requirements of the pull-up. Kipping therefore demands a fair amount of tendon/ligament fortitude. It's fair to expect that this can cause problems for people who are too weak to do regular, strict pull-ups. For the untrained to use the kip as a shortcut is to risk injury.

If you struggle with doing pull-ups and it bothers you, do more pull-up negatives, static holds, and assisted pull-ups, or pick another fitness goal.

Cool video, and I'm just as impressed by her powerlifting.
posted by daveliepmann at 4:03 AM on January 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


There was no kipping allowed during my time in the Corps.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:21 AM on January 17, 2015


The average fit male in the United States can do eight pull-ups.

Hey, I can do 5 now. I'm getting there.

This thread reminds me. Late 90s, I'm at a bachelor party for the guy who's marrying my best friend. He's made a serious effort to make me his friend as well, which... for me, is necessary, not because I'm that protective but because I'm not easy to be friends with, and it's important to him. We're at Shotgun Willie's in Denver, which he's not excited about because he used to be a bouncer at one of these places and once you've seen how the sausage is made (so to speak) strip clubs become decidedly unsexy. But the best man made this plan and we're going through with it.

Out comes a... stout girl for a dance. We exchange looks and roll our eyes. Hoo boy.

Then she does that thing were she flexes her pecs and her boobs bounce...

Yeah. She has curves but it's all muscle underneath. During her impressive pole routine I look over and his jaw is somewhere around his ankles. The bachelor party deal includes a lapdance and of course he picks her. Afterwards he admits that if he weren't getting married, he really would've gone for this girl. And he's charming enough that I think he might've been able to. (I need to add that he and my friend are happily married with 2 kids, all these years later.)

Point is, if anyone tells you men aren't attracted to physically strong women, don't believe them. They're kind of amazing.
posted by frogstar42 at 11:33 AM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now I'm going to have the Eurythmics stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I'm okay with that.
posted by homunculus at 3:33 PM on January 18, 2015


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