Super Bodies, Pull Ups, Mother Nature, and Obesity Prevention – Games and Tech

Any super body who can bend steel with his bare hands and jump tall buildings in a single bound can certainly do pull ups. Wouldn’t you agree? On the other hand, odds are anybody who’s unable to do pull ups, will probably have a pretty hard time with the bare hands steel bending and tall building jumping as well.But it’s also interesting to see how many super bodies with bulging biceps, chest pounding pectorals, and thundering thighs, absolutely melt at the sight of a pull up bar. I suppose it’s an ego shot to someone who’s ripped from head to toe if he’s seen struggling with an exercise as simple and basic as pull ups. That being the case, these big dogs often stay as far away from the pull up bar as humanly possible. It’s just easier when you avoid it.A Basic Instinct Lost to the 21st CenturyHistorically speaking however, pull ups are an exercise that any self respecting ape or chimpanzee (our ancestors some would claim) can do quite naturally, often with one arm, while chomping on a banana. But then apes and chimps are still pretty much the same size they were five or ten thousand years ago, while man has become… larger. I mean give the apes and chimps ready access to cars, computers, TV’s, video games, and fast food, and just see how long they can still do pull ups, right?So the questions suddenly becomes, how can we self respecting male humans most effectively recapture our natural born ability to do pull ups in the midst of all the 21st Century cars, computers, TV’s, video games, pizza and beer? As you might expect, the answer to this question has several parts. Check it out.Number OneFirst and foremost you have to be motivated. That is to say, if you’re one of those guys who’s been humiliated by pull up bars and drill sergeant coaches ever since you were a kid, you may just take pull ups as a personal challenge, a mountain to climb, a white rapids river to swim. I mean in a certain sense, the ability to do pull ups has always been one of those things that separates the men from the boys, and if you’re biting at the bit to take your place alongside the men, that means you’re motivated!Number TwoSecond you must now find a pull up bar that allows you to perform at least eight repetitions right from the get go. In other words you must have a place to get on before you can expect to make progress. What fills the bill? There are any number of contenders ranging from a high tech and expensive health club gismo called the Gravitron, to the adaptive machines that use springs and rubber bands to lighten your load, and allow you access.A New and Simple SolutionBut interestingly enough a young engineer from Perdue University named Jeff Gotts (Delta Fitness of West Lafayette, IN) has come up with an incredibly simple and naturalistic substitute for those who are interested. That simple substitute is… your own two legs! You see he combined a height adjustable pull up bar that raises and lowers in one inch increments, with what he calls leg assisted pull ups in which participants are encouraged to jump and pull up at the same time, giving almost anyone instant access to pull ups. It’s the kind of thing that makes me say, “That’s so simple. Why didn’t somebody think of this before?”The Simple StrategyThe strategy here is equally as simple. You set the bar at a height where you can do at least eight leg assisted pull ups, jumping and pulling at the same time, and you do two or three sets. A couple of days later in workout number two, you do a couple sets of nine reps each. In the subsequent three workouts you do 10, 11, and 12 reps.And when you do 12 reps, you raise the bar ONE INCH next time and start the whole 8 to 12 rep cycle all over again. Gotts reminds readers to “Avoid the temptation of trying to go too fast too soon. This strategy is built on a series of small, predictable improvements over a period of time. Stick with the strategy and you’ll come out a winner,” he said.Eventually You Run Out of Leg AssistanceOver a period of weeks and months what happens is the bar gets higher and higher and you eventually run out of leg assistance. And when you’ve run out of leg assistance you’ve reached your goal of being able to do real, live, conventional pull ups just like the drill sergeant coach wanted you to do all those years ago. At this point you no longer melt at the sight of a pull up bar and you can finally take your rightful place alongside the men… if not the super body’s.A Natural Antidote to ObesityOne more interesting observation comes from Jeff Gotts, the Indiana based entrepreneur. He contends that, “The ability to do pull ups is a cost effective and naturalistic antidote to the obesity problem in this nation. Think about it,” he said. “People who can do pull ups are NEVER obese. And people who are obese can NEVER do pull ups.”"If school districts around the US would start teaching pull ups in kindergarten, and make the ability to do pull ups a high school graduation requirement, the obesity epidemic would be over in no time. People’s health would improve significantly, they’d be more productive, health care costs would plummet, and everyone benefits,” Gotts challenged.In SummaryIn summary, if you’re reading this article and you’re a budding super body who has yet to find a way to conquer the pull up mountain, and who may be carrying a little bit too much excess body luggage, take heart, get motivated, find a good height adjustable pull up bar, and start out with eight good reps.Continue making small but predictable chunks of progress week after week, month after month and before you know it you will have reclaimed your natural born ability to do pull ups, and immunized yourself against obesity for as long as you maintain your hard won ability. The other thing is that you may want to back off on the pizza and beer. For these things the pull up Gods will smile on you and speed your progress. So I say let’s all carpe diem today. We have everything to gain, and nothing (except excess weight) to lose.