I’m a sucker for a good challenge.
It’s why I almost die every time I take a spin class, because they rank your bike numbers by who is pedaling the hardest.
Last Friday I took a spin class. It had been 3 months since my last spin class, so I knew I was going to struggle. But sure enough, as soon as the class started, I was watching my ranking and doing everything I could to hang in the top 5.
I was hanging in there for the first 15 minutes of the class, but then both of my calves Charlie-horsed into massive cramps at the same time.
I was a mess. I tried to get off the bike and stretch them out.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It was embarrassing.
After a minute of stretching, I jumped back on the bike.
Again, both calves started seizing up.
I swore under my breath. I still had some fight in me, but my calf muscles had other plans for me.
I put the bike the on an easy setting and just coasted for the next five minutes, hoping my legs would loosen up.
I dropped down to 11th place. (There were 12 people in the class).
I discovered that if I stood up and put the pedals on the maximum setting, I used entirely different muscles, so I decided to go into a feverish climb for the rest of the class.
I ended up getting back to seventh place. I felt pretty good about that, considering the circumstances.
But the ordeal got me thinking.
Maybe there is a way to use this competitive impulse I have in spin class to life hack some other areas of my life.
My friend Ryan Sloper, who lives back east, started doing this recently by giving himself different challenges.
Last month he found a challenge online called the Twenty Pull-Up Challenge.
He asked me if I wanted to join him in a six-week challenge to get to 20 pull-ups. Ryan said he was never very good at pull-ups so he figured what better way to change that than to enter into some crazy pull-up challenge with his friends.
My competitive nature really liked the idea, but I knew I was traveling a lot this summer, so I didn’t jump in.
I’ve watched him work through his six-week challenge. He is not to 20 pull-ups yet, but he is 200% better at doing pull-ups than when he started.
He probably wouldn’t have achieved what he has, if he hadn’t entered into this public challenge with others.
I’m back from my trip and I’ve decided to jump in on this 20 pull-up challenge.
I think I did twenty pull-ups once. But it was 20 years ago. Now, I don’t know if I can even do 2.
I looked up the website. It creates a training schedule for you based on your starting point. Even if your starting point is zero pull ups.
I plan to start my challenge on September 1st.
Do you want to join me?
Keep in mind the goal isn’t necessarily to do 20 pull-ups. That is a potential result. The goal is really about pushing yourself through a crazy challenge to go places you didn’t think possible.
The challenge gives you a framework to follow and measure your progress. If you share it publicly with others, then it’s likely to push you much further than if you were to do it privately.
Here are a few more details:
“The Twenty Pull-Up Challenge.”
Basic premise is to be able to complete 20 consecutive pull-ups after a 6-week training regimen.
Three days per week.
Shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes or so each day.
First step is to do the initial test to see how many pull-ups you can do currently with proper form.
If you managed to get three or more then you will be able to start with Week 1. If you could only do 1, 2, or none then you will have two extra weeks. So 8 weeks versus 6. No biggie. We will get there together.
If you can’t do a pull yet, here is a video with a description on how to do a negative pull up, which is what the training regimen will have you do initially.
You will start with Weeks -2 and then -1 and then to Week 1. All of this is explained on the website, but feel free to message me if you are confused.
This Saturday the journey begins.
There it is folks. The 20 Pull-Up Challenge.
If you are one of those overachievers that can already do 20 consecutive pull-ups, then why don’t you double the number to 40? You make the call. Challenge yourself.
What do you say?
You in? Let’s suffer together
P.S.- “I don’t have a pull-up bar?” I’m sure someone is going to say this…LOL. Amazon is your friend. Prime delivery.
Or you can go to your gym. Borrow a friend’s. Just find a way.