On Saturday April 10th I did 800 pull ups in the space of about 3 hours.
Regular readers & anyone who knows me will instantly wonder why I’d do such a crazy thing………
The answer is simple: a charitable cause. As I mentioned in my last post where I interviewed Michael Casey – the man who did 100 pull ups a day for 100 days to raise money and awareness for ISPCC Childline, we (me, Michael and many others) were going to do 800 pull ups in a SINGLE SESSION.
This was to mark the 100th and last day of the challenge and because ISPCC Childline receive 800 calls from children on average, every day.
800 is a crazy number and I must admit I was a touch apprehensive, not because I doubted whether I could do it, more because I was worried about old injuries being reincarnated by so many reps of a pattern that’s caused issues for me in the past.
And I knew my hands would take a right old beating………and they did!
Nevertheless, I was determined to be a man of my word and follow through with the challenge.
Here’s a little mini journal of my 3 hour adventure and how it all went down – for anyone interested in doing their own endurance event for charity or any cause for that matter.
These were EMOM (every-minute-on-the-minute) for 5 reps each minute. I’d done this format a few times in the challenges that I joined Michael on through Instagram, to mark each time he raised another 1000 euros.
The plan was simple: do 5 pull ups every minute until I couldn’t any longer.
At 500 reps I took a 5 minute break to clean my hands as they were pretty wrecked, as you can see below………
From here on out it was another 200 pull ups under the same fashion (some may have been around 75 secs rest unintentionally at times). BUT reps 600-700 were done in gloves! I had to call upon them to alleviate the stinging, as much as it killed my ego to be seen wearing such things, I had to.
Fear not though, they came off at rep 700……..
I went back on the Instagram live stream with Michael and the others for the last 100 and those sickos on there were doing them WEIGHTED. They’d done 100 reps with 10kg so the least I could do was attempt this.
So 700-780 was done with 10 kg and with sets of 4’s & 5’s (and sometimes 4.5’s!) and the rest period went up to around 90-120 secs.
Throughout the stream the guys were having ideas of doing the last 20 reps with 20kg……..nutters!
Again, and as is usually the case in my mind, ‘if they can do it, I can do it’, I said. So I was game. I did reps 780-790 with 20kg using sets of 3’s and 2’s……
And then, just when things couldn’t really get much sicker, we vowed to do the last 10 reps with 25kg and really go out with a BANG.
As crazy as this sounded at rep 700, it wasn’t as bad as I feared it might be. You’re in the zone with like-minded people and you’re asking yourself if you’re ever going to get the chance to do something like this again?
You almost do it just to say you’ve done it. And I’ve experienced the power of overcoming physical challenges many times before with my mountain climbs and whatnot.
The biggest victory for me was not getting any shoulder or bicep issues and I walked away unscathed, which is testament to my diligent rehab work from January to now!
But the soreness I had the day (and up to 3 days after) was RIDICULOUS. ALL my pull up muscles were so tender they couldn’t even be touched at all.
My brain even felt tired and my mood was low – classic overtraining/over-reaching symptoms. No amount of sleep felt like it was sufficient and the idea of training 2 days later wasn’t only impossible due to my mutilated hands, but was as appealing as being castrated. I was wrecked.
One thing that got me scratching my head was why I got such cut up hands and some of the others doing the challenge didn’t…….
My theory is I was gripping far harder and it seems many others share that opinion/viewpoint.
It was an experience that I was glad to say I’ve done but not one I want to repeat anytime soon!
10,000 Euros raised!
Despite how I felt after, what an amazing story Michael’s is. For me, it was nice to lend a hand with the very thing I love; bodyweight training. I will always do what I can to get involved and use my physicality to help a great cause.
Michael (at the time of writing) has raised OVER 10,000 euros which is smashing his original goal out of the water. He initially aimed at 5,000 euros with the longshot aim of 10,000.
He kept promoting, pulling, campaigning and believing throughout and it paid off ultimately. So kudos to him for making this happen and highlighting the real way to make a change in this world; with action.
Anyone can join a sympathy bandwagon. Anyone can complain. Anyone can say they would do this or would do that. But not just anyone could do a challenge like Michael’s and make the difference he made!
The fundraiser is still just about open if you’re feeling kind enough to support this great cause, or even just feel inspired by Michael and everyone else’s efforts:
Lastly, if you’d like to see footage of the 800 pull up workout and all the 1000 euro challenges we did along the way – including 50 ring muscle ups, 300 pull ups, 100 pull ups with 30 kg and more – check out my YouTube video walkthrough and let me know what you think?
Thanks for reading. Have you ever done anything monumental for charity or are you planning to? Let me know down below! Let’s create an inspirational community right here.
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.