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My Struggle with Pull Ups :-/

January 24, 2013



My Struggle with Pull Ups :-/

Hey POPsters!!!

So! That pull up challenge. Eek. If there’s anything I hate more than burpees it’s pull ups.

I struggle with them so much!!!!

Remember when I first declared this “I wanna do 5 pullups” in 3 months idea? That was back around Thanksgiving and now it’s been about 2 months. My progress so far?

I am not as far along as I had hoped but I still have another month to go. It’s so tough for me to go above the bar without any assistance after the first one. My upper body has never been that insanely strong but I am working on it every week. To tell you the truth, I do not know how close I will get to completing 5 full pullups by myself in another month. I said I wanted to complete a specific goal by a specific date and if I don’t…most would consider it a “failure”.

But you know what? Not me. And you shouldn’t either if you miss your mark a bit.

You see, even if you said you wanted to run a 10k without stopping but during your race you thought your lungs might explode so you had to stop, do not be disappointed in yourself! Take a break and keep going. Like I say always – it’s about resilience. Pick yourself back up and carry on. Also, another important thing to keep in mind is that all the hard work you put towards trying to reach your goal is with you forever. No one can take that away from you!! Look, I don’t know if I can hit 5 full pullups in 1 more month but just by working towards it, my back is stronger and I feel a sense of empowerment by completing one. Besides…if you reached your goal too quickly, maybe it wasn’t aspirational enough to begin with right!?

So please watch the vid and see my struggle. I know that’s what you want – hahahaha. Also, listen to my analogy of how homework and life are not the same. Trust me…I have a point here…

And don’t forget to click on the video, head over to YouTube and like and comment on the vid to win $200 CASH and a box full of Premier Protein yumminess! This is the final time I will pick 3 lucky POPsters to win the Energy for Everyday giveaway. So go crazy. You can comment as much as you want!!

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 10.36.51 AM

I also announced the winners who commented on my last pullup progress video – so please watch to see if it’s you! If it is, CONGRATS, and please reply to me on your YouTube account and also write me at

I am currently editing your fourth HIITilates video at the moment so stay tuned! It will be up later today.

<3 Cassey

52 thoughts on “My Struggle with Pull Ups :-/”

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  1. Amanda says:

    Pullups are rough. The last time I did some, I had some band assistance!

  2. Andie says:

    Hi Cassey! I have started doing pull ups with help from the pull up machine at the gym. It’s so hard even though it helps me with 80 lbs of my weight! Here’s an article that might explain things:

  3. Linda says:

    Please give me the strength to do a pull-up!!

  4. Maria Jean says:

    Hi Cassey!

    I set out to lose 10lbs. by the end of February and I am on my way!!! I have lost 5lbs. so far thanks to your amazing workouts, INSANITY and Zumba FItness! Thank you for all your inspiring posts and fun videos! 🙂

    <3 Maria

  5. Amanda says:

    Okay, so the title of this article sounds very NEGATIVE but it actually explains that men and women have different muscle attachments so it is actually easier for men to do pullups than women.

  6. JennyO says:

    Hi Casey,
    It’s been awhile since I’ve commented, I’m deployed in Afghanistan now, but still love to use your YouTube channel for my gym workouts (thank you wifi in the gym).
    Anyway – Pull Ups aren’t easy for ANYONE if you don’t do them. I’m in a gym full of Soldiers, I see some men hop up and pop them out, some men who struggle for 2. I’ve been doing negatives and assistance bands while training my back. I’m up to 3, my goal is 10 by the time I get out of here. I’m almost half way through my year & I’m not feeling failure, I feel amazed at how many women say they can’t do pull ups because we’re weak in the upper body. Who says? Your never going to be able to do something unless you keep doing it, and pull ups are an almost daily requirement – negatives one day, wide arms another, just work them in to the upper body work out you have. With all your sass and vigor? You’ll have it.

  7. TheNailGuru says:

    Hey Cassey!
    First of all, LOVE the blog. 🙂 Second, I definitely agree with all the other commenters saying keep trying, but did you know it’s pretty much impossible for most women to do pull ups? We have less upper body strength usually than men (even if we workout like crazy), but also our weight is distributed way differently than men’s. Despite this though, with a lot of hard work, we can hopefully do at least one. :p

  8. Farrah says:

    I definitely think the most important thing is to just not give up. Being able to do a pull up was one of my very first fitness goals when I first started lifting, and I used the assisted pull up machine to help me get there. One random day (the day of my brother’s graduation about 4 years ago, actually 😀 ), I was at his apartment and he had a pull up bar (the same kind you have) rigged up, so I decided to try it without help and bam! There it was! There’s nothing quite like making goals for yourself and accomplishing them one by one. :]! You’ll get it before you know it! 😀

  9. Taylor says:

    Hi Cassey!!!! You have always helped me so much to stay motivated and keep going. Pull Ups are so hard!!!!! I made a similar goal to do 10 pushups in a row. like real ones, on my toes. Three months ago I couldn’t do ANY! I tried last night, and I did ten!!! So exciting!!!

  10. Jackie O says:

    You can do it Cassey! I have also been working on doing pull-ups. My friend made me start doing Cross-fit with her at the beginning of this month and it has been KILLING ME!!! Only this week I have started to get used to it! But I can tell you I have never done so many pull ups and squats in my LIFE! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to do all your workouts and I am REALLY missing it! I think next month I will stop the cross-fit and go back to your workouts because I haven’t lost any weight and I am not meeting my goals. Plus I’m missing out on entering for prizes this month!!! =( Oh well, keep up the good work! =)

  11. Silvia V says:

    Hey Cass good job with the pull-ups! they’re really tough!!!
    I do have established a goal for me and a deadline…I really want to lose 3 kg by the last week of February BECAUSE I will graduate (!!) that week…don’t know the exact date yet….and I want to look really fit…and speaking about fit, I need to fit perfectly in the dress I will wear that day, which is very tight!!
    I’ve been following your workout calendar since November, and I think I’m beginning to see the results: I am stronger and I see parts of my body more sculpted, which is great.
    STILL my body does not seem to collaborate as far as weight loss is concerned 🙁 I mean it’s been months and I haven’t lost a single hg!!! :((( I’m so disappointed at me!
    I mean all those efforts and no results, what’s wrong with my body?? I mean 3 kg are not 20!! I don’t think I’m asking too much!!
    Please Cassey tell me what to do, you’re the only one that can motivate me in the right way!!

    <3 u

  12. lacey says:

    hey cas, good job on working towards your pullup goal!!! my goal was to do five unassisted close grip pull ups by vday! i have been practicing alot on my pullup bar at home but get a little intimidated when i do them unassisted at the gym. but this morning i did 3 full ones (going allll the way down) and felt soooo proud of myself!!! the guy next to me was doing sets of like 15 wide grip but i was still really proud i could complete 3 in a row, its rare i ever see girls do that at the gym!!! i won’t stop practicing until i make it to five, then im moving on to unassisted dips! <3

  13. Nicole says:

    My goal is to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes straight by the end of February. I started late December and today I ran for 15 minutes before going back to a speed walk break! So I’m getting there!

  14. jess says:

    cassey, you are SUCH an inspiration!!! it is nice to see you have goals, too. because you make all the workouts look so easy! we all love and appreciate all the hard work you put into everything you do!! thank you for the amazing youtube videos and for stressing the healthy eating 🙂 all together it is a huge lifestyle change that feels SOOOO good 🙂
    your awesome!!!

  15. Anne says:

    Cassey don’t get down, stay positive. That’s what keeps us going right?
    Oddly i don’t have trouble doing pull ups which makes no sense cause I have very little muscle, but I am happy to say, I reached my goal! And I don’t want to sound horrible or anything, I know people are very busy with school and jobs, I don’t have any of that so I reached my goal in a week. I just kept fighting everyday, multiple times a day and now I can finish 1 whole hour of your oblique work outs Without stopping!!! The really hard part has been keep that up.
    So keep at it, fight fight fight!

  16. Hannah says:

    You are getting there Cassey! 🙂 I’m getting there, my goal is set for May, for college graduation- I really wanna have abs so I can wear a slick dress and have them pop. lol. Also, I wanna weigh 130 lbs, which isn’t going as well as I had hoped. 🙁 I have actually only lost 2 pounds in the last three weeks of working out. So I am changing up some things, and hitting it harder. So yes, I am getting there, I think, but it’s frustrating along the way.

  17. Joleanna Ann says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! so encouraging, makes me want to go to gym right now! Thanks for posting!

  18. Kylie says:

    well i wanted to run for a cause but in my town there hasnt been anything 🙁 PLUS its dead of winter! lol even tho there PRI wont be anything by the dead line…im still gunna do it after the dead line anyways! 🙂 i wanna see how far n fast i can run n really wanna push myself! Plus itd be for a good cause! 🙂 Thanx Cassey! <3

  19. Amber says:

    *Pats on the back!* You still have time to get to your goal, and so do I!!!! I’ve gotten faster, but not quite as fast as I need to be to reach my goal. 24 min 5k….I’m still on my way. I’m just 3 minutes off my time! I am going to try doing some pull-ups the next time I go to the gym.

  20. Amy says:

    So my goal was to lose 10 pounds but I don’t think I will get there by the end of February. Honestly I have a lot of trouble with setting goals like this because if I screw up one day I just feel like such a failure this can lead to days of eating wrong or not working out. I am an all or nothing kind of girl. When I do it, I do it hard and even sometimes overdo it. I am in a period of equilibrium right now but due to that my weight is sort of staying the same or doing a few pound fluctuation. I am going to use this time to really re-commit to going hard.
    Cassey, congrats on the 5 pull-ups and congrats to the others who have met or are on the way to their goals!! Keep up the good work!!

    1. Kathleen says:

      You can do it, Amy!! It’s not about failure, it’s about how many times you get up and try again!!!

      1. Amy says:

        Thanks, Kathleen! This is very true!

  21. bees says:

    Go girl, go girl!!!

    But I think this protein stuff is not good because it’s highly processed.

    You rock Cassey, keep it up! I believe in you because you believe in me!!!!
    You got such a strong will!
    Love you!

  22. Ida says:

    Hey, Cassey, well done for doing five pull-ups!!!!!!! (I still can’t even do one ):

    Well, my first goal was to be able to run 5km (I used to only be able to run 1500m) . Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach that goal, but I did however manage to run 3km. I’ve set my new goal for the end of next month to be able to run 4km.

    My second goal was to get better at fencing – I worked so hard every day: lifting weights; doing your Pilates videos; skipping with a skipping rope; and just practicing and practicing. When I went fencing again today it felt so much better, I was so much better, and I couldn’t have done it without you and this whole community. Thanks so much Cassey and everyone!!

  23. Sydney says:

    Hey Cassey! I’ve been hearing a lot about barre class workouts, and i was just wondering what your thoughts on them were? Love you! Xoxo

  24. saya says:

    CASSEEEYYYY, please reply if you see this D;

    i’ve been doing cardio and hit and butt videos lately, among other things.
    for my butt, i am starting to see the bottom lift up a little. BUT THE SIDES OF MY ASS ARE STILL FLAT. is this genetics? can i do anything to fill it out and make it rounder? cause even if it get perkier, the sides make it look bleh. i’m starting to think a nice butt is a lost cause for me. T_______T


  25. Lauren C says:

    Well done Cassey! My goal was to tone up my thighs and abs. By doing your workouts i have lost 10lbs and i am back to 9 stone and i feel so much better about myself! This is my continuing goal but i have also added flexibility to the list. This is accomplished by doing your workouts but i still feel a bit stiff. I have just done your stretching video and splits video! I would love some more, especially one maybe to do in the mornings to energise yourself for the day? Thank you so much Cassey. You really have changed my life for the better!

  26. Juliah says:

    I am very curious about this. I have been active my whole life: in sports, lifting weights, and now swimming, but cannot do anything close to a pull-up. I really want to do one! I’d settle for being able to cross the monkey bars again.

    Your videos have helped me regain so much strength after injury [“Back Attack” ROCKS!!!!!]. I was able to go from a 25-minute lap swimming workout to a full hour, and now have so much energy that I can climb Runyon Canyon. Do you have a Blogilates video about working the muscles that you need to do a pull-up?

    Thank you for all of your videos!

    1. Kathleen says:

      Congratulations!!!!! That’s amazing progress!!

      RE: pull-ups.
      The best way to train for them is by doing negatives on a pull up bar (you use a chair or something to lift yourself up to the top of the bar and then very slowly let yourself down) so your body can get used to its own weight, that helps build the muscles the best.
      Also, the back attack workout is probably the best next thing, so long as you’re really engaging those muscles and not faking it!!

      Good luck on your fitness journey!!

  27. Nicole Savage says:

    My goal currently is to compete in a bikini competition. I just started with a personal trainer though I do have background in lifting and a nutrition degree! He is pretty dang expensive though so the extra cash and protein def wouldnt hurt! I have one big challenge. I have Lupus and it makes it hard to bust ass some days but I am determined. I find you very inspirational. Love you positive attitude 🙂 it’s rare these days..also, I think I can do one pull up lol, so you win

  28. Rachael says:

    It amazes me how hard pull-ups are! I can do many different upper body exercises but pull-ups are near impossible for me. My goal is just like yours! If I can reach 5 pull-ups by the end of February I was be ecstatic! Thanks for all of your amazing videos and motivation. You have helped me more than you know! Pop Pilates makes me feel great! Thanks for all you do and good luck with your goal! 🙂

  29. AC says:

    More than the cash, I would like the protein !! it’s hard to find it here in France !! And I want put it in your pancake recipe so much, it seems so powerful !

  30. Marilyn says:

    I struggle so much with anxiety that it’s really hard for me to set goals. I’m so scared of not getting the results I want that when i feel if i set goals, either I won’t do anything, either I’ll go totally crazy with it and go beyond the limits (I’ve already been an anorexic so I don’t even own a balance to weight myself… I would fear to go crazy with my weight). As I wanted an healthy energized body, I set myself the simple goal to workout at least 3 times a week, for at least 3 hours total. It is not hard to do, I guess, but this goal makes me happy, cuz I achieve to do it. I workout really hard, at least 3 times a week, and, most of the time 4 or 5 times. 🙂

    1. Marilyn says:

      and don’t worry, I’m far from being anorexic right now, this was 12 years ago…

  31. Patricia Caixeirinho says:

    Girl, most guys at my gym don’t even dare to do a pull up and women? Only one of them goes for them. I, in turn, can’t do pull ups either, though my brother had a bar installed at our apartment, because he actually has a strong back. So I just use the bar for abs. You should definitely be proud of yourself! 😀 Go, go, gooo! 🙂

  32. Gina says:

    Oh my gah!! You did really good. The last time tried to do a pull up I could barely do one! Actually I wouldn’t even count it as one. :b You are very inspiring & you truly motivate me to try my hardest. Whenever I feel like I can’t I think “train insane or remain the same” & hearing you say “you can do it, do it for me, do it for you..” really keeps me going. Thanks so very much! Oh, & I got another friend to try Blogilates. YAY!!

  33. Grace says:

    Cassey!! I believe you can do it!! Stop using resistance as a crutch and do negative to get your muscles used to your full bodyweight! Also try doing close grip, not neutral grip! They’re much easier!! I personally think wide grip is easier than neutral grip, too, but everyone is different. It’s whatever you can envision yourself doing easier! Speaking of which, half of the thing about pull-ups is mentality. It took me forever to do more than two because of a mental block, but after I visualized doing more than two and got over that block, I could do 5!! I BELIEVE IN YOU, CASSEY!!

  34. Terri Harvey says:

    My goal has been to keep increasing the resistance on the elliptical at the gym, and as of right now I am at resistance 12, but can only go for 20 minutes before setting back to 10. My goal is to get to resistance 15 and last the whole 40 minutes. I want to be able to do this by April, and I go to the gym 4-5 times a week, so just keep pushing myself. Wish me luck 🙂

  35. Ginny says:

    I can’t remember the last time I have done pull ups. I don’t have much strength in my upper body because I am always working out my lower body. I really need to start doing pull ups! Good job CASSEY! As always… you motivated me! <3

  36. Carina Cristina says:

    Dang hardcore Cassey!! Now I wanna make 5 pull ups my goal too. Right now I’m working on push ups. I’m getting better at ’em! YUSS!

  37. Cassie says:

    I was trying to comment on YouTube, but it kept telling me there was an error ): So here we go!
    My goal was to lose 35 lbs, and here I am, 35 lbs lighter, thanks to Cassey and Jillian Micheals and!!!
    Now my new goal is to simple become the best I can and tone all over. Thank you, Cassey, for giving me the jump on the toning and helping me find healthy alternatives to squish those cravings!!!
    I look forward to seeing how my body has changed (FOR THE BETTER) in a few months!!!

  38. Denise says:

    Hey Cassey, good job on your pull ups!! I need to get back to doing them.
    Pull ups are a challenge. I really pushed myself o do them last year and I was able to do about 6. I didn’t keep up with doing the pull ups after I was able to do them and now I can only do one. It’s definetly an exercise that you should keep up with or you lose the strength do it. (at least for me anyway) After seeing your video I am motivated now to do pull ups again =D

  39. Joan says:

    Doing 5 unassisted pullups was your main goal, but everything in between is still an accomplishment. You be proud of yourself no matter what the outcome is. The hard work put in is reason enough. You’ll get your 5 no matter how long it takes. 😉

  40. Elaine says:

    Geez! I cant do those at all yet! Keep up the good work! Im sure you’ll be doing them all in no time! Im working towards doing regular pushups (without the knees)! Its hard work but with training and determination it will happen! Stay strong!

  41. Kayla Pfeiffer says:

    Go Cassey! PUll ups are suuuuper hard, but you are sooooo close! Thanks for your inspiration and all your hard work at posting videos and tips to live a healthy lifestyle! You have helped me get through this last semester of college(my busiest semester yet) to not only lose weight, but also tone and trim by body to a place where I am confidant with how I look! I just started student teaching, so I woud love to win the $ and the protein yummies as I am constantly looking for healthy munchies to keep my metabolism going while I’m on my crazy schedule! Thanks again and keep up the hard work on your pull up challenge! 🙂

  42. Katherine says:

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Can you do a workout with the song Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran?

  43. Ivori Rose says:

    I haven’t tried pull-ups in years….I wonder if I can do them too =D

  44. The fact that you are humble enough to admit you struggle with pull-ups makes me feel so much better about my poor upper body strength! Regardless you are a beast and I love all your workout videos! I tell my boyfriend all the time that I’m doing blogilates and he knows what I’m talking about! You are such an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing so much advice and workout videos with us all 🙂 xxx

  45. Gudrun says:

    I couldn’t do one pull-up 2,5 weeks ago, I can do 15 now without stopping. and after 30seconds rest I can do 10 more 😀 so yes, I’m proud of myself and it was haaaard, but now I have stronger arms than i EVER had before!

  46. kelli slitzker says:

    You go girl!!! Pull ups are hard!!! I hope I win!

  47. Briana B says:

    I started doing your videos a few months ago and already I feel stronger. I really love them, and I love how your always so encouraging during your videos and how you always seem to know when i’m about to give up and then your like ‘Keep Going, Dont Give Up!’ 🙂

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