If you’ve ever had a pull-up contest (or been asked to judge one), then you know how hard it is to ensure fairness. There are a lot of things to consider, such as technique, range of motion, hand placement, grip, etc.
I’ve heard a lot of people boast about how many pull-ups they can do only to find out that what they count as a rep is barely half the range of motion.
Last month, when I took the 20 pull-up challenge, a few readers even criticized me for “cheating.”
Using the dead hang pull-up is one way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
A dead hang pull-up involves fully locking out the elbows at the bottom of every rep. No momentum is involved during a proper dead hang pull-up. It’s a total 180 from the kipping pull-up.
I stopped by to see my brother Danny last week at his gym (he’s the personal training manager at NYHRC’s flagship location on 23rd street), and we decided to have an impromptu dead hang pull-up contest.
I went first, making sure to proceed slowly and deliberately between reps. Danny went second, and seemed more focused on trying to beat my number, rather than doing every rep with total precision.
Alas, I feel as though our pull-up contest ended ambiguously, but we both got a great workout, so in that sense we’re both winners.
Watch the video below to see for yourself:
For more information about muscle-ups, pick up a copy of my book, Raising The Bar: The Definitive Guide to Pull-up Bar Calisthenics.