9-7- and 5 reps, for time of:
Squat Snatch @ 135/95
This gem showed up online from The New York Times Magazine, “Why Women Can’t Do Pull-ups.“ It should really be titled “Why it is Harder for Some Women to do Pull-ups as Well as People With Longer Arms,” but I’m guessing that doesn’t sell magazines quite as effectively. This wildly profound and insightful article confirmed what many of you ladies may have already suspected, being able to perform strict pull-ups are hard for most women. The experiment used as an example in the article definitely leaves much to be desired, but in general, women typically have less upper body strength than men, largely due to lower testosterone levels. However, biomechanics can create challenges for men and women alike. Physical attributes like longer arms create a longer distance for the body to move to complete the range of motion, etc.
Compelling stuff, right?
Yep, pull-ups are a skill that can be hard to come by. The statistic that gets thrown around goes something like “1 in 10 Americans can do a pull-up.” I don’t know if that is accurate or not, but it seems pretty believable. However, there are plenty of women who are able to do pull-ups and even tall, lanky men can get their chin over the bar, even tall, lanky women can do pull-ups! Or bar muscle-ups…
What it all boils down to, and what the researchers in the article failed to realize, is if you want to get better at a movement, train that range of motion and not just the muscles involved in the movement. All the lat pull-downs in the world might give you a stronger back, but it will do little to prepare your body to move itself through space. Time, patience, persistence and practice are the things that will get you that much coveted pull-up, hormones and genetics just speed up or slow down the process.