Men's Fitness blog - 05/08/09
MF’s Joel Snape does a load of pull-ups and tries out Equmen's Core Precision Undershirt
I learnt something important last week: know when to keep your mouth shut. After moaning that the arm exercises in the annual FitBrit Challenge (opens in new tab) weren't tough enough, I rashly told the team that I was lobbying for next year's challenge to be nothing but pull-ups – 100 of them, with a wide grip, from dead hang to chin over the bar, as fast as possible. The very next morning, I was ‘encouraged’ to take myself to the gym and do exactly that.
To be fair, there is a point to this sort of workout. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who always wanted his back to 'bristle with power' during his fight scenes, prescribed 50 wide-grip pull-ups in as many sets as necessary as the best way to build bulging lats. I decided the quickest way to get through my 100 is in reverse ladders: do five, then four, then three, two and one, then work back up to five, with a 30-second break between sets. That got me through my first 50 in 10min 8sec, but it was hard going and I had to switch to sets of two for the second 50. My final time? A not-too-shabby 25min 43sec.
With my shoulders and back sorted, I turned my attention to the rest of my body – and fortunately, sartorial enhancement was at hand. Equmen (opens in new tab)'s Precision Undershirt promises to 'gently pull the shoulders back while compressing the core and self-adjusting to your unique body shape’. I'm not sure about that, but it certainly yanked in my fledgling beer gut and moulded it into a passable six-pack. Doing one of my favoured park workouts – a knackering set of Tabata intervals – I couldn't see any performance-enhancing benefits, but it was certainly comfy and well-ventilated. Oh, and my girlfriend seemed to like the shape it squeezed me into… but that could have been my bristling back.
Want to know how the Men's Fitness ed team fared when they did the FitBrit Challenge (opens in new tab)? Then read this FitBrit Challenge story (opens in new tab).
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