How The Pull Up King Got Brought To His Knees By A Girl!

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
October 16, 2021

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”- Helen Keller

Are you facing a challenge right now? Maybe life circumstances have got you down and you can’t seem to pull yourself out of the pit. I’ve got a suggestion for you… start a challenge. A good challenge is like a morning espresso. It will get your adrenaline pumping and get you excited about life.

Shawna, How Dare You Challenge The Adrenaline King To A Pull Up Contest!

I often pride myself in my ability to do body weight exercises. Two of the classic (and most important exercises for getting stronger) are push ups and pull ups. I knew I could do quite a few push ups but I haven’t really thought too much about my pull up ability.

Well, last week, I stumbled across a woman named Shawna Kaminksi who can do 30 pull ups in a row. I watched the video (below) and was really impressed. Many guys that lift for years can’t do that many pull ups. I thought, “How many can the Adrenaline King do?” I took the fact that she could do 30 pull ups in a row as a personal challenge to me. After all, if you run a fitness website you have to be open to challenges right?

Before I show you how many pull-ups I did… here’s a video of Shawna rocking out over 30 pull ups in a row.

Great job Shawna! Really impressed.

So How Many Did The Adrenaline King Do? See Below…

Yep, I blasted out only 25 reps. Dang! Beat by a girl! This sucks! I guess I have to keep working on my pull up strength.

2 Little Known (and Sneaky) Techniques For Increasing Your Pull-Ups…

I have a couple techniques that you can immediately use to increase your pull-up rep total. I wouldn’t call them “cheats” but they may seem like it because there are so little known.

Sneaky Technique #1: Think “Elbows Down” While Pulling Up

As I explain in the video, your lat (back) muscle is much bigger and stronger than your biceps muscle. When you try to use just your bicep to pull yourself up you will fatigue much faster than if you focus on using your lat muscle. So here’s a technique that will help you get more pull ups. When rising up don’t think “up” think “elbows down”. Put your attention on your elbows and squeeze them down as you go up. This will ensure that you are using your lat muscle as the primary muscle for coming up and your bicep as the supporting muscle… not the other way around.


Sneaky Technique #2: Bring Your Legs In Front Of You When You Start To Fatigue

Whenever you do any type of exercise the muscles that fatigue will be based on the angle of the movement. For example, when you do a push up your chest fatigues because the angle of your body dictates that the force is directed into the pec muscle. When you do a pull up, gravity forces your body down. If you are doing a pull-up, this force is directed into your biceps and lat muscles (as explained above). But if you adjust your angle just slightly, then the force will change and different muscle areas will start to work.

How do you do this? When you start to fatigue in the normal pull up position bring your legs forward and up. This will position your body at a slightly different angle. The same muscles will be working but different aspects of the muscles will start to work more and you’ll be able to crank out a couple more reps. Watch me in the video again and you’ll notice that I do this at the very end. It’s a slight tweak but works really well.


How Many Can You Do?!

I got whooped by Shawna in the above pull up contest. I can no longer consider myself the Pull Up King. However, it is not a defeat because I pushed myself to the limit.

How many pull-ups can you do? Run to your pull-up bar and go see. Whether you are just starting out or can crank out 50 pull ups in a row. It doesn’t matter as long as you continue to try. Track how many you can do and over time as your number increases it will be a good indication that you are getting stronger.

If you have reached a plateau with your pull-ups or chin-ups. Here’s a great article by Jason Ferruggia on how to break out of it.

Post Your Results Below!

-Todd and Still King Shot Administer (But No Longer Pull Up King)


Show/Hide Comments (7 comments)
  1. Robert

    Good job 2 all I got 26 pullups..But I’ve been doing pullup contest since high school and always put those in my back workouts

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hey Robert, Yeah, they are a great tool to build back strength. Way to go man!

  2. Rajat Desikan

    Hi Todd
    What Shawna did was kip ups, not strict pullups (like you). I have done (and can do) 18 strict pullups with good form. If I kick my legs like Shawna does, I will be able to get more mileage. I liked your form till 23 reps though. Good job!

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hey Rajat,

      Great point. Form is so important. When the form starts to go down the tubes you really have to question total number of reps. Shawna’s weren’t quite true kipping pull ups but maybe something between a truly strict pull up and kipping.

      Thank man! Awesome job on your 18!


  3. Ivan

    Great job Shawna and good job Todd. While I’m waiting to you respond my email
    I’we done 15 pull ups/chin ups in row.
    So my question is what is the difference between pull ups and chin ups?
    Thank you Todd

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Thanks for the question Ivan and great job on the 15 pull ups!

      The difference between a chin up and pull up is based on the hand position. Place your hands so your palms are facing you and about 6 inches a part. That’s a chin up! If your palms are facing away from you, that’s a pull up. 🙂

  4. Todd Kuslikis

    25 for me! How about the rest of you?

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