Pull-ups were a staple exercise during the 3 months of Marine Corps Bootcamp at Parris Island. At the beginning of bootcamp, I totally sucked at pull-ups and could only squeak out maybe 5 or 6 at one time. Over time as I developed strength and conditioned my body I was able to achieve 20 by the time I graduated Bootcamp. My next stop after graduating bootcamp was MCT (Marine Combat Training) at Camp Geiger. The instructors at MCT were very passionate about their mission to train us for the fleet. One of the requirements my instructor put on us was to do 20 pull-ups prior to evening chow or you didn’t eat. If you wanted to eat dinner then you made sure you were able to complete the 20 pull-ups.

Why in the world was the pull-up such an important exercise during my entire time in the Marine Corps? The answer is obvious once you learn what the pull-up actually does. To start the pull-up is a compound exercise meaning that it works several muscles at the same time to include your back, shoulders and arms. This is important as you need to have the strength to carry heavy loads over distance and navigate obstacles for a full load of gear on. In combat, if you are physically weak you will die. Strength gives you confidence and confidence will lead you to success.

Check out the following video for a demonstration of the proper way to execute a pull-up.

Looking for a pull-up program to get yourself to 20 consecutive pull-ups, then check out the Armstrong Pull-Up Program HERE.

*Photo courtesy of US Navy